Uma Viswanathan

Executive Director, New Pluralists

Uma Viswanathan is Executive Director of New Pluralists Collaborative, a funder and field collaborative that is strengthening the growing field of funders, practitioners, storytellers, researchers, and innovators who are working together to satisfy our deep cultural hunger to heal our social divisions in ways that honor human dignity, repair harm, foster empathy, and widen our circle of human concern. She brings 15 years of experience leading, advising, and investing in people and projects dedicated to creating positive social change.

Prior to her current role, Uma was a Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on advancing collective forms of leadership that build greater equity, inclusion and belonging within formal systems and organizations and in social movements. She was a Program Officer of Racial Equity and Community Engagement at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, resourcing cross-racial movements to strengthen democracy and to build collective power towards racial equity and healing. Before entering philanthropy, Uma was Director of Leadership Development at Urban Habitat, developing cohorts of leaders from across the Bay Area region’s racial justice organizing and advocacy networks to join strategic local and regional boards and commissions. She founded and directed Nouvelle Vie Haiti, a network of 300+ young Haitian leaders who empower their communities to manage their own trauma, establish greater food security, and develop healthier sexual relationships. Uma is a certified meditation and breathwork instructor with the Art of Living Foundation, and received a BA in psychology and an MA in the history of science from Harvard University.


Pluralism in Family Philanthropy: Navigating Tensions and Bridging Divides for Impact

Posted on January 19, 2022 by Uma Viswanathan, Tegan Acton, Heather Templeton Dill, Brian Hooks, Nicholas A. Tedesco

Group of people of on top of the mountain at sunset
In an increasingly divisive society, people are facing complex, challenging dialogues around politics, ethics, and social issues, struggling to manage perspectives across the political aisle and facilitate healthy discourse with multiple viewpoints. What is taking place on a macro scale is mirrored within individual families—difficult conversations, distinct political and cultural divides, and in many cases gridlock or an inability to… Read More