A passionate dedication to bettering lives has fueled Linda Mason, current Chair of the international relief and development organization Mercy Corps, during more than three decades of humanitarian work. After graduating from the Yale School of Management in 1980, Mason spent a transformative year in Cambodia, organizing feeding programs for children in refugee camps in the wake of the Vietnamese invasion. The profound impact of this experience catalyzed a lifelong commitment to serving communities in need, a commitment which eventually led Linda Mason to Mercy Corps after extensive humanitarian and social development work both overseas and in the United States. She served on the board for nine years before assuming the role of chair in 2007. She has traveled extensively for the agency, including tsunami-ravaged Indonesia, and war zones in Darfur and Congo.
Though Linda Mason’s work and dedication are wide-ranging, she does have a particular interest in programs and initiatives that benefit women and children. In 1986, concerned by issues of early childhood education and the challenges of work-life balance in corporate environments, she co-founded Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Operating today in 45 states and several European countries, Bright Horizons provides early education programs and worksite child care centers for leading corporations, government agencies, and major institutions such as universities and hospitals. The organization has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” 13 times by Fortune magazine, and earned Mason a Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership, which she received from President Bill Clinton.
Linda Mason is also the co-founder of Horizons for Homeless Children, an organization based in Boston that serves homeless children throughout New England. Horizons for Homeless Children establishes and staffs playspaces in homeless shelters, operates three full-service childcare centers specifically for homeless children, and offers support services to homeless parents. The organization has been recognized as a national model for the effective support, care, and education of homeless children and families.
In addition to her role with Mercy Corps, Linda Mason is on the board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Packard Foundation, and the Yale School of Management Advisory Board. She is also a former trustee of Yale University.