BoardSource Names Monika Kalra Varma as President and CEO


Washington, D.C., June 24 – BoardSource announced today that social justice leader and legal advocate, Monika Kalra Varma, will become its next president and CEO.  A seasoned nonprofit executive and board leader, Varma brings more than 20 years of leadership experience with mission-driven, justice-focused organizations, most recently serving as Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay area, whose mission is to dismantle systems of oppression and racism and build an equitable and just society.  Prior to that, she led the DC Bar Pro Bono Center and worked at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.

“We have found in Monika a dynamic thought leader who will build on the organization’s transformative momentum to reach new heights.” said Julia Wilson, chairwoman of the BoardSource board.  “Her deep experience in the nonprofit sector and passionate advocacy for social justice and human rights are perfectly aligned with BoardSource’s vision for its future. We are thrilled that she will be joining us as our next leader.”

“I see the potential to radically shift the governance model of the nonprofit sector to better meet this moment of unprecedented social justice challenges. That is why I am excited to be joining BoardSource – an organization at the forefront of inspiring and supporting nonprofit boards and executives to lead justly and with purpose,” said Varma. “When organizations move beyond supporting their individual organizations to also aligning their work with what best serves their communities, we see true transformation. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this effort.”

Varma’s appointment is the culmination of a six-month nationwide search that included a competitive field of more than 150 candidates. The search was chaired by Kevin Walker, President and CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation, and was led by Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group (NPAG).

Varma will succeed Anne Wallestad, who announced in December 2021 that she would be stepping down in June. Varma will assume the role in August 2022, after a brief interim period during which the BoardSource team will be co-led by the four members of its senior leadership team, Andy Davis, Stella Ford, Joan Payne, and Judy Reckelhoff.

BoardSource is a globally-recognized nonprofit focused on strengthening nonprofit leadership at the highest level — the board of directors. With more than three decades of experience, BoardSource is at the forefront of nonprofit board leadership, research, and support. BoardSource provides leaders with an extensive range of tools, resources, and research data to increase board effectiveness and strengthen organizational impact and serve as the national voice for inspired and effective board leadership. 

Download a copy of the press release.