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Monique Villa

Monique Villa
Occupation CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monique Villa is CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Founder of TrustLaw and Trust Women. She has been ranked twice among the world’s 100 most influential people in Business Ethics by Ethisphere.[1]


Monique Villa was born in Paris, France. She studied Law and Political Science and has a diploma from the Centre de Formation des Journalistes de Paris.

Agence France-Presse

Monique spent the first part of her career at Agence France-Presse (AFP) where she held a number of senior journalistic and management positions. She reported for a number of years from Paris, Rome and London where she was bureau chief from 1991 to 1996. She then became Director of Strategy and Business Development at AFP headquarters in Paris, with responsibility for the agency’s major partnerships worldwide.


From 2001 to 2008, Villa was Managing Director of Reuters Media and Chairman of Action Images. Monique managed the picture and text news business for Reuters from 2001. She transformed the picture business and negotiated important deals for Media and Editorial, including a partnership with the International Herald Tribune to jointly produce their business pages, both in print and online.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

In 2008, Villa was appointed CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, after the acquisition of Reuters Group by The Thomson Corporation.[2][3]

Since her appointment in 2008, she has launched a number of programs that leverage the expertise of Thomson Reuters to trigger change and empower people across the world.

Among them, TrustLaw, an award-winning service created in 2010 to spread the practice of pro bono worldwide by connecting the best law firms and corporate legal teams around the world with NGOs and social enterprises in need of free legal assistance.[4]Since its inception, TrustLaw has generated the equivalent of $54 million in pro bono support. Today, TrustLaw boasts over 2,200 members across 170 countries, including over 450 law firms and 1,750 high-impact social enterprises and NGOs.

Villa is also the Founder of Trust Women,[5] a fast-growing global movement committed to putting the rule of law behind women’s rights through concrete action. In December 2013, the annual Trust Women conference brought together 450 global leaders from 40 countries including Mexico, Libya, Pakistan, India and China.

As a direct result of the Trust Women Conference, the Thomson Reuters Foundation worked with the office of the Manhattan District Attorney and top U.S. financial institutions - including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Barclays, TD Bank, American Express, Western Union – to issue international guidance aimed at helping the wider financial communities to identify and report irregularities in financial transactions linked to human trafficking.[6]

Under Villa’s leadership, the Foundation also strengthened its commitment to free and independent journalism. Its award winning editorial team covers the issues that mainstream media often forgets: from human rights abuses to the human impact of climate change, to the social damage poised by endemic corruption; the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, is devoted to innovative and comparative international research; and a global network of journalists provides media training to hundreds of reporters around the world.

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Monique Villa's team set up and launched Aswat Masriya[7] an independent and unbiased political news website which quickly established itself as an authoritative mainstream source of information, becoming an essential tool for the Country’s transition to democracy.

Villa is also a member of the steering committee for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which oversees the Institute’s activities.[8] Funded in part by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Institute conducts academic research on journalism and operates the Thomson Reuters Fellowship Programme.[9]

In June 2013, Monique Villa spoke at the TEDx HousesofParliament event highlighting how the Thomson Reuters Foundation is reshaping modern philanthropy through the power of data, news and information. [10]


Monique received the 2015 Champions for Change Award for her vision and effort in the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Under Villa, the Foundation has received numerous awards, including a Webby Award for Best News Website; a SOPA Award for Excellence in Human Rights Reporting, a Charity Award for Advice, Support, and Advocacy, and a Communicator Award for Excellence.

In 2014, Monique Villa was ranked 37th in Ethisphere’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in Business Ethics.[11]

In 2011, Monique Villa was ranked 43rd in Ethisphere’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in Business Ethics.[12]

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