Uma Viswanathan

Uma Viswanathan is the founding Executive Director of New Pluralists Collaborative.

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.
photo of Uma Viswanathan


Bridging in Practice
Throughout O&B 2021 we’ve discussed the urgency of bridging across lines of difference, including across ideological lines, which can sometimes be the most difficult bridge to cross for those of us working towards belonging. In this discussion, OBI Director john a. powell will model bridging across ideological lines in a live bridging conversation with conservative John Wood, Jr., a national leader for Braver Angels , a grassroots, cross-partisan organization dedicated to political depolarization. Wood is a former nominee for congress, former Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los...
Closing Q&A with john a. powell
In this closing discussion, moderated by Uma Viswanathan of New Pluralists Collaborative, OBI Director john a. powell will answer questions directly from the O&B audience about bridging and belonging in practice. Uma and john will process and reflect on john’s prior conversation with John Wood, Jr., and discuss our collective challenge moving forward, as we seek to build a world where ideological and group-based differences do not serve to divide us into smaller and smaller groups—and ultimately allow us to build a world where all belong.