C. Nicole Mason is the author of Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America (St. Martin’s Press) and heads up CR2PI at the New York Women’s Foundation. Her commentary and writing have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, POLITICO, The Nation, The Progressive, Spotlight on Poverty, Marie Claire Magazine, USA Today, ESSENCE Magazine, The New York Times, Bustle, BIG THINK, The Huffington Post and on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and NBC, among other outlets.
Most recently, she delivered a well-received TED talk at TEDWomen on the Courage to Disrupt and the Gift of Being Difficult.
Nicole is the Executive Director of the Center for Research and Policy in the Public Interest (CR2PI) at the New York Women’s Foundation. Nicole is also the creator of the Lead The Way Initiative for emerging women of color executive directors and mid-level managers working in the social sector. Since it’s inception, more than 100 leaders have cycled through the program including a Presidential Appointee and a McArthur Foundation Genius.
For more than two decades, Nicole has worked on a range of pressing social issues from violence against women to reproductive justice to economic security. She is also the former Executive Director of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. There, she held the distinction of being one of the youngest scholar-practitioners to lead a major U.S. research center or think tank. Under her direction, the Network became a leading authority and voice on public policies impacting women of color, low-income families and communities of color.
Nicole lives between Brooklyn, New York and Washington, DC and is mom to twins Charli and Parker and two dogs, Anderson & Sofia.