Goa-born TiE Boston Executive Director, Rowena Kay Mascarenhas, has been named the Top Women Leaders of DC for 2024 by Women We Admire.
In their announcement of this year’s awardees, Women We Admire writes, “Rowena has effectively steered multiple teams in implementing successful programmes, crafting strategic frameworks and influencing policy. Her passion lies in connecting and convening individuals to address contemporary challenges. Notably, Rowena places special emphasis on advancing the intersection of business and social impact, while also championing growth opportunities for women-led businesses.”
Born in Saligao, Rowena then shifted base to Delhi, where she worked for several years before moving to the United States of America.
With a wealth of professional experience spanning more than two-and-half decades, Rowena has demonstrated excellence in corporate, academic and non-profit sectors.
Her expertise extends across multicultural, local and global environments, showcasing her proficiency in effective communication, partnership development and relationship building.
“As women leaders, we often find ourselves working doubly hard to prove our worth. This achievement is a testament to the resilience and strength of women leaders, and I am proud to be part of a community that fosters empowerment and collaboration,” said Rowena and added, “I am immensely thankful to my mentors, especially the remarkable women, who have been a guiding light throughout my journey.”
She further said, “I’m blessed to be surrounded by an incredible community of thriving entrepreneurs at TiE Boston, who inspire me to be a better version of myself. And I am lucky to work with the most talented, committed and kindest team imaginable. Together, we have the opportunity to build a robust ecosystem for entrepreneurs to innovate and scale across borders.”
At TiE Boston, Rowena enjoys the opportunity to work closely with its President Yash Shah, Past President Anu Chitrapu and President-Elect Purnanand Sarma, who are creating opportunities for equitable access to entrepreneurship.
TiE Boston is focused on supporting entrepreneurs throughout their lifecycle — from ideation to creation, through growth, wealth creation and ultimately, fostering future innovators.
Shah, President of TiE Boston and serial techpreneur, said, “We are incredibly proud of Rowena for being named one of the Top Women Leaders of DC for 2024. Her dedication to building bridges and creating opportunities is truly inspiring. We look forward to her ongoing contributions and leadership.”
Shah, President of TiE Boston
By encouraging collaboration between members globally across 61 chapters, throughout their entrepreneurial process, TiE has created a repeatable cycle to nurture and promote the next generation of entrepreneurship.
A recent report by KPMG highlights that the global impact of TiE includes over $1 trillion in entrepreneurial wealth created, employment generated directly as a result in the startup ecosystem pegged at 2.5 million jobs, with investments that exceed $70billion through the estimated 25,000 startups supported directly.
Upasana Sharma, Vice President, TiE Toronto and Founder of Investor Quotient Canada Inc says, “For me, Rowena, the Executive Director of TiE Boston, exemplifies unparalleled leadership qualities that transcend boundaries. Her visionary approach to successfully implement every programme with an aim to foster entrepreneurship has transformed TiE Boston.”
Upasana Sharma, Vice President, TiE Toronto
“Rowena has been pivotal in enabling an entrepreneurship eco-system in Boston and connecting it to the global stage,” says Boston-based Joe Falcão, VC and PE backed CFO and TiE Boston Angels Board Member. “I admire her grit, resourcefulness and passion for the entrepreneurial cause. Also, needless to say that she is very hardworking.”
Rowena’s pivotal roles, prior to her current position at TiE Boston, were at the American India Foundation, Oxford University Press, and Crompton Greaves, and they underscore her diverse and accomplished career trajectory. She was the recipient of the WILL Choice Award in 2021.
Goa-based renowned photographer, curator and co-founder of the Delhi Photo Festival, Prashant Panjiar says, “I have been fortunate to have worked for many years in the field with Rowena when she headed communications at the American India Foundation and I worked as an independent photographer documenting their programmes."
He further adds, "She planned each of our trips meticulously so that the long hours we put into each assignment were used efficiently and yielded great results. She also was able to amplify the work produced in our field trips extensively, giving great visibility to AIF’s programmes and its beneficiaries.”
Prashant Panjiar, Goa-based photographer
Apart from her professional responsibilities at TiE Boston, Rowena finds fulfilment dedicating her time to volunteer on an urban farm and at DAWN Worldwide, a non-profit dedicated to reducing gender disparities.
Adds Nirmala Garimella, DAWN Worldwide Board Member and Co-Founder, Circle of Hope, “I have always found Rowena to have the ability to look at the big picture and her willingness to engage in insightful conversation into a project. She is also a great listener which speaks of her quality as a leader. Her empathy for the underserved and understanding of the social sector has always been outstanding. This award was well deserved and timely and I am happy for her recognition.”
Rowena takes great joy in adventure travelling and spending time with her family and pets. Rowena’s diverse experiences and steadfast commitment define her influential role in shaping the landscape of entrepreneurship and social impact.
Women We Admire is dedicated to recognizing the achievements of exceptional women across industries, while inspiring others to continue their journey towards reaching their full potential.