Monisha Som, Director
Monisha Som works on a wide range of issues, including telecommunications policy, criminal justice, economic development and civil rights.
At Spitfire, Monisha has worked with clients on communications strategy, messaging, branding, media outreach and campaign planning. Some of her clients include the Ford Foundation, ColorOfChange, Media Democracy Fund, Venture Philanthropy Partners and the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative.
Monisha has successfully placed opinion pieces in The New York Times, Newark Star-Ledger, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Politico and the Hill among other outlets. She has crafted talking points for congressional testimony delivered by the Honorable Leon E. Panetta and Admiral James D. Watkins of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative; led the development of a marketing strategy and the creation of a brochure for the American Red Cross Exploring Humanitarian Law curriculum; and created a brand strategy and organizational narrative for Venture Philanthropy Partners.
Monisha’s strategy efforts include a highly public, successful effort to press Comcast to apologize publicly to an affiliated nonprofit media organization for limiting the group’s ability to speak out on media issues. When Comcast decide to withdraw its financial support for Seattle-based nonprofit Reel Grrls after the organization tweeted on Comcast’s hiring of FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, Monisha developed an immediate outreach strategy and materials, crafted core messages and talking points for the organization’s media interviews, and arranged interviews with key outlets. The media coverage resulted in more than 40 articles in major outlets, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Hill and Seattle Post-Intelligencer as well as thousands of blog hits. In response, Comcast issued a public apology for its behavior and a flood of individual donors allowed Reel Grrls to quickly recover its funding.
While working on ocean policy reform with the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, Monisha coordinated the release of its U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card, an assessment of ocean policy reform during the past year. Monisha organized two briefings on Capitol Hill, a national radio tour and national media outreach to promote the report release, resulting in coverage in The New York Times, Newsday and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
As part of Spitfire’s training services, Monisha leads trainings on strategic communications planning, message development, media relations and creating effective elevator speeches. Monisha also provides one-on-one communications assistance to nonprofits participating in communications trainings, including grantees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies and Hewlett Foundation.
Prior to joining Spitfire Strategies, Monisha worked as a research associate in the antitrust department of the National Economic Research Associates. At NERA, Monisha supported expert testimony of Ph.D. economists concerning pending mergers and acquisitions, economic damages, alleged antitrust violations, and regulatory proceedings.
Previously, Monisha served as an intern at APCO Worldwide, the office of Congressman Joseph Hoeffel and the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, a project chartered by The George Washington University.
As an undergraduate at The George Washington University, Monisha participated in the Elizabeth J. Somers Women's Leadership Program and NEW Leadership DC, a women's leadership program focused on politics at American University. Monisha received her B.A. in political science with a minor in criminal justice from GW.
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