Maya Ajmera is the President and CEO of Society for Science & the Public (SSP) and Publisher of its award-winning magazine Science News and its family of media properties. Founded in 1921, SSP works to promote the understanding and appreciation of science, and the vital role it plays in human advancement. It is best known for its world-class science competitions including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, and Broadcom MASTERS. Maya is an alumna of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, which is now sponsored by Regeneron.
In 2013-2014, Maya served as the inaugural Social Entrepreneur in Residence for Duke University and Visiting Professor for the Practice of Public Policy at The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke.
From 2011-2014, Maya was a Visiting Scholar and Professorial Lecturer at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at The Johns Hopkins University. While at SAIS she wrote a foreign policy book on the global plight of children and youth entitled Invisible Children: Reimagining International Development at the Grassroots (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). She continues to serve as an adjunct on the faculty of the International Development Program and teaches the course “Social Innovations in International Development for Children and Youth.”
In 1993, Maya founded The Global Fund for Children (GFC), a non-profit organization that invests in innovative, community-based organizations working with some of the world’s most vulnerable children and youth. Under Maya’s 18 years of leadership, GFC grew from a seedling vision into one of the largest networks of grassroots organizations working on behalf of vulnerable children. To date, GFC has awarded nearly $50 million to over 700 grassroots organizations in 80 countries, touching the lives of nearly 10 million children.
Maya is also an award-winning children’s book author of over 20 titles, including Every Breath We Take, Children from Australia to Zimbabwe, Faith, and To Be a Kid, with nearly 5 million readers worldwide.