Alumni Profile

Sheryl WuDunn
Sheryl WuDunn
Princeton University Trustee; Pulitzer Prize Winner; Senior Managing Director, Mid-Market Securities
MPA, Class of 1988

Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize, is a business executive, lecturer, and best-selling author.  Currently, she is a senior managing director with Mid-Market Securities, a small banking boutique helping growth companies, including those operating in the emerging markets.  At MMS, she raises capital for a variety of clients:   men and women entrepreneurs in new media, media technology and social enterprise.  She was also a Senior Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs in fall 2011.

Previously, WuDunn has been vice president, in the role of investment advisor for private clients, in the investment management division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and a commercial loan officer at Bankers Trust. She also is one of a small handful of people who have worked at The New York Times both as an executive and journalist:  in management roles in both the Strategic Planning and Circulation Sales departments at The Times; as editor for international markets, energy and industry;  as The Times’s first anchor of an evening news headlines program for a digital cable TV channel, the Discovery-Times; and as a foreign correspondent for The Times in Tokyo and Beijing, where she wrote about economic, financial, political and social issues.  
 
She is co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a No. 1 New York Times best-selling book about the challenges facing women around the globe, published in 2009 by Knopf and featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Colbert Report and other network television shows.  Ms. WuDunn also helped launch the development of the Half the Sky multi-platform digital media effort – creating a thoughtful, effective outreach strategy that included a highly popular documentary series that aired on PBS in October 2012, mobile games and an online social media game on Facebook that hit #9 in its second week on the platform.  
 
With her husband, Nicholas D. Kristof, she has co-authored two other best-selling books about Asia: Thunder from the East and China Wakes.  Ms. WuDunn won a Pulitzer Prize with her husband for covering China, along with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement.  She has also won other journalism prizes, including the George Polk Award and Overseas Press Club awards.  WuDunn has also won a White House Project EPIC award, and she has been a judge for the State Department “Secretary’s Innovation Award for Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment.”  She has won other awards, including the Asia Women in Business Corporate Leadership Award, the Pearl S. Buck Woman of the Year Award, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Prize, among numerous other awards.  In 2011, Newsweek cited WuDunn as one of the “150 Women Who Shake the World.”  In 2012, WuDunn was selected as one of 60 notable members of the League of Extraordinary Women by Fast Company magazine. In 2013, she was included as one of the “leading women who make America” in the PBS documentary, “The Makers.” She was also featured in a 2013 Harvard Business School film about prominent women who graduated from HBS.   
 
She graduated from Cornell University, where she was a member of the Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2013 and served on Cornell’s various Board committees, including the Finance Committee, the endowment’s Investment Committee and as co-chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. She earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where she is a former member of its Advisory Council and was elected in spring 2013 as an alumni trustee to Princeton University’s Board of Trustees for a term beginning July 1, 2014.  Ms. WuDunn received an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and Middlebury College.   Ms. WuDunn lectures on economic, political and social topics related to women in the developing world, the global economy, China and the emerging markets and has been asked to address a wide range of audiences including former Vice President Al Gore, the IMF and World Bank.  Ms. WuDunn has discussed China economic issues on television and radio programs, such as Fox Business News, Bloomberg TV, The Colbert Report, Charlie Rose and NPR, and she has discussed philanthropic issues on programs such as NBC’s Dateline.