Linda Mason co-founder of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, taking it from start-up in her home, raising financing, building the organization, and taking it public. The company is the largest world-wide provider of worksite child care, early education, and education advising. Bright Horizons, now a $8 billion public company trading on the New York Stock Exchange, operates more than 1,200 high quality child development centers for employers in six countries. The company employs over 35,000 people and serves more than 120,000 families.
Bright Horizons was selected by Fortune magazine in 2020 for the 19th time as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For in America”, and was selected by the Boston Globe as “One of the Great Places to Work” every year since 2005. Linda Mason was one of five corporate recipients of the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership presented by President Bill Clinton. She was the recipient of the Ernst & Young/USA Today "National Entrepreneur of the Year", one of Business Week's "Best Entrepreneurs," and one of Working Mother Magazine’s “25 most influential working mothers in America.”
Ms. Mason is the author of The Working Mother’s Guide to Life, published by Random House. She has written and spoken broadly on entrepreneurship, building culture, and the issues of corporate work/life policies and challenges, including participating on White House panels and initiatives during the Obama and Clinton administrations.
Ms. Mason also co-founded Horizons for Homeless Children (HHC), a Boston-based organization that serves the needs of homeless children. HHC has trained over 15,000 volunteers to work in 150 playspaces established by HHC in homeless shelters. In addition, HHC operates 3 full-service childcare centers for homeless children, also providing assistance to mothers to reach self-sufficiency. HHC is a national model for the care and early education of homeless children and a model for an effective path to self-sufficiency for homeless mothers.
Linda Mason is recently retired as Chair of Mercy Corps. Mercy Corps is a $500 million international relief and development agency headquartered in the U.S. Mercy Corps operates in 43 countries serving 17 million people, with major programs in some of the most difficult environments in the world including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, Somalia, and Congo, among others. Ms. Mason is engaged with the strategy and development of the agency, serves a representational role, and develops support, visibility, and funding. She serves as the key board advisor for Mercy Corps’ substantial and growing involvement in social entrepreneurship with a particular focus on the Middle East. Ms. Mason has traveled frequently, on behalf of Mercy Corps, to the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Balkans.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Mason managed large-scale refugee relief operations overseas. She served as Co-Country Director of Save the Children's emergency program in Sudan during the African famine of the mid-80’s, creating a national program that served 400,000 Sudanese famine victims. She also was responsible for the operation of emergency services for two refugee camps serving over 40,000 Eritrean refugees. Ms. Mason also directed a large feeding program for malnourished children in Cambodian refugee camps along the Thai border after the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia of 1979. She co-authored the book, Rice, Rivalry, and Politics (University of Notre Dame Press), which looked at the politics and the challenges of the Cambodian relief operation.
Ms. Mason lived for two years in France after college where she studied classical piano at the Rachmaninoff Conservatory in Paris and studied French language and literature at the Sorbonne.
Ms. Mason served as Leader-in-Residence at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School from 2014-2017.
Ms. Mason has a BA from Cornell University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She has held leadership positions on the boards of several institutions, serving as: Chair of Mercy Corps; Co-Founder of Horizons for Homeless Children; Lead Director of Whole Foods Market; Trustee of Yale University; Chair of the Yale School of Management Advisory Board; trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; trustee of the Packard Foundation.
Ms. Mason is married to Roger Brown and together have three grown children.