JUST ANNOUNCED: The New Era of Leadership 2024 Award Winners


Cynthia Bissett Germanotta

President & Co-Founder, Born This Way Foundation


Why Kindness Is Key for this Co-Founder Working to Make a Difference

Before she became Lady Gaga, Cynthia Bissett Germanotta’s daughter struggled with being different. In 2012, the mother-daughter duo founded The Born This Way Foundation to help young people build a kinder and braver world and, in the process, foster their own and others’ mental wellness. Under Germanotta’s leadership, the Foundation has reached tens of thousands of young people across the country and around the world. In 2019, the United Nations’ World Health Organization appointed Germanotta as a global Goodwill Ambassador for Mental Health. In 2020, stories from the foundation’s Channel Kindness web and social platforms became a bestselling book. “Kindness is at the forefront of everything that we do,” says Germanotta, who has led her team in creating programs like the Kindness in Community Fund addressing housing, food, and safety as well as mental health among young people. In 2022, the foundation invested $1,000,000 in the Kindness in Community Fund, funding 22 youth-led organizations around the country to support young people in their respective communities. In 2023, the program expanded globally.

By Katy Brennan