Monisha Som
Communications Director

My role at VPP is to ensure that the organization speaks with one clear and consistent voice. This means thinking about everything from our overall messaging to our website and materials. The work that our team does is so important and it’s the communications team’s responsibility to help make sure that people understand and connect to that work.

Before coming to VPP, I spent 11 years at Spitfire Strategies, a strategic communications firm dedicated to supporting organizations that work to create positive social change.

My focus was developing and implementing communication strategies with clearly defined goals, sharp messaging and smart tactics. Some of this included messaging, media outreach, storytelling and creating websites and materials, among other projects. I had the amazing opportunity to work with clients dedicated to issues ranging from education to health care to economic development to criminal justice and civil rights.

I was introduced to VPP in 2012 when the organization asked Spitfire to create a communication plan. I loved working with the VPP team – I developed a strong relationship with the staff and became very interested in the mission of the organization. Since then, I worked with VPP on various projects when they needed communications counsel. When the Communications Director position became available in early 2017, I knew it was a wonderful opportunity to join a hardworking, passionate and innovative team.

I think it’s so important to understand how and why people make decisions. Learning about the people that we are communicating with helps to ensure that those communications are strategic, clear and compelling. Ultimately, that is what we need to connect with people and advance the goals of VPP, our partners and our community members.

Experience has taught me that you can’t underestimate how important the ability to make clear decisions is. There are so many options, considerations and opinions when it comes to any social chance cause and it’s very important to ensure that you are being thoughtful and deliberate, but it’s just as important to know when to move from talking about change to taking action to create change.

I love that Washington, D.C. is so much more than the obvious – this is our nation’s capital of course, but, it’s also a community of its own. There is a notion that no one is really “from” Washington, and that everyone is a transplant from somewhere else and came to this town for a career related to the federal government, but that’s just not true. There are thousands of kids that are growing up, going to school and working hard to succeed in this community and VPP is focused on helping those kids have brighter futures.

When I came to D.C. for college, I fully expected to live the stereotypical D.C. life – working in politics as a Congressional or White House staffer. Then, I learned how many different ways there actually are to make a difference. I’m so proud to work in the nonprofit field, where I can focus on the issues that I care most about and help push for real change in people’s lives.