team Hawaiʻi Health Program Officer

Sulma Gandhi, DrBA MSc

Hawaiʻi’s diverse cultures, community expertise, and lived experiences are critical to improving health outcomes and social equity. I am grateful to find alignment in the Foundation’s vision that all people have the opportunity to enjoy a life marked by dignity, connectedness, and caring.

Dr. Sulma Gandhi (she/her) joined Stupski Foundation in 2021 as the Hawaiʻi health program officer. She leads investments in Hawaiʻi focused on the critical areas of maximizing early brain development and improving serious illness care. Sulma’s passion is building diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities for a thriving Hawaiʻi. For more than two decades, she has worked in the fields of health, human service, and education with both private nonprofit and public organizations across Hawaiʻi. Through those experiences, she has witnessed how systemic barriers to health care manifest as significant preexisting health disparities and inequitable representation across the social determinants of health, which include factors such as education, occupation, transportation, and housing. As a social entrepreneur and innovator dedicated to improving health outcomes, she founded Conscious Communities, which provides groundbreaking programs that empower individuals and organizations to practice collective responsibility toward eliminating violence and promoting safe and respectful environments. 

Sulma is a reiki master and holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in science from the University of Victoria, Canada, and a doctorate degree in business with a focus in health care management and leadership. Sulma serves on the Hilo Medical Center Foundation Board, Hawaiʻi Suicide Prevention Taskforce, Safe Spaces and Workplaces Initiative, and the Early Childhood Action Strategy. Of special note, she is the recipient of the Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Award, which recognizes women’s contributions and leadership in business and community service. She is also honored to be chosen as an Omidyar Fellow through the Hawai‘i Leadership Forum.

Sulma is the proud daughter of Indian immigrants and loves to travel, compose poetry, and delight in the authentic foods and art of diverse cultures. She and her partner are parents of twin young adults, and you can find her ʻohana (family) hiking at the Volcano National Park and exploring the beautiful ‘āina (land) and wai (waters) of Hawaiʻi.