Dr. Sulma Gandhi, CPCC ACC

Hawai‘i Health Program Officer

Hawaiʻi’s diverse cultures, community expertise, and lived experiences are critical to improving well-being and ensuring social equity. The Foundation’s commitment to accelerate returning resources and shifting power to communities calls to the agitator in my heart: to dismantle the historic power divide between funders and our communities. This is an opportunity to achieve lōkahi, a sense of balance and harmony, by bridging ideas, people and solutions towards a more peaceful, just, and humane world.

Dr. Sulma Gandhi (she/her) joined Stupski Foundation in 2021 as the Hawaiʻi health program officer. She leads partnerships 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

Commitment to Community

For over 25 years, she has worked in the fields of health, human service, and education with both community-based and government 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.

Academics & Awards

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 with a focus in health care management and leadership. She is certified as a leadership coach through the International Coaching Federation. Sulma facilitates suicide prevention with the Hawaiʻi Suicide Prevention Taskforce, is a torchbearer for the Safe Spaces and Workplaces Initiative, and is serving on the State of Hawaiʻi’s Early Learning Board. 

She is the recipient of the Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Award, which recognizes women’s contributions and leadership in business and community service and is an Omidyar Fellow through the Hawai‘i Leadership Forum. In 2023, Sulma was honored by the Association for Fundraising Professionals for Outstanding Community Leadership and by the Pacific Business News as one of Hawaiʻi’s Most Admired Leaders.

If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time.  But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. —  Lilla Watson

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 Hawaiʻi’s beautiful ‘āina (land) and wai (waters).

He ʻolina leo ka ke aloha.

Translation: Joy is the voice of love

Sulmas Insights

  • The Role of Philanthropy in Supporting Hawai'i Island Healthcare
  • Empower Your Choice: Improving Access to Quality Care for Those Living with Serious Illness
  • Commit to Keiki - Virtual Talk Story Forum with Josh Green

Change Can’t Wait Blog

See more from Sulma Gandhi about her work across health systems and the vital work of sharing and shifting power to liberate communities.