She is Co-founder of Bioneers and its Everywoman’s Leadership program. She also co-founded and led Cultivating Women's Leadership with Toby Herzlich and Akaya Windwood, and is a longtime member of Women Donors Network.
Nina Simons is an award-winning social entrepreneur and visionary thinker. In 1990, she co-founded Bioneers with her husband and partner, Kenny Ausubel. Over that time she has helped to lead the organization through 29 years of identifying, gathering and disseminating breakthrough innovations that reveal a positive and life-honoring future that’s within our grasp, today.
Nina’s work currently focuses on writing, speaking and teaching about women, leadership, diversity, nature, systems thinking, leading from the heart, and restoring the feminine in us all. She is the founder of Bioneers' Everywoman's Leadership Program and co-created the Cultivating Women’s Leadership residential trainings in collaboration with Toby Herzlich and Akaya Windwood.
Nina co-edited the anthology, Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, which contains 30 inspiring essays by over 40 contributors, who collectively help to redefine the leadership landscape. The book is being used by educators in college and graduate-school classrooms and has garnered passionate and positive reviews. She is also a contributor to the anthology Ecological and Social Change: Multicultural Women's Voices. Her first full-length book, Nature, Culture and the Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership (Green Fire Press, 2019) is the recipient of a Gold Nautilus Award for Women in the 21st Century and the recipient of a Silver Nautilus Award for Social Change & Social Justice
In 1990, Nina joined the entrepreneurial start-up company Seeds of Change as its marketing director and was subsequently promoted to president, helping to grow the company into an emerging national brand in a mere five years. In her capacity as president, Nina oversaw the marketing, operations, and finance departments, while also contributing to strategic business planning and fundraising.
Prior to her tenure at Seeds of Change, Nina was director of strategic marketing at Odwalla, the fresh juice company, during a time when it was expanding rapidly across the nation. She designed and implemented community-based approaches to marketing that were highly effective in establishing the brand and building customer loyalty.
Previously, she was director of strategic projects at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, where she launched a publication that increased the organization’s earned income significantly while strengthening relationships with the local business community. In her youth, she worked as a director and production stage manager at theaters in New York and Michigan, and managed several restaurants.
All of these professional experiences helped her to cultivate strong leadership and communication skills, which have been refined and strengthened in her seminal work with Bioneers and in her more recent work with Cultivating Women’s Leadership and Women Bridging Worlds, as well as workshops on Relational Mindfulness, which she co-facilitates with Deborah Eden Tull at Esalen Institute and elsewhere.
Nina received a Robert Rodale award in 2003 and in 2017, Nina was named a recipient of the prestigious Goi Peace Award—along with her husband and co-founder of Bioneers Kenny Ausubel—in recognition of their pioneering work to promote nature-inspired innovations for restoring the Earth and our human community.