Samidha Manu is the Senior Director of People Services at REI. She is focused on the growth of REI’s most valuable asset – our people. Her day-to-day includes making REI a continually great workplace, fostering company culture, and bringing in passionate, committed individuals that share REI’s core values and mission: to create joyful experiences for customers. Samidha believes in empowering her team members, pitching in, guiding where needed, and, most importantly, never losing sight of the why while the team focuses on the how. Samidha gets fulfillment from her role every time she sees a direct connection between the work she does and the overall impact it has on REI and its customers’ missions.
Prior to managing people, Samidha was managing a portfolio of projects. She has been with REI for more than two decades – she joined the company in 1994 as a software engineer. In her previous role at REI, she led the science and technology business unit. After several years in that role, Samidha decided she wanted to move into a challenging corporate role that would make a big impact on the company, its employees, and its customers. The People Services lead role perfectly combined her passion for and commitment to REI, so she took the leap into all things people.
The daughter of a diplomat, Samidha grew up in India and many other parts of the world. She received her bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering from the Delhi Institute of Technology in India, and later completed her master’s in computer science at the University of Iowa. Samidha has received many awards during her time at REI, including the NASA Goddard Flight Projects Directorate Award for Steady Helm Leadership, the NASA SBIR/STTR Group Achievement Award, the NASA SBIR/STTR Group Performance Award, and the REI Distinguished Leadership Award.
In her spare time, Samidha loves to travel (her favorite recent trip was a two-week road trip with her family across five southern states along the east coast) and reading. She and her husband, Manav, have twin daughters in college and live in northern Virginia.