Aliya Sanders

Hometown – Bronx, NY
Undergrad – Princeton University, AB, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Graduate School – Columbia University, 2013, JD-MPH
Current Occupation – Gunderson Dettmer
Title – Partner

Greatest Impact

One of my biggest goals is to ensure that more black people (and particularly black women) see themselves in positions of leadership in the legal field. Black lawyers often leave law firm practices because many firms don’t have people in senior roles who share the same experiences or understand what it’s like to be the “other” in a room. I hope that other black attorneys can see that if I made it, so can they!


Aliya was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. After attending Trinity School in NY, she went on to graduate from Princeton University, where she received a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with certificates in African Studies and Portuguese Language and Culture. After graduating from Princeton, Aliya worked for two years in Cape Town at mothers2mothers, an international nonprofit focused on preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission. Upon returning to NY, she attend Columbia, where she received her JD from Columbia Law School and her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health. After starting her career at Skadden, she eventually landed at Gunderson Dettmer, where she is currently a partner and provides services to venture-backed companies and venture capital firms.