Executive Director's Corner

Yasmine Sherif speaking with a kid from Lebanon
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ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif

Yasmine Sherif is the Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW). A lawyer specialized in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (LL.M), she has over 30 years of experience with the United Nations and international NGOs. 

Ms. Sherif has served in some of the most crisis-affected areas of the world, including Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Balkans, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan as well as in New York and Geneva. She has led high-level missions to numerous conflict and crisis-affected countries. Her expertise spans across the education, humanitarian, development, human rights, gender and peacekeeping spectrum.

She is the author of the book, The Case for Humanity: An Extraordinary Session, and a Champion for ‘No Lost Generation.’ In 2017, she received the annual award Sweden’s UN Friend of the Year, in 2020 she was awarded the Global Educator Award in the United States, and in 2022 she received on behalf of Education Cannot Wait, the prestigious Mother Teresa Award.

Ms. Sherif also received an award from the United Nations Association-USA Brooklyn Chapter in 2023, and was recently honored as a Listee in Marquis Who's Who for her dedication to the field of international affairs and law, and leadership of ECW. 

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All Statements and Updates

Girls at school
Director's Corner
A civilian student named Saber was caught in the crossfire in Khartoum. He had two choices: either flee and lose everything; or die. But within a moment his option to choose was violently denied: he died. As a result of the brutal internal armed conflict in Sudan right now, UNHCR...
Family walking in Sudan
As the fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continues to spread and the death toll amongst civilians continues to rise, I, on behalf of Education Cannot Wait, am profoundly concerned by the situation in Khartoum and Darfur and condemn this latest eruption of...
Yasmine Sherif sits with young girl in Colombia
Director's Corner
Looking back on the past year and taking stock of opportunities this year, we have a chance to make a mark together. By connecting dots, seizing opportunities and overcoming challenges, we can move forward, deepen, expand and solidify. Just like thousands of generations before us. The advent of the written...
YS at HLFC Geneva
Director's Corner
Only forty-five days into our new Strategic Plan 2023-2026, Education Cannot Wait secured 55 percent of its total requirement for the coming four years, reaching $826 million at #HLFC2023. This is a significant milestone for education in emergencies and protracted crises and ECW will continue to pursue fund-raising year-round in...
International Women's Day
On International Women’s Day, let us remind ourselves of the power of education. We have all benefited from an education that less than a century ago was not a given for a girl and which still remains a distant utopia for millions of young girls. I know from my own...
ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif Statement Marking 365 Days of War in Ukraine Today with heavy hearts we mark 365 days of a brutal war against Ukraine. Through this illegal act of aggression, over 450 children have been killed and another 900 injured. The shelling and bombing has damaged 3,000...
It's the Final Countdown
Director's Corner
In one week, on 16-17 February, the world will converge in Geneva – the United Nations humanitarian capital – for the first Education Cannot Wait High-Level Financing Conference (HLFC). From near and afar, ECW stakeholders around the globe will travel to Switzerland to represent our shared determination in delivering on...
Photo © Modern Diplomacy
Originally published on Modern Diplomacy . Authors: Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown and Yasmine Sherif Millions of children are experiencing a world being ripped apart. Armed conflicts, climate change, forced displacement and other massive shocks are depriving them of their inherent human right to go to school and dream of a...
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif in Afghanistan
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Statement: 500 Days After Taliban Ban on Girls’ Secondary Education in Afghanistan - #LetAfghanGirlsLearn
Girls attending class
“Is it a sin to be a girl? We don’t want to be at home and illiterate. We want to go to school, study and be intelligent.” In just a few words, this plea for education from a young Afghan girl has captured the world’s attention. Her heartbreaking question shows...
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif with a child in Lebanon
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Statement on the International Day of Education 24 January 2023, New York - On the International Day of Education , we join donors, UN agencies and civil society partners in calling on world leaders to deliver on the promises outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable...
Modern Diplomacy
Director's Corner
View original via Modern Diplomacy By investing in the education of the world’s most vulnerable children, we are investing in stability, peace and economic prosperity across the globe. By Yasmine Sherif and Joan Rosenhauer* We are experiencing an unprecedented global education crisis. In all, 222 million children are caught in...

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Resolutions are just tiny steps. To make them a reality requires Action. Until it becomes action on the ground, those words mean very little. Not until you help that child to access a safe, quality education have you actually achieved the result.

Yasmine Sherif, ECW Executive Director