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

Illustration of girls in Afghanistan
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Statement Education Cannot Wait stands in solidarity with every girl and woman in Afghanistan. Each one has an inherent human right to education. We also stand in solidarity with every Afghan father, brother, husband and son, suffering the pain of seeing their daughter, sister, wife and...
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif at a classroom in DRC
Director's Corner
As 2022 draws to a close, my colleagues and I want to thank all of Education Cannot Wait’s strategic stakeholders worldwide for driving ECW fast-forward as a pioneering, effective instrument for delivering education in emergencies and protracted crises. During the past year, the global, multilateral family of ECW launched new...
ECW commemorates Human Rights Day.
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Statement on Human Rights Day 10 December 2022, New York – As we commemorate Human Rights Day, let us recall the opening preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of...
Girls reading a book
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 3 December 2022, New York – ECW works together with governments, UN agencies, civil society and the private sector for an inclusive world where all children with disabilities are able to go to school in safe and...
Yasmine Sherif
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and #16Days of Activism 25 November 2022, New York - As we now have entered the 21 st century, we must end violence against girls and women. Attacking and abusing girls and women as...
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif interacts with children in DRC
World Children’s Day Statement by ECW Director Yasmine Sherif - 20 November 2022 On World Children’s Day , we must remember what it means to be a child born with a right to reach the human potential. Nothing is more precious, more priceless, than a child growing towards that potential...
Girls at school
Original Op-ed from Modern Diplomacy We are headed for a cliff. Rising seas, devastating droughts, spiking temperatures and a notable increase in the severity and frequency of natural disasters are forcing children, families and communities into displacement, disrupting the education of millions and, and putting lives and livelihoods at risk...
Director's Corner
There is a stillness to the tent as I enter. This is a place of loss and pain, yet also a place of resilience and hope; everything coming together all at once. Here in Tanganyika Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), six out of ten girls will be married...
Yasmine Sherif at UN HQ
As the world marks United Nations Day , let us remember why the United Nations was created and the spirit of its founders. In 1945 and the ensuing years, there was optimism, hope and determination to achieve peace, security and human rights for all. Since its formation in 1945, the...
Yasmine Sherif and youths
Director's Corner
As famously stated by Socrates: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” It is in that spirit that the Secretary-General’s first-ever Transforming Education Summit took place during the United Nations General Assembly Week. The youth emerged...
Teacher in Bangladesh
Statement by Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif on World Teachers’ Day Teachers have the power to transform lives. In the chaotic and challenging contexts of emergencies and protracted crises, teachers tend to carry the brunt and heaviest burden. They have the responsibility to nurture and empower their students, all...
Armed conflict, climate-induced disaster, and forced displacement have disrupted the education of 222 million children globally. Yasmine Sherif outlines how philanthropy and partnerships can help.
Originally published on Philanthropy Age . Armed conflict, climate-induced disaster, and forced displacement have disrupted the education of 222 million children globally. Yasmine Sherif outlines how philanthropy and partnerships can help. With conflicts in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, massive displacement in South America, the spectre of famine 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