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

Modern Diplomacy
Originally published on Modern Diplomacy . As world leaders gather at this year’s UN General Assembly and work to make good on commitments outlined at the Secretary-General’s Transforming Education Summit , we are calling on all of them to put education – especially for the 222 million crisis-impacted children that...
Children in a classroom
Statement by Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif for the Transforming Education Summit Leaders from across the world are uniting at the UN Secretary-General’s Transforming Education Summit to address a global education crisis that threatens to derail decades of development gains and is depriving millions of girls across the world...
Yasmine Sherif
Director's Corner
“No peace which is not peace for all. No rest until all has been fulfilled.” ~ Dag Hammarskjöld, the late United Nations Secretary-General wrote in his inspiring book Markings. His words reinforce the title of ECW’s recently released Annual Results Report , which paraphrases American poet Robert Frost: “We have...
Attacks on education.
Statement by ECW Director Yasmine Sherif Statement on International Day to Protect Education from Attack – 9 September 2022 Schools, students and teachers continue to be targeted and attacked in countries around the world. Over the past two years, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of attacks...
GIrls attending class
View original via IPS As we approach this year’s Transforming Education Summit , global leaders can and must prioritize expertise and mobilize political will to support efforts to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, especially girls. This is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the 2030...
Promises to Keep and ‘Miles to Go Before We Sleep’
Originally published on Modern Diplomacy . We have promises to keep. Promises for a more just, more equal world. Promises to provide inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG4) and Human Rights Conventions. Promises to leave no...
Yasmine Sherif in the field
Director's Corner
World Humanitarian Day Statement by ECW Director Yasmine Sherif
Yasmine in Afghanistan
Director's Corner
Patience is a virtue. However, it is definitely not a virtue in the face of human suffering. As we mark the one-year anniversary of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan , one must ask: how long can adolescent girls wait to return to secondary school? The Afghan people have suffered poverty...
Young adolescents facing camera on a classroom window
Director's Corner
View original via IPS News Today marks International Youth Day , a global celebration of the transformative power of young people. Introduced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999, the event was inaugurated not only to observe the power of the youth voice, but to serve as a promise...
Director's Corner
Director's Corner
Originally published on the World Education Blog ( Original ). We have come so far as a global human family. While we can and should celebrate the progress being made towards ensuring universal human rights and growing together as a human family, we are also falling behind on our global...
Director's Corner
During a visit to an elementary school in Kabul in October 2021, two months after the Taliban takeover, the pupils stood up one by one in front of Taliban leaders and spoke: “Our classes have resumed, but not for our older sisters. We have been promised that our older sisters...
Safe to Learn Essay Collection
Director's Corner
Ukraine, the latest armed conflict to have erupted in the world, is yet another stark reminder that schools are not safe in times of conflict and may even be the target of violence. Between 17 February and 3 March 2022 alone, over 20 incidents of attacks against education were reported...

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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