Executive Director's Corner

Yasmine Sherif speaking with a kid from Lebanon
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Join Executive Director Yasmine Sherif in Education Cannot Wait’s Executive Director’s Corner. 


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

Director's Corner
Conflicts rage around us, climate change triggers armed conflicts and forced displacement, and a global pandemic continues to take lives and keep children out of school. More concerning still – as we learned in the latest Education Under Attack 2022 report – children, teachers and schools are victims of an...
Attacks on Education in Syria
Attacks on schools, teachers and students in places like Cameroon , the Democratic Republic of the Congo , Mali , the State of Palestine , and Ukraine have been going on for decades, with impunity and no accountability. We must immediately address this crisis by ensuring adherence to the Safe...
Modern Diplomacy banner, girl at white board
Article re-posted with permission from Modern Diplomacy. With leaders gathering at this year’s World Economic Forum, it’s time to prioritize the impact investments in education bring to businesses, economies and beyond. As all eyes turn to this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, we call on world leaders and world-leading...
Child's drawing of the Ukraine flag
Education Cannot Wait joins the international community in calling for an immediate end to all attacks against children, teachers and schools following the bombing of a school in Bilohorivka, Luhansk region, Ukraine, in which dozens are feared dead, including amongst those taking shelter there. “I am appalled and outraged by...
Group of girls sitting on their desks attending class
Director's Corner
“I first think about my children. They are why we were forced to leave - because our children are always our first concern.” These are the moving words of Victoria, who fled the brutal war in Ukraine with her two daughters. Her eyes welling up with tears, she recalled their...
Afghanistan attacks
“Education Cannot Wait joins the international community in calling for an end to attacks against children and schools following yesterday’s deadly attacks on the Mumtaz Tuition Center and Abdul Raheem Shaheed High School in western Kabul, Afghanistan.” “I am profoundly shocked by this senseless violence and brutality perpetrated against children...
Education in emergencies.
Director's Corner
Look around the world at this very moment. Whether we look at it in stark numbers and statistics, whether we look at it as a generational loss of basic human rights, including the right to an education, or whether we look inwardly and feel the unspeakable human suffering and devastation taking place, we all agree: we are at a historically low point in our collective humanity.
Afghanistan secondary school
This statement is attributed to Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the UN’s global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. Despite the assurance that they are “committed to the right to education of all citizens,” Afghanistan’s de facto authorities announced this week that they will not...
Director's Corner
Director's Corner
For far too long, millions of parents have struggled to send their children and adolescents to school amidst armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate change-induced disasters and COVID-19. Now, the brutal daily reality of millions in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America is playing out in Europe. We are...
International Women's Day
Director's Corner
The International Women’s Day is not a celebration – it is a reminder that we have yet to empower young girls in crisis to access their inherent right to a quality education. Republished with permission from Modern Diplomacy . On the International Women’s Day, ECW celebrates the role of education...
Girl sitting in a classroom in Ukraine.
The escalating conflict and ongoing military actions in Ukraine are putting children and adolescents at grave risk. The crisis is threatening the lives and wellbeing of an estimated 7.5 million girls and boys across the country, including potential profound disruptions to their education. We call for a strict adherence to...
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif
Director's Corner
Conflict, forced displacement, climate change and COVID-19 are disrupting the education of millions of crisis-affected children and adolescents around the world.

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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