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
Director's Corner
By Yasmine Sherif When she was just 16, Nujeen Mustafa made a 3,500-mile journey from Syria to Germany in a steel wheelchair. Nujeen didn’t attend school in Syria like the other girls and boys – even before the war broke out. She was one of the millions of children denied...
Awareness Must Rise_Action Cannot Wait
Director's Corner
Just weeks ago, the Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies was inaugurated. Thanks to the Government of Switzerland, Education Cannot Wait and key partners have taken a major leap forward in strengthening collaboration to accelerate crucial education in emergencies and protracted crises response. Extending the global reach of our...
Yasmine Sherif in the field.
Director's Corner
This year’s International Day of Education marked an important milestone for Education Cannot Wait, with Germany announcing a ground-breaking new, additional €200 million contribution to ECW, making it the billion-dollar global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, hosted by the United Nations.
Education in Emergencies
Director's Corner
View original on the World Education Blog . By Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait, and Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly, Director, International Parliamentary Network for Education COVID-19 has upended our world, threatening our health, destroying economies and livelihoods, and deepening poverty and inequalities. It also created the single largest disruption to education...
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif
Article re-posted with permission from Modern Diplomacy. The future of humanity hangs in the balance. Acute threats of conflict, COVID-19, climate change, poverty, displacement, hunger and other factors are pushing millions more people – with children the most vulnerable and hardest hit – to the edge in humanitarian crises around...
We Must Rise to the Occasion, Now.
Director's Corner
In 2021, COVID-19 continued to plague the world – a world already burdened by armed conflicts, climate-induced disasters and forced displacement. Communities, nations and people struggled to maintain normalcy in the midst of the abnormal. This was especially notable in the education sector – a sector that is the very...
The international community must urgently step-up direct funding through United Nations agencies and NGOs to provide Afghan girls & boys with the life-saving support they need now Article reposted with permission from Modern Diplomacy . By Yasmine Sherif, Director, Education Cannot Wait A harsh winter is coming. The people of...
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif addresses the interconnected crises of COVID-19, climate change and conflict in this inspiring address to the UN's Climate Talks.
Director's Corner
As prepared for delivery. In 1945, 76 years ago, in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust, with fresh and raw wounds still open the founders of the United Nations brought purpose and hope to the world. One delegate who was present in San Francisco remembered: “We had...
Winning the Human Race, Together
Director's Corner
“Now is the time for a stronger, more networked and inclusive multilateral system anchored in the United Nations,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his latest report “Our Common Agenda.” Indeed, there is a fork in the road: we can either choose to breakdown or to breakthrough. Making this moral...
Take a closer look at ECW's response in Afghanistan in this high-level interview with Al Arabiya.
We Stay and Deliver Until the Light Shines
Director's Corner
Kabul 1990. I land in the capital of Afghanistan for my very first mission with the United Nations. Controlled by the government, Kabul was surrounded by the Mujahedeen. As a young female professional, living and working across the country, I felt protected by the Afghans, whether walking in the bustling...

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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