The ECW Team

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Meet Education Cannot Wait’s Director and the Secretariat’s team of senior managers and thematic experts.

ECW Director

Yasmine Sherif Portrait

Yasmine Sherif

Director of Education Cannot Wait

Yasmine Sherif is the 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 and the Middle East, the Balkans, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan. She has also led teams in New York and Geneva – from where she continues to conduct regular missions to countries affected by armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate-induced disasters and other crises.

Senior Management Team

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Christian Stoff

Chief, Monitoring & Evaluation and Reporting

Christian Stoff joined ECW in 2018 as Chief of Monitoring, Evaluation (M&E) and Global Reporting. Christian leads the work on all things related to M&E, including partnerships and capacity development initiatives to strengthen education in emergency data systems. Prior to ECW, since 2010, Christian worked with UNICEF as Chief of Education in Sri Lanka, and Chief, Education Research, M&E, in Myanmar. From 2006 to 2010, he worked with UNESCAP and NGOs on Statistics, Social Policy and Emergency Needs Assessments in the Asia-Pacific region. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he also taught courses in Micro-Economics and Econometrics. Christian is German and enjoys composing music in his spare time if his three children let him.

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Fadela Novak-Irons

Chief, Forced Displacement Response

Fadela Novak-Irons joined ECW as Chief of Forced Displacement Response in November 2021. Before, she was the UNHCR Deputy Representative (Protection) in the Central African Republic and co-chaired with UNDP the Working Group on Durable Solutions. She also served as Deputy Representative in Mauritania, where she led UNHCR’s engagement at the nexus, supporting the World Bank projects under the IDA18 Sub-Refugee window on Social Protection, Health, Water & Sanitation, and Urbanisation, and securing a partnership with GIZ. She was also posted with UNHCR in Burundi, Papua New Guinea, Syria and at the Europe Bureau. Prior, she managed the asylum authority in New Zealand (NZ), and the development and coordination of the settlement (integration) policy for refugees and migrants in NZ immigration.

Graham Lang

Graham Lang

Chief, Education

Graham Lang joined ECW as the Chief of Education in October 2017. Prior to joining ECW he worked for over 25 years on education programmes in both development and humanitarian contexts, serving with international NGOs in Cambodia, China, Dominica and Thailand and then with UNICEF in Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cambodia, Laos, Madagascar and Rwanda. In his current function with ECW, Graham oversees the education programmes supported by the fund’s investments under the First Emergency Response (FER) and Multi-Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) windows. Graham also manages the Fund’s Acceleration Facility which contributes to global public goods in the education in emergency sector. 

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Kent Page

Chief, Advocacy and Communications

Kent Page joined ECW as Chief of Advocacy and Communications in July 2019, and has served with the UN for 26 years. Prior to ECW, Kent served with the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children as Chief, Advocacy/Communications. He previously served as: Strategic Emergency Communication Advisor at UNICEF Headquarters; UNICEF Spokesperson in L3 emergencies (Haiti & Nepal Earthquakes, Philippines Typhoon Haiyan; Civil Conflicts in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Sudan, and more); and, with UNICEF in Angola, Brazil and West/Central Africa. Before UNICEF, he worked with UNDP Angola (civil war), UN-OCHA Liberia (civil war) and UNAMIR Rwanda. Kent is Canadian and enjoys spending time with his family.

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Maarten Barends

Chief, Humanitarian Liaison and External Relations / Head of the ECW Geneva Office

Maarten Barends serves as the Chief, Humanitarian Liaison and External Relations and Head of the ECW Geneva Office, representing ECW vis-à-vis the different education partners and networks in Geneva and beyond, and acting as the ECW country lead for Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Sudan. Prior to joining ECW, he worked for the UN in various crisis and post-crisis settings, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Palestine, and Sudan. Prior to joining the UN, he worked at the Dutch embassies in Islamabad and Khartoum, as well as at Leiden University. He holds an LL.M. from the University of Amsterdam.

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Michael Corlin

Chief, Finance and Operations

Michael Corlin has been with ECW since August 2018. Michael’s first responsibility was as country lead for Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda with a focus on developing programmes, engaging with grantees, governments and donors in relation to these programmes. Since mid-2020 Michael has been ECW’s Chief of Finance and Operations, including Grants Management. Michael has previously served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, at the Embassy of Denmark in Ghana. He has worked for Save the Children and as advisor in the Ministry of Health in Kenya. He has also worked in other capacities in South and South East Asia, and in Eastern and Southern Africa.

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Nasser Faqih

Chief, Partnerships

Nasser Faqih is ECW’s Chief of Strategic Partnerships. Nasser is a member of the senior management team for ECW and looks after the Fund’s efforts to bridge the global funding gap for education in emergencies and protracted crises. In addition to advocacy and resource mobilization, Nasser also manages ECW’s investments in the MENA region. Nasser is a development practitioner by training and for the past 20 years has led several United Nations and Civil Society initiatives to advance education, youth leadership, sustainable livelihoods, environmental protection, economic empowerment and capacity development in crisis-affected countries in the Africa and the Middle East regions.

Programme Thematic Experts

JihaneLatrous

Jihane Latrous

Gender Manager

Jihane Latrous joined ECW as Gender Manager in February 2021. She is responsible for providing strategic advice and technical support on gender equality and empowerment of women and girls to ECW’s country investments.
Prior to ECW, Jihane has served with UN agencies such as UNICEF and UNRWA, and international organisations such as the IFRC, both at global and field level, in the areas of gender and gender-based violence in emergencies, protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), and child protection in emergencies. Jihane speaks English, French, and Arabic. 

MichelleMay

Michelle May

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Specialist

Michelle May joined ECW in August 2019 as Education Specialist leading on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and child protection. As part of ECW’s programme team, Michelle supports all ECW Multi-Year Resilience Programmes (MYRPs) and First Emergency Responses (FERs). Prior to ECW, Michelle consulted with several UNICEF country offices and UNRWA in Gaza. Before the UN, Michelle was a practicing educational psychologist for more than a dozen years. Michelle holds an MA in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and an MS in Psychology from San Francisco State University.

Semine Lykke Brorson

Semine Brorson

Early Childhood Education Specialist

Semine Brorson joined ECW as Early Childhood Education Specialist in March 2022. She has extensive experience in humanitarian responses with UNICEF, INGOs and the Red Cross. As a passionate advocate for learning through play, Semine drives ECW’s work to deepen reach of young children in crisis situations. Semine has 10 years of field experience from East Africa, was UNICEF's member of the Uganda Education Response Plan Steering Committee in 2018-20 and worked at the UNICEF ESAR Regional Office until 2021. In the same year, Semine was elected to represent staff in UNICEF's Global Management Team.