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. She has also been honored as a Listee in Marquis Who's Who for her dedication to the field of international affairs and law, and leadership of ECW, as well as in the “Women Leaders 2024 Collector’s Edition" as a woman leader to look up to in 2024. 

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All Statements and Updates

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...
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...

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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