Dr. Scharff is an expert on gender and refugee education, social entrepreneur, and multi-media journalist. Previously based in Istanbul, her reports recently featured in outlets including: New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, The Guardian, VICE News, Foreign Affairs, etc. Xanthe is the founder of Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa, providing transformational opportunities for secondary school girls. CBS’s The Early Show, Voice of America, The Christian Science Monitor, and African media outlets have featured the organization’s award-winning work. Formerly, Xanthe was the associate director of the Center for Universal Education at Brookings where she led research and programming on girls’ education. She was a senior fellow at the Syria Research & Evaluation Organization, has been a scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Fletcher School awarded Xanthe her doctorate for research on post-conflict education in Africa, during which time she was named the Minear Fellow, an Earhart Fellow and won numerous academic grants. She has worked in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and the US with organizations including: The World Bank, United Nations, CARE, and Save the Children.