People of The Fuller Project

Xanthe Scharff, PhD

Cofounder and Executive Director

Dr. Scharff is a gender policy expert, multi-media journalist and social entrepreneur. Based out of Washington, DC, her multi-media reporting features in TIME, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, among others. Xanthe cofounded The Fuller Project with Christina Asquith in Istanbul in 2015, where she was reporting on Turkish and Syrian women.

Xanthe is the founder of Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa, a thriving nonprofit in East Africa which has served 3000 girls with secondary school opportunitiesCBS’s The Early Show, Voice of AmericaThe Christian Science Monitor, and African media outlets have featured the organization’s award-winning work. In her 15 years as a social entrepreneur, Xanthe has partnered with and advised dozens of the world’s leading foundations working for women and girls, and has raised tens of millions of dollars for causes that support women.

Formerly, Xanthe was the associate director of the Center for Universal Education at Brookings where she led research and programming on girls’ education, built a partnership with Brookings India, and facilitated a network of 60 global foundations. She was formerly a Peace Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace.

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 Turkey, Africa, Latin America, and the US with organizations including: The World Bank, United Nations, Arabella Advisors, CARE, and Save the Children. Having lived in Argentina and Peru, Xanthe speaks Spanish. She has also lived in Turkey, Uganda, Sudan, and Malawi and is now based in DC with her children. For fun, she’s training for a 70.3 mile race in Maryland with other Fuller Project reporters.

Recent reporting by Xanthe:

Only Women Can Stop the Apocalypse, Foreign Policy

I Went to an Elite Prep School like Christine Blasey Ford’s. Here’s Why the Kavanaugh Hearing Was Deeply Disturbing for Grads Like Me, TIME

Receive our reporters' occasional dispatches

Donate to support journalism on women

Donate today