Xanthe Scharff, PhD
Cofounder and Executive Director
Dr. Scharff is a journalist and award-winning social entrepreneur. Xanthe cofounded The Fuller Project with Christina Asquith in Istanbul in 2015, where she was reporting on issues impacting Turkish and Syrian women. Based out of Washington DC, her reporting features in TIME, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, and other outlets.
As Executive Director at The Fuller Project, Xanthe co-leads a multi-award winning team of twelve journalists reporting from seven cities around the world, and builds editorial partnerships with the world’s leading news outlets, from The New York Times to The Atlantic to local news organizations in the cities and countries where The Fuller Project reports.
Xanthe is the founder of Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa, a thriving nonprofit in East Africa which has served 3000 girls with secondary school opportunities. The Obama Foundation, CBS’s The Early Show, Voice of America, The 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. In 2019 she was named top 40 under 40 by the Leadership Center for Excellence.
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 and an Education Pioneers Fellow.
The Fletcher School awarded Xanthe her doctorate for research on post-conflict education in Africa, during which time she was named Minear Fellow, Earhart Fellow, Henry Leir Fellow and was an Active Citizenship Fellow. She has worked 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 two children. If not working, she can be found podcasting while running through DC’s parks.
Recent reporting by Xanthe: