Sharmi Surianarain

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Sharmi Surianarain serves as the Chief Impact Officer for Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator in South Africa. Sharmi is a fierce advocate for opportunity and social justice for young people and women across the African continent, and is a keen analyst and thinker on the future of work.

Sharmi leads on Harambee's impact and systems change agendas, including our key funder partnerships, research and learning agenda, and our data science and pathway intelligence work. Sharmi also oversees Harambee's work in Rwanda.

Sharmi is the Founder of Making Caring Count, a social enterprise that aims to build impactful solutions around care work in Africa. Sharmi brings extensive experience in human capital management, education, and facilitating links to employment across Africa, India, and the United States.

Prior to Harambee, Sharmi served as Vice President of Lifelong Engagement at African Leadership Academy (ALA) where she oversaw a network of 2,000 young African leaders, managed ALA’s Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, Africa Careers Network, and ALA’s alumni engagement team.

Sharmi is an Aspen African Leadership Initiative Fellow, Class of 2020, an RSA Fellow, and sits on the Boards of Emerging Public Leaders, Metis, Instill Education and is on the 2021 G7 Impact Taskforce. Sharmi’s work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Daily Maverick, The Mail and Guardian, and The Economist. Sharmi holds a B.A. from Harvard University, a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.