Dr. Xanthe Scharff


Dr. Xanthe Scharff is a writer, an award-winning nonprofit founder, and a scholar focused on gender, foreign policy, and philanthropy. She co-founded The Fuller Project—the global newsroom dedicated to groundbreaking journalism about women—while reporting in Turkey and on the Syrian border in 2014. The Fuller Project’s reporting has spurred policy changes, historic new funding levels for women’s initiatives, and has saved lives.

The Helen Gurley Brown Trust recognized her visionary leadership in climate and gender reporting by awarding her a Genius Grant. In ‘24, she received the Women’s Leadership Award from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University for her public service.

She is the Founder and Board Chair Emeritus of Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa, an education nonprofit that reaches millions of girls throughout Malawi with radio programming and thousands of girls with scholarships and peer mentoring. She was formally recognized by the Government of Malawi for these efforts. She recently wrote a cover story for The Christian Science Monitor about some of the graduates who she met almost two decades ago, which has since been nominated for the National Association of Black Journalists Salute To Excellence Award for magazine features.

Having consulted and advised dozens of grantmaking institutions, Scharff is on the Board of Advisors of, and helping to launch PhilanthPro, a B-Corp company that brings the power of financial planning to philanthropy and empowers bold giving.

Scharff regularly contributes to Foreign Policy and other magazines on topics related to women and international affairs. At the start of COVID, she was the first to draw attention to the impact on women with reporting in TIME, for which she was nominated by the Society of Professional Journalists Washington DC Chapter 2021 for the Dateline Excellence in Local Journalism.

Formerly, she was the deputy for the Center for Universal Education at The Brookings Institute, where she led research about girls’ education and a fellowship program for global leaders. She began her career at The World Bank and has worked with institutions such as the United Nations Mission in Sudan, Save the Children, CARE International, and the DC Public Education Fund.

Scharff is a former Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace and a former Education Pioneers Fellow. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Meridian Center Rising Leadership Council. The Leadership Center for Excellence named her one of the top 40 under 40.

Scharff is a Tufts University Distinguished Alumna and an advisor to the Henry Leir Institute for Human Security at The Fletcher School, where she received her doctorate for researching war and humanitarian aid in northern Uganda. During that time, she was a Scaife Security Studies fellow and was the recipient of numerous competitive academic fellowships and grants.