Sherrie Westin is President of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. Westin leads the organization’s efforts to serve vulnerable children through mass media and targeted initiatives in the United States and around the world.
Westin spearheaded a partnership with the International Rescue Committee to bring critical early education to children in the Syrian response region, which was awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s first ever $100 million grant, creating the largest early childhood intervention in the history of humanitarian response. This work has expanded to reach children affected by crisis in Bangladesh, East Africa, Latin America, and those who have been forcibly displaced from Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Westin has held leadership positions in media, nonprofit, and public service. She served as Assistant to the President for Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs for President George H.W. Bush, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development and held senior positions at the ABC Television Network and U.S. News & World Report.
Westin was named a “Leading Global Thinker” by Foreign Policy Magazine, one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” was recognized with the Smithsonian’s “American Ingenuity Award”, and the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Citizen Leadership.
Westin chairs the Board of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and serves on the boards of the U.S. Global Leadership Council, Communities in Schools, and Vital Voices Global Partnership, and leadership council of the Early Childhood Education Action Network. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council.
Westin is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Concordia College.