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Penda Sarr

Program Manager - Africa

Global Network & Regional Engagement


Penda Sarr is the Program Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at Vital Voices. In this role, she leads the implementation of the organization’s regional strategy for Africa, manages program planning and execution, and provides linguistic expertise for gender-based violence programs in French. 


Prior to Vital Voices, Penda was a manager in the philanthropic department at Sesame Workshop, the organization behind Sesame Street , where she helped support all international philanthropic development and project management activities; she was also responsible for cultivating partnerships with foundations, governments, and other international organizations. Her previous  roles have included leading programs focused on empowering adolescent girls in Africa and Latin America at the Global Fund for Children and supporting global projects that empower women and help achieve gender equality at UNICEF.


Penda holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. 


Penda is originally from Senegal, but considers herself a third culture individual, as she’s grown up in places such as South Africa, Lebanon, and Canada.


Favorite Book: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi