As chief development officer with Malala Fund, Lena Alfi oversees a team of five people that works to cultivate and manage relationships with corporate and foundation partners, as well as individual donors. The organization doesn’t accept government funding but works with a wide range of donors, such as Apple and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to support education activists on the ground in eight countries where girls face the greatest barriers to education.
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Alfi, who holds a master’s in global human development, started in the sector working on women’s empowerment initiatives and developing partnerships to support education for Syrian refugees. Her first role at Malala Fund was as a corporate and foundation relationships officer, but she gradually took on more responsibility within the organization.