Sarah Jane Brown
Children's Education Advocate
She is the President and Chair of Trustees of the children’s charity Theirworld and Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education.
Through these roles, as well as her involvement in co-founding the Maternal Mortality Campaign (2008-2011) Sarah provides strategic leadership to worldwide efforts to save and change the lives of women and children. Her contribution has been recognised with an Honorary Fellowship from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Recognition Award from the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics as well as Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Wolverhampton, Brighton and Roehampton and the Open University.
In the course of her work on women’s health, Sarah has addressed both the World Health Organisation’s Annual Assembly and the International Confederation of Midwives and chaired a United Nations Special Meeting that heralded the end of healthcare user fees for pregnant women in 16 countries. Sarah’s deep commitment to the health of pregnant women and newborns led to her founding Theirworld, an international children’s charity in 2002. Theirworld administers the Jennifer Brown Research Fund, established in memory of Sarah and Gordon’s first child and in the past 15 years has grown to reach across the UK and now globally, providing first funding for new innovative health research, community health and education projects.
Theirworld launched A World At School, an initiative that partners with all sectors, including business leaders, faiths organisations and NGOs to mobilise education campaigns around the world. A World at School helped to convene the first ever youth takeover of the United Nations for Malala Day in July 2013, established the Safe Schools Initiative, formed in response to the kidnapped girls of Chibok, published the ground breaking report on doubleshift schools now part of the mainstream response to refugee education globally, and in September 2014 launched #UpForSchool – a global movement that organised a petition of over 10 million signatures to enforce the right of every child to go to school, without danger or discrimination.
As Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education she steers its 100+ companies from across the world and brings the voice of the business community to government leaders in countries with the highest number of out-of-school children including Nigeria, India and Pakistan. GBC-Education’s aim is to accelerate progress in delivering quality education and learning for all of the world’s children.
She was Managing Director of one of Britain’s most dynamic independent communications companies and subsequently led a global arts PR firm. A passionate advocate of women’s leadership, Sarah’s corporate involvement continued as Patron of the CBI First Women Awards to honour women in the boardroom and at the helm of Britain’s successful start-ups and growing businesses. Sarah is a Non-Executive Director of Harrods Group (Holding) Limited.
Sarah is the author of best-selling book Behind the Black Door, a personal memoir about life at 10 Downing Street. She is a patron of Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and SHINE Education Trust, a member of the Advisory Council of The Asia Society Centre for Global Education and a Global Champion of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood.
Sarah spent part of her early life in Tanzania in East Africa, before going to school in London and then studying Psychology at Bristol University. She lives in London and Scotland with her husband, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown, and their two sons John and Fraser. Sarah pioneered using social media in government and is an avid user of twitter, regularly tweeting to her 1.2 million followers.
- Sarah has 1.2 Million Twitter followers.
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