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Our second podcast features Maryana Iskander. After over half a decade of working with Planned Parenthood as their Chief Operating Officer, she fell in love and made the jump from the United States to the southernmost tip of Africa.

Even though this love affair didn’t last, her love affair with South Africa did, and it ushered her into a career path that saw her working on solving the problems of youth unemployment in Africa, to her current position, leading the Wikimedia Foundation.

Prior to Wikimedia, she spent ten years as the CEO of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, a non-profit social enterprise focused on building African solutions to tackle the global crisis of youth unemployment. Under her leadership, Harambee received the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2019 for its model to support millions of South African youth with access to learning and earning opportunities.

Maryana has dedicated her career to breaking down systemic barriers to access to opportunity and education. She has a proven track record for scaling complex organizations through collaborative solution-building and community empowerment. She spent more than half a decade as the Chief Operating Officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She was also the Advisor to the President of Rice University, an associate at the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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