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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Sava Berhané, 2009

Founder, Advancement Lab

Sava Berhané is an immigrant from Sudan

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a JD in Law at Yale University

Sava Berhané is the founder of Advancement Lab, a project in collaboration with Massachusetts companies and public schools to create curriculum designed to move youth from classroom to career. Sava is also a senior lecturer in leadership and business at Brandeis University’s International Business School. She teaches courses in leadership, diversity, and business management, with publications on women in the workplace and the future of work in Fast Company magazine.

Previously, Sava was the Chief Operating Officer of Building Excellent Schools (BES), where she was responsible for finance, operations, and strategy for the organization and oversaw the performance and growth of 110 schools in 26 cities across the United States, serving more than 25,000 students. Before joining BES, Sava served as the Associate Director of the Center for Women and Business, working with over 100 companies to create talent retention goals. After graduating Yale Law School, she started her career at General Electric, focusing on corporate mergers and acquisitions.

For her efforts, Sava was awarded with a 2017 Emerging Executive Pinnacle Award from the Boston Chamber of Commerce, a Young American Leaders distinction from Harvard Business School, a John Kenneth Galbraith Social Policy and Inequality fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ford Foundation fellowship.

She has a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, where she sat on the Board of Trustees, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

She was born to parents who emigrated from Ethiopia and are now naturalized citizens. Her family resides in Boston, MA, and Columbus, Ohio.

  • JD Law | Yale University 2012
  • BA Politics & African & African American Studies | Mount Holyoke College 2007
Work History
  • Advancement Lab, Founder
  • Center for Women and Business, Associate Director
  • Building Excellent Schools, Chief Operating Officer
  • General Electric, Legal Associate