P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Sava Berhané, 2009

Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Business, Brandeis University

Sava is a child of immigrants from Ethiopia

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

Sava Berhané is 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 is a board member for the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus.

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 | Mount Holyoke College 2007
Work History
  • Brandeis University, Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Business
  • Advancement Lab, Founder
  • Building Excellent Schools, Chief Operating Officer
  • Center for Women and Business, Associate Director
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