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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Sava Berhané, 2009

Founder, Advancement Lab

Sava Berhané is the child of immigrants from Ethiopia

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

Sava Berhané is the founder of Advancement Lab, a start-up organization dedicated to working with Massachusetts companies to reshape public education and develop youth-oriented talent development curriculum to better position youth to move from classroom to career. 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 the quality development, 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 and worked in corporate Mergers & Acquisitions for General Electric.

Sava is also an adjunct professor at Brandeis’ International Business School, teaching leadership, diversity in the workplace, and business management.  You can find Sava’s writings on women in the workplace in Fast Company magazine.

Sava previously sat on the Board of Trustees for Mount Holyoke College, the oldest women’s college in the United States and is a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. She is a 2017 Pinnacle Award Recipient of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, a Harvard Kennedy School of Government John Kenneth Galbraith Scholar of Social Policy and Inequality, and a Ford Foundation fellow. She has a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Sava was born to parents who emigrated from Ethiopia and are not naturalized citizens. Her family resides in Boston, MA, and Columbus, Ohio.

Work History
  • Advancement Lab, Founder
  • Building Excellent Schools, Chief Operating Officer
  • Center for Women and Business, Associate Director
  • General Electric, Legal Associate