Convening17 Leadership Team

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Director of Convening17,
CEO & Co-Founder,

Jeanine serves as the leader of the Convening17 Initiative, building strategic partnerships, designing conversations, and facilitating cross-sector leadership engagement to advance the SDGs.



Sarah serves as the operations manager for and helps lead the Convening17 initiative by capturing content from conversations, synthesizing reports, and managing promotion and communications.


sarajoy pond, Co-founder

SaraJoy Pond has been part of since its inception and now helps with fundraising, planning, communications, and content creation for Convening17.

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Avary Kent,
executive director,

Avary created the Convening17 initiative to support members of the community to collaborate across convenings. She is passionate about the SDGs as a unifying framework to build bridges and unlock innovation to help all people thrive.

Convening17 Advisory Board


topher wilkins,
Opportunity Collaboration

Topher has committed Opportunity Collaboration to connecting leaders from around the globe to advance solutions to poverty. OC has been a leader in convening to create powerful partnerships to advance the SDGs and is a founding partner of Convening17.

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sherry sacino, 
CEO, Youth Empowerment Alliance, Inc.

"We need to give all children everywhere a solid start at life by providing a well-rounded and relevant education. We need to support education that allows a child to explore new ideas while finding their own place in the world. If we can do this, we have provided a huge service to humanity and each other."


Christine L. Mendonça, 
CEO & Co-Founder,
Humans on the Move

"Education is a catalyst for creativity and critical thinking, which helps every person, but especially children who are uprooted, see the world beyond their own, fostering opportunities and opening doors they may have never known existed."


Co-Founder Third Sector Capital and
Senior Advisor to the world Bank

"Education is the foundation for everything."


Nikki Brueggeman
Education Program Officer, World Affairs Council

"It all begins with education. If you want sustainable energy, education is the key. If you want women leaders, education is the key. If you want a country that leads, education is crucial. Education is where we should be were we invest first and always critically examine."


tami kesselman,
chief strategist,
aligned investing global

"Education has the potential to enable recipients to soar to heights previously only attainable for the most privileged among us. For so many, it is the one path that can permanently improve their future. It breaks cycles of dependence and breeds independent minds that can envision —and become — a future better for us all. "

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Hannah Darnton,
Program manager of ethics, technology, and human rights,

"Access to education and economic opportunity are at the heart of individual and community resilience. In a world where forced migration is becoming increasingly commonplace, we need to continue to encourage the creation of innovative, flexible, and culturally-relevant education for people on the move."