Alumna, Faculty Dina Sherif First Arab Honored by UN as Pioneer for Social Entrepreneurship

Dina Sherif UN Global Impact Award
Dina Sherif UN Global Impact Award

Dina Sherif '99, '07, associate professor of management and the Willard W. Brown Endowed Chair of International Business Leadership at AUC's School of Business, has been named one of 10 Local Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Pioneers in 2016 during the recent UN Global Compact Leaders Summit. The only Arab to receive this recognition, Sherif was honored for her efforts that align with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations.

Sherif is director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at AUC's School of Business, as well as co-founder and CEO of Ahead of the Curve, which was established in 2012 in response to the multiple development challenges faced by the Arab region. Through a range of platforms, Sherif also supports, funds and provides capacity-building opportunities for social innovators, drives thought leadership on issues relating to inclusive business models, and celebrates women leaders and change makers from the region. “I’m honored to be part of the inaugural Class of 2016 Local SDG Pioneers, and I would like to thank UN Global Compact for this recognition,” said Sherif. “Social entrepreneurs have a powerful role to play in the development of innovative and scalable solutions for advancing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, and we are committed to providing the resources to support these innovators and their work, with a particular focus on the Arab region.”

According to the UN Global Compact, the Local SDG Pioneers program honors individuals who demonstrate how SDGs can enable businesses to tap into economic, social and environmental gains on a global scale. The pioneers represent entrepreneurs who are upholding and "championing" sustainability through their business models and "change makers" who are mobilizing and instigating the wider business community to take action that supports the SDGs. In the years to come, the program will focus on "making global goals local business." “Each of the 2016 Local SDG Pioneers exemplifies how business can be a force for good in addressing the challenges we face as a global society,” said Lise Kingo, executive director of UN Global Compact. “Ms. Sherif is advancing approaches for private sector growth that generate much-needed decent work opportunities in her region. She is showing how businesses can develop innovative and scalable solutions to long-standing challenges, making her a pioneer for social entrepreneurship and inclusive business growth.”

The Local SDG Pioneers program was launched this year as part of the UN Global Compact’s Making Global Goals Local Business campaign. More than 600 nominations were received from 100 countries, and a Pioneers Selection Group comprised of experts from the United Nations, academia, civil society and the private sector ranked the nominees based on a set of criteria.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted by world leaders at a UN summit in September 2015 and officially launched in  January 2016. With these new universal goals, countries will mobilize efforts over the next 15 years to end all forms of poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change.