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Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity
Anjali Sarker AFSEE

Anjali Sarker

Programme Director, The Oxford Character Project

Anjali is a social innovation expert and development practitioner with ten years of experience in leading projects that empower the underprivileged population, with a special focus on youth and women. She is currently the Programme Director at the Oxford Character Project, an interdisciplinary initiative at the University of Oxford dedicated to the cultivation of character and responsible leadership. Her role involves creating leadership development opportunities so that youth all over the world, regardless of their background, can access world-class educational resources.

Anjali’s journey in the development sector started at the age of 20 when she co-founded a social enterprise to provide affordable, accessible and eco-friendly sanitation solutions in the rural areas. After running her enterprise for two years, she joined Ashoka to launch its operations in Bangladesh. As the launch leader, she worked with local entrepreneurs and supported them to increase their impact. Later she joined BRAC, one of the largest development organisations in the world, in its social innovation lab. At the lab, she had designed, developed and implemented multiple cross-country projects in South Asia and East Africa.

In addition to her work as a development practitioner, she has served as a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum and as a New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute. She has spoken at TEDx events in Hong Kong and in the Netherlands on social innovation and entrepreneurship. Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Courier magazine recognised her as one of the Top 99 leaders under the age of 33. Her previous independent work included serving as an advisor in several start-ups, working as a freelance journalist and providing consultancy support to organisations on human centred design.

Anjali holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka and a Diploma in Social Innovation from Lund University. In 2019, as part of her Atlantic Fellowship, Anjali completed an MSc in Inequalities and Social Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and in 2020 completed an MBA at the University of Oxford.

Working for one of the largest non-government organisations in the world has given me a unique exposure to a wide range of development projects taking place in South Asia and East Africa. I have seen that solutions are often found in the most unexpected places, in the most unexpected manner.

Anjali Sarker


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