Meet JASS' Next Executive Director


We are thrilled to announce that Shereen Essof has been appointed as the next Executive Director of JASS, starting in February 2020.

Shereen is a prominent Zimbabwean feminist, activist, popular educator, and scholar. A thoughtful and strategic leader, Shereen brings a deep understanding of JASS’ multiregional networks and a long-time commitment to our mission: building women’s voice, visibility, and collective power for justice.

Since joining JASS in 2010, Shereen has been instrumental in JASS’ organizational development over the last five years, in addition to her powerful cross-movement feminist movement building work both in Southern Africa and globally. As the Regional Director of JASS Southern Africa from 2010-2017, Shereen led country and regional processes that created in-depth programs in Malawi and Zimbabwe and positioned JASS as a go-to-resource for tools, strategies, and analysis in the region. More recently, as Cross-regional Programs Director, Shereen has been co-leading JASS’ efforts to develop global strategies to amplify the influence of our local partners and power-building experience, including contributing to the thinking and practice of human rights funders and organizations. She chairs JASS’ shared Leadership Team and leads our global partnerships. Prior to JASS, Shereen’s impressive background includes research at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town, women’s rights and labor organizing with various African organizations, and her published works include Shemurenga: The Zimbabwean Women's Movement 1995-2000 (2013), which spotlights women’s pivotal organizing during Zimbabwe’s liberation struggles.

“Shereen brings a rare mix of strategic acumen and smart management to the very complex task of running a decentralized and interconnected organization. She understands that movements and organizations are about relationships. Her direct experience organizing women in Southern Africa and shaping global feminist thinking from the Global South will ensure JASS remains true to its mission with grassroots women leaders. I could not be more excited or confident about her appointment.” - Lisa VeneKlasen, JASS outgoing Executive Director

We are confident in Shereen’s leadership of JASS’ next phase of growth and consolidation. We are especially proud that her appointment process was collectively designed by the board and staff and guided by a joint Transition Working Committee.

In the next few months of transition, the board, leadership team and staff are committed to supporting Shereen as she takes on her new role, while honoring our outgoing Executive Director, Lisa VeneKlasen’s visionary leadership in founding and building JASS and incubating its innovative mix of power, feminism, movement-building and emergent design. There will be many more moments of appreciation for Lisa. For now, we express our deep gratitude for modelling a feminist leadership that nurtures and creates space for new leaders.

Please join us in congratulating Shereen as she and JASS embark on this new and exciting chapter!  

All the best,

JASS Board of Directors