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Highlights | Industry News

SHERRIE WESTIN NAMED CEO OF SESAME WORKSHOP

8 Jul - 2024

Sesame Workshop’s Board of Trustees named Sherrie Westin Chief Executive Officer of the global impact nonprofit behind Sesame Street.

Westin is the first woman to lead Sesame Workshop since its co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney. Westin had served as President of the organization since 2021 before being named Interim CEO in February.

After an extensive CEO search, the Sesame Workshop Board of Trustees unanimously selected Sherrie Westin, who has proven herself to be deeply knowledgeable, tireless in her efforts on behalf of children and families, and passionately committed to our mission,” said Gaby Sulzberger, Chair of the Sesame Workshop Board of Trustees. “Sherrie is the inspirational leader the Workshop needs, and she has the Board’s absolute confidence and support as she accepts this role and leads us into the future.

As President, Westin directed the Workshop’s efforts to provide impactful early learning through a broad variety of media as well as targeted social impact and research initiatives reaching children and families around the world. In her nearly 26 years since joining the Workshop in 1998, Westin has led key organizational efforts spanning programming, licensing, research, education, and brand strategy, harnessing the power of media to reach children at scale.

Sesame Workshop’s mission is to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder — and no one has done more to advance that mission than Sherrie Westin, a seasoned leader with both proven experience and an unwavering dedication to uplifting the lives of children,” said Joan Ganz Cooney, creator of Sesame Street. “I can think of no better person to lead Sesame Workshop as it addresses the most pressing needs of children and families around the world.

Westin spearheaded a partnership with the International Rescue Committee to bring critical early education to children in the Middle East, which was awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s first ever “100&Change” $100 million grant, creating the largest early childhood intervention in the history of humanitarian response. This work has expanded to reach children affected by crisis in Bangladesh, East Africa, Latin America, and those who have been forcibly displaced from Afghanistan and Ukraine. 

Children are the most important investment we can make in our future. They are the reason Sesame Street was created 55 years ago, and why the need for our work is greater than ever,” said Westin. “Carrying on Joan Ganz Cooney’s legacy is both humbling and inspiring, and I’m honored to work with Gaby, the Trustees, and my colleagues to make sure that Sesame Street can continue to help children thrive for the next 55 years and beyond.

Westin has held leadership positions in media, nonprofit, and public service. She served as Assistant to the President for Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs for President George H.W. Bush and held senior positions at the ABC Television Network and U.S. News & World Report. 

Named a “Leading Global Thinker” by Foreign Policy Magazine, one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” and to Forbes’ “50 Over 50” list, Westin was also recognized with the Smithsonian’s “American Ingenuity Award” and the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Citizen Leadership.


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