Lena Arkawi

Program director, from one to 100

Lena Arkawi is an international communications and public relations consultant. She has worked in the public and private sectors in the United States, Turkey, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and China in diverse areas.

In late 2016, Lena began collaborating with The Grace Children’s Foundation; and in mid-2017, Lena joined as Program Director for From One to 100, a pilot program in partnership with innovators at Microsoft that will connect children from Syria suffering from war injuries and chronic illness to vital health care resources.

 Lena is a Syrian-American activist who has traveled extensively to advocate for the safety and dignity of the Syrian people. Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, Lena has worked on a variety of projects that provided humanitarian support and raised awareness about the crisis. In 2015 she ran an effective campaign to raise funds for an ambulance for Syrian women rescue workers known as the White Helmets. To show her commitment to the campaign, Lena successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

In the summer of 2015, Lena moved to Istanbul, Turkey to work with Mayday Rescue, an implementing partner of the White Helmets. She worked as a Press Officer and Project Manager to help secure stories for the White Helmets with international media outlets such as CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, NHK, TRT and  other news sources.

In late 2015 Lena moved back to the United States where she worked passionately to integrate newly arrived Syrian refugees in Arizona. Supporting 25 families in the Phoenix/Glendale area, Lena launched a holiday drive campaign that reached over 6,000 people. After connecting and inspiring new communities, she established a non-profit called the Strength, Hope, and Empowerment Foundation of America (SHEFA) to continue the positive efforts of these communities and to foster new relationships and mentorships.  

In 2016 Lena joined the United Nations to establish the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) under the leadership of the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The WHS brought together world leaders, NGOs, academia, civil society and the private sector and impacted communities in an effort to reshape and reinvigorate the global humanitarian system and to further its commitment to solve the world’s most devastating crises.

Following the Summit, Lena moved to Washington, D.C. to begin her Master’s Degree in Global Advocacy at George Washington University while simultaneously advocating for the Syrian people. Lena speaks out publicly in the media, has held meetings at the White House and the Capitol and meets with US and Turkish officials to discuss the situation on the ground in Syria.

Lena is honored to work with The Grace Children’s Foundation and to help launch From One to 100. Through this work she is dedicated to making a positive impact for Syrian children and many other children in need around the world.