“The Jewish narrative is marked by cycles of human despair and spiritual redemption. This narrative is part of my cultural DNA and has greatly influenced my work around refugee rescue, relief, and resettlement.”
RefugePoint finds lasting solutions for the world’s most at risk refugees and supports the humanitarian community to do the same. The organization resettles refugees in life-threatening situations to countries where they can rebuild their lives, and enables others stuck in host countries to become self-reliant so they no longer need to depend on humanitarian aid.
RefugePoint has helped more than 54,000 refugees to resettle to the US, Canada, Australia and over a dozen countries around the world from more than 50 locations across Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and contributed to the 1.2 million refugees resettled since its founding in 2005. The organization also provides life-stabilizing and self-reliance services to thousands of refugees in Nairobi and has helped over 2,000 to “graduate” from needing humanitarian aid. Based on this success, RefugePoint has helped to lead a global effort to advance refugee self-reliance that is expected to reach millions through partner agencies in the coming years.
Sasha Chanoff is the Founder and Executive Director of RefugePoint, a humanitarian organization that provides lasting solutions for the world’s most at risk refugees.
As a visionary, a social entrepreneur, and a successful fundraiser, Chanoff has strengthened refugee resettlement and self-reliance alliances with the U.N. Refugee Agency, non-governmental organization (NGO) partners, and governments.
RefugePoint is recognized for creating new models for humanitarian response and influencing the field to expand solutions for refugees. In addition to the important work of improving the lives of individual refugees, RefugePoint works strategically to influence global refugee policy and practice. To accomplish this, they partner closely with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), governments, NGOs, and community-based organizations to build capacity and improve systems related to refugee resettlement and self-reliance. RefugePoint has capitalized on opportunities to disseminate best practices and led and joined global policy dialogues as well as training staff of other NGOs and UNHCR on RefugePoint’s resettlement and child protection methods.
RefugePoint has helped more than 54,000 refugees to resettle to the US, Canada, Australia and over a dozen countries around the world from more than 50 locations across Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and contributed to the 1.2 million refugees resettled since its founding in 2005. The organization also provides life-stabilizing and self-reliance services services to thousands of refugees in Nairobi and has helped over 2,000 to “graduate” from needing humanitarian aid. Based on this success, RefugePoint has helped to lead a global effort to advance refugee self-reliance that is expected to reach millions through partner agencies in the coming years.
Prior to founding RefugePoint, Chanoff worked as a Refugee Job Developer at the Jewish Vocational Services in Boston where he provided employment services to newly arrived refugees. He later became an Operations Officer and Cultural Orientation Trainer at the International Organization for Migration, working across Africa, and was a consultant for UNHCR in Kenya. In Africa, he conducted emergency evacuations for Congolese refugees, bringing them from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the U.S. for resettlement. He also organized, supervised and implemented group resettlement efforts for Somali and Sudanese refugees to the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Chanoff holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a master’s in Humanitarian Assistance from the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Friedman School of Nutrition, Science and Policy, a joint degree program implemented through the Tufts Feinstein International Center.
Chanoff was born in Finland and grew up in the U.S. His great-grandparents escaped pogroms and persecution in Russia, and their experiences help motivate his work.
In addition to being the 2010 recipient of the Charles Bronfman Prize, Chanoff has received fellowships from Ashoka, the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, and Echoing Green. He is the 2013 recipient of the Gleitsman International Activist Award from the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. This award recognizes leaders who work to challenge injustices around the world and who inspire others to do the same. Chanoff was also honored by the White House in its Champions of Change program in recognition of World Refugee Day 2015. In 2018, the Isabel Allende Foundation honored RefugePoint’s work with its Espiritu Award.
RefugePoint and Sasha personally have garnered global media coverage on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CBS’s 60 Minutes, CNN, NBC, BBC, Fox, The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine. His work was also profiled in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Perspectives in Philanthropy: Next Generation Changemakers. He recently collaborated on the Warner Bros. film The Good Lie to focus attention on the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, and worked with the film’s producers to create The Good Lie Fund to support Sudanese refugees. He also serves on the steering committee of New England International Donors, a philanthropic network. His 2016 book, From Crisis to Calling: Finding Your Moral Center in the Toughest Decisions, was written with his father, David Chanoff, with a foreword by David Gergen. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his family.
AWARD PRESENTATION: Sasha Chanoff
Human rights requires the meaningful implementation of its majestic values into the lives of real people. Strengthening refugee resettlement and protection globally is the essence of social entrepreneurship.WATCH HERE