At San Domenico, Shanna Kohn ’09 developed an ethical framework that continues to influence her personally and professionally, as the Director of International Education at Sesame Workshop. While a student at SD, Shanna was encouraged by her teachers to explore ideas creatively and to solve problems with ingenuity and confidence, culminating in her exemplary approach to cross-national learning and addressing the needs of children in diverse contexts and situations.
After graduating from San Domenico in 2009, Shanna attended Vassar College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies with a minor in Education and participated in the Tibetan Cultural Studies Program Abroad in 2012. Shanna continued her education by attending the Harvard Graduate School of Education and earning a Master of Education in Education Policy and Management.
Presently, Shanna leads educational content development for Ahlan Simsim, a localized version of Sesame Street in the Middle East, and manages the design of multimedia teaching and learning materials for Sesame Workshop’s humanitarian programs. The workshop’s two large-scale humanitarian programs, generously funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the LEGO Foundation, deliver early learning and nurturing care to children and caregivers affected by the Syrian and Rohingya refugee crises and comprise the largest early childhood intervention in the history of humanitarian response.
Prior to working on humanitarian programs, Shanna managed curriculum, content, and program design in collaboration with on-the-ground partners for global programs focused on a variety of outcomes—including shifting parents’ perceptions and capacity around meaningful play, improving global health outcomes, and promoting a whole-child curriculum—-in Jordan, Lebanon, the Kurdish Region of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, South Africa, and Mexico. She also worked as Editorial Assistant for the Sesame Learning team, creating multimedia content for preschool classrooms in the United States. Shanna was recently selected to join the workshop’s senior leadership Operations Team through an inaugural effort led by the president and CEO to broaden and diversify the voices that impact business decisions and operations.
Shanna is a global change agent who possesses a strong sense of meaning and purpose. She is compassionate, collaborative, service oriented, and a true embodiment of San Domenico’s enduring values, and we are so proud of the tremendous work she has done.
Today, Shanna lives with her husband and cat in Brooklyn, New York.