Meet the women behind the blog. The contributors below are some of the strongest, most inspiring women I know. It takes dedication and collective effort to make any project successful. Together, we hope to highlight the strength of women, of all ages, nations, races, religions, and cultures. -All my best, Sarah


Becky Barstein is a lifelong learner, anti-racist activist, and educator from Jupiter, FL. She now lives in Somerville, MA after moving from the great state of Texas and teaching for the last five years. Currently, Becky works at Panorama Education, working with districts and schools to elevate student voice and radically improve student outcomes. In her spare time, you might find Becky doing hot yoga, scouting out new ramen restaurants in her neighborhood, or attempting to read all the books with her partner and two cats.


13043673_10205939434595583_4144353423402649008_nCarinne Deeds works on education and youth policy at the American Youth Policy Forum in Washington, DC, with a focus on social and emotional learning. Before coming to Washington, she completed graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin, taught English in Austin, Texas and Bangkok, Thailand, ran afterschool programs in Lake Tahoe, and collaboratively developed a Girls Leadership Program in Kumasi, Ghana. Carinne is passionate about learning and public service, a lover of poetry, an avid traveler, and aspiring yogi.



Ellen Scholl works on the intersection of energy and geopolitics at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, where she was formerly a Robert Bosch Fellow. Ellen previously worked on energy issues for the Texas Senate and U.S. Congress, and writes a regular blog on energy and security for Lawfare. Aside from her work, Ellen is an avid traveler, reader, and runner, and is passionate about female empowerment and mentorship.


Samantha Merkle currently lives, learns, and dreams in New York City where she works in arts education and youth development. Prior to her move to NYC, Samantha spent three years working with youth, empowering young women in Santa Marta, Colombia. She aspires to spread joy to diverse communities through the performing arts and education. Samantha is passionate about the next generation, Spanish, traveling, and laughing.



thumb_img_7488_1024Selina El Shunnar is a British Jordanian currently working as a Financial Intelligence Researcher in Dubai. Previously, she worked for an educational institute developing local professional standards in accountancy and finance and for 2 years worked in business development for Dubai’s international exchange, NASDAQ Dubai. She has grown up between the UK and the Middle East and holds an MSc in Financial Economics. In her spare time, she loves latin and ballroom dance, yoga and reading. Through Women of the World, she is looking to connect with women from all walks of life and positively showcase female strength, solidarity and kindness.


IMG_3451.jpgSuzanne Ayoub is a business professional with a background in banking and online advertising. She spent 6 years working at Yahoo; most recently, as a Business Development manager in Chicago, IL, managing their Advertising and Technology partnerships. She is a mentor for college students and a regular speaker at student events and women’s leadership conferences. She is now taking a year off from work to spend time traveling, volunteering, doing yoga and meditation, and spending time with family. She currently lives in Amman, Jordan – rediscovering the country she grew up in and planning to start her own business.


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Sarah Kaiser-Cross is the creator of Women of the World. She works for a private financial institution based in Dubai, focusing on the nexus of contemporary security threats and finance in the Middle East. Prior to her move to Dubai, she was the Senior Research Manager for an NGO, analyzing political violence and conflict patterns throughout South and Southeast Asia. She has lived and worked throughout the Middle East for the last decade, including a year in Turkey as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow.  Sarah is passionate about supporting women around the globe. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys writing, traveling, rock climbing, and yoga.