Saran was born in Liberia but left in 1989 at the young age of eight, shortly before the country’s civil war began.
The daughter of a career diplomat, Saran spent her formative years living in Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, France and Cyprus before making her way to the United States in 1999. She returned to Liberia almost 20 years after she left to find a country in desperate need and made it her mission to help, specifically focused on access to safe drinking water and empowering women through education and skills training.
Since launching FACE Africa in January 2009, the organization has raised over $250,000 for clean water projects in Liberia. In recognition of her commitment to clean water initiatives that have benefited over 10,000 residents in Liberia to date, Saran was recently appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the county of River Cess, Liberia. In her new role, she will encourage and promote business and philanthropic investments throughout the county, beginning with FACE Africa’s ‘County by County’ Commitment, which will seek to construct 250 clean water wells in River Cess County by 2017. The initiative, scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2012, will provide complete water coverage to the county, benefiting over 60,000 residents, and will ensure that River Cess meets the Liberian Government’s 250 persons per safe waterpoint standard.
A firm believer in the private sector as the best possible option for sustainable social and economic change in Liberia, Saran recently co-founded the Monrovia-based company, Empire Group, to create businesses in the areas of small-scale manufacturing, agriculture, and hospitality.
Saran was recently named a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and was listed by the Guardian UK as one of Africa’s 25 Top Women Achievers alongside President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee. In 2012, she received the Longines/ Town&Country “Women Who Make A Difference’ Award for her work with FACE Africa, and earlier that year she was listed by Black Enterprise as one of 10 International Women of Power to Watch and by Daily Muse as one of 12 Women to Watch. In 2011, Saran received the Applause Africa “Person of the Year” award and was the Voss Foundation’s Women Helping Women Honoree. She was also a Huffington Post “Greatest Person of the Day,” and listed as one of Forbes Magazine’s 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa.
Her work with FACE Africa has been profiled in the Boston Globe, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, ARISE Magazine, BBC Focus on Africa, Town&Country, New African Woman Magazine, InStyle Magazine and CNN.