Saran Kaba Jones is the Founder and CEO of FACE Africa, a community development organization working to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and services in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa.
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 moving to the United States in 1999. She returned to Liberia almost 20 years later to find a country in desperate need and made it her mission to help, specifically focused on access to safe drinking water and sanitation and empowering women and girls through education and skills training.
Since launching FACE Africa in January 2009, the organization has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from JP Morgan Chase, Coca Cola, the Voss Foundation, P&G, Chevron and the Robert Bosch Foundation, among others; built over 50 WASH projects and reached 25,000 people in rural Liberia. More recently, FACE Africa was at the forefront of Ebola response efforts in Rivercess County, Liberia, where they conducted social mobilization, prevention and awareness and community engagement programs.
Saran is a Board Member of the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group West/Center Africa and a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She 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.
Saran is a frequent speaker on topics including water infrastructure, entrepreneurship and gender equality and has served on panels at the World Economic Forum, Harvard University, MIT, the London School of Economics, and the African Union. She is also a member of the U.S. State Department’s International Information Programs (IIP) and frequently conducts workshops globally on entrepreneurship.
Her work with FACE Africa has been profiled extensively by Forbes, the Boston Globe, BBC Focus on Africa, Town&Country, and CNN.
Prior to launching FACE Africa, Saran worked as an Investment Project Manager for the Singapore Economic Development Board.