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Sandra de Castro Buffington

Deputy Director, Adolescents & Social Norms

Sandra de Castro Buffington leads a team that supports efforts to improve health and livelihood outcomes for adolescent girls and young women in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on entertainment for social impact cultivating local champions, and collecting data and evidence to better understand social norms and their influences.

As a leader, strategist, and producer of social impact entertainment to uplift women and girls, Sandra has ignited new narratives of cultural transformation worldwide. She has worked in 50 countries over 20-plus years on behalf of women, girls, and families. Sandra founded and directed UCLA’s Global Media Center for Social Impact and served as the former Director of USC’s Hollywood, Health & Society program. As co-producer of the award-winning film BRAINWASHED: Sex-Camera-Power and executive producer of the new film #SHOUT, from India, Sandra has called for urgently addressing the gender divide through film and television. 

Sandra earned a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Santa Fe, magna cum laude, where she received a scholarship for women in science. Among her numerous honors, Sandra was named one of the “the “Nation’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics”” by PODER Hispanic magazine and received the USAID Maximizing Access and Quality Outstanding Achievement Award, Brazil’s Award for Leadership in Bahia State, the World Film Institute’s American Riviera Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, The Female Eye Film Festival’s Honorary Maverick Award, and a Presidential Citation from the Society for Public Health Education.

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