Sharon Payt serves as IJM’s Vice President for Corporate and Government Partnerships. Since 2021, she’s directed the engagement strategies with the U.S. Government, Congress and multi-national corporations to champion the fight against human trafficking and other forms of violence impacting people in poverty.
With over 20 years of executive-level experience as a human rights advocate, Sharon is a systems reform entrepreneur combining campaigning and movement-organizing with international development for marginalized people. She has worked in the Middle East, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa on a wide range of issues, including human trafficking, anti-genocide, citizen empowerment and defending democracy leaders in hostile contexts.
Sharon’s previous positions include serving at the World Bank, the U.S. State Department, J.K. Rowling’s Lumos Foundation, World Vision International and the U.S. Senate. With the U.S. Government, she served as lead Senate staff for the landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and co-established the State Department’s anti-trafficking office. While serving with World Vision, she directed advocacy across 15 countries and regional humanitarian crises throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, resulting in over 50 government system reforms.
Sharon lives in Washington, DC, and enjoys cooking, entertaining and live music.