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Penni Berns

Chief, Digital Strategy, UNICEF


Penni is a seasoned marketing and communications executive with a proven ability to translate strategic vision into practical execution and breakthrough results. A natural innovator, Penni has a deep understanding of the digital landscape and emerging trends. Penni is a firm believer in the power of communication to transform people’s lives - - she is putting that belief to the test in her current role as the Chief of Digital Strategy at UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.

As Chief of Digital Strategy, Penni oversees global digital communications and helps shape and amplify UNICEF’s powerful and compelling voice. By distributing breakthrough multimedia content through social media channels that exceed 100 million followers, Penni leads her team in building awareness of the issues facing the world’s most vulnerable children. Penni is also responsible for driving a global UNICEF digital transformation initiative to elevate digital infrastructure, governance and organizational expertise across 190 countries.

Prior to her time at UNICEF, Penni was an executive at American Express where she held multiple leadership positions within the Consumer, Small Business, Corporate and Merchant business units. Among her many accomplishments at American Express, one that she is most proud of is her role in advocating for small merchants and creating tools for them to grow their businesses. As one of the architects of Small Business Saturday, Penni helped fuel a movement to focus consumers on the powerful economic engine of small business commerce.

Penni earned an MBA in Finance from The Stern School of Business at NYU and a BA from Tufts University, where she studied English and Economics.

Of the many titles that Penni answers to on a regular basis- mentor, marketer, musician, magician - her favorite one, spoken many times a day by her two daughters, is mom.

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