Sandy Skelaney (skuh-lane-ee) is an award-winning Social Venture Consultant and nationally recognized anti-trafficking expert who is passionate about social change, equity, justice, and empowering individuals, communities and organizations to mindfully engage in innovative global transformation.
She coaches organizations and coalitions across the United States who are launching or improving victim-service, public policy, and advocacy initiatives. Her specialized expertise is in creating comprehensive multi-disciplinary systems to support and assist survivors of human trafficking and addressing the root causes of grave social problems through policy change.
Sandy is a compelling educator and public speaker who shares her own journey from surviving the streets to thriving at Yale University in her TEDx MIAMI talk and has trained over 15,000 front-line and supporting professionals in victim services, federal and local law enforcement and prosecution, child welfare, health care, juvenile justice, education, faith-based organizations, government agencies, and foundations.
Sandy was honored with the prestigious “Woman Who Makes a Difference in Miami” award from the Junior League in 2013 for her groundbreaking work in spearheading the launch of Kristi House’s Project GOLD and Miami’s comprehensive system response to child sex trafficking, which became a national model program that informed dozens of local, state and national policy changes including the authoring and passage of Florida’s Safe Harbor Act 2012.
Since then, she has continued to be an unstoppable changemaker and community advocate. In 2017, she lead the South Florida Women’s Rally Speaker Committee and stage production for the largest public demonstration in history; spearheaded the launch of the Florida Coalition to End Child Marriage which successfully changed our marriage laws; and helped two FIU student co-founders transform their class project into a fully incorporated nonprofit organization, the HEART Initiative, of which she is now a member of the Board of Directors.
Sandy has a Master’s degree in International Relations from Yale University and Bachelor’s in Political Science and Women’s Studies from the City University of New York, Hunter College, and has worked in and learned from globally renowned organizations such as ECPAT International in Bangkok, Thailand, and Girls Educational and Mentoring Services in New York City.
In addition to consulting, she currently serves as Instructor and Program Director for the Initiative for Gender Violence Prevention in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at Florida International University where she acts as liaison a between the community and academia and inspires the next generation with the passion and skills to become future leaders and changemakers.
Hailing from New York, Sandy is now proud to call herself a Miami Girl and has lived in this paradise with her boys nearly fifteen years (making her pretty much native). She gets by in Spanish, loves punk rock as much as salsa, and rejuvenates with meditation, a little cafecito and the ocean.