Sara Sievers is an associate professor of the practice in the Keough School of Global Affairs, where she was previously the associate dean of policy and practice. Formerly senior director at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, she has extensive experience in advocacy, policy, and governance issues pertaining to development. Most recently, she advised the government of Nigeria on implementing the Millennium Development Goals. Sievers has led global health and advocacy efforts at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, served in the Foreign Service and was founding executive director of Harvard University’s Center for Global Development and the Earth Institute’s Center for Globalization and Development. She holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Advocacy, policy, and governance issues pertaining to development
- Sustainable Economy Solutions (SES), PBC. Founding CEO of new public benefit corporation that is bringing innovations made at the Millennium Village Program to scale via the private sector in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (2014–15).
- Earth Institute, Columbia University, Senior Director (2008–15). Led initiative to provide interdisciplinary expertise on the Millennium Development Goals to the Nigerian President’s office as it spends $1 billion per year in debt relief proceeds to improve health and education under Nigeria's poorest local governments.
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Senior Program Officer, Global Health Policy and Advocacy (2000–09). Designed and managed $75 million grant portfolio to raise resources for health from public sources in the developing world, working collaboratively with like-minded foundations and health NGOs; government relations manager for Africa, parts of Asia, with primary responsibility for designing and implementing polio political reversal in Northern Nigeria, as well as securing favorable regulatory reform for new health drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines in Africa. Provided insight into strategy formulation on health governance and political will for improved health delivery.
- Association Francois Xavier-Bagnoud, Director of Advocacy, Research, Policy (2004–05). Positioned FXB, a leading Swiss NGO/foundation, as a leader in achieving key legislation in the US Congress on orphans and vulnerable children.
- Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Earth Institute, Columbia University, Founding Executive Director (2002–04). Managed scale-up, fundraising, and academic and policy research of newly created multidisciplinary center on growth and development.
- Center for International Development, Harvard University, Founding Executive Director (1997–2002). Managed operations of university-wide center on international development; with Director Jeffrey Sachs, advised governments in Africa, Asia, Latin America on economic development and advocated for increased US assistance to reforming governments.
- United States Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (1991–95)