Sara Farley

As Managing Director, Sara Farley leads the global portfolio and spearheads integrated operations for The Rockefeller Foundation’s food team.  In this capacity, she guides the work of operationalizing systems frameworks in strategy, grantmaking, and MERL (monitoring, evaluation, research and learning) and leads such signature initiatives as the Food Systems Vision Prize and the Food System Summit. Assuring that the foundation’s portfolio delivers transformed food systems that optimize human and planetary health while increasing inclusivity and resilience to future shocks guides her efforts.

Prior to joining the foundation Sara co-founded the Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) which she led for a decade, nurturing it from a concept to an organization designated as one of the “Top 100 Social Innovations for the next century”.  During her time at GKI, Sara cultivated a dynamic team that she led in the design and execution of GKI’s programs in systems research and evaluation, network optimization, and collaborative innovation strategy setting, including serving as The Rockefeller Foundation’s Social Innovation Lab on Waste and Spoilage.

Prior to founding GKI, Sara spent a decade as an innovation strategist for the World Bank and other donor and development organizations.  She has been commissioned by national governments and international development organizations (African Development Bank, UNIDO, etc.) to lead thinking, develop networks, and devise policies to strengthen developing countries’ science and innovation capacity.

Sara graduated with honors in Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford University’s School of Engineering where she also earned a Masters degree in International Policy Studies. Following her time at Stanford, she was a Rotary International Ambassadorial Fellow at the Universidad de Buenos Aires where she did postgraduate study in Technology Policy and Management.  Sara’s list of publications includes more than 70 monographs, studies, and papers.