Sarah Zetterli serves as Associate Director, Finance and Operations, of the Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation. Sarah works with the Vice President/Executive Director of the Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation to effectively steward program resources and help coordinate the efforts of the team, ensuring smooth operations, effective communication within the program, and the satisfactory completion of program objectives. The Associate Director monitors the financial health of the program tracking income and expenses to ensure careful stewardship of resources, adhering to all Institute policies and procedures. Sarah works in the Institute’s DC office.
Sarah is an experienced professional with over 15 years of experience leading teams in non-profits and social enterprises. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Economics from Harvard University and a Master of Science in Financial Management from the London University School of Oriental and African Studies. In 2000, Sarah conducted ethnographic research in poor villages of Southwest China for which she won the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for original thesis work. She then spent 7 years in China managing both non-profits and commercial banking projects with a mission of poverty alleviation and financial inclusion. Most recently, Sarah spent 10 years in three countries in Africa: Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Tanzania, where she led community banks and microfinance institutions in service to microenterprises and small business entrepreneurs. She has experience working with projects funded by impact investors, donors, and philanthropic foundations.
Sarah is strong in financial management, organizational operations, and human resources. She has a proven track-record in contract management, multi-stakeholder collaboration, problem solving, and learning & development. Sarah is passionate about social innovation and philanthropy as it relates to broad inclusive growth. Sarah is recognized as a high-energy, proactive, collaborator who motivates, communicates, and bridges divides in diverse multicultural settings.
Sarah and her husband, Peter, live in Bethesda, Maryland with their two children: Erik (8) and Finn (3).