Sara Chester

Sara Chester

Job Quality Fellow, Class of 2022-23, Economic Opportunities Program

Co-Executive Director, The Industrial Commons

Sara is co-executive director for The Industrial Commons. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she returned to her hometown of Morganton, North Carolina. She worked for eight years at Burke Development, Inc., focusing much of this time on place-based initiatives that grow local wealth. There she earned an IEDC award for Innovative Economic Development. She serves on the Burke County Planning Board and is part of the board of directors for the North Carolina Rural Center. She spends most of her time with her husband and two kids. She loves to hike, camp, bake, and read.

Sara is a member of the Job Quality Fellowship Class of 2022-23. To learn more about the Job Quality Fellows, visit

The Job Quality Fellowship is part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at

Authored by Sara