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Sara Mead

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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Sara Mead
Policy and Thought Leadership

Background: Sara Mead is a partner with Bellwether Education Partners in the Policy and Thought Leadership practice and leads Bellwether’s early childhood work across multiple service areas. Since joining Bellwether in 2010, she has written and conducted policy analysis on early childhood education, charter schools, teacher quality, and state and federal education policy issues and has provided strategic advising support to foundations, advocacy organizations, and early childhood operators. Her work has been featured in media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Slate, and USA Today, and she is a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report’s Knowledge Bank vertical. Before joining Bellwether, Sara directed the New America Foundation’s Early Education Initiative. She has also worked for Education Sector, the Progressive Policy Institute, and the U.S. Department of Education. She serves on the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, which authorizes charter schools in Washington, D.C. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Vanderbilt University.

Experience at Bellwether: policy research and analysis, long- and short- form writing, strategic advising, foundation advising

Client segments served: state education agencies, early childhood, foundations, policy organizations, intermediaries

Sample clients: Rhode Island Department of Education, Stranahan Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Stand for Children

Why I do this work: As the daughter, grandaughter, and sister of public school educators, I grew up with a deep appreciation for the importance of public education and the opportunities it has provided to me and my loved ones. Through my work at Bellwether I seek to extend these same opportunities to our nation’s neediest youngsters. I believe high-functioning organizations and institutions are the critical foundation for educational success and am excited to work at Bellwether to both help support the growth of effective education institutions and to shape public institutions and policies to support success for all students.

Recent Media


U.S. News & World Report -- Policymakers won't improve early childhood education by constraining their ideas to the existing system.