Sara Farley

Vice President, Global Food PortfolioFood, The Rockefeller Foundation

As Vice President Sara leads the global portfolio and spearheads integrated operations for The Rockefeller Foundation’s food team, leading such signature initiatives as the Food Systems Vision Prize and the Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Food Systems Fellowship. In this capacity she is driving the Foundation’s inaugural regenerative food systems strategy, leading the diet quality portfolio, and expanding the good food purchasing portfolio and true cost accounting work globally with the aim of shifting the diet quality of 500 million underserved people by 2030.

Prior to joining the Foundation, she 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 a postgraduate study in Technology Policy and Management. Sara’s list of publications includes more than 70 monographs, studies, and papers.

Authored Content

  • Jan 31 2023
    Perspective Five Takeaways to Move Food Systems Farther, Faster in 2023 In the words of Lizzo: it’s about damn time. For the first time in 2022, food systems figured prominently at COP27, the world’s global convening on climate change, held last year in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Food systems also moved up the nature agenda in the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) forged at COP15 Montreal, Canada, and […] Sara Farley
  • Oct 14 2021
    Perspective Food Systems Solutions for Our Climate Future It’s no secret that our planet is in crisis. Each UN Climate Change Conference (COP) commences against the background of increasingly dire warnings, and this year’s will be no exception. In 2021, almost everyone on earth has felt the effects of the changing climate, be it with floods, drought, extreme heat and cold, wildfires or […] Sara Farley
  • Sep 08 2021
    Perspective Ensuring UN Food Systems Summit Makes an Impact With nearly a third of the world’s population lacking steady access to adequate food, it’s no secret that our food systems are failing. As diet-related diseases skyrocket, global temperatures rise, and ecosystem collapse looms closer, the stakes are growing with each passing year. The need to correct course presents one of the biggest challenges of our generation, […] Sara Farley
  • Apr 27 2021
    Perspective A Call to Action: Multigenerational Collaboration for Food Systems Change A diverse, multigenerational movement is critical to realizing a more nourishing, regenerative, and equitable food future. Despite often being shut out of conventional positions of power or decision-making seats, younger generations are pushing the world towards progress that serves both people and planet. From prominent global activists like Isra Hirsa, Greta Thunberg, Xiye Bastida, and […] Sara Farley

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