Sarah Pieslak is an MPP candidate at the Jackson School of Global Affairs, committed to inclusive community growth through social entrepreneurship. She is specifically interested in making business resources more accessible and equitable for entrepreneurs in lower-income countries. Before coming to Yale, much of Sarah’s career focused on improving human health. At the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), she managed a collaborative program to help researchers access patient biospecimens and a portfolio of grants focused on imaging diagnostics. Prior to joining MJFF, Sarah spent two years at Global Health Strategies, developing creative communications and advocacy campaigns that targeted global health decision-makers. In this role, she provided strategic advice to clients to advance a range of health issues, with a focus on vaccine delivery, health misinformation and food systems. Working at both private and philanthropic organizations fortified her interest in social entrepreneurship, a blend of these two approaches, to tackle poverty challenges.
Sarah holds a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame with a minor in peace studies. During her undergraduate years, she evaluated toilet facilities and attitudes toward future options through original fieldwork in Léogâne, Haiti. This research leveraged participatory design methods to address unique needs of women and girls. At Yale, Sarah plans to further explore how social enterprises can offer a more enduring, impactful solution to international development challenges.