Sara A. Sneed is director of education investments with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, one of the nation’s largest community foundations. In this position, Sneed leads the Foundation’s K-12 research, strategy, and portfolio, promoting educational equity and excellence with partners at the local, state, and national levels.
Sneed brought to the Hartford Foundation 17 years of distinguished visionary and strategic leadership and achievement in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. For seven years, she served as senior program manager with the Foundation for the Mid-South, where she was responsible for the Families and Children, Public Policy, and Faculty Fellows (leadership development) programs. As director of maternal and child health with the Medical Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts, her leadership resulted in the significant expansion of public health partnerships and strategic initiatives throughout the surrounding region. Previously, she served as as special projects manager with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, leading program and systems innovations in the areas of foster care, permanency planning, and adoption. As Human Services Advisor to the Office of Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Murphy, she managed the education, health, and human service components of Blueprint 2000: a comprehensive long-range strategic planning initiative. She began her career as director of the Southern New England Network for Black Families and Children, providing administrative, programmatic, and fiscal leadership of a tri-state advocacy organization launched by the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. Directly out of college, she was appointed the area manager of Inner City Help for Children, using mediations and the court system to obtain services for children and families in Roxbury, Massachusetts.
A popular speaker and trainer, Sneed has won numerous awards for her work. Among other national leadership roles, she currently serves on the Education Working Group of the Social Impact Exchange, and she is both the former co-chair of CFLeads, representing more than 300 community foundations nationwide, and a former executive board member of Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families. As a licensed clergywoman and ordinand, she is chair of the board of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ and often travels to preach for churches and conferences throughout the nation.
Sneed earned a B.A. with multiple honors from Mount Holyoke College and holds an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School where she was named the William and Lucille Nickerson Scholar and winner of both the Walcott Preaching Prize and prestigious Charles S. Mersick Preacher-Scholar Award.