Sara Allan

Director, Early Learning & Education Pathways

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Sara Allan is the Director of Early Learning and Education Pathways in the United States Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She’s been with the foundation since 2011, most recently leading the K-12 research & development team. Currently, she holds a dual role, focused on the development of innovative and effective tools and practices to improve the quality of public Pre-K programs, and expanding access to the academic, career exploration experiences and navigational supports that enable young people of color and those from under resourced communities to transition from high school to a postsecondary pathway and ultimately the career of their choice. Prior to her time in philanthropy, Sara worked as a district level leader at Portland Public Schools and was a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. She serves as a board member and advisor to education organizations and was a 2022 Presidential Leadership Scholar. A dual citizen, Sara grew up in a family of educators and attended Canadian public schools from kindergarten through graduate school. She is the proud mother of two college students and a high school sophomore and lives in Seattle, WA.