Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Senior Associates

Sara Petersson Bio photo.jpg

Sara Petersson

Senior Associate

Sara is a Senior Associate at SDDirect with 16 years programme management experience both internationally and in the UK. In her various management positions, Sara has designed, managed, and delivered projects and programmes, including in consortium constellations, in complex environments. Her work has mainly focused on the education and reproductive health sectors. She has done this from various stakeholder vantage points having worked within NGOs, the UN, social enterprises, and government contractors. She has a specific expertise and skills in analysing project / organisational performance and troubleshooting, including establishing systems and indicators for measuring progress, and initiating, managing, and concluding Performance Improvement Plans.

Sara started her career as an Emergency Project Manager for an NGO in Afghanistan in the early days of 2002 spending weeks on horseback overseeing project activities in remote provinces, having previously spent some time in the country in the late 1990s doing research for her Swedish university degrees during the Taliban regime. Subsequently, she took up a position with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Zimbabwe working with designing an approach for Early Recovery interventions after which she moved to London in 2010, initially working for the Family Planning / SRH organisation Marie Stopes International as a Programme Specialist supporting its activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Sri Lanka. Since joining SDD in 2013, Sara has mainly been seconded to PwC working as the FCAS Portfolio Manager and Do No Harm focal point for the DFID-funded Girls Education Challenge Fund (GEC) managing all stakeholder relations regarding the performance of the GEC in Afghanistan, Somalia, the DRC and South Sudan. She has also lent her expertise to the tripartite organisation Ethical Trading Initiative as Programme Manager for their DFID-funded Responsible, Accountable and Transparent Enterprise (RATE) initiative, and is currently the interim Portfolio Manager for the GEC projects in Ethiopia.

Sara, a Swedish national, is currently dividing her time between London and Bologna, Italy. She has two master’s degrees in Political Science and International Studies from University of California – Berkeley and a master and bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and Anthropology from University of Lund, Sweden.