PhD Economics (highest honors), Sciences-Po Paris
MA International Affairs, Sciences-Po Paris
MA International Affairs, Columbia University
BA Sociology, University of San Francisco
Research & Teaching Interests
Sara Minard, PhD., is a socio-economist, lecturer, writer, development practitioner and policy analyst with 15+ years of experience teaching and working in the areas of economic development policy, market-based approaches to development, design thinking for development practice, social entrepreneurship, social economy, and pro¬gram design, monitoring and evaluation. Before joining Northeastern, Dr. Minard taught (2009-2014) in the Economic and Political Development Concentration of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) where she launched the school's first courses in social entrepreneurship and design thinking for sustainable development. She also taught development practice and social entrepreneurship at Sciences-Po in Paris for several years prior to teaching at Columbia.
Dr. Minard's research uses fieldwork and statistics to study the historical and systemic dynamics of informal entrepreneurship and employment through the lens of social economy and social entrepreneurship in order to advance new economic thinking and policy on sustainable economic development. Her current scholarship studies the enabling environments for social entrepreneurship in several low-income countries by examining how social entrepreneurship disrupts the relationship between informal and formal markets, the state and social institutions, including traditional development institutions, in the process of public value creation, social innovation and economic justice.
Industry & Academic Experience
Before Columbia, she spent five years working at the OECD in Paris (2003-2007), leading research and policy dialogues with government, development agencies, private sector partners and local communities on strategies for inclusive private sector development, regional cooperation and policy coherence for development in 18 countries in West Africa. Dr. Minard consults for universities, private companies, World Bank, IFC and UN agencies on socio-economic development, socially responsible investing and inclusive banking, as well as policy strategies and practical tools for social entrepreneurship, social impact assessment, evaluation and reporting. She served as the Chair of Columbia University's Advisory Education Sub-Committee on Socially Responsible Investing and sits on several social enterprise boards.
Awards & Recognition
Dr. Minard was appointed a research fellow at the European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprise (EURICSE) in Trento, Italy and a visiting scholar at the Institute of African Studies at Columbia. Her dissertation paper Valuing Social Entrepreneurship in the Informal Economy in Senegal won the EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise Best Conference Paper Award in 2009.