Sarah French

BSc Hons, PGCE, MSc, FHEA

Director of Operations

Sarah French (Christina Willows)

Sarah’s professional strengths include strategic thinking, programme development, project management, applied research, evaluation and oversight with experience across trade, education, ecotourism, forestry and agricultural sectors. For example, in the rural Andes of Peru she worked in natural resources management for PROESA, an integrated development project. At the University of Chester, UK, she lectured in geography and international development studies, co-founding and directing ‘Global Perspective’, a grass roots initiative in development awareness, environmental education and advocacy. In Geneva, Switzerland, she has undertaken consultancy partnering with public, private and not-for-profit organizations worldwide, and acted as advisor with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development on oversight and evaluation.

Now living in Geneva, she is a Board member of Earthmind, a Swiss not-for-profit professional association promoting synergies for sustainability and is an active member of two IUCN Commissions: on Education and Communication, and Ecosystem Management.

Why A Rocha?

I met some of the A Rocha pioneers in 1984, so supported and followed from afar until 2007 when I became an International Trustee. When we discussed this new post, requiring someone with environment and development expertise within a Christian context, I realized it would suit me well. It was an opportunity to change from my policy and government level advisory roles to serve in a more hands-on, field-based, but still international sphere. I already knew how the organization ticked, though I now see the more knotted side of the beautiful A Rocha tapestry!

How would you explain your role?

I’m responsible for helping each National Organization to develop and flourish, so that they achieve their objectives, whilst also fitting into the overarching plans of A Rocha worldwide. I identify the best examples of good practice and ensure they are shared, and if there are weaknesses or problems, I’ll intervene, perhaps with advice, or training, or use my network of contacts to find the best local resources. I also encourage cooperation between the National Organizations

What do you enjoy most?

Every day is different. I’m always learning.

I couldn’t do my job without…

Visiting the A Rocha teams − the projects are so wonderfully diverse.

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