Sarah Costa is the executive director of the Women’s Refugee Commission, a leading global organization advocating for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth displaced by conflict and crisis.
Under Sarah’s leadership, the organization has experienced significant growth, with the budget more than doubling, and has expanded its ability to ensure refugees’ right to sexual and reproductive health care, to safety from gender-based violence, and to economic and social empowerment.
Sarah has more than 25 years’ experience in the fields of women’s rights, reproductive health, gender, and youth development, as well as global philanthropy. Throughout her career, she has worked in partnership with those closest to the issues, from government officials to local women’s organizations.
Before joining WRC in 2010, Sarah served as regional director of the Global Fund for Women, a grant-making organization that supports women’s rights organizations working on economic security, health, education, and leadership. Previously, she was a program officer for the Ford Foundation in Brazil and New York, developing and managing international and national programs on gender, sexuality, reproductive health, women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, and health policy.
During her tenure as professor of women’s health at the National School of Public Health, Brazil, Sarah was active in the national women’s movement, serving as a member of the Advisory Committee to the National Council on Women’s Rights. She also served on the boards of several women’s organizations. She is a member of World Learning’s Global Advisory Council.
Sarah holds a master’s degree in medical demography from London University and a PhD in social medicine from Oxford University.