Sarah Simpkins


University of Maryland
Class of 2017


Sarah graduated from Bates College in 2010, earning a BA in English and completing a thesis analyzing the effects of French immigration policy on female Muslim immigrants. Sarah’s interest in international development and public policy began at Bates when she worked as a Community Partners Fellow for a low-income housing community largely composed of Somali refugees. Recognizing the need for more culturally-sensitive programs to bridge the gap in social services, Sarah successfully applied and secured grant funds from local donors in order to scale-up community-based literacy and health outreach programs. This early interest in underserved communities led Sarah to complete study abroad programs in Jamaica, Senegal, and Morocco where she focused on post-colonial literature, migration, and human rights legislation. Sarah studied Wolof in Senegal, Arabic in Morocco and continues to study French at Alliance Française. She has completed an internship at Amnesty International in Morocco and a Red Cross-funded certificate program in New Zealand to support refugee resettlement.

Upon graduating from Bates, Sarah moved to Washington DC where she began work as an International Health Program Associate for a public health organization with programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. During this time, Sarah helped research and coordinate a $30M USAID-funded malaria eradication proposal in Benin. In 2012, Sarah joined ChildFund International’s Program Development Division where she supported the design and development of child-focused proposals including grants aiming to reduce the incidence of child labor, child trafficking, and children living in orphanages. Sarah’s professional experience includes in-country grant-writing for major US-based donors in Uganda, Liberia, Senegal, Ethiopia and Kenya. Sarah has maintained her interest in refugee resettlement by completing a year-long volunteer program with the International Rescue Committee providing English-language tutoring to Bhutanese families in Hyattsville, Maryland.