Sara Johnson

  • San Francisco, California, United States


Sara Johnson works at the Mulago Foundation -- an organization based in San Francisco that supports innovations targeting the poorest populations across the globe. The foundation's three areas of focus are livelihoods (specifically as it relates to smallholder agriculture), environmental conservation as it relates to people, and health; the Mulago Foundation only funds organizations in developing countries. At the foundation, Sara manages the Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program -- a two-year fellowship that cultivates early-stage social entrepreneurs focused on high-impact solutions to poverty. She also manages the Big Bang Philanthropy group, a donor collaborative comprised of twelve foundations who all commit at least $1 million dollars a year to fund poverty alleviation innovations. The group shares leads, due diligence, and best practices, and tries to make the process simpler for the organizations on the ground.

Prior to working at the Mulago Foundation, Sara was an Associate at Village Capital, where she helped with their Atlanta program, and supported new initiatives like the Points of Light Civic Accelerator and the Clarkston refugee accelerator. In 2013, she worked at Emory's Goizueta Business School, where she was a Database Developer and Analyst tasked with creating a database that captured information from early-stage social enterprises.

Sara graduated from the University of San Diego (USD) with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Psychology and Peace & Justice Studies in 2011, and a graduate degree (M.A.) from USD in Peace & Justice Studies with a focus on economic development in 2012. She is particularly interested in empowering people to generate innovative and disruptive market-based solutions to poverty-related issues, and has a specific geographic focus on Africa.