Social Impact

Sarah Revi Sterling

2012 Winner of the Social Impact ABIE Award

Sarah Revi Sterling is Faculty Director for Graduate Studies in Information and Communication Technologies for Development at the ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, a program that she co-founded with ATLAS Institute Director John Bennett.

As a leading researcher in the area of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD), Sarah has worked with ICTD and Gender experts and programs around the world to publicize what works and doesn’ t work in ICTD, affecting the larger development and funding communities. She created communications systems for women off the cellular and electrical grid in East Africa for her dissertation, which was turned into a book—Advancement through Interactive Radio. Various iterations of the AIR project have now been deployed and running for several years in the Amazon, central Africa, Nigeria, India and Panama.

In her role as Faculty Director, Sterling runs the only master’ s program in ICTD in the U.S. Her first cohort graduates this spring, having already conducted practicums with leading private and public sector organizations in Haiti, Nepal, India, and underserved communities in the United States. She is firmly committed to the practical, sustainable and equitable application of ICTD to support education, health and other development efforts. She consults for many ICTD and development organizations and serves on the High Level Panel of Experts of UN Global Alliance for ICTD and Development and the GO3 Foundation Board of Advisors.

Her work has been published in numerous journals and conference proceedings. She is a recipient of grants and awards from the University of Colorado, The Smallholders Foundation, Society for New Communications Research, Microsoft Research, and development foundations. She holds a Ph.D. in Technology, Media and Society from the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Prior to her role at the ATLAS Institute, Sterling worked for Microsoft, first as Program Manager in the Windows division and the Back Office Division, then in the External Research Programs team in Microsoft Research. In that role, she spearheaded Microsoft Research’ s gender equity programs, which included support for programs such as the National Center for Women and IT Workforce Alliance, the CRA-W Graduate Cohort, and RFPs for individual women and computing efforts across the U.S. and Canada. During this time, she testified for NCWIT and Microsoft in front of the US Congress on the dearth of women in high tech and what this meant from a national competitive and economic perspective.