Sarah Edwards

Researcher

Data Whiz. Outgoing Introvert. Methodological thinker. Sunshine seeker. Voracious podcast consumer. 

Sarah Edwards is a Researcher at Third Plateau. She provides quantitative and qualitative research support for projects across Third Plateau’s core areas. Sarah is passionate about using data to answer tough questions, listening carefully to the lived experiences of others, and making technical research results accessible to all.

Sarah comes to Third Plateau with a range of experiences in the nonprofit and service sector. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Environmental Science, she worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon. There, she worked closely with her community to develop training programs in food security and health education, as well as launching a major project bringing drinking water to her remote village.

After returning state-side, Sarah worked as a Program Officer for a small international foundation focusing on youth education and poverty alleviation. While addressing these issues in other countries, Sarah saw the issues of homelessness and inequity in her own neighborhood in Oakland and ultimately shifted her focus towards these local challenges. She joined the Employment and Training team at Swords to Plowshares, a veteran service nonprofit supporting predominately unhoused veterans. She became the Program Manager, leading a team to provide job-seeking services and employment support to veterans throughout the Bay Area. Her experience seeing the challenges of the direct service sector led her to attend graduate school and deepen the technical and strategic skills to help all organizations best meet their goals.

Through the Master of Public Policy program at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School, Sarah honed her skills in data analysis, strategic thinking, and project management. She applied these skills in criminal system reform, including providing technical support on a major California bill and expert testimony to county Board of Supervisors. Sarah also brought these skills to support her local YMCA board in developing strategic programming and partnerships for the Senior population. Sarah is always looking for the best way to lift everyone up, and brings her interest in advancing equity to Third Plateau.

Sarah lives in Oakland with her partner and her dog. On the weekends, she can be found hiking and looking for the best views, even if that means the steepest hills! She loves exploring and following her curiosity whenever possible, whether traveling, walking through a different neighborhood, or cooking something new.