She was appointed unanimously by the board of trustees, took over the role on September 1 and will be the first woman to lead the organisation since its inception.
Sarah succeeds Paul Smith Lomas and will lead more than 600 staff working with thousands of the world’s most vulnerable communities in South Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Chair of Trustees at Practical Action, Yvonne Pinto, said: “As the world continues to tackle the twin challenges of climate change and the pandemic, there is no better person to lead Practical Action than Sarah Roberts.
“She is a proven leader who combines business acumen and courage, a deep knowledge of our sector and the vision and ability to bring people and partners from all sectors together to collaborate effectively.”
Sarah joined Practical Action as Director of Impact and Influence in 2020 after 11 years as CEO of the Ethical Tea Partnership. During that time she oversaw its transformation from an audit focused organisation to one that convened the private sector with a variety of partners to drive systemic change in the sector, reaching one million people in tea communities.
Through her previous consultancy and development sector roles Sarah has developed and led a range of multi-stakeholder partnerships to drive large-scale change and supported companies to improve their social and environmental performance.