Stefanie Sanford

SNF Agora Visiting Fellow, AY 24-25

Dr. Stefanie Sanford is President of Civic Ventures at Alithi Consulting and Humanitae Philanthropy Advisors, where she leads efforts to improve civic knowledge and engagement, transcend polarization, and animate spirited and effective conversation across difference.Over the last 20 years, she has held executive roles in philanthropy, education policy, and government, including Global Policy and External Relations for the College Board; President of the College Board Foundation; and Director of US Program Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

She began her career serving in both Republican and Democratic administrations in Texas, in various roles advising the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, and Attorney General. At the federal level, she was selected as a White House Fellow, serving in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs. 

She currently chairs the Board of Trustees for the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, an organization dedicated to cultivating young people to be empowered citizens, who are civically well-informed, productively engaged, and committed to democracy. She is Vice Chair of the America’s Promise Alliance and a trustee of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, and Planet Word, the Museum of Language. She has held fellowships at the Aspen Institute/Pahara and the German Marshall Fund. 

An accomplished public speaker, moderator and writer, her work has appeared in a wide range of outlets, including Stanford Social Innovation Review, Harvard Law and Policy Review, the Dispatch, Education Week, CNN and the Austin American Statesman. She is the author of the book Civic Life in the Information Age: Politics, Technology and Generation X, based on her dissertation research. 

She holds a BS from Texas Christian University, an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a PhD from the University of Texas.