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Sara Allan Joins Foundation | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Portland Public Schools executive brings experience in strategy development and performance management systems

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phone: +1.206.709.3400
Email: media@gatesfoundation.org

SEATTLE -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that Sara Allan will be joining the foundation as deputy director of strategy and management in the College Ready strategy of its education division within its United States Program. Allan is currently Executive Director, System Planning & Performance with Portland Public Schools, where she has led the development and implementation of key district-wide strategies and performance management systems. Allan will join the foundation in mid-August.

"Among her professional accomplishments, Sara was awarded a Broad Residency in Urban Education. This is an incredibly competitive two-year management development program that recruits and trains the country’s brightest emerging leaders for senior management positions in public education,” said Vicki L. Phillips, Director of Education, College Ready. “I have been so impressed with the work Sara did in Portland Public Schools, and the foundation will benefit greatly from her passion and experience.”

In her new position, Allan will focus on managing performance and outcomes across the foundation’s College Ready strategy. Her background in school district management makes her well qualified to lead a portfolio that includes evaluation, resource allocation, performance management, and knowledge management.

"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is doing ground-breaking work across the country to ensure low-income students and students of color graduate College Ready,” said Allan. "I am deeply committed to this work I’ve been honored to work with Superintendent Smith and the Portland Public Schools’ extraordinary teachers and leaders and I am eager to bring what I have learned from my work with them to the foundation.”

Allan joined Portland Public Schools in 2005 as a Special Assistant to the Superintendent and led a review of central operations and the redesign of several key functions, including Human Resources. She went on to become Director of HR Operations and Organizational Development, focused on building the district’s people management systems including employee performance management, classification, compensation, and benefits, as well as overseeing HR data, analysis and reporting. In 2009, she worked with the superintendent on a restructuring of the central organization that led to the creation of System Planning & Performance, which brought together research, evaluation, resource allocation and district performance management capacity, along with strategic project management, into a single function. Since that time, under Allan’s leadership the SPP team has led major district initiatives such as the development of a new strategic plan, redesign of the high school system, school portfolio & enrollment planning, design of priorities-based budgeting processes, and development of performance measures, data systems and tools to support decision making by school and district leaders.

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