Sara Blanco has always been interested in women’s empowerment and became especially passionate about women’s political leadership upon joining the Running Start team in 2012. As a Latina, she's particularly interested in empowering women of color to run for office. Sara is a member of Running Start's leadership team and currently manages its largest program, Elect Her, as well as the organization's flagship High School Program. She was largely responsible for creating engaging virtual versions of both programs, resulting in rigorous and fun experiences for participants during the pandemic. These innovations have also proved useful for other Running Start programs.
Sara has been invited to speak as a women’s political leadership expert for a variety of programs and events. In addition to addressing the audience of Members of Congress, top DC politicos, businesspeople, and media at Running Start’s annual Young Women to Watch Awards, these include: “Election 2020: Conclusion” discussion with Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, alongside panelists John Lapinski, David Domke, and Robert W. Merry, and moderator Morton Kondracke; “How to Run for Local Office” Campfire Chat for several hundred members of the Girl Scout Network, alongside panelists Erin Loos Cutraro, Erin Vilardi, and Kat Calvin, and moderator Jean Sinzdak; LEDA Career Institute at NYU School of Law, a professional development and mentorship conference for nearly 180 college students from under-resourced backgrounds; and a personal favorite, NerdCon, a convention attended by 3,500 creators and fans from the YouTube community and beyond. Sara has facilitated numerous Elect Her workshops across the country, and has also passed along that expertise via facilitator trainings.
In 2018, Sara earned a Master of Public Policy at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University, with a focus on Gender Policy. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 2012 with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Sara is a member of the Women’s Information Network and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. She enjoys competitive karaoke and learning how to dance salsa. Sara lives in her beloved hometown, Arlington, Virginia.
BA, English Literature & Gender and Sexuality Studies, Swarthmore College
MPP, Gender Policy, George Washington University
Sara’s quick and creative thinking helped Running Start create rich, engaging virtual programming when faced with potential disaster due to the pandemic.