Headshot of Sara S. McGarraugh
Managing Consultant
Sara is a solutions-focused and action-oriented evaluator who brings to The Improve Group extensive experience in creating tools, collecting data, analyzing results, and reporting findings. Outside of work, Sara loves connecting with people over food (she is always looking for new recipes) and negotiating with her spouse about where to travel next.


Sara is skilled at efficient data analysis and reporting findings to support client needs and use. Her strengths include bringing together disparate ideas and identifying larger themes in data. She applies creative approaches to methods and design to meet client needs and answer evaluation questions. Sara is rooted in use-focused evaluation design while also incorporating the learning needs of clients and participants.
Sara’s project management expertise ensures she delivers projects on budget and on time. She is comfortable navigating complex and unknown systems with clients. Sara is particularly skilled at acting as a negotiator between stakeholders, bringing and valuing different stakeholder voices in the evaluation process.
Sara is a skilled facilitator who designs processes to enable groups to achieve their objectives. She is attentive to group dynamics and draws from a variety of techniques such as ToP and Art of Hosting to ensure inclusion of different learning and engagement styles. Sara is a confident public speaker and facilitator with groups of all sizes.
Practice areas
International Community Development

Professional Experience

The Improve Group | St. Paul, MN | Managing Consultant | 2016-present | Lead evaluation projects and phases to make the most of information, navigate complexity, and ensure clients’ investments of time and money lead to meaningful, sustained impact. 

The Improve Group | St. Paul, MN | Associate Consultant | 2012-2016 | Worked collaboratively with project team to execute activities.

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities | Minneapolis, MN | Teaching Assistant | 2012-2013 | Designed and implemented weekly lab curriculum, worked through complex economic examples using classical theory, and assisted Visiting Professor with course planning for a graduate student class.

Bridges to Learning | Minneapolis, MN | Programs and Administrative Manager | 2010-2012 | Oversaw fundraising, marketing, strategic communications planning, and content development for an organization that provides resources for the educational, health, and social development of impoverished children in Vietnam.

École Primaire et Maternelle Bilingue Noula | Yaoundé, Cameroon | Head Administrator and Fundraiser | 2009-2010 | Gathered parent and staff input to guide primary school’s strategic planning and budgeting, increased school revenue by leveraging grant writing skills and French fluency to submit in-country grant proposals, and designed and executed an international fundraising effort to remodel building space and stock a new library and computer center for the school.


Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota | Master of Public Policy with a minor in Evaluation Studies

University of Wisconsin – Madison | Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Global Cultures and African Studies

Want to learn more about Sara? Check out their full resume here!