Sarah Atwood, PhD

Head of Research and Engagement, Center for New Democratic Processes

Sarah Atwood, PhD

Sarah is the Head of Research and Engagement at the Center for New Democratic Processes. Sarah draws on over 15 years of experience as a facilitator, scholar, and public historian to oversee the design and implementation of our engagement work as well as our organizational research activities. Sarah has consulted with clients such as Pfizer, Inc., The New York Times, the National Health Service (NHS England), and the Kettering Foundation (Ohio). She has designed, implemented, and/or contributed to citizens’ jury and public deliberation projects on a diverse range of topics, including nuclear waste storage and disposal, health service delivery and hospital siting, artificial intelligence guidelines, national security, and international relations (USA), race and representation in news media, as well as the relationship between law, race, and citizenship in Antebellum America. Her work employs interdisciplinary and cross-cultural deliberation and facilitation techniques developed through her extensive work leading both small and large-group trainings, classes, and deliberative processes (up to 140 people). Sarah brings experience working within academic, public, and private sector projects and has a breadth of experience working with organizational and individual partners from a range of professional and personal backgrounds. She has extensive experience in research, project, and curriculum design with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the development and implementation of group dialogue, deliberation, and educational materials. Sarah has worked on public history and engagement projects with Minnesota Historical Society’s Department of Inclusion and Community Engagement, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (US), the Minnesota Humanities Council, and the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Sarah received her PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. She holds a BA from Hamline University and MA from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.