Sarah Cairns-Smith is a Senior Advisor at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where she was a Senior Partner and Managing Director. She was also a Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow in 2019. At BCG she was a leader in the social impact, organization and health care global practices and led BCG’s Scientist Network, a group of over 500 PhD/MDs. She specialized in innovation-related consulting with a strong emphasis on R&D and launch stage projects and novel technologies. Her technology interests span biotech and biopharma through digital. Sarah has consulted across the private, public and social sectors including to several of the world’s major foundations, multi-lateral organizations and leading companies. Sarah’s work in developing economies while consulting with the United Nations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID led to a focus on the impact, funding and governance of digital in economic development. Sarah has deep expertise in the development of innovation-related consortia and public-private partnerships, for instance through helping to establish the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) and the National Institute of Health’s Accelerating Medicines Partnership.
Sarah chairs the Board of the Amyloidosis Research Consortium and is a member of the Board of Directors for Engender Health. She holds a BSc. in Microbiology and Genetics from University College London. Sarah received her PhD in Biochemistry from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London (Francis Crick Institute) and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Neurobiology, Columbia University. Sarah also holds an MBA from Columbia Business School (Distinction).