Meet Sarah

An Iowa native, Sarah Smith has always worked on finding common ground when solving a problem. Whether in her former position as executive director at a local non-profit, chair of the vote yes school bond committee, and now as a program and events director at Grinnell College, she has always and will continue to work on finding ideas from all areas of a community and strongly advocate for all voices.


​Sarah is dedicated to community service to enhance rural Iowa's social and economic vitality and showcase thriving and vibrant communities in Iowa and Poweshiek Counties.

Born in Davenport and raised in Grinnell, she is the 4th generation of her family to live in Poweshiek County. Sarah holds a B.A. in Psychobiology from Luther College. She and her husband, Dustin, have two children: a son, Alex, who is a senior at Grinnell High School and a daughter, Josie, who is a freshman at Grinnell High School. 


Sarah works at Grinnell College in the office of Community Enhancement and Engagement. She leads a portfolio of outreach programs and events that connect campus and community by leading teams to create, plan, promote, and execute original events; as well as develop meaningful materials and programming to excite newcomers and guests about the resources, opportunities, and quality of life in Grinnell.


Prior to joining Grinnell College, Sarah served as the Executive Director at Imagine Grinnell. In that capacity, she directed the organization in securing over $1 million in funding for the organization and projects including a Natural Playscape at Summer Street Park, Grinnell Area Recreational Trail Underpass project, Grinnell Giving Garden, Little Bear Creek Clean Up, Monarch Waystations, Seed Saving Library, Grinnell Community Garden, and the Imagine Grinnell Solar Program. 


She has been a faithful member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, in Grinnell, since childhood and serves on the church leadership board. In addition, Sarah serves on boards for UnityPoint - Grinnell Regional Medical Center and the Grinnell Newburg School Foundation. A former competitive swimmer, Sarah also coaches the Grinnell Newburg girls high school swim team.

Sarah appreciates the joys and benefits of living in rural Iowa and continues to work on making small town living seen as an ideal lifestyle due to its charm, vibrancy, and opportunities.