Learning Officer - Policy and Communications
“What constantly inspires me about rural places is the undaunted spirit of so many people with whom you are arm-in-arm. But we shouldn’t always have to be so resourceful. Systems need to be pushed and changed to include rural.”
Sarah Pytalski returned to Oregon’s Umpqua Valley in 2020 from rural community development, communications and policy roles across the country, including nationally for the National Congress of American Indians and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and regionally in Montana, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota for the Northern Plains Initiative.
Sarah joined the Foundation in the newly-created position of Learning Officer, focusing on rural research and policy, strategic communications and learning. “My work involves a lot of listening, learning, analysis and storytelling,” she said. “Working alongside rural and tribal grantees and partners, we can impact the systems that affect everyday lives.”
Building on her deep affinity for rural places, Sarah tapped the resources of Oregon State University, one of only two rural policy graduate programs in the country, earning the Master of Public Policy degree. Her learning also included her time as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and undergraduate work in international development at McGill University.
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