Stefanie Sanford

Chief of Global Policy and External Relations and president of the College Board Foundation

Stefanie leads Global Policy and External Relations for the College Board. She is also president of the College Board Foundation, working with policymakers and building partnerships to measurably advance educational access and opportunity for all students.  

Prior to joining College Board, Stefanie spent over 10 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, beginning as the first education advocacy program officer and rising to director of U.S. program advocacy, leading strategy and grantmaking in domestic K–12 and higher education policy and advocacy.  

Before joining the Gates Foundation, she served in Republican and Democratic administrations in Texas, holding roles advising the governor, lt. governor, speaker of the House, and attorney general, covering a broad set of issues including criminal justice, juvenile justice, and technology policy. At the federal level, she was selected to be a White House Fellow and served in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs. 

Stefanie has written and spoken extensively on education and technology topics and been a fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Aspen Institute. She is the author of the book Civic Life in the Information Age and serves on a number of boards including the Thomas B. Fordham Institute; the Institute for Citizens & Scholars; Planet Word—the museum of language; and is vice chair of America’s Promise Alliance. 

A fourth-generation Texan, she holds a BS from Texas Christian University, an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.