Sarah Smith Lunsford
Associate Director, MEL
Dr. Sarah Smith Lunsford has strong background in health systems and PEPFAR programming, with expertise in HRH, qualitative and mixed-methods research, and evaluation. With more than 8 years’ experience managing complex projects and evaluations in low- and middle-income countries for USAID and 16 years in qualitative research and evaluation, she has led numerous program evaluations and policy assessments, including as EnCompass’ Senior Advisor and lead as a subcontractor on the URC-led, $150 million USAID Healthcare Improvement Project (HCI) and its follow-on, the $185 million Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST). In these roles, she managed overall workload and staffing for evaluations conducted under vehicles, sometimes overseeing 10 concurrent research or evaluation activities at any given time. She also supported quality research and evaluation efforts on such areas as institutionalization, adaptation of QI methods for community level services, scale and spread of QI in the context of quality improvement activities.
In addition, Dr. Lunsford currently leads EnCompass’ effort on an ex-post $3M evaluation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) investments in Rwanda’s Human Resources for Health (HRH) Program. She also chairs EnCompass’ Institutional Review Board, providing leadership, training, and change management to EnCompass staff and ensuring ethical practices in the organization’s evaluation and research work. She is also instrumental in advancing EnCompass’ global health portfolio through strategic planning and business development activities.
Dr. Lunsford holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Queensland, Australia; an MA in International Relations and Spanish from the University of St Andrews, Scotland; and an MPH from Tulane University.