About the Director, Sarah L. Smith:
Based in New York City New Zealand born Sarah Smith has over fifteen years' experience in government relations, advancement for secondary-tertiary education and managing philanthropic events. Since 2011 her New York based company has produced several public events including the first New Zealand gala benefit dinner in New York City in 2017 and the first retail/art pop-up shop in 2015. Other events and projects include non-profit fundraisers, campaigns, symposia, official ceremonies, launches, conferences, art exhibition openings and film screenings.
Sarah has project managed events in collaboration with the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the New Zealand Olympic Committee, the United Nations, CUNY Graduate Center and the Smithsonian Institution's New York and DC locations. Through relationship building she has forged New Zealand educational programs with the likes of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution and the Sundance Institute.
Prior to MokoISM Inc Sarah spent 10 years in New York's multilateral and bilateral government arena where she developed a robust understanding of managing Ministerial visits and project-management of national and global brands including a the 2011 Rugby World Cup (RWC) alongside the New Zealand Embassy, Saatchi & Saatchi, AUT University, Play Rugby USA, and USA Rugby.
Sarah is one of the original volunteer organizers for the Matariki Festival NY facilitating annual programming since 2008.
Sarah is of Māori heritage with ancestry to Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Rehia, Ngā Puhi and Te Aupōuri. Currently writing a Master's thesis on Māori Development she has a double major degree in Political Science and Women's Studies graduating with honors from CUNY's Hunter College, a first for her tribe. She grew up in South Auckland and represented New Zealand's national karate team competing at the Women's World Cup in Fukuoka and medalling at the Oceania Championships in 1993-1994. She lives between New York City and New Zealand with her husband and three young children.
About the background image: the Southern Cross appearing above Times Square - a modified version of the original kindly provided by Planet Three Sixty