Sarah Speare, Executive Director

One of my sons bought Zoe Weil’s book, Most Good, Least Harm. As he talked about it I became more and more curious. So I read the book, and it struck a chord deep inside me. I went on IHE’s website to learn more and it was there that I saw the opening for the executive director position. It felt meant to be.

I believe so strongly in the Institute for Humane Education’s approach to creating social change through education – inspiring people to become solutionaries and the important connection between human rights, animal protection, and environmental preservation.

I have tried to live a meaningful life and have devoted most of my life to helping others to grow, learn, thrive and be more positive and open-minded. I come from a strong lineage of pioneers in education and social change – between my two grandmothers and a great grandfather they started two progressive schools and one university, broke barriers for women’s rights, stood up for Jews in Germany before the war broke out, provided creative and emotional outlets for women in prisons, preserved and protected acres of woods in upstate New York, and started programs for inner city youth that still thrive today.

I look forward to helping to grow IHE’s programs and to deepen its reach and impact. Learners of all ages are seeking the tools to effect change and to make a difference in their lives, communities and the world – and that is what we offer at IHE. I am where I want to be – where raising awareness about and involving more people in IHE’s programs and resources can result in a better world for all.


Sarah Speare has leadership experience as a non-profit executive, entrepreneur and designer for social change. Most recently, she was a consultant to the non-profit Art At Work/Terra Moto in Portland, Maine, that uses strategic arts projects for social justice in municipal governments, and was an advisor to Project M in Belfast, Maine, that engages designers and creative thinkers to address global issues at the local level. From 1999 to 2009 she was the co-founder and president of Chomp Inc., a consumer foods company that was sold in 2009. Previous to that, she served as the first director of the Portland Arts and Cultural Alliance (PACA), and from 1985 to 1995 was the executive director of the Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD).

Sarah has also been a community design consultant to non-profits throughout New England and has served on the boards of Spiral Arts, Maine Arts, Architalx and currently serves on the board of AIGA/Maine. A graduate of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, with a certificate in Arts Management from Radcliffe College, she has been honored with a Fellow Award from the SEGD and won an Innovation Award from the Center for Design and Business in Rhode Island.

Sarah lives in Falmouth, Maine, with her husband Michael and a very social Boxer, Hazel. They have two sons, Nicholas and Emmett, both documentary filmmakers. She sings, does Kundalini yoga, has an eye for whimsy in nature that she captures in photos, and delights in her vegan kitchen.

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