Sara Gast

A professional head shot of Sara Gast, taken outside with a blurred background of greenery. She is smiling and wearing a black jacket.

Sara Gast

Deputy Executive Director, Carnegie Classifications

Sara Gast is the deputy executive director for the Carnegie Classifications, supporting the redesign and development of the Basic and Social & Economic classifications. She joined ACE in May 2022, and prior to that served as the chief of staff and executive director of strategic communications at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, a K-12 nonprofit that works to ensure every student is taught by an effective educator.

Prior to joining NIET, Sara worked at the Tennessee Department of Education and served as the director of communications for Commissioner Candice McQueen under Governor Bill Haslam. In that position, she led a variety of public-facing initiatives as well as served as the primary spokesperson for the agency, which handled more than 1,000 media requests each year.

Before returning to Tennessee, Sara worked for Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the U.S. Department of Education. During her time at ED, she helped to oversee a number of rollouts and key policy announcements from the Obama White House, including new regulations on for-profit colleges, additional programs and policies to make college more affordable, and key preK-12 reform efforts.

Sara graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in English and sociology.