Sara Minkara riding a bicycle


A renowned public speaker, Sara’s unique perspective, highly personal story, and remarkably warm presentation style have engaged audiences around the world, from the United Nations to TEDx. Comfortable, accessible, and captivating, she tailors presentations to her audiences to explore topics like how to access the authentic self, framing empowering personal narratives, and inclusive leadership and entrepreneurship. Sara speaks to groups in private enterprise, academia and government to provide keynote addresses, interactive lectures, workshops, and more. 

Sara is always thrilled to connect with new audiences. To discuss what she can bring to your event, []. 
Sara Minkara is an internationally recognized champion for disability inclusion, leadership, individual empowerment and social enterprise. Dynamic and memorable, Sara speaks to diverse audiences around the world and facilitates transformative, interactive workshops that employ adaptive approaches to social and workplace challenges.

Sara proudly features her own remarkable journey in all her work. A Muslim, first-generation American woman, she lost her sight at the age of seven—and has pioneered a truly empowered life. As an undergraduate and dedicated to promoting inclusion as a value and guiding others on their own journeys, Sara founded a nonprofit organization, Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), through a Clinton Global Initiative grant. More than a decade later, ETI and the programs Sara designed are still active in the MENA region, providing social and life skills development for refugees and other children with disabilities. Sara is part of the Board of Directors for ETI and continues to create new programs and opportunities for the children and families it serves.
Sara Minkara smiling with the sunset behind her.
Today, Sara is a featured speaker with the State Department’s U.S. Speaker Program, and she has presented numerous times at the United Nations on issues of disability inclusion and advocacy. She is a facilitator with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education program, and an advisor to numerous academic, government, and policy groups on issues related to disability inclusion, adaptive leadership and social entrepreneurship. She has been recognized for her many contributions through appointments and awards, including Forbes 30 Under 30, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology IDEAS Global Challenge, and the Vital Voices “100 Women Using Their Power to Empower” program.

A graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard Kennedy School, Sara current resides in Hingham, Massachusetts. In her free time, Sara is known for her adventurous side, which has led her to hike a volcano in Nicaragua, bike through a Bali jungle, and snorkel with sharks in Belize.

When people first meet me, they may initially notice that I am a woman. Or perhaps they will first see my blindness, or realize that I am Muslim. But the way others see me does not define me. I am all of those things, and more. Like Walt Whitman said, we all contain multitudes.

Yet most people form their initial impressions of someone new within the first seconds of meeting—and those first impressions are hard to disrupt, frequently becoming biases (however unconscious) rooted in “isms.”

Racism. Sexism. Ableism. Ageism. The list goes on.

But we all have the power to reject those assumptions and instead intentionally open our minds to consider one another more fully, as multidimensional human beings. When we succeed, a whole new world of opportunity and connection is born.

That transformation is at the heart of my life’s work, personally and professionally. Raised by parents who never wanted assumptions about my value and abilities to constrain me, I grew up fully empowered to define myself and understand that nothing is predetermined. With their love and support—soon followed by that of teachers, friends, and collaborated—I have never felt limited, and I have never been limited.

That empowerment has been crucial as I’ve faced numerous challenges, from losing my sight at age seven to a bone marrow transplant just after graduate school. I learned to shift my perspective while living my values—and, every day, I seek out ways to support others in their own journeys.

My strongest passion is people. I love meeting new friends, and I learn from every person I meet. Throughout my education at Wellesley and Harvard, and my travels as a speaker with the U.S. State Department and at the U.N., I have had the great fortune to witness an incredible range of experiences and perspectives, which strength my deep belief in the uniquely vital contributions each of us can make when we bring our authentic selves forward.

Together, we can create positive change for our communities and ourselves. I look forward to taking this journey with you.

Sara Minkara
A painted portrait of Sara Minkara

Sara speaking with 2 other people for a podcast
  • Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), Founder and Board of Directors Member
  • Global Forum for Freedom and Justice Advisory Council, Member
  • Harvard Kennedy School, Executive Education Program Facilitator
  • Her Abilities Awards, Judge
  • Light for the World Her Abilities, Global Award for Women with Disabilities, Juror
  • Seeing With Sara, Host
  • U.S. State Department Speakers’ Program, Featured Speaker

  • 43rd St. Galen Symposium Leader of Tomorrow (2013)

  • Ashoka Impact Transfer Fellow (2018)

Contact Sara Minkara at