Wajda recognized in Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s '40 Under 40' list

September 4, 2019

Sara Wajda

Sara Wajda

Sara Wajda, MPA, assistant director of development on the advancement team at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been named to the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s (AHP) 2019 ’40 Under 40′ list.

The 40 Under 40 program recognizes future leaders within the health care philanthropy community who are shaping the future of the health care development industry. Collectively, they are changing the world — one campaign at a time.

“These honorees are part of a select group of health care philanthropy agents who have demonstrated impressive career achievements, deep community involvement and the potential to be a leader in our profession for years to come,” said Alice Ayres, president and CEO of AHP.

Wajda joined the Gillings School’s advancement team in July 2019. In that role, she develops relationships with alumni and friends to build the pipeline for future supporters of the School.

“I have always been civic service-minded, and I thought: What better way to give back and pay it forward than to promote health research and discovery that could impact future generations?” Wajda said. “Everyone has a personal stake in health care philanthropy. I hope to inspire people to dream big, think outside their norms, and grow to serve our community and society in their own unique way.”

A proven advancement professional — see her full 40 Under 40 profile — Wajda has a long history of working in health care fundraising. Prior to joining the Gillings School, she was director of annual giving for the Duke Cancer Institute and previously served as assistant director of grateful patient engagement for Duke Health.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elon University and a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina State University. Originally from the Washington, D.C., area, she calls North Carolina “home” and lives in Durham with her husband, Scott. She is an active member of The Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties.

“We knew we hit jackpot when hiring Sara, and that fact has been confirmed by colleagues in the fundraising world,” said Matt Cain, MEd, director of development for the Gillings School’s advancement team. “We’re proud that she is a part of our Gillings team.

Wajda will be recognized at the 2019 AHP Annual International Conference, taking place October 23-26 in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the 40 Under 40 program and each of this year’s recipients, visit www.ahp.org/40under40.

AHP is an international professional organization dedicated exclusively to development professionals who encourage charity in health care organizations. AHP’s 4,300 members represent more than 2,200 health care facilities around the world, and they collectively raise more than $11 billion each year for community health services.


Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@unc.edu.

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