Sarah L. Smith has over 15 years of experience in government, project management and advancement for secondary, tertiary institutions and philanthropic entities. As the Founder and Director of Mokoism Inc in New York City, she has produced events and symposia in collaboration with the likes of the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Gates Foundation, the New Zealand Olympic Committee, the United Nations, CUNY Graduate Center and the Smithsonian Institution. Connected to her native Aotearoa New Zealand she has forged educational partnerships with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History and the Sundance Institute also launching several initiatives including the International Center for Language Revitalization, the first gala dinner and retail pop-up store in New York, national film releases and art exhibits devoted to providing a global platform for indigenous peoples of the Pacific.
Sarah received a BA in Political Science and Women’s Studies graduating with honors from CUNY’s Hunter College, a first for her tribe. Of Māori heritage she has ancestry to Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Rehia, Ngā Puhi and Te Aupōuri. She represented New Zealand’s national karate team at the Women’s World Cup in Fukuoka and medalled at the Oceania Championships in 1993-1994 before settling in New York City where she now lives with her husband Robert and their three children.