founder and executive director
Sarah Evans is the founder and executive director of Well Aware, an Austin-based nonprofit that funds and implements clean water systems for impoverished communities in Africa. Well Aware is known for its sustainability model in building lasting water systems with high impact. Evans is also principal of Aurora Global, a worldwide for-profit business that advises NGOs on water efforts. Evans’ vision is to enable prosperity in impoverished communities by providing access to lasting clean water.
Evans’ vision is to identify the great potential that already exists in struggling communities and to enable prosperity thereby providing access to lasting clean water. Evans has frequent speaking commitments on the success of this approach, as well as on nonprofit administration, creative fundraising, social media and global water issues. Recent speaking engagements have included the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference, Texas World Cultures Conference, U.S. Embassy Islamabad Young Entrepreneurs, panelist for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Conference, panelist for the Austin Woman Anniversary Celebration, panelist for the Africa Business Expo, Populate Wall Street, various National Charity League events, and the New York Times Women in the World events.
Evans has worked to change the way water aid is managed in Kenya. She has built a team of staff and volunteers, in Austin and beyond, who implement projects that are realistic and lasting through strategic partnerships, true community involvement and empowerment, hygiene and sanitation education, and impact measurement. Evans’ model positions Well Aware and Aurora partner communities to thrive, and every dollar invested is at least quadrupled in productivity.
Under her leadership, Well Aware has impacted more than 140,000 people, and is on track to more than double their impact in 2017. The organization’s reputation for project success (100%) and cost effectiveness (averaging $10 per person for decades) has also prompted numerous collaborations with other NGO’s worldwide to guide their water infrastructure projects through Aurora Global.
Evans spent the first years of her life in rural Australia before moving to a small town in east Texas. Her awareness of—and compassion for—the diverse world around her began to take shape at an early age.
After graduating with honors from the University of Texas at Austin with a communications degree, she attended law school at Southern Methodist University, where she focused on environmental law. Awarded an externship with the Environmental Protection Agency's water department, Evans also became president of the SMU Environmental Law Society and served as chief editor of the law school's news periodical.
After positions in lobbying and securities law with respected Texas-based firms, Evans began to pursue her own philanthropic and environmental interests by focusing on the evolving water crisis in Africa. She founded Well Aware as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide sustainable, life-saving water as a catalyst for lasting community and economic development. She is now also the founder and principal of Aurora Global, whose mission is helping other organizations improve, enhance and evaluate their water system and water infrastructure projects and processes.
Evans is a leader in her community, having served on the board of the Austin Cosmopolitan Rotary Club and invited to the Austin Fundraising Professionals organization. She was chosen to take part in the highly selective Entrepreneurs Organization Ignite Program. She was chosen at Toyota’s 2017 Mother of Invention, has twice been a finalist in the Austin Under 40 awards, was chosen as a 2016 Austin Business Journal Profiles in Power Finalist, and she is a contributing author for MariaShriver.com, Wandering Educator, The Austin Business Journal and Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling.