Mobile apps and services are reshaping economic development. Although they’ll affect everyone, they will have the most profound impact on the people and communities that need the biggest productivity boost—those in developing economies.

Sarah Cairns-Smith
Senior Advisor

Before becoming a senior advisor to Boston Consulting Group, Sarah Cairns-Smith was on the leadership team of Boston Consulting Group’s Health Care practice and the Americas leadership team of the firm’s People & Organization practice. 

Sarah joined BCG in 1996. She spearheads BCG’s development efforts around the world, and leads its Scientist Network—a group of more than 350 life scientists working at BCG.

She has focused primarily on innovation-related topics for a variety of clients, including foundations, biopharmaceutical companies, and government agencies. Sarah has worked on strategies to accelerate new-product discovery, development, and introduction; and has consulted with organizations that address important world health-and-development priorities. Her work has covered a broad array of issues: in health, across many diseases and in areas such as diagnostics, family health, and nutrition; and in economic development, in areas such as sanitation, agriculture, and financial services, including mobile and big data approaches.

Before joining BCG, Sarah worked as a research scientist at Columbia University and as an investment manager in biotech venture capital with Schroders. Sarah is the Board Chair of Amyloidosis Research Consortium and a member of the Board of Directors of Engender Health.


  • PhD, biochemistry, University of London, Imperial Cancer Research Fund
  • MBA, Beta Gamma Sigma, Columbia Business School
  • BS, University of London