Sarah Wetmore is Vice President and Research Director of the Civic Federation. She joined the organization in April 2006 and oversees the Civic Federation’s research agenda and efforts, including annual analysis of state and local tax and fiscal policy, budgets, and numerous special projects. She also performs original research with a particular focus on public pensions and property taxes. She served as Acting President of the Civic Federation for the year following the death of longtime President Laurence Msall, working to uphold the organization’s mission and reach while the Federation searched for its next President. Prior to becoming Research Director in December 2011, Ms. Wetmore served as Communications Director for the Federation, managing all media and public relations in addition to directing the redesign of the Federation’s website. Prior to that, she worked as an analyst at a boutique investment consulting firm and at DePaul University.
Ms. Wetmore served as President of the Governmental Research Association—the national group of organizations and individuals professionally engaged in public policy, governmental, and civic research—from 2020 to 2022 and had previously served as Vice President and as a Trustee. As President she led the organization through a strategic planning process, planned two multi-day conferences and worked with the Board of Trustees to keep members connected despite pandemic restrictions on in-person events.
Ms. Wetmore earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago, where she received a Johnson Prize for her thesis and holds a BA from Knox College, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and won the Dean Acheson Prize for Outstanding International Relations Major. She is a dedicated bicycle commuter and White Sox fan and spends as much of her free time as possible weightlifting and training the circus arts of trapeze and corde lisse.