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Appalachian State University alumna and social entrepreneur Sarah Freed honored by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Second Annual Influential Leaders Challenge recognizes 30 change makers and business pioneers driving positive change in the communities they serve

By Haley Childers

View larger imageSarah Freed ’09 recognized as a 2016 AACSB Influential leader.

BOONE—Business school graduates are increasingly using their degrees to effect positive social change.

The important contributions of 2009 Appalachian State University graduate Sarah Freed, along with 29 other change makers, have been recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) as part of the 2016 AACSB Influential Leaders Challenge.

Launched in 2015 to honor notable alumni from AACSB-accredited business schools, the AACSB Influential Leaders initiative continues to recognize business school graduates for the positive impact they make on society, and the inspiring example they set for others.

A graduate of Appalachian’s Walker College of Business (WCOB), Freed is an entrepreneurial social responsibility leader with a decade of experience contributing solutions to systemic global sustainability challenges.

“Sarah has an innovative mindset, entrepreneurial spirit, and has made significant social change,” said WCOB Dean Heather Norris. “I am delighted that AACSB has selected her as a 2016 Influential Leader.”

Freed is the co-founder of Obliquity Group, an international consulting firm that provides third party, independent audits and performance benchmarking of corporate social responsibility programs. Freed also recently was named community partnerships manager with Uber, where she will lead the organization’s social responsibility strategy to create authentic, meaningful solutions to key sustainability challenges.

“My work has brought me to more than 25 countries where I’ve experienced firsthand the power that the private sector can have in addressing core issues related to some of the world’s most pressing problems,” said Freed. “I could not be more excited to continue my work with a fast-paced, high growth technology startup.”

Freed earned her master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and her bachelor’s degree – magna cum laude – in accounting and international business from Appalachian. As a student, Freed launched the WCOB’s annual Global Opportunities Conference in 2011. The conference highlights innovative and entrepreneurial ways of addressing global challenges with a goal to inspire students, faculty and the local community to use their knowledge and skills in the business of building a better world.

About AACSB International

As the world’s largest business education network connecting academe with business, AACSB provides business education intelligence, quality assurance and professional development services to more than 1,500 member organizations across 91 countries and territories. Founded in 1916, AACSB Accreditation is the highest standard of quality in business education, with 775 business schools accredited worldwide. AACSB’s global headquarters is located in Tampa, Florida; its Asia Pacific headquarters is located in Singapore; and its Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

About Appalachian’s Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs, and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 2,800 undergraduates in nine majors and nearly 150 graduate students, the Walker College is accredited by AACSB International.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.