Photo of Sara Hilbrich

Sara Hilbrich

Senior Analyst and Facilitator

While teaching children early in my career, I learned that people are much more likely to support something they have helped create. Ever since, when supporting organizational decision-making processes, I’ve been passionate about involving those who will be affected by the resulting decisions and actions because it yields more robust and sustainable results. I love working collaboratively with colleagues, clients, stakeholders, and the public to continue progress toward ensuring a healthy world for generations to come.

Sara Hilbrich brings to her ERG work over 25 years of experience focused on environmental protection, strategic planning, education, and public engagement. She began her career working for non-governmental organizations as an environmental educator. She then worked for a decade at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water as a policy analyst and attorney advisor. More recently, Sara served as a government contractor specializing in facilitation, communication, and strategic planning, primarily for the U.S Army Corp of Engineers. Sara excels at working collaboratively to untangle and strategize resolution of multi-layered challenges. She also thrives on working with technical expertsespecially scientists, engineers, and attorneysto convey complex information to both internal agency decision-makers and the public in an accessible and accurate manner.

While at EPA, Sara led a rulemaking for the Office of Water’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting program. She also served as a water quality standards liaison, working with states to resolve complex water quality issues, which frequently involved litigation and cutting-edge science and technology. Supporting USACE, Sara facilitated Dam Safety Program and Levee Safety Program teams to develop and implement rigorous hands-on risk communication trainings for their subject experts, including engineers and dam operators. These trainings resulted in the creation and rollout of robust communications plans and actions for dams and levees across the nation, winning multiple agency awards. At ERG, Sara works across several teams, supporting strategic planning efforts for federal and state environmental agencies, including the facilitation of meetings, trainings and workshops. 

Sara holds a B.A. in English literature from the University of California, Davis, and a J.D. from the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco. Outside work, she enjoys mountain biking, swimming, and skiing with her spouse and son. She also loves to teach and engage in partner dancing such as west coast swing and two-step!