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Sarah  Backhouse

Sarah Backhouse

Director of Global Communications for Heineken & Entrepreneur

Sarah Backhouse

Director of Global Communications for Heineken & Entrepreneur


Sarah Backhouse is a global communications leader with over 20 years of experience as a broadcast journalist, entrepreneur and executive. She is currently Director of Global Communications at HEINEKEN responsible for the development and execution of the medium and long-term strategy for all external comms, including brand PR, employee engagement, strategic direction to senior management and other HEINEKEN departments, issues and crisis comms, stakeholder engagement, financial comms, talent management and budget management.

Formerly she was Executive Director of Chief Executive 50, Communications 50, Finance 50 and Sustainability 50 at World 50, where she facilitated private communities for CEOs, CFOs, Chief Communications Officers and Chief Sustainability Officers from the world's biggest companies. In this role, she successfully built communities, made critical business connections, created environments for peer to peer learning and convened world class gatherings.
Prior to joining World 50, Sarah was Founder and CEO of Future360, a digital platform with a mission to educate audiences on the game-changing potential of clean technology and sustainable innovation. A former TV host, producer and journalist with 15 years of experience, Sarah has credits on CNBC, BBC, PBS, Fine Living, Discovery Channel, Planet Green and Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality. Sarah has earned recognition as a leading voice on climate and sustainability and is invited to emcee conferences and moderate panel discussions on the topic.

With domain expertise at the nexus of communications and sustainability, Sarah has been entrusted by corporations, government and NGOs to bring energy, insight and international perspective to conferences and events as emcee. An accomplished moderator, her ability to ask incisive questions, improvise in the moment and include the audience, results in expertly guided conversations.

Sarah is the President of the Australian National University Foundation USA and serves on the Board of the Women in Green Forum.  She was honored as one of Asia Pacific’s Leading 50 Women at the 2011 Advance Women’s Leadership Summit, one of Australia Unlimited’s Global 50 in 2013.

She graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Japanese Studies from the Australian National University and Keio University. Sarah was born in the UK, was raised in Australia and Japan, and speaks fluent Japanese.

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As an emcee, Sarah has been entrusted by Fortune 500 companies and leading global organizations to energize and entertain audiences. Sarah brings sophistication and an international perspective to major conferences, from IBM to UN Women. She specializes in events with a focus on business, technology and sustainability.


An accomplished moderator, Sarah is masterful at creating environments that allow guests to shine. Sarah's ability to ask incisive questions, improvise in the moment and include the audience result in expertly guided conversations. Whether moderating a 1:1 interview with Tony Blair or a panel of thought leaders in Davos, Sarah can seamlessly navigate topics from leadership to clean technology.


Sarah has been immersed in the world of sustainability for most of her career: as a TV anchor of Discovery's Planet Green; as the Founder of a cleantech media company; as the leader of a community of Chief Sustainability Officers; and as Director of Global Communications at Heineken. Sarah can speak to why sustainability is an imperative for companies who want to reduce costs, recruit talent, satisfy investors and improve reputation.