Sara Payne Scarbro is a proud daughter of Marshall University. While at Marshall, she studied journalism with a concentration in public relations and political science. Early in her professional career, Sara worked campaigns and served as Director of Communications and Special Projects for a statewide executive committee. She has served in both the state and federal government, working for two governors and one U.S. Senator. In 2010, Sara left her post as the Governor’s Communications Director to manage a statewide senatorial race. She would later serve U.S. Senator Manchin as his Deputy State Director and Senior Advisor.
As Associate VP for External Engagement for the Marshall University Research Corporation, Sara builds partnerships and connections with community, business, educational and governmental leaders. Sara also serves as the Operations Council Chair for the Alliance for the Economic Development of Southern WV, an education collaborative of 10 public higher education institutions in southern WV. She appreciates higher education institutions’ economic impact and wants to help them grow well in the future. She is the lead planner of West Virginia’s annual Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference, which connects hundreds of West Virginians to real WV success stories and networking opportunities.
Sara’s public service and dedication in public relations have been acknowledged by others. She received PRSA West Virginia’s 2010 Public Relations Practitioner of the Year award and in 2013, Sara was named one of 40 under 40 statewide leaders by the State Journal.
She was a past president of PRSA West Virginia Chapter and she currently serves on the board of PRSA East Central District.
She serves on the board of the My Huntington Committee; the Huntington Advisory Council for the American Foundation for the Blind; the Community Relations Council of the Charleston Job Corps; the Hardhats and Heroes Committee for the Junior League of Huntington; and, Marshall University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications Alumni Advisory Board. She is married to her college sweetheart, Derek Scarbro, and they have dynamic, four year old daughter named Willa. They reside in Huntington.