Sara Beckman

Jacobs Executive Committee

Senior Lecturer and Earl F. Cheit Faculty Fellow, Haas School of Business

Sara Beckman has spent her years as a boundary spanner at UC Berkeley, where she has held faculty appointments in both the Haas School of Business and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She served as Chief Learning Officer for the newly formed Jacobs Institute of Design Innovation and co-created a multi-disciplinary Certificate in Design Innovation. She created new courses such as Collaborative Innovation which integrated Art Practice, Theater and Dance Performance Studies and Business perspectives on both collaboration and innovation as well as courses on Systems Thinking.
Beckman’s research focuses on the pedagogy of teaching design and on the role of diversity on design and innovation teams for which she developed a Teaming with Diversity curriculum that has been used in classes in engineering, biological sciences, humanities and business courses at UC Berkeley as well at other college and high schools. She has published case studies on design for sustainability, design roadmapping, leveraging design approaches in sales processes and alternative governance processes for tackling homelessness.

Beckman directs the Product Management Program for the Berkeley Center for Executive Education, serving over 350 product managers from around the world each year and works with a wide variety of companies teaching and helping them implement design and innovation practices. In her time at UC Berkeley, she has received three Distinguished Teaching Awards at Haas, the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2018 the Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award for Senior Faculty.

Before joining UC Berkeley, Beckman worked in the Operations Management Services group at Booz, Allen & Hamilton and ran the Change Management Team at Hewlett-Packard. She received BS, MS and PhD degrees in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management and an MS in Statistics from Stanford University.