Leadership Blog

PAEA Promotes Sara Fletcher to Chief Executive Officer

Sara Fletcher, PhD, PAEA Chief Executive Officer

The PAEA Board of Directors announced today that it has made the unanimous decision to appoint Sara Fletcher, PhD, as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. This decision comes following a rigorous, months-long executive planning process. Sara’s extensive background in educational leadership, prior medical education experience, and transformational work on behalf of the Association made her the ideal candidate to lead PAEA into its next phase of growth. 

“The PAEA Board is thrilled to announce Dr. Fletcher’s hiring,” said PAEA President Kara Caruthers, MSPAS, PA-C. “Her combination of management skills and insights into education is rare to find in a single individual, and her dedication to the Association is evident in her willingness to lead during times of transition. Her inclusive leadership style, her ideas and vision for growth, and partnership with the Board, sets the stage as we enter the next 50 years of the Association.”

Sara brings to this new role a long tenure with the Association and a wealth of experience in educational leadership. She served as interim CEO first in 2019 and again in 2022, where she demonstrated an acute understanding of the forces shaping higher education and opportunities for PAEA to lead PA educators through changes in the medical education landscape.

In 2021, Sara was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, where she developed organizational structures, processes, and resources to advance PAEA’s vision, mission, and strategic plan. She has also served as the Association’s Vice President and Chief Learning Officer since 2014, overseeing faculty development, curriculum, and assessment offerings, and championing PAEA’s work on outcomes-based education. In this role, Sara led PAEA’s digital transformation, creating a more seamless online experience, increasing member engagement, and better connecting members with the Association’s robust catalogue of professional development offerings.

Before joining the Association in 2014, Sara’s career was spent in education, serving as a public school teacher, school administrator, and director of medical education at Wake Forest School of Medicine before earning her doctorate in educational leadership. In her own words, she is “honored to take on this new role. This is a pivotal time for both the Association and our members, and I am committed to continuing PAEA’s work to anticipate and meet the emerging needs of PA programs and the PA profession.”