Sara Miller McCune is the founder and chair emeritus of SAGE Publishing. Guided by an entrepreneurial spirit and an unwavering dedication to academia, the then-24-year-old Sara founded SAGE in 1965 to start a company that would allow scholars to disseminate quality research in their own voices and break new ground in emerging fields of study. Today, Ms. McCune also serves as a director of SAGE Publications Ltd (London, founded in 1971) and Corwin, a SAGE company and leading publisher for educational administrators and teachers. SAGE set up subsidiaries in India in 1981, Singapore in 2006, Melbourne in 2015, and Toronto in 2018. While Ms. McCune remains actively involved in the company’s ongoing expansion and development, in keeping with a longstanding plan, in 2021 she transferred her voting shares and control of the company to an independent trust. The move ensures SAGE’s independence and will ultimately see a number of higher education institutions become SAGE’s beneficial owners.
Reflecting her longstanding interest in philanthropy, especially in promoting social, educational, economic, and environmental justice, Ms. McCune is founder and president of the McCune Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Ventura County, California, where SAGE’s home office is located. The foundation supports productive change through building social capital in two counties on California’s Central Coast.
In 2012, Ms. McCune received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Queens College (CUNY), for her visionary work as publisher, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. In 2014, she was awarded an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University and an honorary doctorate from Bath University and in 2016, Ms. McCune received honorary degrees from California State University Channel Islands and Sussex University. Ms. McCune is also an Honorary Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford. Additionally, she is an honorary alumna of University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), as well as a recipient of their highest honor, the Santa Barbara Medal.
In 2018, Ms. McCune was awarded the coveted London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 50+ years working within the publishing industry. The award is a testament to her tireless support of social science research, her unwavering commitment to the global dissemination of knowledge, and her passionate belief that education is fundamental for the formation of healthy societies. In 2018 she was selected for membership in the prestigious American Philosophical Society (founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin), and in April of 2019, she received the Venky Narayanamurti Entrepreneurial Leadership Award from UCSB's College of Engineering.
An active supporter of the behavioral and social sciences, McCune serves on the New-York based Social Science Research Council’s Board of Directors and is a past chair of their Visiting Committee. Previously, she was a long-serving member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and is a board member emerita of Stanford’s CASBS center.