Sarah E. Fandell serves as Vice President and General Counsel of DFC. In this capacity, she serves as the chief legal officer and a member of DFC’s executive management team. She is responsible for providing authoritative legal advice and representing the agency on a diverse portfolio of issues while leading the team of attorneys in DFC’s Office of the General Counsel.
Before DFC, Ms. Fandell served as the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s General Counsel since 2018, with a brief stint as the agency’s Acting Director. In these roles, Ms. Fandell provided legal guidance to management on broad issues related to the mission, strategic direction, and effectiveness of the agency.
Ms. Fandell previously served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), where she also served as a member of the executive team and oversaw the Office of General Counsel, including operation of the MCC’s ethics program and anti-fraud and corruption program.
Prior to joining the MCC, Ms. Fandell briefly served as Strategic Advisor in the Inter-American Development Bank’s Office of Institutional Integrity, and she was the General Counsel of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC)—the Inter-American Development Bank Group’s entity focused on development through the private sector via debt, equity, and technical assistance—for 13 years. As chief legal officer for the IIC, she was responsible for advising on all legal matters relating to the IIC, including extensive support related to its corporate governance. She also took leadership roles in promoting secured transactions reform, the availability of innovative finance to SMEs, and the IIC’s initiatives related to corporate governance improvements for its clients, knowledge products, and the financing of women entrepreneurs, among others.
Ms. Fandell joined the IIC in 2001 from Baker & McKenzie’s Chicago office, where she primarily represented U.S.-based clients with respect to their investments and projects throughout Latin America. In the 1990s, she worked as an adviser to the Government of Costa Rica, coordinating negotiations involving foreign investment in natural resources, and as a high school teacher in Honduras.
Ms. Fandell is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and holds a B.A. in History with honors in Humanities from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.