Sarah (Birman) Leighton, National Director of Training and Client Services

person with dog

Sarah (Birman) Leighton received her bachelor’s degree in neurobiology and animal behavior from Cornell University. Sarah first started working with Canine Companions in 2010 as a member of the training staff, training approximately 100 assistance dogs in her time as an instructor. From 2014-2016, Sarah was Canine Companions’ primary trainer involved with the VA Study on the placement of service dogs with veterans with PTSD. Sarah’s years of experience implementing Canine Companions’ mission first-hand, both at the Northwest training center in California and the Northeast training center in New York, have given her a deep appreciation for the power of the human-canine partnership. In her current position, Sarah oversees the professional training, applicant, graduate, and program staffing departments. She works closely alongside both national and regional program staff to continue to lead the industry in the quality of training, instruction and support we provide to our constituents.