Dr Sarah Leberman was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to women, sport and tertiary education.

Leberman is a Professor of Leadership at Massey University with a particular focus on women in sport and in academia.

She started work at Massey University as a recreation officer in 1991 and helped establish the academic sport management programme in 1992.

Since then she has had various roles including Head of School of Management, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Massey Business School, and Dean Academic for Massey University.


Leberman co-developed the University sector-wide New Zealand Women in Leadership programme in 2006, was chair of the Steering Group Chair and is now an adviser.

She also designed and implemented leadership programmes for girls and women at national and university levels.

Leberman's sporting interests are as co-founder and co-chair of Women in Sport Aotearoa that advocates for women and girls to gain equity of opportunity to participate, compete, and build careers in sport and active recreation.

She was involved in developing the $10 million Government strategy to increase leadership, participation, value and visibility of women and girls in sport.

She has managed the Junior Black Sticks Women and was the stand-in manager for the Black Sticks Women.

Leberman has served on the boards of Volleyball New Zealand, Western Netball, and Hockey Manawatū, and coaches at her club Taekwondo Manawatū.

In 2018 Leberman was Next magazine's Women of the Year in Sport and in 2008 was a Fulbright New Zealand senior scholar.