Shirley Sagawa

CEO & President, Service Year Alliance & Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Shirley Sagawa is CEO and President of Service Year Alliance. She is best known for her founding role in the creation of AmeriCorps. As co-founder of the innovation consulting firm sagawa/jospin, she provided strategic advice and developed new initiatives for public and private sector clients. She is currently a fellow with the Center for American Progress, an Adjunct Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and author of The American Way to Change, describing how volunteer and national service can be a breakthrough strategy for change. Shirley has served as a presidential appointee in both the first Bush and Clinton Administrations. As Deputy Chief of Staff to First Lady Hillary Clinton, she advised the First Lady on domestic policy and led the planning for White House Conferences on Philanthropy, Partnerships in Philanthropy, and Teenagers. After Senate-confirmation as the Corporation for National and Community Service’s first chief operating and policy officer, she led the development of new service programs for adults and students and directed the Corporation’s strategic planning. She has also managed successful collaborations in the private sector, including the Learning First Alliance, a partnership of national education associations. With advanced degrees in law and public policy, she began her career as the Chief Counsel for Youth Policy for the Senate Labor Committee, specializing in education, children’s, and youth issues, and subsequently served as senior counsel to the National Women’s Law Center, and on many nonprofit boards. Shirley is the author, with Deb Jospin, of The Charismatic Organization, and a previous book, Common Interest, Common Good: Creating Value through Business and Social Sector Partnerships. She has been named a “Woman to Watch in the 21st Century,” by Newsweek magazine, and one of the “Most Influential Working Mothers in America” by Working Mother magazine.