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Shirley Sagawa
Shirley Sagawa is the author of the recent book, The American Way to Change: How National Service and Volunteers are Transforming America (Jossey-Bass 2010). She is co-founder of sagawa/jospin, a consulting firm that has provided strategic counsel to nonprofits and foundations since 2001. Sagawa also serves as a visiting fellow with the Center for American Progress, where she is a leading expert on national service policy.

Sagawa served as a presidential appointee in both the first Bush and Clinton Administrations, and led the Obama Transition for the Corporation for National and Community Service. As Special Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy, she drafted the legislation that created AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service and served on the Advisory Committee on Head Start. After Senate-confirmation as the Corporation’s first managing director, she led the development of the new agency and its programs. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Sagawa co-authored the award-winning books The Charismatic Organization: Eight Ways to Grow a Nonprofit that Builds Buzz, Delights Donors, and Energizes Employees (Jossey-Bass, 2008) and Common Interest, Common Good: Creating Value through Business and Social Sector Partnerships (Harvard Business School Press, 2000).

Sagawa is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, holds an MSc Degree from the London School of Economics, and graduated magna cum laude from Smith College.

Entries by Shirley Sagawa

Service Year at Home or Abroad

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 1:59 PM

Every year, a quarter of a million U.S. students leave the comfort of their colleges to study abroad. As a new semester begins, most students are likely to go to one of five countries -- the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy or China -- to learn at a foreign university...

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Philanthropy for a New Age: Predictions From the 1999 White House Conference

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 5:50 PM

Fifteen years ago this week, philanthropists and other leaders gathered in the White House -- and thousands more watched at sites across the country -- to explore the future of charitable giving in the new Millennium. This first ever White House Conference on Philanthropy, organized by then-First Lady...

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Do Good While Gifting: Shopping for Social Justice

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 3:39 PM

Last year I met Julie Schlosser, the co-founder of Altruette at my neighbor's house party where her jewelry was for sale alongside my most recent book. I loved her gold and silver charms, each tied to a nonprofit that receives a percent of the sale proceeds....

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National Service 2.0

(7) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 9:00 AM

We've got the perfect storm. And the perfect opportunity.

A generation of young adults is entering the job market at a time...

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All Together Now? AmeriCorps and the Thousand Points of Light

(4) Comments | Posted March 29, 2011 | 3:08 PM

If you watched "All Together Now," Monday's televised "Celebration of Service" tribute to President George H.W. Bush, the founding force behind the Points of Light Foundation, it was hard not to be inspired by the stories of volunteers and the fact that all four living former Presidents were...

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What George Will Got Right About Teach for America -- and What He Got Wrong

(5) Comments | Posted March 14, 2011 | 3:07 PM

I found myself in rare agreement with George Will when I read his column lauding Teach For America and lamenting the lapse of the organization's earmark. Over the last two decades, Teach For America has become an engine for bringing talent to struggling public schools, and...

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Why Conservatives Should Love AmeriCorps, Not Kill It

(21) Comments | Posted February 14, 2011 | 11:14 AM

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers' (R-KY) proposal to eliminate funding for AmeriCorps is no surprise, but wrongheaded -- even for conservatives.

Despite the bipartisan majorities that created AmeriCorps in 1993, saved it a decade later when it was last at serious risk, and enacted...

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A Civic Marshall Plan for a Grad Nation: A Role for Volunteers?

(1) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 5:45 PM

It's a scandal that in America today so many young people leave high school never to return and that about half of these kids are concentrated in a small fraction of public high schools. So I was thrilled to see that a report just released by

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Give Thanks All Year by Volunteering

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2010 | 8:15 PM

With hunger in America at disturbingly high levels, chances are your community is having a food drive this month, or you've thought about volunteering at a soup kitchen in the spirit of the holiday season. In many communities, however, getting that choice Thanksgiving Day serving slot may require having booked...

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Celebrate Veterans Day With Civilian Service

(1) Comments | Posted November 10, 2010 | 1:06 PM

Veterans Day, of course, commemorates the World War I armistice that occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th year with a day to honor veterans of all wars through "appropriate ceremonies." Unfortunately, for many students and workers, it's just a day off. However,...

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Summer in November -- Can a Summer of Service Battle Summer Slide?

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2010 | 4:13 PM

As the days get shorter and the last of the leaves fall, summer seems far away. But this week, hundreds of experts and educators are meeting in Indianapolis at the National Conference on Summer Learning to talk about what happens to too many kids over the summer --...

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Could the School Science Fair Offer a Model to Repair our Democracy?

(10) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 5:23 PM

As an antidote to the vitriol of the election, I have been imagining what our democracy could be if we baked civic skills into our K-12 curriculum -- if every student learned tools and tactics for working together to solve problems big and small in their own communities. Might that...

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Cities of Service Takes off

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2010 | 1:13 PM

You might have missed it, but September has been a big month for the service movement, with ten new mayors unveiling city service plans to local fanfare and ten additional mayors appointing Chief Service Officers, bringing the national total of "CSOs" to 21.

When I wrote the "

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