Shirley Sagawa is a visiting fellow with the Center for American Progress, where she is a leading expert on national service policy. She is also the co-founder of sagawa/jospin, a consulting firm that provides strategic counsel to nonprofits. She was called “a founding mother” of the modern service movement in Steve Waldman’s book The Bill, and in 2009, received the Lifetime of Service Award from AmeriCorps Alums.
Sagawa served as a presidential appointee in both the first Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration, and led the Obama transition for the Corporation for National and Community Service. As special assistant to President Clinton for domestic policy, Sagawa drafted the legislation that created AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service. After Senate confirmation as the Corporation’s first managing director, she helped lead the development of the new agency and its programs. She also served as deputy chief of staff to First Lady Hillary Clinton.
Sagawa was the founding executive director of the Learning First Alliance, a partnership of national education associations. She has served as the chief counsel for youth policy for the Senate Labor Committee and as senior counsel to the National Women’s Law Center. She serves on numerous nonprofit boards.
She is the coauthor of the recent award-winning book The Charismatic Organization: Eight Ways to Grow a Nonprofit That Builds Buzz, Delights Donors, and Energizes Employees (Jossey-Bass, 2008) and coauthor of 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.