Sonali Nijhawan, a 2001 graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, has joined the Biden administration as director of AmeriCorps state and national initiatives.
AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteering and service, is poised for extraordinary progress with calls for investment in national service programming at every level, amid growing recognition that service is an effective strategy to help address challenges ranging from climate change to COVID-19 recovery, said Jenny Mauk, AmeriCorps chief of staff.
Nijhawan has committed her career to developing leaders and growing national service. Most recently, she developed and served as the executive director of Stockton Service Corps, a six-year, $12-million initiative to address local needs through AmeriCorps.
Her professional background also includes extensive experience in education, beginning as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Chicago. Inspired by the students, families and AmeriCorps community she met, she then went on to help found City Year Sacramento and launch the organization's 22nd site with 50 new AmeriCorps members. Nijhawan also served as the California director of Education Pioneers where she recruited, placed, and supported managers in urban school systems and education nonprofits, empowering people to challenge the status quo of our public education system.
Nijhawan received a bachelor’s in education and psychology from Marquette University and a master’s in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.