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Smith College Activist-in-Residence

Sara K. Gould

Sara K. Gould is a recognized thought leader, trusted expert, and frequent speaker in the areas of social justice philanthropy, organizational effectiveness, public policy and advocacy, as well as a longtime organizer for women's economic empowerment. She is currently the Activist-in-Residence at Smith College for 2014.

Gould spent nearly 25 years at the Ms. Foundation for Women, serving as president and CEO from 2004 to 2010. Early in her tenure at the Foundation, she spearheaded the creation of the Collaborative Fund for Women's Economic Development, a pioneering initiative in the field of microenterprise that leveraged more than $12 million to support organizations assisting low-income women to create their own jobs, while engaging funding partners and grantees in a learning and evaluation process.

Sara Gould

As the Foundation's president, Ms. Gould expanded its grantmaking directed at organizations that created meaningful connections - across issues, movements, constituencies, and geographies - to engage more women and men in working for sustainable change in both public policy and the broader culture. She also established the Katrina Women's Response Fund immediately after the levees broke in New Orleans in 2005, which granted nearly $3 million in Louisiana and Mississippi to organizations building the leadership of women of color and low-income women to impact the recovery and rebuilding process.

In 2011-12, Gould was the Atlantic Philanthropies Senior Fellow at the Foundation Center where she advised the Center on its work with global women's funds, led a study of progressive public foundations in the US, and researched and promoted activities to elevate the profile of social justice philanthropy. She also authored Diminishing Dollars: The Impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis on the Field of Social Justice Philanthropy.

Gould then served from April, 2012 - January 2014 as the associate director of Caring Across Generations, a national campaign (led by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Jobs with Justice) to bring about change in the long-term home care system in the US, for the benefit of both people receiving care and the workers who provide it. The campaign advocates for direct care workers, immigrant rights, the affordability of care, and related state policy initiatives. Gould is also an executive and organizational coach in the non-profit arena, focusing on organizational change processes and on building capacity through developing leaders and teams.

Gould holds a Master's degree in city and regional planning from Harvard University and a Bachelor's degree in political science from Grand Valley State University. She has received the Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award from the Women's Funding Network and the Women Who Make a Difference Award from the National Council for research on Women. She currently serves on the boards of the National Immigration Law Center and the Proteus Fund, and recently served on the board of the Center for Community Change and the Steering Committee of The Opportunity Agenda.

Gould's residency is made possible by the planning effort for a Gloria Steinem Program for Social Change at Smith College.

For more resources on Sara Gould see:

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 © 2011 Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 Page last updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015