Sara Yousefnejad Gallagher is the Chief Program Officer of the Do Good Institute (DGI). As a campus-wide hub of social innovation and as a center of thought leadership in philanthropy and social change, the DGI is reinventing the college experience by producing future pioneers and entrepreneurial leaders who will address the challenges of the 21st century. DGI and UMD’s Do Good Campus are transforming students’ idealism into extraordinary outcomes through rich learning experiences built on real-world application. In September 2016, UMD announced broad public-private support for the Do Good Initiative. DGI’s innovative programs have been extensively profiled by The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and other major media outlets.
Sara comes to the Do Good Institute from Calvert Impact Capital’s Strategic Initiatives team where she served as the Program Officer for IdEA (the International diaspora Engagement Alliance). Calvert Impact Capital is an impact investing nonprofit that raises capital from investors and uses that capital to finance community development organizations and social enterprises around the world. IdEA is a public/private partnership with the U.S. Department of State and USAID that harnesses the passion and energy of diasporas to contribute to the social and economic development of their countries of heritage. As the Program Officer for IdEA, Sara managed philanthropy, investment, and entrepreneurship initiatives that leveraged the unique strengths and resources of diasporas. She also developed resources for diaspora groups to build their capacity to serve their missions, including trainings and networking opportunities.
Sara is an alumna of the Do Good Institute and the School of Public Policy, where she received her Master of Public Policy specializing in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. While a graduate student at the Institute, Sara served as a WRAG Philanthropy Fellow at Calvert Foundation and at The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. During this period she was also the Chair of the Do Good Challenge, the Institute’s unique philanthropy and entrepreneurship competition that galvanizes UMD students to do good for causes they’re passionate about or to start or advance their own social enterprises. Sara also participated in a variety of other Do Good Institute initiatives including the Global Philanthropy program for which she studied philanthropy and the nonprofit sector in Israel and Jordan.
Prior to her graduate studies, Sara served as the Development Associate at the Arlington Arts Center, where she managed fundraising initiatives and foundation relationships. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies and Middle Eastern Languages from McGill University in Quebec, Canada.