Archana Sahgal '99 is a former Obama White House official and CMC alumna. She works at the intersection of politics and movement building to create social change. Sahgal’s network has helped her navigate the opportunities and challenges along the way.
Sahgal has spent two decades designing and executing strategies for achieving policy reform and social change within the philanthropic, nonprofit, and public sectors. She served in the Obama White House as senior associate director for public engagement where she led stakeholder engagement with organized labor and progressive advocates around President Obama's policy priorities. She also served at the U.S. Department of Commerce as director of advisory committees and industry outreach where she oversaw the President's Export Council, President's Advisory Committee on Doing Business in Africa, U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and over a dozen other advisory committees. Most recently she served as senior advisor at the Democracy Alliance, one of the country’s largest drivers of activist progressive philanthropy where she led the investment strategy to protect democratic norms and principles in this new political era.
Sahgal also worked with other foundations and philanthropic efforts across the country including The San Francisco Foundation, Rosenberg Foundation, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Proteus Fund, The Progressive Era Project, and George Soros' Open Society Foundations directing over $15 million in resources to push for immigration reform. Sahgal also built The Civic Engagement Fund, the first ever fund supporting Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities. Her work has also been profiled in the New York Times, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, and WNYC. She served on the board of directors of the Korematsu Institute, Californians for Justice, and South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT).
Sahgal received her B.A. from Claremont McKenna College (’99) and J.D. from University of California Davis School of Law. She is a member of the State Bar of California.
Ms. Sahgal's talk is co-sponsored by Women's Leadership Alliance, Kravis Leadership Institute, Berger Institute, and Robert Day Scholars and is part of the "Behind the Veil: Women, Race, Leadership, and Social Change in the Nonprofit Sector” (“BTV”) speaker series. BTV explores leadership models and perspectives by harnessing the power of first-person narrative and storytelling by nonprofit CEOs on the front lines of social change. To register for the Women and Leadership Workshop, including the lunch keynote, please visit the online registration page