In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we’re pleased to share a season-bridging bonus episode with special guest Michael Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps, the federal agency for service and volunteering. Mr. Smith was nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate in 2021. He previously served in both the Obama Foundation and the Obama Administration.
This bonus episode explores the role of AmeriCorps as the federal government’s anchor institution ensuring that King National Day of Service is a “day on,” not a “day off."
The conversation also examines the role of AmeriCorps as a partnership between the federal government and the nonprofit sector for advancing public service, civic engagement, and social justice.
We explore how AmeriCorps (formerly known as the Corporation for National and Community Service) is a major investment in the public service workforce – both in the social sector and in government itself.
And Mr. Smith shares current efforts to advance equity across AmeriCorps, and improve the living stipend and education award available to AmeriCorps members.
Resources from this Episode:
AmeriCorps Website: AmeriCorps.gov
AmeriCorps on Twitter: @AmeriCorps
MLK Day of Service Information: AmeriCorps.gov/MLKDay
Find Volunteer Opportunities: AmeriCorps.gov/serve/volunteer
Find Open Funding Opportunities: AmeriCorps.gov/partner/funding-opportunities
AmeriCorps’ Equity Action Plan: AmeriCorps.gov/about/agency-overview/equity-action-plan
Michael D. Smith Bio
Michael D. Smith is the eighth CEO of AmeriCorps, the federal agency dedicated to improving lives, strengthening communities, and fostering civic engagement through service and volunteering. He was nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the United States Senate in 2021. CEO Smith has dedicated his career to social justice and public service focused on reducing barriers and expanding opportunity for underserved children and communities.
CEO Smith has led the agency to increase its focus on: investing in what works; uniting individuals through service; and centering diversity, equity and inclusion in the agency’s investment and recruitment strategy.
Before taking the helm of AmeriCorps, CEO Smith served as executive director of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and director of Youth Opportunity Programs at the Obama Foundation. He also served in the Obama White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Cabinet affairs, overseeing the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and interagency task force. My Brother’s Keeper led to new federal policy initiatives and grant programs; tens of thousands of new mentors; more than 250 MBK communities; and, more than $1 billion in private sector and philanthropic investments.
CEO Smith previously served at AmeriCorps, as director of the Social Innovation Fund, and spent many years as a philanthropic leader, most recently serving as senior vice president of Social Innovation at the Case Foundation.
CEO Smith is a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity and a member of Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Alumni Hall of Fame, the highest honor bestowed by the organization.