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Media Contact: Aly Ferguson, [email protected]
Service Year Alliance Announces Kristen Bennett as CEO, Launches New Strategic Plan and Vision for National Service Under New Leadership
Bennett, an AmeriCorps VISTA alum and formerly Service Year Alliance’s interim co-CEO and Chief Strategy Officer, brings nearly 15 years of national service experience to the organization and commits to a new era focused on equity and post-service success
WASHINGTON, DC (June 29, 2022) – Service Year Alliance announced today that Kristen Bennett has been named CEO. A leader at Service Year Alliance since its founding — most recently as Chief Strategy Officer and interim co-CEO — Kristen brings nearly 15 years of national service experience and an in-depth understanding of the sector to the role as national service launches into a new era. The hiring of Bennett as CEO accompanies the launch of Service Year Alliance’s new strategic plan focused on reimagining the national service field and modernizing and improving the corps member experience, so those who serve are successful during and after their service year.
“As an AmeriCorps VISTA alum — and the first service year alum to lead Service Year Alliance — I have personally seen the life-changing power of service years, not just for the young people who serve, but for our communities and our country as well,” said Kristen Bennett, incoming CEO of Service Year Alliance. “I am honored to continue leading Service Year Alliance in this new role, building upon my strong relationships across the national service sector and continuing to develop new partnerships with leaders across industries who share in my belief that service years transform lives, strengthen communities, and fuel civic renewal in America.”
Bennett: “If we are going to reach our vision of one million people serving each year, the sector must adjust to meet this moment. I am proud to have overseen the creation of our new strategic plan at Service Year Alliance that aims to ensure that every young person in America, no matter their background, race, or zip code, has the opportunity to serve. I am bringing a renewed commitment to equity and post-service success to the work we do across this organization. While Service Year Alliance’s mission remains the same — to make a service year a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans — our work is shifting as we aim to help the national service field adapt and grow as well.”
Bennett takes up the helm as CEO of Service Year Alliance after overseeing the creation of the new strategic direction for the organization. Her vision for a new era of national service prioritizes the experience and outcomes of those who serve and focuses on how to make national service more equitable and accessible for youth of all backgrounds. The organization aims to build pipelines post-service into good-paying jobs in rapidly growing industries — filling a need for employers, communities, and young people alike and laying the groundwork for a future where one million people are serving annually.
“It’s one thing to be passionate about service, but it’s another thing entirely to dedicate your life and career to it — that’s who Kristen is and what she brings to her new role as CEO,” said Gen. (Ret.) Stan McChrystal, Chair of Service Year Alliance. “Her career-long commitment to national service and passion for system-level change will shape the national service field for decades to come. Kristen brings a thoughtful vision for the organization that aims to bring more people into the movement to heal our country through national service, and I am grateful for her leadership that is propelling this organization forward.”
“After an exhaustive leadership search, we are confident that Kristen is the best leader for Service Year Alliance in this new era for national service,” said John Bridgeland, Vice Chairman of Service Year Alliance. “For months, Kristen has led the organization, bringing new partners and leaders to the table around the importance of expanding national service to fuel desperately-needed civic renewal in our country. Her deep knowledge of this sector is what Service Year Alliance needs to reach its vision of making national service part of growing up in America.”
Bennett previously led the development of ServiceYear.org at Service Year Alliance and worked as a Program Officer at California Volunteers, California’s state service commission. Her nonprofit, government, and strategy development experience positioned her well to lead Service Year Alliance through the recent strategic planning and allows for a clear understanding of what the national service field needs to be successful, where the barriers lie, and how we can bring the next generation into national service.
Bennett succeeds Jesse Colvin, who left the organization in November 2021. Read her full bio here.
For more information about Kristen Bennett or to speak with her about her new role and this new era for national service, please contact Aly Ferguson at [email protected]. Learn more about Service Year Alliance’s new strategic direction here.
About Service Year Alliance
Service Year Alliance is working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. We envision a future in which national service is part of growing up in America. As we enter a new era for national service fueled by recent investments in AmeriCorps, we are focused on ensuring these expansions are successful and set the stage for future growth of the field. We identify opportunities for shared recruitment and data systems to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our sector. Finally, we foster collaborative approaches to demonstrate the impact of service years as an experience that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels civic renewal at scale. Learn more about our work at ServiceYearAlliance.org.