The Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program began at Brandeis University in 2007. It was founded by the friends and family of Eli Segal in order to commemorate his legacy and advance his passion for citizen engagement. Eli Segal graduated in 1964 with a history degree from Brandeis University, and in 1967 from the University of Michigan law school. He was a skilled political strategist, the founding CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and, as President Clinton calls him, “the Father of AmeriCorps.” He created the Welfare to Work Partnership, for which he received the Presidential Citizens Medal. In his honor, the Segal Program seeks to carry on his legacy for inspiring leadership and community networking.
The Eli J. Segal Citizen Service Fellowship supports summer internships for Brandeis undergraduate students and Heller School Master’s in Public Policy students. These students intern at private, nonprofit, and public organizations who are committed to purpose-driven missions. Past Segal host sites include: Center for Progressive Leadership, City Year, Health Care for All, Senator Kennedy's Health Policy Office, Chairman Markey’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Share Our Strength, Teach for America, and Jobs for the Future. In addition to the internship, Fellows remain part of the Segal Network throughout their careers, sharing information and supporting each other.
The Segal Network is a community of leaders dedicated to advancing the causes which were important to Eli Segal. The Network has over 400 members, including Founding Members of the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program, members of Eli’s family, former Segal Fellows at Brandeis, and Segal award recipients at the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps Alums, and City Year. Annual meetings of the Network are held to foster a sense of community and build relationships between members. The goal of these meetings is to advance the efforts of the Network members and extend the impacts of their work into a larger community.
The Segal Network also works to ensure the success of each Fellow by partnering Segal Founders with Fellows. This coaching and mentoring experience aims to ultimately make the experience of being a Segal Fellow a recognized and valued credential – signifying important leadership qualities, significant developmental experiences, and the support of a network of talented people.
The Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program launch included a special lecture in 2007 by former President William Jefferson Clinton to over 5,000 people.