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Alan Khazei

Alan Khazei, Co-Founder of City Year and Founder of Be the Change Inc.

Alan Khazei has pioneered ways to empower citizens to make a difference. In 1987, as a young graduate from Harvard Law School, he co-founded a nonprofit organization called City Year with his friend, Michael Brown. City Year unites young adults ages 17-24 from all backgrounds for an intensive year of full-time community service mentoring, tutoring and educating children. It served as the model and inspiration for President Clinton’s AmeriCorps program and now operates in 20 U.S. cities and Johannesburg and London.  

In June 2003, when AmeriCorps faced a drastic funding cut, Alan joined with other service leaders to organize the “Save AmeriCorps” coalition, an effort that led to an increase of $100 million. Inspired by the success of that campaign, in 2007, Alan launched Be the Change Inc., a nonprofit that creates national issue-based campaigns. In 2009, ServiceNation, the first campaign to be launched from this platform, played a key role in the enactment of the bi-partisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.   
Alan Khazei was a candidate in the 2009 Senate special election primary in Massachusetts. He was endorsed by news outlets, including the Boston Globe, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Cape Cod Times and the Blue Mass Group, as well as by public leaders. Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter described Khazei as being the only candidate “carrying forward his reform ideas on the most important domestic issue of the 21st century” in a column headlined “Khazei: Teddy’s Rightful Heir.”

Alan has served on nonprofit boards and received numerous awards, including the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Jefferson Award for Public Service and the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur Award. In 2006, US News and World Report named him one of America's “25 Best Leaders.”  

He authored "Big Citizenship: How Pragmatic Idealism Can Bring Out The Best In America."
Alan lives in Brookline with his wife, Vanessa Kirsch, and their two children.