The Corps Network Welcomes New Board Members: Kalef Jones, Angela Noah, Jane Oates, Shirley Sagawa

New members include the first Corps alumni to serve on the Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, DC – The Corps Network’s Board of Directors is pleased to welcome four new Board members: Kalef Jones, Deputy Climate Manager, PowerCorpsPHL; Angela Noah, student; Jane Oates, President, Working Nation; and Shirley Sagawa, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress.

The appointment of Kalef Jones and Angela Noah is the first time in The Corps Network’s history that Corps alumni will serve as Board members. Kalef, a 2017 Corpsmember of the Year, served as an AmeriCorps member at PowerCorpsPHL; Angela, a 2016 Corpsmember of the Year, served as an AmeriCorps member at Northwest Youth Corps. The Board of Directors seeks to include former Corpsmembers to serve as a voice for young adults and take an active leadership role in the governance at The Corps Network.

In addition to welcoming new members, The Corps Network’s Board of Directors will see the departure of Lori Johnston, former Chair of the Board, and Julie Williams, former Secretary and Chair of the Board Development Committee. Upon reaching their term limits, the Board thanks them for their commitment and dedication to The Corps Network. Board member Kofi Boone will assume the role of Secretary.

“The Corps Network’s Board of Directors has grown in numbers and talent for 2021 with four additions. Two of The Corps Network’s new leaders are pioneers in national service and charting the course to a stronger, more diverse nation through innovative youth programs,” said Derrick Crandall, Chair of The Corps Network Board of Directors. “Jane Oates contributed to crafting major initiatives as a Senate staffer and then oversaw key efforts as Assistant Secretary of Labor before leading Working Nation, bridging the nation’s educational and workforce communities. Shirley Sagawa was a key architect for AmeriCorps, a senior White House official and former CEO of Service Year Alliance, attracting bipartisan praise. And this year we added two talented young adults, both recognized by The Corps Network as Corpsmembers of the Year. Angela Noah discovered a love of the outdoors in her initial efforts as a trail crew member and grew into leadership roles with the Northwest Youth Corps. She is now a student at the University of Oregon who is proud of her Native American heritage. Kalef Jones brings us insights from his efforts on workforce development programs targeting disconnected youth in his home city of Philadelphia and leads social justice efforts opening doors and providing second chances to the city’s youth.”

“The Corps Network is enriched by the passions, the vision and the experiences of these four wonderful Americans. We are excited about the contributions they will make as Board members and volunteers for the Corps movement at a time of great opportunity for our efforts to aid the nation and tens of thousands of youth and young veterans. We are grateful that these busy individuals are willing to invest time and energy to our expanding and important organization.

“We are excited to welcome Kalef Jones, Angela Noah, Jane Oates, and Shirley Sagawa to our Board of Directors. We look forward to the opportunity to draw from their wisdom and experience for the benefit of The Corps Network and the national Corps community,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network. “We are especially excited to have Corps alumni serving on our Board who will bring a passion for making a difference and championing the voice of youth. We are also so thankful for the time and work that both Lori Johnston and Julie Williams contributed to The Corps Network; we will forever be grateful for their leadership and commitment.”


About the new Board members:

Kalef Jones currently works as the Deputy Climate Manager for the AmeriCorps program PowerCorpsPHL. In this role, Kalef implements culture, enforces discipline, and introduces healthy dynamics that bolster the overall member experience. Previously, Kalef interned in the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office during Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration, and served as a Corpsmember with PowerCorPHL, where he was awarded a 2017 Corpsmember of the Year by The Corps Network. In addition to his past roles and accomplishments, Kalef works closely with numerous workforce development programs for youth. As an advocate for social justice, Kalef plans to create an equal system that works for everyone in the future.

Angela Noah is a first-generation student enrolled at the University of Oregon. She is studying for her degree in Planning, Public Policy, and Non-Profit Management. Prior to her academic journey, Angela served as a Crew Leader and Inclusion Coordinator at Northwest Youth Corps (NYC), a Corps on Kalapuya ancestral lands in Eugene, OR. She was awarded a Corpsmember of the Year in 2016 by The Corps Network. While serving with NYC, Angela was instrumental in launching the Corps’ first Native American youth and young adult conservation program, Tribal Stewards. As the Tribal Stewards Inclusion Coordinator, Angela built tribal partnerships in the Northwest and presented in a plethora of conferences across the country supporting Native American youth. Currently, Angela is designing curriculum surrounding cultural perspectives in the court system, with regional trainings for Native youth. Angela also serves as a Northwest representative with the Office of Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Program (OJDPP).

Jane Oates is the President of WorkingNation, a non-profit media entity that tells the stories of solutions bridging the education and workforce worlds. Prior to joining WorkingNation, Jane worked at the Apollo Education Group, managing Corporate Social Responsibility, where she linked universities with employers through thought leadership events. Jane also served as the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training at the US Department of Labor (DOL) under Secretary Hilda Solis. In this position, Jane managed a $14 billion budget and a career staff of 1,100. Alongside her colleagues at the Department of Education, she created the Trade Adjustment Assistant Community College grant program with a one-time appropriation of $2 billion. Because of her work, Jane was recognized as a national leader in education and workforce programs during her ten years with Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the US Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP). She received her Bachelor of Arts from Boston College and her Master of Education in reading from Arcadia University.

Shirley Sagawa is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Previously, Shirley served as the CEO of Service Year Alliance, and was instrumental in the establishment of AmeriCorps. Over the last three decades, Shirley has developed innovative social and education policy, authored groundbreaking reports, and advised national organizations and foundations on strategy. In a partnership with Sagawa/Jospin, she played strategic roles in the creation of America Forward, Cities of Service, Service Year Exchange, and the Presidio Institute Fellows Program. In addition to those roles, she served as First Lady Hillary Clinton’s policy assistant and deputy chief of staff. She also served as the first vice chair of the Commission on National and Community Service for President George H.W. Bush, authorized under the National and Community Service Act of 1990. Shirley is the author of three books, including The American Way to Change and The Charismatic Organization. She holds degrees from Harvard Law School, London School of Economics, and Smith College.

About The Corps Network’s Governance:

The Corps Network is governed by a Board of Directors and the Corps Council. The Board of Directors is comprised of professionals with expertise relevant to the Corps community. Board members are invited to join after being recommended by the Board Development Committee and voted upon by the Board. Positions on the Board last for three years, upon which time Board members may be invited to serve a second term. Information on members of The Corps Network’s Board of Directors can be found here.

The Corps Council, comprised of leadership and senior employees from The Corps Network’s membership of 130+ Corps, serves as the voice of member programs. At any given time, up to one-third of the Board of Directors’ membership is comprised of representatives from the Corps Council. Members of the Council act as key advisors to the Board of Directors and The Corps Network.


The Corps Network

The Corps Network, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, provides leadership and support to over 130 Corps across the United States. Through advocacy, and providing Corps access to funding opportunities and expert guidance, The Corps Network annually enables 25,000 Corpsmembers to strengthen communities, improve the environment and transform their lives through service. To learn more about The Corps Network, please visit


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