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Scholarship America welcomed Lauren Segal as its President & CEO in April 2010. She announced her retirement in September 2015.
Ms. Segal came to Scholarship America with 30 years of nonprofit sector experience, most notably as president and chief executive officer of Greater Twin Cities (Minnesota) United Way, the second largest organization of its kind in the country.
Since joining Scholarship America, Ms. Segal has successfully led the board and staff in a long-range strategic planning process that resulted in a plan that articulates measurable impact and expands the organization’s mission to helping students complete their degrees with more manageable debt. In addition, she has led Scholarship America’s efforts to launch the Dream Award, a national scholarship program that attracted the support of former news anchor and talk show host, Katie Couric, who donated sales of her recent book, The Best Advice I Ever Got, to this new national program.
Ms. Segal has led her team in securing and deepening relationships with national funders, launched major technology upgrade initiatives and a new strategic marketing function, and defined a vision for the modernization of Scholarship America’s flagship program, Dollars for Scholars. In 2013, Scholarship America acquired ACT’s Scholarship Resource Services division, expanding the reach of SMS, Scholarship America’s social enterprise for managing scholarships, growing revenue and increasing the number of students assisted each year. In 2014, Scholarship America awarded $228 million in scholarships to 108,000 students.
As CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way, Ms. Segal became known as a collaborative and transformational leader with great focus. Under her leadership, Greater Twin Cities United Way redefined its business model from a broad-based funder of nonprofit agencies to an organization driven by a specific set of priorities aimed at creating measurable impact for people in poverty in the Twin Cities region. She also implemented United Way’s role as a convener and leader working with other organizations, across sectors, to solve large-scale community problems like hunger and disaster relief.
Ms. Segal received a Bachelor of Science in business management from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has served on a variety of nonprofit boards, including the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation, The Itasca Project and the Governor’s Ending Long Term Homelessness Advisory Council. She currently serves on the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors, the Board of Directors for Can Do Canines and on the University of Minnesota Autoimmune Arthritis Center Committee. She has received numerous awards, including The Business Journal’s “25 Women to Watch” in 2004. In 2014, Ms. Segal was honored by the George Family Foundation as part of the inaugural Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders event.
Scholarship America’s Dream Award is a renewable scholarship fund targeted toward completion. These annually-increasing awards will be given to students selected from across the nation who are entering their second year of education beyond high school.
In 2014, more than 125,000 students received over $236 million in scholarship support and assistance from Scholarship America – a record-breaking year for the nation's largest provider of private scholarships.
Visit our 2014 annual report to learn more about our successes, our students and our future.
Scholarship America's blog, Success By Degrees, covers items of interest to parents, volunteers, educators and anyone interested in the big issues surrounding education, financial aid and postsecondary success. You'll find policy announcements, news releases and more, every week!