United Way of San Diego County‘s board of directors has selected Nancy Sasaki as the new president and CEO of the 98-year-old nonprofit.
Sasaki has a strong track record of working with diverse local communities and building sustainable solutions through collaboration and strategic partnerships. Most recently, she served as the executive director of Alliance Healthcare Foundation, advancing the health and wellness of people in San Diego and Imperial Counties through innovative and effective grantmaking and community partnerships. To United Way, Sasaki brings solid relationships with philanthropic leaders and decisionmakers countywide, as well as her acumen in strategic planning, team leadership and culture building, and fundraising for social causes.
“After an extensive nationwide search to find the best candidate to serve the community, Nancy stood out on top of the 260 candidates we received,” said Richard Pattenaude, Ph.D., chair of United Way of San Diego County’s board of directors. “Nancy brings exceptional and deep nonprofit leadership experience to United Way, as we continue to disrupt cycles of poverty and develop long-term solutions for local children and families. She also brings great knowledge of the San Diego community, which is a fantastic asset to United Way.”
Sasaki will further United Way’s and its partners’ work to ensure all children and their families get the resources and opportunities they need to reach key education milestones, including being ready to enter kindergarten, reading at grade level by third grade, being prepared for high school and graduating on time. With her at the helm, United Way will continue to drive powerful regional partnerships around effective practices to make measurable, significant change in the education and success of children from cradle to career.
“I am a huge advocate of and have worked throughout my career in collaborative community work for the underserved – in fact, it is what I love to do the most,” said Sasaki. “I bring this passion and experience with me to United Way so that every child – regardless of zip code or family income – is prepared to succeed in school and in life.”
Sasaki serves on the board of San Diego Grantmakers, has worked alongside the local refugee community to implement major grants and is a founding member of the San Diego Impact Investors Network, which brings capital to solve the region’s most pressing challenges using evidence-based practices. Prior to leading Alliance Healthcare Foundation, Sasaki served as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles, and has served in various high-level positions for the women’s health organization in California, Hawaii and Texas.
Her many associations with United Way include as the chair of Funders Together to End Homelessness – San Diego, board member for the Regional Task Force on the Homeless San Diego and member of the United Way Health Vision Council.
Sasaki’s role with United Way brings her back to her educational roots, as she earned her bachelor’s in education (biology and health) with a teaching certificate and a master’s in education for community health from the University of Texas at Austin.