Former President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton Announce National Service Alliance Commitment

September 22, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tara Maller
Franklin Project
The Aspen Institute
202-736-3513 |

 Jessica Borchert
Voices for National Service
575-650-1570 |

 Ben Thrutchley
National Conference on Citizenship
202-674-5121 |

 Tim Smith
202-644-8422 |

 Lucia Anderson Weathers
Lumina Foundation
317-951-5316 | 

                                                                                                                       John Earnhardt
Cisco Systems
  408-527-2180 ½


Former President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton Announce National Service Alliance Commitment Championed by
General Stanley McChrystal and Chelsea Clinton on CGI Main Stage
Leading Companies, Organizations and Philanthropists Commit Over $11MM in Support of Service Year Effort

New York, September 22, 2014 New York, NY  – Today, at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual conference in New York City, the National Service Alliance, joined by former President Bill Clinton and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, announced Service Year, a major commitment to expand national service in America. Building on the 20-year success of AmeriCorps, Service Year is a bold project designed to make a year of service a common expectation and opportunity for all 18-28 year olds.

“If more young people participated in full time service programs like AmeriCorps, it would have a transformative impact on our country,” said Chelsea Clinton. “Through our work with the National Service Alliance, we seek to accomplish just that. We have proven time and again that we are stronger when we work together and by giving more Americans the opportunity to come together in service, we make our nation stronger.”

The announcement called for the creation of major partnerships across every sector of American life to help shape public thinking, expand AmeriCorps and other Service Year opportunities, drive the expectation of a service year in our culture, and build a pathway from service to both higher education and career opportunities. To make this a reality, Cisco announced a $3 million challenge grant through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Lumina Foundation announced a separate $3.2 million grant.

The National Service Alliance, which includes the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), ServiceNation and Voices for National Service, was formed in 2014. Its members believe that developing a generation of Americans dedicated to a full-time year of service is a transformative idea. It is developing 30,000 new national service positions by 2017 and aims to secure 50 higher education institutions and 50 “Employers of National Service” as partners in support of Service Year.

Earlier this month, President Clinton joined President Obama at the White House to mark the twentieth anniversary of AmeriCorps and announce new partnerships to expand AmeriCorps.  The Obama Administration, through the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, has expanded national service opportunities through private sector investments and innovative partnerships including FEMA Corps, School Turnaround AmeriCorps, STEM AmeriCorps and justice AmeriCorps. The Service Year initiative announced today builds on the Administration’s efforts to increase national service opportunities through AmeriCorps and other programs. 

Alliance member NCoC is leading the development of a Service Year exchange (SYx), a technology platform that will certify new Service Year positions, provide a robust search and match function, and enable the ability for organizations and individuals to crowd fund. By 2017, NCoC is working to enroll 10,000 Service Year participants in online credit-granting courses taken through the SYx during their Service Year.

The Cisco $3 million challenge grant is on top of a $2.1 million seed grant to NCoC and is designed to ignite support for the development of the SYx. “To prepare for tomorrow’s workforce, you have to understand the world. People who have worked in some capacity for the good of society will be well equipped to meet challenges, think creatively, and be innovative” said Tae Yoo, Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, “Cisco is proud to help with the development of the Service Year’s technology platform, the Service Year exchange (SYx). We look forward to engaging with other organizations to create a service movement so important to the civic health of our country.”

Lumina Foundation is committing $3.2 million to help build the SYx’s education portal. This portal will translate the skills gained and online courses taken during a Service Year into college credit. Through the SYx, corps members will generate a “Service Year transcript,” assessed by the Center for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), which will award college credit and other credentials.

“We are working to reframe national service as a core component of postsecondary learning and a cost effective pathway,” said Lumina Foundation President & CEO, Jamie Merisotis. “This is a major step forward toward the nation’s goal of ensuring that 60% of Americans have a degree, certificate, or other high quality post-secondary credential by 2025.”

General Stanley McChrystal, Chair of the Leadership Council of the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, called upon leaders of higher education institutions, employers, companies, as well as officials and agencies at the city, state, or federal level to work with members of the National Service Alliance to support the expansion of Service Year opportunities.

“Millennials are problem solvers and they are our nation’s best hope for developing workable solutions to the many challenges facing our communities,” said General Stanley McChrystal. “Every sector in America has a stake in figuring out how they will take part in and support the service movement.”

The Franklin Project is coordinating the National Service Alliance to create a culture of service. Led by General Stanley McChrystal, they have gathered leaders like Sec. Madeleine Albright, Sec. Condoleezza Rice and others in a bipartisan Leadership Council focused on creating this change. They are working on a multi-year employer engagement strategy to ensure that full-time service is part of a credentialed pathway to a fulltime job. This work will build upon the robust partnership announced by President Obama last week at the White House, “Employers of National Service,” a partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps Alums, the Peace Corps, and the Franklin Project. This initiative is enlisting leading employers from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to create recruitment, hiring, and advancement opportunities for individuals who served in AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. The Franklin Project also appreciates the recent support and sponsorship from Christy and John Mack.

Building on more than 20 years of support for national service, philanthropists Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine have committed $1 million to this effort, joined by a $1 million dollar commitment from Josh and Anita Bekenstein. Longtime supporters of Service Year organizations, they are excited about a new future for this movement.

Alliance member ServiceNation is leading the work on a sweeping cultural campaign and is aiming to have 50 television shows integrating the idea of a Service Year into their scripts in partnership with the entertainment industry, digital influencers, and major companies like Comcast and NBC Universal and Airbnb.

“We strongly support the idea of a Service Year,” said Jonathan Lavine. “And, we believe that ServiceNation’s cultural campaign will have a powerful impact on establishing a year of service as a common opportunity and expectation for a new generation that is ready to serve.”

Voices for National Service is working to expand service opportunities through AmeriCorps and reframe national service to build the demand and public will. A significant expansion of service year positions requires increased visibility and an expanded constituency base, and Voices for National Service will test and validate new frames and language that will further a service year’s salience. Voices for National Service will incorporate new 21st century messaging about AmeriCorps and service into a national communications campaign and field trainings, all designed to enhance public understanding and cultivate support.  


Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected.

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025.

The National Service Alliance, which includes the Franklin Project of the Aspen Institute, National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), ServiceNation and Voices for National Service, was formed in 2014. Its members believe that developing a generation of Americans dedicated to a full-time, full year of service is a transformative idea. An idea with the ability to unleash an untapped reservoir of human capital able tackle our nation’s pressing social challenges, unite diverse Americans in common purpose, and cultivate the next generation of leaders.

About The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


View Comments