As a philanthropy advisor, Sawako serves a portfolio of donors by supporting their philanthropic goals and deepening their engagement with their community. She also contributes to building SVCF’s capacity as a comprehensive center for philanthropy.
Prior to joining SVCF in 2016, Sawako was the director of philanthropy programs at the Global Philanthropy Forum (GPF) where she was the content curator and primary researcher for GPF’s signature annual conference. In addition to her work with philanthropists in the United States, Sawako has contributed to building strategic relationships with philanthropists, foundation and business leaders to launch the newly formed African Philanthropy Forum. Prior to GPF, Sawako worked at Medic Mobile and the Institute of International Education. She brings a decade of experience in nonprofits, including international work experience in Ethiopia, Thailand, Chile and Japan.
Born in Japan, Sawako holds a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology and mathematics from UC Berkeley. She enjoys practicing yoga and swimming, trying new restaurants and spending time with her family in California and Michigan.