Erin Sweeney has dedicated her life to social justice through public and nonprofit service. Inspired by her mother's fight against towers in her rural NJ hometown and encouraged by both her parents and older sister to always serve others, Erin's commitment to community began young. By the end of high school, she had led dozens of community efforts, earned her Silver and Gold Awards in Girl Scouts, served as a Page for the U.S. House of Representatives, and was appointed to her hometown's Environmental Commission. Her proudest high school accomplishment was co-founding Harvest House, a community lunch program in Sussex that today, 17 years later, still serves lunch to 40-60 individuals, five days a week. That process first introduced Erin to the intricacies and impact of the nonprofit sector, a sector she has loved ever since.
Currently, Erin is the Executive Director of Schools That Can Newark, the local branch of a national organization dedicated to expanding quality urban education through collaboration and real-world learning. Previously, Erin served as Director for Strategic Initiatives at St. Benedict's Prep; she continues as a mentor to many students and alumni. Additionally, Erin serves in many volunteer roles in Newark, including co-Service Unit Manager for the Newark Girl Scouts, Leader for Cadette Girl Scout Troop 20134 (Chancellor Ave.), Vice Chair and Governance Committee Chair for GlassRoots, Chairwoman of the High School Marching Band Competition in the Newark St. Patrick's Day Parade, volunteer at WBGO, Executive Committee Member for the Harvard Club of NJ, and member of the NJ New Leaders Council Advisory Board to name a few. Erin is currently a Prudential Foundation Nonprofit Executive Leader Fellow and completed fellowships with Emerge NJ and Leadership Newark.
Previously, Erin served as a Foreign Service Officer and Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow for the U.S. Department of State, serving in Nigeria, Bolivia, Germany, Tanzania, New York, and Washington. In 2009, she received the Secretary of State Award from Hillary Clinton, recognizing her community work oversees with victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and others. #omggala17