Sonal Shah

Sonal Shah heads the White House Domestic Policy Council’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.  She also served on President Obama’s Transition Board overseeing the Technology, Innovation, Government Reform working group.

Before joining the White House, Ms. Shah managed and implemented two of Google.org’s global development initiatives.  The first initiative focused on increasing transparency and openness in East Africa and India.  The second initiative focused on fostering and growing small and medium sized enterprises worldwide, including creating an investment fund, developing new innovative models for gathering credit information, and investing in prizes and challenges.
Prior to Google, Ms. Shah was Vice President at Goldman Sachs, Inc., where she developed and implemented the firm’s environmental strategy.  Her responsibilities included: developing world-wide implementation plans; determining potential green business opportunities (e.g. alternative energy investments); working with Goldman Sachs research to incorporate environmental, social, and governance criteria in company reviews; and training bankers on assessing environmental, social, and governance criteria for all investments.

Ms. Shah also co-founded a non-profit, Indicorps, which offers fellowships for Indian-Americans to work on development projects in India.  Prior to that, she worked at the Center for American Progress, working on trade, outsourcing and post conflict issues.  She also developed and managed policy and advocacy programs for the Center for Global Development.  From 1995-2002, Ms. Shah was an economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she was the Director for African Nations, worked on the Asian Financial Crisis and post conflict development in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Ms. Shah received her MA in Economics from Duke University and BA in Economics from the University of Chicago.  She is an Aspen Crown Fellow and a Next Generation Fellow.