The Segal Program Moves Its Operations to IERE in Summer 2022

June 09, 2022

Students outside the Heller School building entranceProfessor Susan P. Curnan, director of the Center for Youth and Communities (CYC); Dr. Maria Madison, incoming interim dean of the Heller School; and Dr. Lisa Lynch, incoming director of the Institute for Economic and Racial Equity (IERE), are pleased to announce that IERE will be the new home of the Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program, beginning this summer. The Segal Program was established in 2007 to honor and extend the work and legacy of the late Eli Segal ’64 and his wife Phyllis, with a mission to foster the next generation of citizen leaders. It is a constantly expanding intergenerational constellation of leaders working across all sectors, who give each other lifelong support as they devise solutions to society’s most intractable problems.

This repositioning of the Segal Program comes after 14 years of its stewardship and growth at the CYC. Curnan shares, “It has been a great honor to nurture and grow the Segal Program at our Brandeis Center. The leadership is strong, the Fellows are amazing, the governance and infrastructure is solid, the network is thriving, and we continue to expand the top notch programming we offer. As we thought about Fellow interests and our own succession plans at the Center, we could not think of any better place to move to than IERE.”

This shift reflects the Segal Program’s expanded focus on racial justice and antiracism work with its Segal Fellows and its intentional growth in the Fellows it serves. Over the past decade, the Segal Program has focused on recruiting, supporting, and fostering belonging among more Fellows from marginalized communities, including a focus on recruiting and retaining BIMPOC Fellows. Since 2010, the community of Black, Indigenous, Multiracial, and People of Color (BIMPOC) Segal Fellows has grown from 30% to 57%. Over the past two years, the Segal Program has worked to better center antiracism in its programming for Fellows, kicking off an ongoing Racial Justice and Antiracism Learning Community and Fellow-led affinity spaces and beginning to revamp its citizen leadership curriculum.

“We are thrilled that IERE has been selected as the new home of the Segal Program and honored to be chosen as the keeper of the program’s mission to inspire, support, and enable the next generation of citizen leaders. It has been my great pleasure to work with a number of Segal Fellows who evidence the incredible impact of the program,” says current IERE Director Maria Madison. “The Segal Program has flourished under Susie Flug-Silva’s leadership, and everyone at IERE is excited to see the amazing things we will achieve together in this next chapter.” 

As noted on the IERE website, “Working at the intersections of academia, policy, and practice, IERE and our partners work with diverse communities to transform structures, policies, and narratives. Grounded in a social justice tradition, our research informs strategic action for racial and economic justice to achieve an inclusive, equitable society.” The Segal Program works to support leaders and impact across sectors and issue areas, including foci on racial and economic equity.

Celebrating the change, Segal Program Director Susie Flug-Silva shares: “This move to IERE allows us to deepen our focus on and commitment to racial justice and economic equity even further and to leverage the strengths of the Institute with and for our 148 lifelong Fellows and 500+ Segal Network partners and with the IERE community. Fellows and staff have been inspired by learning from and connecting with Dr. Madison around antiracism work at our Fellow Retreats and through Heller’s Equity, Inclusion and Diversity programming over the past four years, and I’m thrilled to work with Dr. Madison, in her current and future role, Professor Lynch, a longtime champion of the Segal Program, and the IERE team as we continue to grow and strengthen the program.”

The shift keeps the Segal Program grounded within its original home-base at Heller and Brandeis, a location picked with love and care by the Segal family and initial Program Founders. The program has found synergy and power within the Heller School, with its motto of “knowledge advancing social justice,” while also remaining a university-wide program that focuses on both MPP and undergraduate students, and a nation-wide program for national service alumni from across the country.

Professor Curnan will continue to serve on the leadership team to help guide the Segal Program during this upcoming transition year. Professor Lisa Lynch, Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy, incoming director of IERE, and a board member of the Segal Program, will help guide the further development of the Segal Program in its new home.

Learn more about the Segal Program at