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Sasha Abrams, General Counsel, Secretary & CCO, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Sasha Abrams, General Counsel, Secretary & CCO, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

February 8, 2021

Tell us how you got into the “mission-driven” world and what you love about the work? I’ve been passionate about public service since I was in high school where I was energized by the prospect of making my public school a better place for all students. During college I worked in a jail literacy program and after college I was a case worker for an own-recognizance program. Even when I worked for a large firm, I picked a practice area – public finance – where I could keep my connection to the public sector. Being of service to individuals and communities is what gives me the most personal and professional satisfaction and joy.

What are your thoughts on leading, mentoring, and collaborating with your team? The pandemic and other events in 2020 presented an amazing opportunity to rise to the challenge of being a team leader. Managing remotely has been a growth opportunity for me, and I’m so proud of my legal team. I think the most important things leaders can do right now is be flexible and caring, create meaningful and clear priorities for the team, and communicate often but without adding to people’s online fatigue.

What have you found to be the most challenging personally and professionally since the start of the pandemic? I have three young children (ages 8, 6 and 2) and dealing with the school and daycare closures has been challenging both personally and professionally. If you could see our house! I feel extremely fortunate to be working for an organization that has fully supported me and my family during this difficult time.

What advice and tips could you offer for those passionate about joining a mission-driven company? My best advice is to not shy away from setting a bold ambition and telling people who may be able to help you about your goal. Earlier in my career I set my sights on the role of general counsel at a major foundation. It took a few years to get the job, but the path started when I set the goal and told my boss about my hopes.