Former Chief Executive Officer, AmeriCorps
Co-Founder and Trustee, Bowe-Stewart Foundation
Chicago & Baltimore
Barbara Stewart served as the Presidentially-appointed, Senate confirmed Chief Executive Officer of AmeriCorps from 2018 through 2021. AmeriCorps, the $1.1 billion federal agency for service and volunteerism, provides resources to more than 2,000 organizations that host nearly 300,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Senior volunteers. AmeriCorps invests in community organizations that work to increase graduation rates, connect veterans to jobs, help seniors live independently and rebuild communities after natural disasters.
During her tenure at AmeriCorps, Barbara and her team addressed many of the agency’s long-standing operational challenges, consolidated the agency’s state office structure (from 46 to 8) and restructured the agency’s service delivery model in order to position AmeriCorps for future growth. She also rebranded the agency (previously known as the Corporation for National & Community Service) to raise awareness of service opportunities. These initiatives helped position AmeriCorps for a significant expansion in early 2021.
Prior to leading AmeriCorps, Barbara held leadership roles in the private sector, including more than a decade as a SVP at JPMorgan Chase. Barbara has extensive bipartisan experience working with elected officials at the federal, state and local levels. Early in her career, she served in policy and management roles for an Illinois Governor and two Lt. Governors.
Barbara and her husband Peter Bowe co-founded the Bowe-Stewart Foundation in 2012 with a focus on closing the opportunity gap for urban residents in Baltimore and Chicago. The Foundation provides strategic guidance and financial support to organizations that help individuals improve their lives through education, training and work experience.
Barbara earned a B.A. and M.B.A from Northwestern University, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Knox College. She has served on numerous non-profit Boards, and helped found a charter school in Chicago. She currently serves on the National Advisory Boards of Service Year Alliance and The Policy Circle, as a member of the University of Chicago Graham School Advisory Council and as a Trustee of the American Battlefield Trust and the Civic Federation of Chicago. Barbara is 1991 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and a member the Economic Club of Chicago.