Deb Jospin, J80

Tisch College has recently partnered with the Tufts Lawyer’s Association (TLA) to recognize the many Tufts alumni who have gone on to distinguished careers that combine legal practice and active citizenship. Over the coming year, Tisch College and TLA will be collecting the stories of Tufts alumni who are citizen lawyers and creating an online portfolio demonstrating the breadth of service among Tufts lawyer community.

Deborah (Deb) Jospin, J80, is partner and co-founder of sagawa/jospin, a Washington, D.C. based consulting group for nonprofits, corporations, and foundations.

What makes this alumna a Citizen Lawyer? After working for four years in a private law practice, Jospin joined the Corporation for National Service, the federal agency that oversees the AmeriCorps program, first as associate general counsel and then as chief of staff. In 1997, she was appointed director of AmeriCorps by President Clinton, a position she held until 2001. Jospin continues to actively support AmeriCorps members by serving as co-chair of Friends of AmeriCorps Alums and as a board member of ServeNext. She is also a founding member of the Washington, D.C. local advisory council of Sports4Kids, a national AmeriCorps program.

Jospin is the chair of the Tisch College Board of Advocates and a university trustee. She established the Dutko Fellowship program at Tufts, through which a select number of Tufts graduates interested in public policy management get their critical "first job" in Washington, D.C. working in politics, media, or for a nonprofit organization.

As deputy team leader for the agency review team working with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Jospin says she has “the opportunity to help shape the future of national and community service.”

How did Tufts impact her journey to become a Citizen Lawyer? Jospin built a foundation at Tufts, which prepared her for a lifelong journey of learning and helping others. As one of a small number of students from the South, she worked to dispel many of the negative stereotypes and bring the modern South alive in a freshman exploration entitled “From Grits to Government, a Southern Perspective.” She participated in the Ex College with Robyn Gittleman, who, Jospin stated, “gave us the space and support we needed to be smart, to be creative, and to be leaders.” Jospin’s courses and faculty mentors—including Sol Gittleman and Pearl Robinson—encouraged her to challenge herself and to work hard to promote change in urban communities.

While at Tufts, Jospin played varsity tennis and was a long distance runner. She earned her M.Sc. in Public Policy from the London School of Economics in 1983 and went on to earn a law degree from Georgetown University in 1989. When Tufts created the University College of Citizenship and Public Service in 1999 (since renamed the Tisch College), Jospin became a founding member of its national advisory board, which she now chairs.

Do you know someone who should be recognized as a Tufts Citizen Lawyer? Learn more!

Return to list of alumni profiles