From her previous gigs at Goldman Sachs and Google.org, Sonal Shah is no stranger to helping deep-pocketed organizations tackle environmental and social issues. Now, as director of the new White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, she is in charge of a $50 million fund to boost the efforts of the country's most cutting-edge nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. "Instead of creating new top-down programs, we want to partner and build upon the innovative ways people are already solving problems across the country," she says. Among her goals: fostering an environment where creative solutions can flourish. Shah, a former Treasury Department official, says her new office will be anything but bureaucratic: "We want to help incentivize great innovation."
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