Biography of Eli Segal

From the Web site of the Peace Corps. 

eli segal speaking into microphoneEli J. Segal was a resourceful entrepreneur and a Democratic political operative who helped run Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and then joined Clinton's White House staff.

Segal's political pedigree extended to the 1968 anti-Vietnam War presidential campaign of Sen. Eugene McCarthy, D-Minn. Through his political friendships, he was invited to have significant roles in a series of Democratic presidential bids, all of them unsuccessful until Clinton's.

The Arkansas governor, a friend from Sen. George McGovern's presidential campaign of 1972, asked Segal to join the effort as chief of staff, which made him responsible for all but the communications side of the campaign.

He conducted hiring and fundraising and outreach to businesses. He was particularly good at helping Clinton win endorsements from corporate chiefs.

Over the years, Segal became chief executive of several companies.

In the Clinton White House, he held the title of assistant to the president. One of his major accomplishments was seeing through the legislation to create the Corporation for National and Community Service, commonly called AmeriCorps. He relied heavily on the experience of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who saw the program as part of the Peace Corps legacy.

Starting in 1993, Segal served three years as the first chief executive of AmeriCorps, which promises young people payment for college in return for community service.

In his second term, Clinton asked Segal to head the Welfare to Work Partnership, a nonprofit group spawned from massive welfare reform legislation. Segal worked to encourage businesses to hire people off welfare. Shortly after stepping down in 2000, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal for service to the nation.

Eli Jay Segal was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., a 1964 history graduate of Brandeis University and a 1967 graduate of the University of Michigan law school.

He died in 2006 of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.