Philanthropy Northwest

Build. Connect. Inspire.

Dawn Chirwa

Senior Advisor, The Giving Practice

As a senior advisor, Dawn focuses on a wide range of strategic advisory work including strategy development and refreshing, business model development, sustainability planning, strategic human capital development and supportive facilitation work. Some of Dawn’s recent engagements with The Giving Practice include:  strategic planning for the Blue Shield of California Foundation, Headwaters Health Foundation for Western Montana, Foundation for Tacoma Schools, and Heritage Bank, reflective grantmaking practice support for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, civil rights and equity work for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, evaluating a regional professional development curriculum and training for the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, supporting leadership succession at The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Hilltop Artists, and team building for the Schultz Family Foundation.

She brings over 20 years of expertise across the policy, corporate and philanthropic sectors. Prior to joining The Giving Practice, Dawn was chief of staff in the U.S. Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she helped develop education strategies and led critical implementation initiatives. Dawn also served as chief of staff to Goldman Sachs’ president and COO and helped build a Goldman Sachs capital markets public policy group.  Dawn spent five years in the Clinton White House as an associate counsel, where she was responsible for a wide range of legal issues spanning civil rights, general public policy and regulatory matters. Dawn has also worked as an attorney advisor in the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Advisor, and began her career in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter.

Dawn received her J.D. from Stanford Law School and her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin. She moved to the Pacific Northwest to be able to put her skills to work making a positive impact in the lives of vulnerable people and communities, and she’s loved every minute of her time here, rain or shine.