Leigh Phillips is the President & CEO of SaverLife, a national nonprofit that helps working families achieve prosperity through savings. Since joining in 2015, Leigh has led SaverLife’s transformation from a local direct service organization to a leading financial technology nonprofit. SaverLife’s flagship program, SaverLife.org, now serves over 170,000 clients across all 50 states. Prior to joining SaverLife, Leigh was the founding Director of the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment, spending over ten years in City Hall. Under Leigh’s leadership, the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment spearheaded several “first in the nation” programs to increase financial inclusion, such as Bank On San Francisco, the first municipally led effort to bank the unbanked and Kindergarten to College, the first universal and automatic college savings program for public school children. On the national level, Leigh was instrumental in the creation of the Nonprofit Leaders in Financial Technology Coalition, of which she is an active member, and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, which advocates for greater financial opportunity and protection for all Americans in cities across the United States.
Kindergarten to College was named a finalist in the Harvard “Innovations in American Government” Awards in June 2015. Leigh received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award in 2008 and was named one of the Bay Area’s “Top Forty Under Forty” in 2013. Leigh’s work has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, the Economist, Time Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and on NPR and CNN.
Leigh currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. She previously served as Chair of the Board of the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) for five years and on the Advisory Board of the start-up Level Money, which was acquired by Capital One.
Leigh is the author of two lifestyle books published by San Francisco’s Chronicle Books. She received both her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Social Sciences and a Masters of Economic and Social Sciences in Women’s Studies from the University of Manchester, in her native United Kingdom.
Founded in 2001, SaverLife (formerly EARN) believes that bringing meaningful change to America’s saving habits is not only possible but necessary. Forty percent of Americans have less than $400 in savings, and a single unexpected expense could profoundly disrupt their lives. The problem only compounds for the millions of people living paycheck to paycheck.
As a purpose-driven nonprofit, SaverLife is uniquely positioned to lead a systemic change. Through our engaging SaverLife platform, we provide prizes, rewards, expert resources, gameplay, and support proven to incentivize saving and spur new behavior. Through our integrated network of employers, financial institutions, nonprofits, and advocacy groups we advance aspirational savings programs, analytic insights, and policy initiatives dedicated to a more equitable Americ