Scott Birnbaum is a Project Finance attorney at a major law firm in New York City who dedicates his time out of the office to building and leading the Young Leadership Committee of Seeds of Peace. The Young Leadership Committee (YLC) is an international network of young professionals dedicated to supporting Seeds of Peace in its work to identify the brightest teenagers from the Middle East and South Asia that have demonstrated leadership potential. These teens are invited to attend the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine, where for the first time they live, play sports, and develop friendships with the “enemy”. Once they have graduated, Seeds of Peace provides ongoing education and leadership development programs to empower these Seeds as leaders for Peace and Change in their communities.
Scott began volunteering for Seeds of Peace over 7 years ago to eventually chair the Peace Market, the Young Leadership annual gala. He worked with the organization to challenge the structure and financials of the event increasing the net fundraising tenfold in less than 1 year. Scott subsequently was elected by the YLC Board as chairman and since then has worked to restructure the YLC into a community of “Change Leaders” by developing a formal network of members and by producing educational and leadership development seminars called the YLC Summit in addition to expanding the Peace Market and the Standup for Peace comedy show, each major fundraisers for the organization.
Scott has worked to create systems and infrastructure for this volunteer organization that allow for greater transparency and integration with the professional staff of Seeds of Peace, leading the charge on strategy, branding, and communications for the YLC, while recruiting and developing a network for members and board members as diverse in their ethnic and religious backgrounds as they are in their professional careers.
For the last two years, Scott has been focused specifically on creating a community of members by focusing on creating value for the volunteers in appreciation for their hard work and support. He is a firm believer that a volunteer community can only be properly engaged over the long term if they are rewarded for their hard work. Scott works tirelessly with Seeds of Peace staff and the YLC Board to create value by delivering programs and events that will provide (1) social networking opportunities, (2) professional networking opportunities, (3) an opportunity to make a meaningful difference, and (4) opportunities for growth through leadership development.
Scott is now taking lessons from the YLC to develop the Forum for Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy (FELiP), an invitation-only group of chairpersons and founders of charitable organizations that have demonstrated significant success in their philanthropic endeavors. The objective is to develop a community of individuals that have made philanthropy their passion to share experiences, best practices, and to support each other in their charitable endeavors.
Scott grew up in Paris and attended Georgetown University, where he graduated in 2000 with a major in Political Science and Theology. He began his career in technology as the founder of Epok, a software company and graduated Fordham Law School in 2009. Scott spends his time traveling to Europe, South America and the Middle East, often camera in hand, and enjoys attending indie concerts.