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Clarissa D. James

Director, Leadership giving

Inspiration: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

What working in this community means to me: “It’s a great honor to work in this community and pay forward the incredible compassion and generosity I have experienced. Like so many before me, I want to do my part in making the world better than I found it.”

As Director of Leadership Giving, Clarissa works with donors to understand what inspires their generosity and to connect them with opportunities to engage in meaningful ways with United Way’s mission.

Clarissa is passionate about building strong relationships and partnering with donors to inspire philanthropy that reflects a well-examined life. Her 15 years of development experience has included working with diverse constituencies, campaign management, and annual giving in lead development roles at the National Marrow Donor Program – Be The Match, University of Minnesota, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Clarissa is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and is passionate about bringing visibility to marginalized groups. She lives in St. Paul and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.