Michael Piraino has been active in domestic and international child advocacy since 1977, primarily in the areas of child poverty, maltreatment, and foster care. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College, a law degree from Cornell Law School, and a master’s degree from Oxford University. He has served as pro bono legal counsel for children in foster care and in juvenile delinquency cases, taught law at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, served as planned giving director, college counsel, and executive assistant to the president at Allegheny College, and as an Associate Research Scientist at the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University. Mr. Piraino recently retired from his position as Chief Executive Officer of the National CASA Association, after 21 years of service, and is now the Senior Advisor to The Justice Project, which focuses on educational, economic, environmental and social justice issues.
As a result of his service to children, Michael Piraino has received a variety of awards, including the New York Decade of the Child award, the National Association of Social Workers Westchester Citizen of the Year award, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges President’s award. The Friend of Children Award was jointly presented to him and to all CASA/GAL volunteers by the North American Council on Adoptable Children. Most recently, Mr. Piraino was selected for inclusion in The NonProfit Times NonProfit Leaders of Power & Influence Top 50 in 2013 and 2014.
A frequent speaker at domestic and international symposia on children, Mr. Piraino has served on several local and national boards and committees dealing with ethics, multiculturalism, and accountability for both nonprofit organizations and government agencies. He currently serves as a board member for Independent Sector.