Ascala Tsegaye Sisk

Senior Deputy Chair
Office of the Senior Deputy Chair

Ascala Tsegaye Sisk brings nearly 20 years of experience working at the intersection of arts, community development, housing, and health to the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has focused on leveraging community investment, policy, and research to improve lives and the physical, social, and economic conditions of places. Sisk has served as senior deputy chair at the NEA since January 2023. Sisk first joined the NEA as the senior advisor for the American Rescue Plan Recovery Strategy, assessing the impact of COVID-19 and the American Rescue Plan in the arts and culture sector.

Prior to joining the NEA, Sisk provided strategy advising to nonprofit, philanthropic, and academic institutions. Earlier roles include deputy director at the Center for Community Investment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, where she oversaw operations, programs, and budget. As vice president of Community Initiatives at NeighborWorks America, she led the organization’s community stabilization, community building and engagement, health, and rural programs. Previous positions at the national nonprofit KaBOOM! and the City of Providence, Rhode Island, Department of Art, Culture and Tourism reflect her interests in asset-based community development and advancing art, culture, and play as essential to vibrant, healthy communities. Sisk has a master's degree in public policy with a specialization in public sector financial management from the University of Maryland. Her undergraduate degree is in urban studies from Brown University.