FELPS Fellows 2011

Previous Fellows

2011 Fellows

Click here for full bios from the Fellowship Class of 2011

  • Samantha Brody
    Operations Coordinator, MOUSE

    Samantha Brody is a passionate, dedicated and practical idealist with a long-term commitment to making a meaningful contribution to the nonprofit sector. Her specific areas of interest and expertise lie in youth development, education reform and nonprofit management.

    Samantha currently works as the operations coordinator at MOUSE, an innovative youth development organization that empowers underserved students to provide technology support and leadership in their schools. Samantha is responsible for supporting MOUSE’s administrative, communication, development and operational needs while working to fulfill these respective departmental goals. Her accomplishments at MOUSE include recruiting and managing student interns and seeking to improve outreach and communication to significant partners.

    Prior to working at MOUSE, Samantha served as a Corps Member with City Year Chicago where she designed and implemented Young Heroes, a Saturday service learning program for 100 underserved middle-school youth from across Chicago. Among her achievements at City Year were recruiting and retaining a record number of participants for Young Heroes, engaging more than seven new schools in the program, and creating partnerships with more than 30 volunteers and nonprofit organizations throughout Chicago. Samantha was recognized for her service by her City Year peers and voted Corps Member of the Year.

    While at Barnard College, Samantha was awarded a Student Leadership Award in connection with her revival of the Barnard Transfer Alliance, an organization dedicated to supporting, and providing a voice for, transfer students. Samantha graduated cum laude from Barnard with a BA in Anthropology in 2008.

    Samantha serves on the City Year New York Alumni Board and is a member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. Samantha also enjoys frequent volunteer opportunities.

  • Allie Bryan
    Project Assistant, Sanctuary for Families

    Allie Bryan currently serves as a project assistant at Sanctuary for Families’ Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services. Sanctuary for Families is a New York City nonprofit dedicated to providing holistic services for victims of gender-based violence. As part of the Community Law Project, Allie provides case management for monolingual Spanish-speaking victims of domestic violence. She also assists staff attorneys in drafting motions, preparing for court appearances and communicating with clients regarding their legal cases. Allie’s time at Sanctuary for Families has allowed her to learn about providing direct services to victims of severe violence, as well as to observe how a nonprofit organization is run effectively.

    Prior to moving to New York City, Allie lived in Washington, DC and worked as the public outreach and communications fellow at Polaris Project, a leading anti-human trafficking organization. While at Polaris Project, Allie received comprehensive training on human trafficking in the United States and immediately became invested in the fight against this growing epidemic. Allie’s responsibilities at Polaris Project included managing and improving external communications and branding for the agency, and educating and promoting awareness among various NGOs, grassroots constituents and students. Allie hopes to continue working to end violence against women in its many forms and commit herself to restoring justice to those who have been victimized.

    Allie holds a BA in Sociology and Spanish from Colgate University, where she was a member of the women’s varsity swim team for four years.

  • Stokes Carrigan
    Grants and Contracts Coordinator, Year Up New York City

    Stokes Carrigan works for Year Up New York City as the grants and contracts coordinator. Year Up New York City is a one-year intensive training and corporate internship program designed to close the opportunity divide by providing disconnected urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

    Stokes has a passion for education and youth development, which is what lead him to Year Up. In his role, Stokes is responsible for preparing all grant materials for charitable foundations including proposals, renewal requests, reports and correspondence as well as managing relationships with program officers. Stokes also handles Year Up’s government contracts. In addition to his functional role at Year Up Stokes also acts as an advisor, group facilitator and advocate for the young adults enrolled in the program.

    Prior to joining the Year Up New York City staff, Stokes worked as a research assistant for the Center for Education Reform, a nonprofit advocacy group located in Washington, DC. There Stokes conducted research on education issues; supported outreach efforts to parents, researchers, and policymakers; and maintained membership information for a national charter school directory containing upwards of 4,500 charter schools.

    Stokes attended Wake Forest University, where he double majored in Philosophy and Psychology. There he received honors in Philosophy for his thesis on the metaphysics of moral obligation. He also worked in the Wake Forest Psychology Laboratory designing and conducting experiments in personality research. While at Wake, Stokes volunteered at Kid’s Café, where he served food and tutored underprivileged youth in the Winston-Salem community, and at Samaritan Ministries, where he served food and stood as night guard for the organization’s homeless shelter.

  • Jawad Cipriani
    Undergraduate Affairs Officer, Prep for Prep

    Jawad Cipriani currently works as an undergraduate affairs officer at Prep for Prep, an educational nonprofit with the objective of identifying and developing leadership in underrepresented groups. In this position, he directly advises currently enrolled college students who are graduates of the program and directs them to the resources they need on their campuses. Working with Prep for Prep allows Jawad to explore his commitment to tackling issues of inequity in the public school system and the social barriers that exist for students.

    Jawad graduated from Hobart College in 2008, where personal interests translated into academics when he chose to earn his BA in Critical Social Studies, concentrating in marginalized populations with minors in Education and Peer Education in Human Relations. He credits his undergraduate experience for nurturing his passion for public service and social justice. In his studies, Jawad was able to explore the socially constructed structures of racism, classism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism and homophobia, and examine how systems of oppression and privilege affect access to education and power.

    As an undergraduate, Jawad served on executive boards of the Latin American Organization and the Hip~NotiQ’s Step and Dance Team; these organizations were active in fostering inclusivity on campus through educational lectures, performances and cultural extravaganzas. The “College for a Day” programs, hosted by the Latin American Organization brought high school students, typically from low-income families, to campus and allowed them to shadow college students and attend informational sessions, where they discussed the college process, life on campus and goal-setting. Jawad also worked as an intern in the Office of Intercultural Affairs, where he coordinated large-scale events to promote inclusivity and social justice and leadership workshops for the executive boards of the campus cultural and social justice groups. He volunteered as a literacy tutor for the America Reads program and served as a Hobart and William Smith Colleges “Day of Service” Site Leader. In Spring 2008, he was awarded the Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ President Service Award and the Office of Intercultural Affairs’ Student Diversity Award.

  • George Davis
    Associate Education Officer, NYC Department of Education

    George Davis currently serves as an associate education officer in the Office of Achievement Resources in the NYC Department of Education. The NYC Department of Education is the largest system of public schools in the United States, serving over 1.1 million students in nearly 1,700 schools. The Office of Achievement Resources provides professional development to NYC educators to enhance their use of achievement resources, and supports NYC schools engaged in the rollout of the Common Core State Standards and curriculum alignment.

    As an associate education officer, George develops professional development curriculum that supports NYC educators utilizing the Achievement, Reporting, and Innovation System (ARIS), an online data tool and resource repository, and NYC Periodic Assessment tools. George also provides instructional and operational support to a team of field-based professional developers that provide on-demand training to educators throughout NYC. Additionally, George coordinated operations for the Children First Intensive/Quality Review Institutes, a citywide summit for Network Leaders, Superintendents and Quality Reviewers, and the Division of Performance and Accountability’s Network Capacity-building Workshops. George is particularly interested in enhancing system-wide knowledge of assessment literacy and increasing the use of technology to support data-informed instruction the classroom.

    Prior to working at the NYC Department of Education, George taught kindergarten at Leadership Preparatory Charter School of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY. During his time at Leadership Prep, George served as a lead kindergarten teacher and grade-level chairman. In addition to his classroom duties, George conducted weekly professional development workshops, authored and modified curricular materials, and mentored first year teachers. During his three years at Leadership Prep, over 90 percent of his students concluded kindergarten at or above grade level proficiency in Reading and Math on the Terra Nova examination. He was featured in the Robin Hood Foundation’s 2007 Report and Uncommon Schools’ Taxonomy of Effective Teaching Practices video series.

    George graduated from Harvard University in 2006 with a BA in Government. During his time at Harvard, George was a member of the Harvard football and boxing teams, served on the Black Men’s Forum Political Action Committee, and volunteered with the Phillips Brooks House Association. George credits his time at Harvard as an integral force that helped to develop his deep commitment to public service.

  • Jeremy Davis
    Corporate Service Manager, New York Cares

    As a corporate service manager with New York Cares, Jeremy Davis helps plan and manage custom service projects for companies who partner with New York Cares. Jeremy also works to cultivate new and existing relationships with the nonprofit’s corporate sponsors.

    A somewhat recent transplant to NYC, Jeremy graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with degrees in Public and Nonprofit Management and Human Resource Management. Jeremy acquired his first true love of volunteerism while in school acting as a National Registry Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate providing advanced life support care with the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad (VTRS). While working his way up to serving as the first lieutenant, second in command under the captain, he was volunteering 60+ hours a week. In addition to the time he spent volunteering, Jeremy was increasingly inspired by his studies of the nonprofit field, solidifying his desire to work in the sector.

    Jeremy was the recipient of multiple awards for his actions with the VTRS. They include the Dr. Paul Farrier University Relations Award; a Commendation of Service from Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger for heroic actions performed in the line of duty during the events of April 16, 2007; and the American Heart Association’s Life Saver Award in recognition of his multiple successful resuscitations.

    Jeremy gained extensive experience in volunteer management, special event planning and coordination, and development during his time with the VTRS. After graduating he moved to NYC to fulfill a lifelong dream of living in a big city. Prior to joining New York Cares, Jeremy’s position as an assistant director with a nonprofit working in citizen engagement further cultivated his management and fundraising skills.

  • Lydia Downing
    Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for External Affairs, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs

    Lydia Downing currently serves as the special assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for External Affairs at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. In this role, she is responsible for conducting undercover research investigations to determine possible enhancements to NYC’s consumer protection laws, participating in advertising and outreach campaigns, drafting correspondence and articles on behalf of the Deputy Commissioner, and translating agency documents into Spanish. In addition, she provides support to the external affairs staff, allowing her to acquire concrete skills in communications, public outreach and legislative strategy.

    Lydia Downing's passionate interest in social justice and human rights issues has led her around the world to study the societal and political impacts of violence and inequality. Originally from Boston, MA, Lydia has worked and studied with several organizations across Europe and Latin America. Lydia is particularly interested in the role that government plays in promoting equality and justice, which she has explored domestically by working for a State Senator in Massachusetts and for the City of New York.

    Lydia graduated cum laude from Colorado College in 2008, where she majored in Political Science and International Affairs and minored in Latin American Studies. As an undergraduate, she had the opportunity study the peace and reconciliation process in Bosnia, where she worked with a local organization that facilitated open dialogue between Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Muslim youth. Lydia was also chosen to participate in the Humanity in Action Fellowship, in which she studied contemporary minority rights issues in Berlin and Warsaw with an international group of students, and authored a research paper on the prevalence of homophobic statements in the Polish media. During her junior year, Lydia spent a semester in Chile, living with a local family and taking in classes in Spanish alongside Chilean students at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso.

    After graduation, Lydia accepted a one-year fellowship at the NYC Commission on Human Rights through the New York City Urban Fellows program. There, Lydia revised the Commission's curriculum for their Peer Mediation Program, which teaches non-violent conflict resolution techniques to NYC school students. She also gave presentations about the NYC's human rights laws to community groups throughout the five boroughs.

  • Khalid El Khatib
    Manager of National Communications, Teach For America

    Khalid El Khatib is the manager of national communications at Teach For America, a nonprofit organization working to end educational inequity. Khalid manages the organization’s press center and works with the communications director to develop high-level media strategies and execute national campaigns. He also ensures broad staff awareness of education reform issues by disseminating key articles and features. Khalid provides media training to organizational spokespeople on how to effectively represent Teach For America and discuss current events.

    This past summer Khalid pitched nearly 1,000 stories about locals joining Teach For America to small media markets across the country which resulted in over 100 media hits. This was the most local news stories Teach For America has received in the summer months in the organization’s history.

    Prior to working on Teach For America’s communications team, Khalid was on the recruitment team where he convinced the nation’s top leaders to enter the classroom and engaged deans at top law schools to join Teach For America’s recruitment efforts. His first role on staff was an assistant to the human assets strategy team. These roles allowed him to hone his relationship-building skills, a key component of his current work with reporters and bloggers

    Beyond his work in education reform, Khalid is an avid writer and is involved with several arts-related organizations. He is a regular contributor to Birdsong Micropress, a literary collective whose authors' commitments to social reform inform their creative work, and has served on the curatorial committee for GLAAD's annual art auction for two years. He has also used his communications expertise in a development capacity for EIF Revlon's Run/Walk for Women's Cancers where he led a team to be a top fundraiser and wrote copy for the organization's Web site.

    Khalid is originally from Dubuque, IA and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2007 with a major in Political Science and minors in Creative Writing and Psychology. It was while volunteering at schools in St. Louis that Khalid first became exposed to the educational disparities that persist. It was also in St. Louis, while interning at the Alzheimer's Association and studying non-fiction writing, that Khalid became interested in a career in communications.

  • Aapta Garg
    Paralegal and Organizer, MFY Legal Services

    Aapta Garg works in a dual role as a paralegal and organizer at MFY Legal Services, a nonprofit law firm dedicated to serving less-fortunate New Yorkers that are denied proper legal services due to issues of affordability. In this capacity, she contributes to and aids the least represented in New York City’s renting community.

    As a community liaison, Aapta has reached out to elected officials and community organization leaders to gauge their concerns and understand emerging issues. Aapta is also a tenant organizer, bringing residents together to create tenant organizations so that they may have a voice. These tenant organizations further renters’ bargaining capacity and help to create a unified stance from which to advocate for better living conditions. One particular tenant group Aapta organized was recently profiled in The New York Times, after a successful attempt at improving building conditions in an apartment building in Chinatown. Aapta’s hands-on experience within these renting communities also gives her a true understanding of stagnant and emerging issues for tenants and helps to drive a true passion for her legal work.

    Aapta’s paralegal responsibilities include conducting intakes with potential clients and assisting lawyers with in-depth collection of information from clients, thereby aiding in formulations of legal strategy. Aapta also has applied experience representing clients in government hearings for social security and public benefits. Within MFY, Aapta has taken on the responsibilities of being a delegate for the Legal Services Staff Association.

    Prior to working at MFY, Aapta graduated with Honors from Vassar College in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Hispanic Studies.

  • Danielle Goodman-Levy
    Case Manager, Vera Institute of Justice

    Danielle “Dani” Goodman-Levy is a case manager at the Vera Institute of Justice’s Guardianship Project. The Guardianship Project is a nonprofit agency that provides person- and property-related legal guardianship services to elderly people deemed “mentally incapacitated” by the New York City courts. The overarching goal of the organization is to maintain clients in the least restrictive environments possible, allowing this neglected population increased autonomy while they still receive the best care.

    As a case manager, Dani manages the medical and personal needs of her 20 to 25 elderly clients. This includes working closely with hospital and nursing home staff, overseeing homecare agencies, talking to medical doctors and contributing to difficult end-of-life decision-making, advocating for low-income housing, attending court hearings and even being cross-examined on the stand, and sometimes, unfortunately, advocating for clients to be permanently placed in nursing homes. Because Dani’s clients reside in houses, apartments, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, she traipses through varied neighborhoods daily. She particularly appreciates this aspect of her job as it allows her to explore the city and the contexts of her clients’ lives.

    Dani is a native Californian. She trekked east to attend Vassar College, where in 2009, she graduated with a major in Political Science and a minor in Women’s Studies. During her time at Vassar, Dani was involved in a variety of public service endeavors: she worked at a battered women’s shelter in Poughkeepsie; she spent a summer as a legal intern for the San Francisco Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she worked for an investigative team and researched appropriate statutes for their cases; she volunteered at The Center for Creative Education, a Kingston-based hip-hop music community center for predominately low-income youth; and she worked with a group of incarcerated men at New York State’s Otisville Prison. Dani also spent a summer interning for the NYC-based news program “Democracy Now! Free Speech Radio.”

  • Phillipe Kleefield
    Case Manager and Social Worker, HIV Law Project

    Phillipe Kleefield has had varied academic, internship and work experiences that have helped him develop a passion for working on social justice issues from a diverse, collaborative and open perspective. He currently works as a case manager and social worker at HIV Law Project, a nonprofit organization providing free legal services for people who are HIV-positive. Because of HIV’s permeability across identity groups, he interacts with individuals from different communities and helps work with clients through a range of issues.

    Phillipe is responsible for meeting with all new clients to assess their non-legal needs and to ensure those needs are met. He also provides referrals and connections to support services, engages in non-legal advocacy, and provides clients with on-going support throughout their legal case as needed. He spearheads HIV Law Project’s outreach efforts, developing new partnerships and facilitating client referrals to and from the organization.

    Prior to joining HIV Law Project, Phillipe graduated from Vassar College in 2009, where he held a dual major in Sociology and Neuroscience and Behavior. His coursework shaped his thinking to believe in inclusive politics that transcend traditional identity groups. He used what he learned to shape his role as the president of Vassar’s Queer Coalition, where he had the opportunity to foster campus dialogue around diversity. He collaborated with an array of student groups, including students of color, feminist and religious organizations. His studies culminated in a senior Sociology thesis on the experiences of low-income queer youth of color growing up in urban environments.

    Phillipe bridged his academic experiences with practical ones. In 2008, he spent a summer as a Moore Undergraduate Summer Apprentice Fellow at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, undertaking preparation for a career in academia. At the end of that summer, he interned with Sylvia’s Place, an emergency homeless youth shelter for LGBTQ identified youth in New York City, working to prepare the shelter for drop-in services. Enjoying his experience assisting youth, he interned with the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute when he returned to Vassar in the fall of 2009, assisting with various administrative duties for the program.

    Phillipe was born in New York City to a Peruvian mother and French father. He is bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English.

  • Elizabeth Langton
    Constituent Liaison, Office of US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Anjali Malipatil
    Manager of Individual Giving, Teach For America

    Anjali Malipatil currently serves as the manager of individual giving for Teach For America – New York. She has been on the development team since the fall of 2008, helping the region raise money to recruit, train, select and support corps members in New York. In her current role, Anjali is responsible for managing and cultivating relationships with over 150 new and existing individual donors through the Sponsor A Teacher program, a campaign designed to connect donors with teachers during their two-year experiences.

    Anjali is one of two people responsible for fundraising over $2.8 million dollars, a task involving the planning and execution of school visits, events and fundraisers, as well as one-on-one relationship-building with donors. She also manages all corps member-related efforts through the Sponsor A Teacher program and the back-end analytics of individual giving fundraising data.

    Prior to joining the staff at Teach For America, Anjali was a Teach For America corps member in New York. During her two years, Anjali taught seventh and eighth grade science at IS 98 in the south Bronx. Anjali designed inquiry-based lessons with the ultimate goal of having all of her students master the New York State science standards and pass the eighth grade state science exam. Anjali also helped lead the school’s robotics team for one year and designed a full science curriculum for the science staff of IS 98 to use and implement with their students.

    Anjali graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Political Science in 2006. During her four years in college, Anjali spent a significant portion of her undergraduate career conducting research on ovarian cancer. Anjali also served as a site leader for the Foster Reading Center, planning, coordinating and recruiting undergraduate tutors for students living in low-income areas around Evanston, Illinois. She also spent time fundraising and managing finances for Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon, and played on Northwestern University’s club tennis team for two years.

  • Nicholas Martin
    Senior Analyst, NYC Mayor's Office of Contract Services

    Nicholas Martin is a senior analyst at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Contract Services focusing on labor initiatives and construction review. He provides oversight to mayoral agencies for contracting practices including labor law compliance and the Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise program.

    A major focus of his work at the Mayor’s Office involves the Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) between the City of New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council. The New York City PLAs are among the largest of such agreements in the United States. They provide nearly $300 million in construction cost savings, allow for the restoration of dozens of major infrastructure projects and create nearly 2,000 construction jobs. Nicholas developed the organizational implementation of the PLAs and continues to provide oversight, support and education for city agencies. He also works closely with the trade unions and vendor community to insure cooperation and compliance.

    Nicholas has extensive political campaign experience. He worked on mayoral, congressional and state senate campaigns in New York and dates his involvement in public service to volunteering on local campaigns as a teenager in Brooklyn. Nicholas also has experience in the labor movement working for the AFL-CIO and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

    Nicholas earned a BA in History with honors from Villanova University.

  • Kate McDonough
    Lead Organizer, Empire State Pride Agenda

    Kate McDonough is the Lead Organizer for the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), New York’s statewide LGBT civil rights and advocacy organization. Based in New York City, Kate is in charge of the ESPA's organizational-wide marriage equality campaign. Her responsibilities include making decisions regarding strategy and messaging, coordination of ESPA's allied organizations, and general oversight of the campaign.

    Prior to working for the Empire State Pride Agenda, Kate served as the field director for the Paul Nowicki for State Senate Campaign, a special election based out of Chelsea, MA. In addition, Kate worked for the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry (RCFM), a Massachusetts-based organization that provides a religious voice and support for same sex marriage. While at RCFM, Kate organized religious leaders and progressive people of faith to rally behind marriage equality and LGBT rights.

    Kate attended Emerson College, where she received a BA in Political Communications and Film Production. Kate served as the president of Emerson’s Alliance for Gays, Lesbians and Everyone and received an Outstanding Project Award for her senior thesis—an ad campaign focused on motivating clergy and other people of faith to speak out in support of LGBT equality. Kate was born and raised in the Bronx and enjoys working on behalf of her community in her home state.

  • Alice McKenney
    Manager of Programs, CEW Foundation/Cancer and Careers

    Alice McKenney is the Manager of Programs at CEW Foundation/Cancer and Careers, a national nonprofit dedicated to empowering and educating people with cancer to thrive in their work environments by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events. In this role she is responsible for the implementation, execution and management of Cancer and Careers’ portfolio of programs. Having worked at Cancer and Careers for over two years, Alice has amassed a vast array of experience in both programming and fundraising and she previously served as the foundation’s assistant.

    In her day-to-day life, she manages all marketing and outreach for the program, oversees Web site operation including content and interactivity, implements all social media outreach, manages career coaching services, coordinates community events and teleconferences, and represents Cancer and Careers at various cancer-related industry events nationwide. Most recently, Alice has increased Cancer and Careers’ social media following by over 600 percent due to research on best practices, event promotion and engaging existing communities.

    Alice graduated with honors from Wesleyan University with a dual degree in Music and Anthropology. While at Wesleyan she volunteered as a mentor/tutor for low-income middle school students, as well as helped fundraise for Hurricane Katrina relief. She was also an intern for the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, where she was able to experience the nonprofit office setting for the first time. In addition to her community involvement during college, she was involved in a variety of arts performance ensembles on campus, acted as a campus representative for the New York City Teaching Fellows, and worked as student supervisor at the university library.

    Outside of her current position, she volunteers her time with other organizations, including conducting ad hoc grant research and social media assistance for S’Cool Sounds, participating in various New York Cares activities, and sitting on the Events Committee for The Max Reger Foundation. She is also the technology vice chair for the Board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of New York City.

  • Matthew Moran
    Homeland Security Risk Assessment Analyst, URS Corporation

    Matthew Moran has worked as a homeland security risk assessment analyst at URS since June of 2009 and specializes primarily in critical infrastructure and regional resiliency and protection. His work at URS has exposed him to projects in New York and around the nation. Matt’s projects include supporting a publication to aid first responders in their understanding of major transportation infrastructure to a regional assessment of Seattle’s resiliency against a catastrophic disaster. Matt works with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, giving him an understanding of diverse organizational cultures and expectations.

    Matt moved NYC to attend college at Fordham University’s Bronx campus in 2004. During college, Matt was on Fordham’s debate team and in Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honors society. Matt double-majored in Political Science and Urban Studies, which allowed him to study the political, sociological and architectural/planning aspects of urban and transportation issues. Matt’s first professional exposure to New York government was during the summer of 2006 with an internship in the Office of Congressman Jerry Nadler. During that summer, Matt worked on the Cross Harbor Rail Freight Tunnel and the ARC Tunnel. The following two summers, Matt interned at Federal Transit Administration Region, where he worked on large transit projects and became more familiar with the federal government’s transit aid.

    Following college, Matt served as an NYC Urban Fellow from 2008 to 2009. Matt was placed at the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Division in the Infrastructure Protection Section, where his primary responsibility was to identify and assess vulnerabilities at large real estate projects and infrastructure. His projects included planning the initial concepts for the Midtown Manhattan Security Initiative, writing and editing NYPD’s Engineering Security, and performing analysis of large projects around the city.

    Matt hails from the Boston suburb of Quincy. During high school, Matt earned the Eagle Scout rank from the Boy Scouts, a prestigious award that was the culmination of eight years of merit badges, community service and other projects.

  • Brianna O'Brien Lowndes
    Membership and Annual Fund Manager, Whitney Museum of American Art

    Brianna O’Brien Lowndes is the membership and annual fund manager at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a leading contemporary art museum dedicated to presenting the best in American art. Brianna works closely with the director of membership and annual fund to develop and implement the direct mail plan targeted to acquire, retain and reinstate members, and to oversee the Whitney’s Annual Fund. Each year, these efforts result in over $2 million in general operating support for the museum. Additionally, Brianna oversees all departmental online initiatives. The membership team at the Whitney is focused on building deeper and more meaningful connections with their members, and to reaching new audiences.

    Prior to joining Whitney’s staff in May 2007, Brianna also worked for the fundraising teams at the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her work at these institutions allowed her to develop expertise in corporate, special event and individual fundraising.

    In addition to her work for the Whitney, Brianna volunteers for Maryland Leadership Workshops (MLW), a leadership organization providing leadership training to students from every county in Maryland. For the past two years, Brianna served in a volunteer capacity as the director of the Middle School Experience in Leadership. For this weeklong residential program, she developed the curriculum, hired and trained a staff of 25, and managed all onsite aspects of the program. Brianna is passionate about youth leadership development and about providing underserved children with access to unique opportunities like MLW.

    Brianna attended Williams College where she majored in Psychology and Sociology, and also studied Art History.

  • Alison Ongvorapong
    Regional Assistant, US Department of Justice Community Relations Service

    Alison Ongvorapong is the regional assistant for the Northeast/Caribbean Region of the US Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS). CRS is the only federal agency dedicated to assist state and local units of government, private and public organizations, and local community groups with the prevention and resolution of racial/ethnic tensions, bias incidents, and civil disorders. With the November 2009 passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, CRS further responds to allegations of violent hate crimes/bias incidents committed on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or disability.

    In her capacity at CRS, Alison travels to communities throughout New York and New Jersey to help facilitate dialogue in the aftermath of alleged violent hate crimes. Alison serves as a liaison between local community groups, school administrations, law enforcement officials and other leading authorities. At CRS, Alison has developed local preventative mechanisms and proactive measures to address pertinent issues such as racially motivated riots and in-school bullying based on differences in identity, the objectives of which were to yield more public input to state and federal agencies, to raise cultural awareness in increasingly diverse communities, and to maintain safe and secure environments free from violence. Her research on hate crimes/bias incidents spans the CRS jurisdictional areas of New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

    Shaped by her undergraduate curriculum in law, Alison began her career at CRS to better understand the social impact of discriminatory injustices. Alison graduated from Binghamton University in 2008 with dual degrees in English and Philosophy, Politics and Law. At Binghamton, Alison tutored graduate, undergraduate, native speakers and English as a Second Language students in the university’s writing center. Alison also coordinated campus events with student government as the social vice president of her residential community. For two semesters, Alison took advantage of opportunities abroad, studying British literature in England and indigenous Australian culture and global political theory in Australia. Alison’s prior experiences include internships at the Sydney Film Festival and Time Warner Cable as a Students Taking a Right Step intern.

  • Khyle Osborne
    Property Manager, Vera Institute of Justice

    Khyle Osborne is the property manager for The Guardianship Project (TGP), a nonprofit demonstration project of the Vera Institute of Justice, which is the court-appointed legal guardian of vulnerable individuals – mostly indigent elderly persons – who have been adjudicated incapacitated. TGP is charged with the task of managing an enormous range of affairs for the clients they serve, including decisions regarding their medical, financial, social, legal and residential needs. At TGP, Khyle handles all matters for clients who own real estate. As a crucial member of the legal team at TGP, Khyle works closely with the attorneys to ensure that TGP actively adheres to NYC laws for property owners. Some of Khyle’s tasks include: maintaining property standards and hiring and paying contractors for property upkeep, hiring real estate brokers, selling and auctioning property, maintaining records of rental income, appearing in court, and negotiating contracts. Khyle is thoroughly enjoying his work at TGP and is gaining an invaluable breadth of knowledge on issues that plague the elderly community.

    Prior to working at TGP, Khyle worked at Delta Community Supports, a group home for individuals with mental disabilities. It was at Delta that Khyle realized his passion for assisting the most vulnerable individuals in society. There, Khyle assisted the consumers with their daily living tasks, financial management and decision making, and development of their Individual Habilitation Plans (IHP). Working with the consumers on their IHP goals, Khyle was able to see the fruits of his labor, with all of the consumers successfully completing their monthly goals. The IHP goals ranged from purchasing a large personal item of their choosing to baking a wedding cake, and Khyle was able to aide in the completion of the consumer’s IHP goals.

    Khyle graduated from Georgetown University in 2009 where he earned a BA in Sociology. While at Georgetown, Khyle was a part of the Georgetown Track and Field team as a shot put and discus thrower, earning numerous accolades at track meets. He was also an active member of the HIV/AIDS Coalition and the Black Student Alliance during his time at Georgetown. As an aspiring attorney, Khyle would like to further his passion for social justice by earning a law degree, with a focus in public interest law.

  • Julie Raskin
    Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Management and Budget, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

    Julie Raskin currently serves as the special assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Management and Budget at the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. In this role she provides support to the Deputy Commissioner, who oversees the central administrative units of the Parks Department including budget, HR, IT, marketing, special events, revenue, training, and the Parks Opportunity Program (POP)—one of the largest welfare-to-work programs in the country.

    Julie also develops and directs environmental sustainability initiatives for the agency. She has created a comprehensive sustainability plan for large public events that take place in city parks. Julie also established the Parks Department volunteer corps— the GreenTeam —which assists with recycling and environmental education at special events. In addition, Julie is working with the revenue and concessions units to recruit and install healthier and more environmentally sustainable restaurants and mobile food carts throughout the parks system.

    Julie began working at the Department of Parks and Recreation in 2008 through the NYC Urban Fellows Program — a yearlong public policy fellowship that exposes recent college graduates to careers in public service. As an Urban Fellow at Parks and Recreation, Julie worked on a variety of special projects including a quality assessment of the POP Job Training Centers and a successful application for $12 million in federal stimulus funding to expand the POP program. She also assisted the special events unit in producing several free public events, including the Winter Jam Snowscraper event in East River Park and the Adventures NYC outdoor sports festival in Central Park.

    Julie graduated cum laude from Columbia University in 2008, where she majored in Urban Studies. She was involved in several environmental student groups and president of CoreFoods—the student-run organic food cooperative. An avid cyclist, Julie got involved with the bicycle advocacy movement when she came to Columbia and found the city frightening for biking. During college she volunteered and then interned for the nonprofit Transportation Alternatives and wrote her senior thesis about funding improvements to bicycle infrastructure in New York City. Julie has remained involved with Transportation Alternatives and enjoys biking to work and experiencing the vast improvements and expansion of bike paths around the city.

  • Sarah Rivas
    Session Assistant, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

    Sarah Rivas is currently a session assistant at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). As one of the world’s leading cancer centers, MSK is committed to exceptional patient care and cutting edge research. Each day, Sarah directly helps patients as they get through a challenging part of their lives. By building strong relationships with patients and ensuring that all their treatment needs are met, Sarah acts as a liaison between patients and the clinical staff. She oversees the daily administrative operations of the Bone Marrow Transplant treatment area and facilitates the treatment of over 30 patients per day. Sarah also ensures compliance with the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Environment of Care Standards in the outpatient Bone Marrow Transplant Service.

    Sarah is actively engaged in expanding healthcare services to historically disadvantaged groups. As a member of MSK’s committee board for community outreach, she works with professionals from various departments to increase access to medical studies, clinical trials and preventive care for individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities. By participating in Relay for Life, health fairs and other educational events, Sarah works to increase cancer awareness and access to preventative care.

    As an undergraduate at New York University, Sarah Rivas specialized in Public Policy and its implications for New York City healthcare. Sarah challenged herself by enrolling in graduate Public Policy courses, while simultaneously majoring in Economics. Outside of the classroom, she served as a Spanish translator for a complex immigration case at the New York University Immigration Rights Clinic. She also served as a tutor for the America Reads, America Counts program. Through the program, she worked to improve the reading and math skills of first graders at PS 140 on the Lower East Side of New York City. Her interest in economics also drove her to complete internships at UBS Financial Services and Broadway National Bank. She hopes to utilize her experience in business and public service towards expanding access to healthcare services in underserved populations.

  • Hannah Robbins
    Paralegal, American Civil Liberties Union

    Hannah Robbins currently works as a paralegal at the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project (ACLU-IRP). At the ACLU-IRP Hannah works with a team of lawyers and advocates dedicated to expanding and enforcing the civil liberties and civil rights of non-citizens and combating public and private discrimination against immigrants. Hoping to pursue a law degree to better prepare for work in public interest law, she is currently learning the ropes of the legal system by assisting the IRP attorneys with brief production, court filings, case tracking and case research.

    Hannah first became interested in immigrants’ rights as a participant in Northwestern University’s Field Studies program, during which she held an internship at the National Immigrant Justice Center’s (NIJC) Asylum Project. At the NIJC, Hannah had the opportunity to learn about the immigration system by interviewing asylum seekers and volunteering in “know your rights” detention center presentations. Her experience as a volunteer intern, student activist and paralegal in the immigration field have helped her develop a holistic understanding of how the US immigration system and human rights must be seen in conjunction with one another as we work to make our laws better reflect our shared humanity.

    Hannah graduated from Northwestern University in 2009 with a degree in Spanish and Gender Studies. While in college she was a staff member of the national office of the global health organization GlobeMed— a role to which she owes the development of her commitment to social justice. After graduating from college, Hannah continued to work with GlobeMed by creating and piloting the organization’s first Partner Search Fellowship, in which she traveled throughout Latin America to meet with new grassroots health partner organizations for GlobeMed’s expanding student network.

  • Christopher Rominger
    Associate Director, Arab American Association of New York

    Christopher Rominger has driven organizational and fund development with the Arab American Association of New York (AAANY) since August 2008, and became associate director in September 2010. AAANY is a social service and advocacy organization in Brooklyn, NY whose mission is to support and empower the Arab immigrant community of New York City. Chris has led the effort to expand funding and programming for this young grassroots organization, building programs such as after-school tutoring, mentorship and college counseling for teens, adult literacy and citizenship preparation.

    Chris, a native of Brooklyn, graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College with a degree in History in 2008. His honors thesis, written about early twentieth century Arab reformers, was selected as one of 2008’s Senior Honors International Thesis Presentations. During his college years, he hosted a radio show with the college’s local station and worked as an assistant teacher in a local pre-school.

    He began as a volunteer at the AAANY shortly after graduating, using his Arabic language skills and classroom experience to propel dozens of immigrant women towards citizenship and stable employment in the US. He joined AAANY’s development team as a member of AmeriCorps VISTA just three months later, taking on a lead role in grant writing, fundraising, planning large-scale cultural and educational events, management of organizational finances, and program development. He became associate director two years later, having cultivated over $200,000 in foundation funding and individual and corporate giving. Over the same period of time, AAANY’s programs have expanded by over 35 percent, serving thousands of Arab Americans annually.

  • Aviva Tevah
    Reentry Education Transition Specialist, Rikers Island

    Aviva Tevah is a reentry education transition specialist at Rikers Island.  From the Educational Services Unit of the New York City Department of Correction, she collaborates with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Adult Education, Department of Education, and community-based providers to improve the transition of incarcerated learners from services within correctional facilities to those in the community. The new position is funded through CUNY Research Foundation as part of a grant intended to increase the postsecondary educational and vocational achievements attained by formerly incarcerated adults in New York City.

    Previously, Aviva worked as a program analyst at Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO), a nonprofit dedicated to reducing recidivism among 18- to 24-year-old men incarcerated in NYC. As the program analyst, Aviva recruited participants from the sentenced population at Rikers Island jail complex, a task requiring navigating the city’s correctional system and developing a close collaborative relationship with the NYC Department of Corrections. Aviva engaged clients throughout their incarceration, developing individualized re-entry plans and identifying ways that GOSO staff might support each client upon his release. She tracked clients’ release schedules and reached out to encourage visits to the East Harlem office, where staff await ready to provide both immediate practical assistance and long-term personal and career mentoring.

    Aviva graduated from Wesleyan University in 2009 with a BA in African American Studies. Immersed in a community dedicated to social justice, Aviva developed a deep commitment to combat racism, becoming especially invested in issues of prison justice. She spent a summer interning at the Justice Policy Institute, a Washington, DC think tank working to reduce society’s reliance on incarceration, where she researched the relationship between crime, public safety and housing. At Wesleyan, Aviva worked in the Office of Community Services as the student coordinator of the Prisoner Solidarity Project, managing student volunteers to lead academic workshops at nearby correctional facilities, as well as co-facilitating two ongoing workshops herself. As a senior, Aviva was part of a small group of students who founded the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education. The group advocated the concept of a College-in-Prison program to the faculty and student body, and a pilot program was successfully launched in the fall of 2009.

    Looking forward, Aviva intends to study alternative models of justice to better imagine and bring into being a US justice system that truly fosters public safety instead of criminalizing and perpetuating poverty.

  • Cynthia Thaler
    Program Assistant, Public Interest Projects

    Cynthia Thaler is a program assistant at Public Interest Projects (PIP), an organization dedicated to creating partnerships among donors and nonprofit organizations interested in pursuing social change. Cynthia works on two collaborative funds at PIP: Communities for Public Education Reform (CPER) and the State Infrastructure Fund (SIF). CPER is focused on supporting organizing as a tool to create education reform in low-income communities. SIF works to build a sustainable infrastructure for civic engagement in underrepresented communities. Cynthia helps support all aspects of grantmaking for the two funds.

    Cynthia is a member of the first class of the TEAK Fellowship, a nonprofit organization that helps talented students from low-income families gain admission to top high schools and colleges. While at TEAK, Cynthia founded the TEAK Student Council and served as its president. She later interned as the office manager of the program’s summer institute, an intensive academic program designed to prepare students for success in school. She remains involved as the program’s first alumni representative. Cynthia’s experience at TEAK laid the foundation for her interest in education reform and social change.

    Cynthia earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from Brown University in 2008. While at Brown, Cynthia served as co-chair of the Federation of Puerto Rican Students, working to increase membership and create a support network for Puerto Ricans at Brown. Cynthia also studied abroad for a year, spending a semester in Brazil and a semester in England.

    A native of the Bronx, NY, Cynthia moved to Washington, DC following her graduation. Prior to her work at PIP, Cynthia worked as a research analyst for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), where she conducted research to support SEIU’s campaigns to win better wages and benefits for low-income workers. While at SEIU, Cynthia volunteered to support the Obama campaign, actively engaging swing voters in the month leading up to the 2008 election. She later volunteered in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence, where she supported the President’s efforts to engage in dialogue with the public. Cynthia also interned with Congressman Joseph Crowley, who represents the Seventh Congressional District of New York, where Cynthia was raised. Cynthia enjoyed the opportunity to support the representative’s efforts on behalf of the people of the Bronx and Queens.

  • Tedde Tsang
    Project Manager, New York City Economic Development Corporation

    Tedde Tsang is a project manager focused on international economic initiatives at the Center for Economic Transformation (CET) at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). CET’s goal is to strengthen New York City’s economy and create jobs by diversifying the City’s economy and stimulating key industries. In his role, Tedde manages a portfolio of projects including an international business plan competition and a series of partnerships with foreign governments and private entities aimed at attracting foreign direct investment to New York City. In addition, he serves as EDC’s liaison with foreign businesses, academic institutions and government officials on economic development issues. During his time at EDC, Tedde has received the Team Triumph Award for managing the media component of New York City’s business promotion events in China and the United Kingdom. He has also played a key role in the creation of the agency’s new slate of international initiatives.

    Prior to joining EDC, Tedde was a fellow with the City and County of San Francisco, where he worked on transportation policy. He currently sits on the National Board of Directors of City Hall Fellows, a nonprofit working to strengthen cities by giving talented young people experience in local government.

    Tedde graduated magna cum laude with departmental honors in East Asian Studies from Columbia University. His senior thesis discussed mate selection criteria among contemporary Chinese young adults and was published in the Journal of Politics and Society and presented at two conferences. During his junior year, he worked as an intern in NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s press office. While at Columbia, he also founded the Columbia East Asia Review, an academic journal focused on social science research of East Asia.

  • Mary Clair Turner
    Technical Research Assistant, MDRC

    Mary Clair is a technical research assistant at MDRC, a nonprofit nonpartisan education and social policy research organization that designs and evaluates programs and policies that affect the poor. As part of the Young Adult and Postsecondary Education policy area, Mary Clair’s research focuses on low-income community college students in Ohio, New York and California. She has worked primarily on the Performance-Based Scholarship demonstration, a program that awards scholarships to students based on current academic performance. Contingent on performance, these scholarships can provide both additional financial assistance and act as an incentive to earn a postsecondary degree. Mary Clair uses her technical skills and background in mathematics to prepare transcript, graduation, financial aid and other relevant data for analysis.

    Before coming to MDRC, Mary Clair worked in a similar capacity at the Office of Personnel Management, the human resources branch of the federal government. While in Washington, DC, Mary Clair spent most of her time analyzing the results of the Federal Human Capital Survey, which provides insight into the challenges facing government agencies by measuring employees’ work satisfaction and the perception of agency effectiveness.

    Mary Clair graduated in 2008 with a BA in Mathematics from Washington and Lee University.

  • Sebastian Turner
    Associate Director of Recruitment, Uncommon Schools

    Sebastian Turner is an associate director of recruitment at Uncommon Schools, a nonprofit organization that starts and manages outstanding urban charter public schools that close the achievement gap and prepare students from low-income communities to graduate from four-year colleges and universities.

    As an associate director of recruitment, Sebastian works with a number of university and outreach partners across the country to identify the most talented teachers and leaders to join the movement to end educational inequity. During his time on the recruitment team, Sebastian has had the pleasure of observing and getting to know some of the country’s most accomplished teachers and school leaders. Before his current role, Sebastian was a fourth grade lead teacher at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant Charter School, an Uncommon School, where 89 percent of his students scored proficient or advanced proficient on the New York State math exam.

    Sebastian also served as a Teach For America (TFA) corps member in New York City where he taught fifth grade for two years at PS 149 in East New York, Brooklyn. Sebastian served as the school based data specialist and a member of the inquiry team. During his time as a TFA corps member, Sebastian earned a MS in early childhood education from Pace University.

    Sebastian is also the co-founder and director of program development of Writing Our Dreams (WORD), a nonprofit that aims to empower students to believe in the power of their words and to pursue their dreams. In this role, Sebastian works to recruit, train and support undergraduate mentors and actors to guide young students through the WORD curriculum which culminates in a fantastic performance for the students’ families, peers and community.

    A proud Trojan, Sebastian graduated from the University of Southern California in 2007 with a BA in Psychology. While at USC, Sebastian was an active member of his fraternity and served as its vice president of philanthropy. He founded and operated a public golf tournament to raise money and awareness in honor of his fraternity brother who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis.

  • Normandy Villa
    Program Assistant, New York State Health Foundation

    As a program assistant at the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), Normandy Villa works closely with the senior program director on statewide projects focusing on two of the foundation’s priority areas: the improvement of diabetes prevention and management and the integration of mental health and substance use services.

    Prior to joining NYSHealth, Normandy served as program intern at Global Health Strategies, where he worked alongside global health consultants and media specialists on a number of communication and advocacy accounts on behalf of organizations from both the philanthropic and pharmaceutical sectors.

    During his undergraduate years, Normandy complemented his studies in Latin American and US History with work in health policy that culminated in original research on delivery of diabetes care among Boston and Cambridge Latino populations. In addition to his academic work, Normandy has explored his health-related interests as an emergency medical technician (EMT), delivering emergency care, hospital transport services and basic life support to sick and/or injured patients. Normandy received his BA from Harvard University and completed his secondary education at Regis High School in New York City.

    Among other awards, Normandy is recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, La Unidad Latina Scholarship, Bergen 200 Club of New Jersey Scholarship, Fairfield University Book Award for Community Service, and Grinnell College Honors Scholar Fellowship.

Career Guides

  • Josh Klainberg

Deputy Director New York League of Conservation Voters

A native of Manhasset, NY, Josh joined the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) as a volunteer in the fall of 1995 and was hired as political director in January 1996. In 2005, he was promoted as the organization's first-ever deputy director. As deputy director, Josh oversees all political aspects of NYLCV's candidate education, evaluation, endorsement and election activities. Over the years, he has worked on message development, lobbying, advocacy and electoral campaigns on behalf of state and local legislation, budgets, ballot initiatives and NYLCV’s endorsed candidates.

Prior to joining NYLCV, Josh worked on several local, state and federal campaigns in Nassau County, including those of Thomas DiNapoli, Jon Kaiman and May Newberger. Joshua has a strong passion for service-learning, which was inculcated in him during stints in the American Legion's Boys' State program as well as the inaugural class of President Bill Clinton's AmeriCorps*NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). He is still involved in service-related groups, serving as the treasurer to the Silver M. Society, an organization established over 70 years ago to honor both students and teachers for their years of dedication to Manhasset Public Schools.

Josh earned a BA in Urban Environmental Studies from Brandeis University and a Master of Urban Planning from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

  • Krystal Reyes
    Senior Advisor for Children & Family Services
    NYC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services
    Krystal Reyes is senior advisor for children and family services in the NYC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. She works on a range of policy issues that affect NYC’s children and families, including child welfare and early childhood education. Prior to joining the NYC Mayor’s Office she was a policy analyst at the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc. (CHCF) and helped create the Latino Coalition for Early Care and Education, an advocate group, to give a voice to the needs of Latino children in the early care system.

    At CHCF Krystal also held the position of Outreach Coordinator and was responsible for developing and executing a plan to reach Latino parents with information on child care and early education. She worked to create partnerships with schools, nonprofits and other social service organizations to better meet the child care needs of the communities they serve.

    Prior to joining CHCF, she was a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans (WHI). She worked closely with WHI staff to launch a national public private partnership to inform organizations across the country about Hispanic education issues and the importance of family involvement. The partnership focused specifically on the Hispanic family and resulted in the first-ever bilingual education toolkit for Latino families released by the US Department of Education.

    She received a BA in Politics and Spanish Literature and a Master of Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

  • Jack Schnirman
    Vice President of Management Consulting, Bowne Management Systems
    Jack Schnirman is vice president of management consulting at Bowne Management Systems, taking a hands-on approach to helping local governments and nonprofit organizations improve operations, efficiency, and effectiveness.

    Prior to joining Bowne, Jack served as chief deputy supervisor in Brookhaven, New York State’s largest township. In Brookhaven, Jack implemented innovative reforms including a 311-style non-emergency hotline (451-Town) which centralizes constituents to dial one phone number for all town services, and ServiceStat, a performance management and accountability initiative that saved over $2 million dollars in its first term.

    Previously, Jack has served in the nonprofit sector as part of the founding team of United Leaders, a fellowship which mobilized young people into public service, as deputy press secretary to US Senator John Kerry (D-MA), as a member of US Senator Frank Lautenberg’s legislative staff (D-NJ), and as a member of the National Environmental Trust’s media team, attending the UN Climate Change negotiations in Bonn, Germany.

    Jack is currently a board member of the New York League of Conversation Voters for the Long Island Region as well as the New Leaders Council, serving as co-chair of the New Leaders Council Fellowship’s Curriculum Committee. Jack holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA in International Relations from Tufts University.

  • Alexandria Sica
    Executive Director, Dumbo Improvement District
    Alexandria Sica is the executive director of the Dumbo Improvement District, an organization dedicated to the enhancement and promotion of one of New York City's most historic, dynamic and compelling neighborhoods. The Dumbo Improvement District provides a variety of services from beautification to block parties to develop the neighborhood's thoroughly intriguing and ever evolving sense of place.

    Formerly, she served as a senior director at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) Project office. Prior to working on the ARC Project, Alexandria served as senior advisor to the Port Authority’s Deputy Executive Director working on the agency’s capital programs and sustainability efforts.

    Prior to joining the Port Authority, Alexandria worked for US Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) in both his communications department, where she was in charge of speech writing, and his legislative department as the director of economic development, where she was responsible for issues related to job creation, land use and transportation. She worked on projects including the redevelopment of Buffalo’s waterfront, development of the high-tech sector in upstate New York, and expansion of the New York City subways, among others.

    Alexandria began her career in public service at the New Jersey Department of Transportation, first as speechwriter to the Commissioner and then as a liaison to the federal government and New Jersey’s congressional delegation. In this job, Alexandria helped put together a communications roll-out for a public safety campaign and learned a lot about pot holes and the importance of communicating the good work that is done by government every day.

    Alexandria resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She has a BA in Economics from Brown University and recently earned her Master in Business Administration at NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

  • Leticia Smith-Evans
    Civil Rights Attorney, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    Leticia Smith-Evans is a civil rights attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), where she advocates for racial justice through impact litigation in federal and state courts around the country, technical assistance, policy and advisory work – primarily in the education and juvenile justice areas. At LDF, Leticia serves as counsel in school desegregation and voluntary integration cases, provides legal and technical assistance to education systems and their governing bodies, analyzes proposed and existing legislation, and evaluates and responds to proposed and existing federal initiatives.

    Immediately prior to joining LDF, Leticia was a litigation associate at the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where she represented clients before federal and state courts and quasi-judicial bodies. While there, she received a Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Award for outstanding pro bono contributions and multiple recognitions as Empire State Counsel for delivering pro bono services. Prior to joining the law firm, Leticia served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dickinson R. Debevoise of US District Court for the District of New Jersey. She also served as a policy advisor and agency liaison for Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. As a policy advisor and agency liaison, Leticia primarily focused on Pre-K through 12, higher education and workforce development issues. While in law school, Leticia was a summer law clerk with the Legal Aid Society’s Health Law Unit.

    Leticia received a BA in History from Williams College. She received a JD from the University of Wisconsin, where she was awarded the Wisconsin State Bar/Law School Academic Award for highest achievement in constitutional law, the Brown v. Board of Education Award for outstanding commitment to equal educational opportunity and social justice, and the National Association of Women Lawyers Award for service enhancing the legal profession. In addition, she received an MS in Educational Administration and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on intersections of equity, diversity, law, policy and professional development.

    Leticia’s teaching background includes serving as an adjunct professor of education law, a teaching assistant for various education law courses at the University of Wisconsin and a public school teacher with the former New York City Board of Education – where she was the recipient of the Breakthrough for Learning Award for fostering high academic achievement in the students who attended her public school in Brooklyn, NY. Leticia was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She has served and continues to serve on a number of nonprofit boards and committees, including at her alma maters – The Spence School, Williams College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Alumni Guides

  • Jeremy Coffey
    Spanish and ESL Teacher
    MS 260 The Clinton School for Writers and Artists
    Jeremy Tibbetts Coffey is a middle school Spanish and English as a Second Language teacher at MS 260 The Clinton School for Writers and Artists. Jeremy's current interests are policies that affect students in NYC and beyond, and he has significant research experience in English Language Learner theory and practice.

    Prior to his employment with NYC’s public schools, Jeremy attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. At Rollins, Jeremy's experience can best be described as eclectic, as he was involved in varsity and intramural athletics, social justice programs, and the honors degree program. Jeremy majored in Spanish and minored in Education, and graduated magna cum laude with an Honors BA after successfully completing an honors undergraduate thesis on the English Language Learner populations in three of Florida's most populated districts.

    Jeremy was also a two-year member of the men's varsity soccer team and was an intramural assistant for two years. In addition to his athletic and academic responsibilities, Jeremy was an active member in the grassroots social justice organization IMPACT, which sought to spread awareness and inspire leadership throughout the Rollins and greater Orlando communities in areas of diversity, leadership and multiculturalism.

    Jeremy was a 2009 FELPS Fellow. Now in his second year on the FELPS Alumni Board, Jeremy is currently serving as the board’s president. He also served in the inaugural year of FELPS Alumni Guides in 2010.

    Jeremy holds a Master of Arts in Education and Politics from Teachers College at Columbia University. Growing up as an international citizen, Jeremy spent his childhood in Asia, South America, Europe and the US. He speaks Spanish fluently after attending a local school in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he spent his middle school years.

  • Jessica Leavitt
    Vice President of National Expansion, Per Scholas
    Jessica Leavitt is vice president of national expansion for Per Scholas, Inc., a NYC-based nonprofit social venture committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through education and technology.

    Prior to joining Per Scholas in 2006, Jessica worked in Miami-Dade County as a Teach For America corps member. Jessica recently earned an interdisciplinary Master Degree in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania's School for Social Policy and Practice and the Wharton School of Business, with a focus on labor market strategies and human capital advancement. Jessica is expected to receive her Certification in Human Capital Management from New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies in the summer of 2011.

    Jessica graduated with honors from Tulane University with a BA in Sociology and American Studies. Jessica was a 2008 FELPS Fellow and also serves on the FELPS Alumni Board.

  • Mark Liu
    Practice Leader, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    Mark Liu is a practice leader at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a world-renowned organization dedicated to the progressive control and cure of cancer. Memorial Sloan-Kettering works toward this goal through programs of patient care, scientific research and community education.

    In the department of Ambulatory Care, Mark supervises the day-to-day operations of a high-volume chemotherapy unit for adult outpatient services at the main hospital. In addition, he supervises the Bone Marrow Transplant clinics and their chemotherapy unit. Mark is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and its local affiliate, Health Leaders of New York.

    Mark graduated from Binghamton University in 2007 with a BS in Psychobiology and Sociology. His thesis explored ways of “Improving Cultural Competency of American Hospitals for Limited English Proficiency Populations.” While at Binghamton University, he served as the associate director of a student-led economic think tank, volunteered regularly as an emergency medical technician and was president in community student government. One of his major accomplishments was organizing an award-winning program to promote awareness and empower students to increase access to healthcare through his role in student government.

    Mark is a 2008 FELPS Fellow who has been on the FELPS Alumni Board for three years. He served as its president last year and is vice president of the board this year. This is Mark’s second year as an Alumni Guide.

  • Aden Munassar
    Development Manager, Urban Justice Center
    Aden Munassar works as the development manager for several projects at the Urban Justice Center, an organization that serves New York City's most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing. She balances a variety of responsibilities, from grant writing to ongoing public relation needs, such as the projects’ newsletter, direct mail campaigns and planning events. Aden hopes to continue in public defense before pursuing law school. Prior to her current position, Aden worked at the DreamYard Project, a community-based arts and education organization in the Bronx.

    In 2008, Aden graduated cum laude from Fordham University with a BA in Political Science and Middle East Studies, focusing specifically on Islamic political theory. She spent a summer semester in Yemen, where she studied Islamic history. While at Fordham, her experiences in and outside of the classroom reinforced her interest in the world of social policy and public service. For two years, she interned, and eventually served on a community advisory board for a health education program for Bronx residents, the Bronx Health Link.

    Aden is a 2010 FELPS Fellow. By participating in the program, she gained insight and experience in public service. Apart from work, Aden volunteers as a member of Community Board 10. She also teaches English to Arabic-speaking immigrants as part of a citizenship program for her local mosque. In her free time, Aden enjoys reading science fiction, cooking and eating greasy food, and planning for overly ambitious projects.

  • Ly Nguyen
    Program Associate, Public Interest Projects
    Ly Nguyen is the program associate for the Fulfilling the Dream Fund (FDF) and Communities for Public Education Reform (CPER), both housed at Public Interest Projects (PIP). FDF focuses on promoting equal opportunity for all, whereas CPER supports education organizing as a key strategy for achieving educational equity in some of our country’s most distressed schools and school districts. Ly’s responsibilities include helping plan national conferences, interacting with donors, crafting proposals for funding and monitoring grantee activities. In her capacity as program assistant, she has an expansive view of the sector, interacting with an extensive set of grantee and donor partners throughout the country. Ly is thoroughly enjoying her work at PIP and expanding her knowledge of social justice issues.

    Prior to her position at PIP, Ly worked as an intern in the Children, Youth and Families division at the William Penn Foundation where she had the opportunity to meet with community leaders and advocates dedicated to issues of education policy. She also spent a summer interning for the Philadelphia Free Library where she coordinated summer learning activities for children in South Philadelphia. These experiences exposed her to the issues and challenges faced by urban schools and solidified her passion and interest in issues of education equity.

    Ly graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Asian American Studies. She also spent a semester abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Throughout her time at Penn, Ly was deeply involved in both the local Philadelphia community and the Penn community. Ly volunteered as a tutor with the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project and the Center for Community Partnerships. She also joined Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed fraternity dedicated to community service. As a leader within the Asian Pacific American community at Penn, Ly served as Culture Show co-chair and then president of the Vietnamese Students Association. In these roles, she coordinated the organization’s annual culture shows as well as organized events to educate and enlighten the greater Penn and Philadelphia communities about Vietnamese culture and history.

    Ly was a 2010 Fellow and also serves on the FELPS Alumni Board.

Fellowship Staff

    Moschell Coffey

    Fellowship Manager and Center Coordinator, National Center on Philanthropy and the Law


As the manager of FELPS, Moschell Coffey leads the application review and fellow selection process, coordinates all fellowship sessions, helps develop curricular materials, and advises the alumni network.

Moschell is also the program coordinator at the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law (NCPL) at NYU School of Law. There she manages the operations, budget and activities of the center, which explores a broad range of legal issues affecting the nation's nonprofit sector.

Previously, Moschell worked in the office of NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall where she worked on projects related to student debt and public service education funding among other initiatives.

Moschell holds an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy with an international specialization from NYU Wagner, and an honors BA in international relations from Rollins College.

  • Colleen SchwartzCoffey
    Fellowship Director and Director of Communications, Research Center for Leadership in Action
    As director of the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, Colleen SchwartzCoffey oversees all outreach, recruitment and selection; program and curriculum development; alumni engagement; and evaluation.

    She also serves as the director of communications for the Research Center for Leadership in Action. In this role, she oversees strategic communications for the Center including brand management; writing, editing and production of publications and materials; internal communications for faculty and staff; design and updates to the Web site and social media platforms; and targeted outreach activities.

    Previously, Colleen was the director of communications for the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. As part of this work, she helped build relationships with journalists, policymakers, and key stakeholders to position the organization as a resource for nonpartisan data and analysis on US and EU immigration policies, the status of refugees and internally displaced people, migration and development, immigrant integration, and migration policies and emergent trends worldwide.

    Prior to graduate school, Ms. Coffey participated in a selective two-year nonprofit management fellowship at El Pomar Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation in Colorado. There she served as the director of an international exchange program for elected and appointed officials; served on a team managing a statewide awards program, including directing the video production process for a film featuring 33 exemplary nonprofits; contributed articles to the Colorado Springs Gazette as part of a half-million dollar fundraising campaign to support social services; and served as director of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute. Colleen holds an MA in International Print Journalism from American University and a BA in English from the University of San Diego.