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Meet Our Team

Work at DonorsChoose

Board of Directors

Peter Bloom, Board Chair
Peter Bloom, Board ChairAdvisory Director, General Atlantic, LLC
I grew up in Binghamton, NY—a small city in the middle of New York State. I went to public school all the way through 12th grade. I even had some of the teachers who taught my father when he went to the same middle and high school 40 years before me. I wasn’t even an average student because I was more interested in learning magic, locksmithing, and how to repair pinball machines and jukeboxes. Today, I am a passionate magician and have performed all over the world. I specialize in card magic, but also do some large and dangerous stage effects. I still pick locks and enjoy combining that with escape magic whenever possible. (Please do not try this at home!) And of course, I still play one of my favorite pinball machines every chance I get.

I started college at the local State University in my hometown and eventually graduated from Northwestern University, which is just north of Chicago. I majored in Economics and Computer Studies. I have always been very interested in computers and learned to program in many languages. After college, I worked in a number of computer programming jobs and ended up leading the technology division for a large Wall Street trading firm. I spent the last 20 years doing technology work for another large financial firm until I retired in 2010 so I could focus on and other non-profit causes that are important to me and my family. I helped to start Peak Rescue Institute, which teaches advanced search and rescue techniques to first responders. I also helped start the Connected Warrior Foundation, which assists wounded veterans.

In my free time, you can find me and my wife riding our tandem bicycle. We’ve been riding tandems for over 30 years now... but I’m still not sure my wife is always pedaling!
Amanda Calzada
Amanda CalzadaTransitional Bilingual Kindergarten Teacher
Amanda Calzada is a transitional bilingual kindergarten teacher who teaches in the heart of the Little Village neighborhood in Chicago, IL. She has been teaching kindergarten since 2013, serving low-income bilingual students in the community. She graduated Suma Cum Laude as a first-generation college student with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University in 2013. She then earned her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and ESL from Olivet Nazarene University and graduated Suma Cum Laude in 2016. She was the first in her family to earn a master’s degree.

Amanda believes a high-quality education has the power to transform lives and attributes her success to the sacrifices her parents made. Arriving to the United States as young immigrant children from Mexico, her parents worked hard to provide her and her sister with an excellent education and a better quality of life they never had. Experiencing firsthand how a quality education can open the doors to many opportunities, Amanda has dedicated her career to working with underserved and marginalized groups. She now teaches in the community where her parents once lived as children.

Amanda works hard to build a classroom community that is accepting, respectful, and nurturing because she believes that children learn best when they feel safe, loved, and celebrated. She loves to incorporate song, dance, and creativity into her teaching and designs much of the curriculum she teaches herself. She leads her school’s after school program and manages year-round enrichment programs for students in grades K through 8. She is also active in the school’s yearbook committee and leads classroom management workshops for her fellow teachers.

Executive Team

Charles Best
Charles BestFounder and CEO
Charles Best leads DonorsChoose, a nonprofit website which enables anyone to help a classroom in need. Charles launched the organization in 2000 at a Bronx public high school where he taught history for five years. To date, teachers at more than 80% of all the public schools in America have created classroom project requests on DonorsChoose, and more than 3 million people have given to those projects.

DonorsChoose is one of Oprah Winfrey's "ultimate favorite things" and made the cover of Fast Company as one of the "50 Most Innovative Companies in the World," the first time a charity has received such recognition.
Katie Bisbee
Katie BisbeeChief Marketing Officer & EVP, Partnerships
Katie leads the marketing and partnership team, engaging 2.5 million citizen donors and 500 corporate and foundation partners in supporting public school classrooms.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Katie launched a customer acquisition business at Red Ventures, a company ranked on the Inc. 500 list as one of the nation’s top 20 fastest growing companies. She also conducted market research and political polling for corporate and media clients.

Katie earned her M.B.A. from the Darden School at the University of Virginia, where the faculty awarded her the Hyde Fellowship for her contributions to the school. In 2016, she was named to Direct Marketing News’ “Marketing Hall of Femme”.
Geoff Hill
Geoff HillChief Financial Officer and EVP, Fulfillment
Geoff leads the Finance and Fulfillment team at DonorsChoose. He spent his career prior to DonorsChoose working in the Media, Entertainment and Technology industries.

His prior experience includes a mix of corporate and operational finance roles at Lionsgate, IAC/Interactive, Warner Music Group and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Geoff is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), author, entrepreneur, and a graduate of Morehouse College, where he earned a BA in Business Administration.
Oliver Hurst-Hiller
Oliver Hurst-HillerChief Technology Officer and Head of Product
Oliver is responsible for the technology and user experience that power DonorsChoose's unique philanthropic marketplace.

Prior to joining the team in 2006, Oliver managed product engineering projects for Microsoft's new search engine, now called Bing. He also helped start Microsoft Live Labs, an applied research laboratory for Internet technologies, and is the co-inventor of 22 issued U.S. patents related to Internet search technologies. Oliver joined Microsoft when the Windows division acquired EQuill, a venture-backed startup that he co-founded and led for three years as CEO.

In 2011, the Microsoft Alumni Foundation honored Oliver with the Integral Fellows Award. He is the Chair of CTOs For Good and on the Advisory Council on Computing & Information Technology for Brown University. Oliver has a Computer Science degree from Brown and spent the first 13 years of his academic career attending New York City public schools.
Julia Prieto
Julia PrietoChief Operating Officer & EVP, People Operations
Julia leads the People Operations team, delivering an employee experience ​that the NonProfit T​i​mes ranked as ​t​op​ among medium-sized employers.​ ​Prior to ​this role, Julia spent four years leading an Operations team at DonorsChoose.

​Before joining the organization, Julia ​managed​ ​digital fundraising programs for the 2012 Obama campaign and oversaw digital engagement at the Robin Hood Foundation. She is a graduate of Williams College and earned a M.A. from the New School for Public Engagement. She lives in ​Fort Greene and can be found cheering on the U.S. Soccer National Team in her free time.

Advocacy & Public Partnerships

Sam Atkeson
Sam AtkesonManager, Advocacy & Public Partnerships
Sam works to engage and support school districts at DonorsChoose to ensure that all students and teachers have access to the classroom resources they need.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Sam managed partnerships at Clever, an ed-tech startup based in San Francisco. He has written about digital learning for Education Week, and spent a year teaching English in Argentina on a Fulbright Fellowship. Sam holds a B.A. in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia.
Katie Bisbee
Katie BisbeeChief Marketing Officer & EVP, Partnerships
Katie leads the marketing and partnership team, engaging 2.5 million citizen donors and 500 corporate and foundation partners in supporting public school classrooms.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Katie launched a customer acquisition business at Red Ventures, a company ranked on the Inc. 500 list as one of the nation’s top 20 fastest growing companies. She also conducted market research and political polling for corporate and media clients.

Katie earned her M.B.A. from the Darden School at the University of Virginia, where the faculty awarded her the Hyde Fellowship for her contributions to the school. In 2016, she was named to Direct Marketing News’ “Marketing Hall of Femme”.
Jinan O'Connor
Jinan O'ConnorVP, Advocacy & Public Partnerships

Jinan builds relationships with school districts, states and education associations around the country to support their educational priorities and make it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need.

Prior to DonorsChoose, Jinan worked as Vice President, Implementation and Professional Learning and as the Executive Director, Northeast at Turnaround for Children; Northeast States Director for AVID; and a School Improvement Consultant for Southern Regional Education Board. Jinan began her educational career as an elementary Special Education teacher after graduating from Spelman College. She also holds an ED.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education and is a member of several women’s leadership councils.

Danielle Rowe
Danielle RoweAssociate, Advocacy and Public Partnerships
Danielle works to deepen relationships with school district administrators across the country. A New York native, Danielle is a proud product of public school education.

As a former educator, Danielle understands how limited resources can negatively affect educational outcomes and is committed to promoting educational equity and eliminating the achievement gap. An alumna of AmeriCorps, Danielle holds a BA from Fordham University in History and African American Studies. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Policy and Non-Profit Management at the New School for Social Research.

Outside of work, you can find Danielle exploring the diverse art gallery and museum scene throughout NYC and attending live jazz shows throughout Brooklyn.
Kirk Smiley
Kirk SmileyManaging Director, Advocacy and Public Partnerships
Kirk leads our work with school districts, state leaders, and education associations, helping them leverage our platform to serve their educational priorities and bring the most support to their teachers and students. He's presented on crowdfunding best practices and policies to thousands of district administrators, including at national and state-level AASA, ASBO, NSBA, NAESP, NSFA, and ISTE conferences. He previously spent 10 years managing our corporate and foundation partnerships after joining DonorsChoose back in 2007, originally directing our Indiana statewide expansion.

Kirk graduated with honors from Purdue with a B.S. in Management, B.A. degrees in English Literature and Religious Studies, and an MBA from the Krannert School of Management. Coming from a long lineage of public school educators, he is honored to be helping thousands of teachers and students through DonorsChoose.
Keya Wondwossen
Keya WondwossenDirector, Advocacy and Public Partnerships
Keya works with school district stakeholders nationwide to shape how DonorsChoose can support their educators, students, and strategic imperatives. In addition, she also partners with education associations to maximize the impact of our platform.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Keya was a Community Partner Manager with Girls Who Code. By building relationships with various community based organizations, she was responsible for leading a team which tripled the number of after-school Clubs across a ten state portfolio. Additionally, she oversaw student recruitment for summer programming. Keya was also a Talent Recruiter with KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools and an Elementary ESOL teacher for three years.

Keya graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in International Affairs and an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A first-generation college graduate and daughter of immigrants, Keya is passionate about how high quality education can dramatically change life trajectories for students and their families.

Finance & Fulfillment

 Abigail Doolan
Abigail DoolanBusiness Relations Manager
Abigail, our Business Relations Manager, builds and maintains productive relationships with our 22 integrated vendors. Prior to joining the team, she completed Macy’s Executive Development Program for buying and worked in account management in the outdoor amusement industry. Motivated by the incredible variety of projects on the site, she’s excited to be working with a team dedicated to connecting teachers with their requested resources.

She is a first-generation college grad with a B.S. in marketing and minor in entrepreneurship from the University of Florida. In her spare time, she’s usually taking in Central Park, finding new streets to wander down, or on the hunt for the coziest coffee shops around the city.
Stephanie Armitage
Stephanie ArmitageFulfillment Operations, Senior Agent
Stephanie supports the Fulfillment Operations and Strategy team to ensure every item ordered arrives on time.

As a former AmeriCorps member working in an NYC classroom, she's passionate about ensuring that all classrooms have exactly what their students need!

When not placing orders, Stephanie works as a freelance stage manager. In her spare time, she enjoys petting cute puppies, drinking iced coffee, and lying in the sun by the river.
Michelle Baker
Michelle BakerFulfillment Operations Agent
Michelle enjoys supporting the Fulfillment Operations & Strategy team by seeing that each teacher's project is successfully fulfilled, including calling vendors for shipping details or diligently monitoring the status of a payment. Purchasing materials for Special Request projects is one of her favorite areas, where she happily connects teachers with needed resources and dives into finding ways to solve any teacher's question.

During her free time, she enjoys day trips with a family that includes 4 daughters--including identical twins, co-managing an online T-shirt business, and when she can find it, relaxing with some much needed downtime.
Jenni Davies Torres
Jenni Davies TorresDirector of Fulfillment Systems
Jenni manages our e-procurement systems to ensure teachers have what their students need to succeed. She joined DonorsChoose in 2007 to help the Operations Team scale to serve every public school in the nation!

Previously, Jenni worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Jumpstart for Young Children, where she focused on development events, individual giving, grant writing, and database design. Jenni graduated from Boston College with a BS in sociology and a minor in education. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with family, especially her three children.
Dot Doran
Dot DoranManager, Fulfillment Operations
Dot manages and supports project fulfillment with a mission of identifying areas to enhance team and teacher experiences. She uses her financial expertise to ensure the right materials and experiences are purchased for each project and helps cross-collaborate with the Accounting team, where she previously worked as an associate.

Dot is a native New Yorker and a proud product of the NYC public school system, graduating from CUNY Queens College with a B.A. degree in Accounting. Outside of bringing classroom dreams to life with her #workfam she enjoys being a New York Rangers superfan, fantasy football, reading, baking, and cooking.
Dana Dragos
Dana DragosFinance Associate
Dana coordinates matching gifts and helps manage DonorsChoose's financial data. She has worked across multiple teams since joining DonorsChoose in 2012 and uses that experience to track and analyze the flow of funds from initial donations through to the purchasing of resources for students.

A fancier of words as well as numbers, Dana is a New York native with a BA in English from Stony Brook University and an MLS from Queens College. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to many, many podcasts, and playing the occasional game of Scrabble.
Erin Evers
Erin EversFulfillment Operations & Strategy, Manager
Erin helps to ensure all resources and experiences teachers request for their students come to fruition. She fosters continuous improvement and works to identify learning opportunities for her team. As a child of former public school teachers, she knows how impactful having the right resources can be to both students and teachers.

Prior to DonorsChoose, you could’ve found her performing in numerous shows across the US and NYC. Now you can find her at the latest horror film, a local piano bar, or singing musicals to her son, Parker.
Ryan Feyk
Ryan FeykFulfillment Operations, Senior Agent
Ryan supports the Fulfillment Operations & Strategy team by helping guarantee seamless class trips and professional development experiences for teachers. His multiple years of experience in this role have provided him with an encyclopedic knowledge of telephone hold music.

When he's not helping teachers at DonorsChoose, he's producing theatre with his company, The Vainglory Theatre Team.
Molly Gill
Molly GillBusiness Relations Manager
Molly builds and manages relationships with our dedicated DonorsChoose vendors, and helps the Business Relations team drive improvements and innovations for both vendors and teachers. She has a B.S. from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and an M.A. in Human Rights from Columbia. She loves travel, food and culture, and has recently embraced mid-century modern design and bicycling.
Tanisha Golding
Tanisha GoldingSenior Associate, Business Relations
Tanisha helps the Business Relations team develop and support relationships with current and potential vendors. As a first generation college student and someone who has benefited from the support of exceptional teachers, she is energized by the DonorsChoose mission each day.

She's previously worked with Project Fulfillment as a Fulfilment Experience Agent to ensure seamless communication between our teachers and vendors whenever they had a question about classroom resources.

Tanisha is a graduate of Barnard College where she earned her B.A. in Political Science. In her spare time she enjoys going to the movies, amusement parks, visiting new places, and spending time with family & friends.
Hema Gonsalves-Hoq
Hema Gonsalves-HoqBusiness Relations, Senior Agent
Hema collaborates with our integrated vendors to create incredible teacher and student experiences.

Hearing stories of her parents’ childhood in Guyana and seeing how they overcame their obstacles with the limited resources they had is a constant motivation for her to help bring DonorsChoose’s mission to life.

Prior to joining the team, Hema worked as a Relationship Associate for a financial software company in NYC. She's a graduate of Pace University with a B.A. in Biology. In her free time, she enjoys attempting to keep her plants alive, cooking for friends and family, reading in her hammock, playing board games she can win and walking her two enormous dogs."
Molly Gonzalez
Molly GonzalezAssociate, Fulfillment Operations
Molly supports the Fulfillment Operations & Strategy team by ensuring that teachers receive the right resources and materials for their projects at the right time for the right price.

Molly previously worked at a childcare center and saw what having access to resources can do for a child’s life. She recently graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in business economics. Molly enjoys spending time with her family, trying out new recipes and wandering trails in her neighborhood.
Fatu Gumaneh
Fatu GumanehSenior Accounting Associate
Fatu’s main responsibilities on the Finance & Fulfillment team are accounts payable management, nonprofit sales tax compliance, and supporting the operations of employer matching gift programs.

Fatu holds a BBA degree in Operations Management from Baruch College and a minor in Psychology. Outside the office, Fatu enjoys cooking, henna designs, and spending time with family.
Cassie Hall
Cassie HallSenior Associate, Fulfillment Operations & Strategy
Cassie supports teachers as an associate on the Finance & Fulfillment team.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Cassie worked in a variety of roles at Bridge International Academies - a chain of low-cost schools in Africa and Asia. She spent a year working with teachers and students in Kenya and is a graduate of Northeastern University's College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

In her spare time, Cassie enjoys traveling, attempting to cook, and working on becoming the best Aunt of all time.
Geoff Hill
Geoff HillChief Financial Officer and EVP, Fulfillment
Geoff leads the Finance and Fulfillment team at DonorsChoose. He spent his career prior to DonorsChoose working in the Media, Entertainment and Technology industries.

His prior experience includes a mix of corporate and operational finance roles at Lionsgate, IAC/Interactive, Warner Music Group and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Geoff is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), author, entrepreneur, and a graduate of Morehouse College, where he earned a BA in Business Administration.
Jenath Jalal
Jenath JalalPartnership Fulfillment Associate
Jenath supports fulfillment for partnerships and campaigns. She uses her past experience as a Project Fulfillment Agent and a Partnerships Management Fellow to help our partners ensure students get the materials and experiences they need to succeed.

She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Queens College. When she's not in the office she loves spending time with friends and family, listening to podcasts, traveling, and endlessly scrolling for new recipes!
Jim Kao
Jim KaoController
Jim leads the Accounting team at DonorsChoose and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Jim held management positions in audit/accounting at PwC and Oscar Health.

Outside the office, Jim enjoys scouting out new restaurants, planning for future trips, and pretending to be like Mike.
Aisha Keita
Aisha KeitaProject Fulfillment Coordinator
Aisha is from Mali, West Africa and is a graduate from Baruch College where she earned her B.A in Political Science. She began her educational journey as an English Language Learner and appreciated the lengths her teachers in elementary school went to provide her with the tools to succeed with limited resources. Her passion to elevate the youth in her community led her to DonorsChoose.
Val Kissel
Val KisselFulfillment Operations Agent
Val helps teachers and vendors bring trips, visitors, and all types of classroom project requests to life!

Benefiting from wonderful teachers throughout her education (and from birth, thanks mom!) she's passionate about getting teachers and their students the tools and experiences they need for an outstanding education.

Hailing from Alaska, she's especially familiar with the joy of the delivery a long-awaited package brings. Her current obsessions are homemade popsicles, astronomy, and all the littles who call her Auntie.
Alicia Leitch
Alicia LeitchBusiness Relations Assistant
Alicia is passionate about advancing educational equity by helping teachers and students get much-needed resources. She supports our integrated vendors to connect the items they ship to the classroom's we serve.

Before joining the team, Alicia worked as the Special Projects Assistant for The Peoples Climate Movement and completed two AmeriCorps service terms as a Reach Out and Read, Program Coordinator with NYU Lutheran Community Health Centers and as a Regional Operations Coordinate with Reading Partners. Alicia holds a BA in Sociology with minors in Business Studies and History from Drew University.

Outside of work, you can find Alicia running around the city checking out various thrift shops, usually with her partner Li and their adorable dog Oliver in tow.
Odina Lewis
Odina LewisFulfillment Operations Agent
Odina works to purchase resources and provide payments for experiences for students across the country. She enjoys the opportunity to be part of an organization that fulfills the needs of teachers and students by bringing the visions of the classroom to fruition.

A native New Yorker, Odina has bachelor degrees in both sociology and social work. As a child of a retired educator, Odina is excited to give back to a profession that has aided in her development as a human being.

For fun, she can be found spending as much time as possible with her family and friends, volunteering or binging a K-drama (or two).
Seba Martinez-Miranda
Seba Martinez-MirandaSenior Analyst, Financial Planning & Analysis
Seba leads our financial planning efforts - helping to roll out new systems, tools, and processes to make sure we can effectively monitor DonorsChoose's financial health and plan for the future.

Originally from the Philippines, Seba moved to the US to attend Bates College, where he graduated with a degree in Economics and a minor in Music. In his spare time, Seba enjoys cooking food from home and surfing the internet for new music.
Karen Mego
Karen MegoSenior Associate, Fulfillment Operations
Karen supports the Finance & Fulfillment team to ensure materials successfully arrive for teachers and students when their projects are fully funded. You can find her analyzing and monitoring the data for the thousands of items we order a week to make improvements to our fulfillment processes.

Karen is a proud graduate of New York public schools and was inspired to join the DonorsChoose team while volunteering to send student thank you letters to donors. She holds a B.B.A. degree in Business Management from Baruch College, and an A.S. in Industrial Design from City Tech. Outside of the office, Karen enjoys trying new things like painting, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends.
Alliah Mohamed
Alliah MohamedDirector, Accounting & Financial Operations
Alliah leads the Accounting team, responsible for Finance systems, GL accounting, the Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable functions. She is focused on helping the Finance team build solutions that allow for scalable growth.

Alliah is a proud product of NYC public schools with a B.A. degree in Finance from CUNY Baruch College. Outside of the office, Alliah enjoys traveling, exploring new foods, cooking, baking, and spending time with family and friends.
Will Sarratt
Will SarrattFulfillment Operations Agent
Will supports the Fulfillment Operations & Strategy team by working with teachers and vendors to bring classroom projects to life. He's helped teachers receive countless classroom resources, from flexible seating to live insects, and loves to see the difference a few packages can make for students.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Will received his BFA in Drama from New York University and continues to perform on stage and the occasional screen. When he's not ordering classroom resources or performing, Will enjoys traveling, trivia contests, and arguing with his cat.
Steven Schillaci
Steven SchillaciAccounting Associate
Steven is responsible for handling both the Accounts Receivable and Cash Receipts function and for supporting the Accounts Payable function. Before transitioning to the Finance & Fulfillment team, he served as a part-time Customer Experience Agent on the Project Fulfillment team; in that position, he facilitated communication between teachers and vendors to ensure a smooth material acquisition process.

Steven graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. in May of 2016 and holds a degree in accounting. Outside of work, Steven can be found exploring Brooklyn, relaxing in Prospect Park, and looking for the best nachos in the city.
Jackie Schram
Jackie SchramFulfillment Operations Agent
Jackie works with vendors across the country to purchase materials to bring teacher ideas to life. She loves ordering all kinds of resources and reading about how they will make a difference in their classroom.

Jackie has worked as a professional actor for over a decade. She's worked regionally, Off-Broadway, and toured the country twice. Jackie also spends time working with children throughout NYC. As a daughter of a retired kindergarten teacher, Jackie used to help her mom find supplies for her classroom and is excited to continue to do that in a new way at DonorsChoose.
Claude Seide
Claude SeideFulfillment Operations Agent
Claude supports the Fulfillment Operations & Strategy team by fulfilling orders and supporting teachers with all their Special Request project needs.

As a first-generation college student, she's benefited from professional mentorship from the staff at America Needs You and is passionate about supporting classroom equity every day.

Claude is studying at Baruch College and working towards her B.A in General Marketing with a minor in Psychology and Communication Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys learning new coding languages, read, visiting new places and trying new foods.
Amy Soler
Amy SolerSenior Director, Business Relations
Amy is responsible for managing relationships with current and potential suppliers, as well as our e-procurement providers.

Before joining DonorsChoose, Amy worked in the advertising world developing media strategies. Amy gained first-hand experience in the NYC public school system as a Learning Leaders' volunteer working with students in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. As a lifelong media enthusiast, Amy continues to love music, movies, magazines and the simple joys of several fully-loaded TiVos.
Vincent To
Vincent ToBusiness Relations Assistant
Vincent currently works with our 20+ integrated vendors to ensure resources are shipped to the classroom as efficiently as possible. As a proud graduate of the NYC Public School System, Vincent is excited to bring much needed resources to teachers across the country so they can support their students.

Prior to joining the team, Vincent was an intern at CLEAR M&C Saatchi where he analyzed consumer experience to explore opportunities for growth. Vincent is currently finishing up his B.A. in Economics at Queens College. As a student, he has served as the President of the Queens College Student Chapter of Ascend where he hosted networking and career development workshops to focus on professional growth.

In his free time, Vincent is typically out exploring the city’s food scene, trying out new recipes, or binge-watching the latest Netflix series.
Erica Vendetti
Erica VendettiSenior Director, Fulfillment Operations & Strategy
Erica specializes in process management and daydreams in flow charts. She leads the Fulfillment Operations & Strategy team which purchases the resources and experiences that bring classroom ideas to life.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Erica served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer and graduated from Temple University. Erica's fond of tea, online web comics, and learning facts that might one day be the answer to a trivia question.
Christopher Viola
Christopher ViolaFulfillment Operations Agent
Christopher supports purchasing across all projects to make sure that teachers and students have what they need in the classroom.

He is majoring in Speech-Language Pathology at St. John’s University. His favorite memory from his four years has been to study abroad in Rome and learn how to make pasta from scratch. Chris has also worked at nonprofits in five different countries.

In his spare time, he can be found working to become a healthier person physically and mentally, experimenting with new recipes and volunteering at local hospitals.
Bruce Warren
Bruce WarrenFulfillment Operations Agent
Bruce enjoys making sure the experience teachers and students have when a project is fully funded is as joyful as possible - whether it's cool new electronics, books to discover new worlds or new experiences on awesome class trips.

As a professional Actor, Director, and Choreographer, Bruce has entertained audiences across North America in numerous theatrical productions. He serves on the faculty of Jen Waldman Studio and holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College.

In his free time, Bruce enjoys reading fantasy/science fiction novels, attending performances by fellow theatre-makers, and gaming on his PS4 with his awesome family!

Marketing & Partnerships

Vashti Barran
Vashti BarranSenior Partnerships Manager
Vashti manages partnerships with companies and foundations, with the goal of giving every student the materials and experiences that they need to reach their full potential. Prior to this, she worked on the DonorsChoose Fulfillment team where she managed relationships with the vendors who ensure that teachers receive their funded project materials.

Vashti is a proud first-generation CUNY graduate and product of the New York City public school system. The DonorsChoose mission is super personal to her (she sold chocolates throughout all of high school to subsidize the cost of attending school trips and leadership conferences!). In her spare time, Vashti enjoys volunteering, reading in the park, and trying to be good at yoga!
Lindsay Berkowitz
Lindsay BerkowitzTeacher Outreach and Relationships Coordinator
Lindsay drives outreach and teacher access to opportunities from our organization’s partners, and collaborates with partners to create opportunities that empower teachers' voices.

Lindsay is a lifelong student at UC Berkeley (go Bears!), as a current PhD candidate in sociology with a B.A. and M.A. also from UCB. They teach sociology courses at UC Berkeley, with a passion for helping students engage deeply with intersectional dynamics of structural inequality (e.g., gender, sexuality, race, disability, educational attainment, healthcare access). They are happiest when they are growing flowers, food, and community.
Katie Bisbee
Katie BisbeeChief Marketing Officer & EVP, Partnerships
Katie leads the marketing and partnership team, engaging 2.5 million citizen donors and 500 corporate and foundation partners in supporting public school classrooms.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Katie launched a customer acquisition business at Red Ventures, a company ranked on the Inc. 500 list as one of the nation’s top 20 fastest growing companies. She also conducted market research and political polling for corporate and media clients.

Katie earned her M.B.A. from the Darden School at the University of Virginia, where the faculty awarded her the Hyde Fellowship for her contributions to the school. In 2016, she was named to Direct Marketing News’ “Marketing Hall of Femme”.
Reyna Booth
Reyna BoothSenior Director, Partnership Operations
As our Salesforce administrator, Reyna works with team members to build our fundraising pipeline, forecast against our annual goals, and create streamlined internal processes for managing corporate and foundation partnerships.

Reyna received a B.A. in Communications and Advertising from Loyola University Maryland and an M.F.A. in Fiction from New York University’s Creative Writing Program.
Megan Bradley
Megan BradleyPartnerships Manager
Megan partners with companies and foundations to support public school teachers, provide the resources students need to succeed, and inspire donors to change the world - one classroom at a time. Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Megan worked across consulting, data analytics, and brand management at for-profit companies. A year spent launching a hurricane relief charity inspired Megan to pursue nonprofit management full-time, and she is very proud to spend her days helping teachers and students dream big.

Outside of the office, you can most often find Megan puttering around a community garden plot, watching a David Attenborough nature doc, or caring for her three pets (two cats and one sourdough starter). Megan is a proud alumna of Northwestern University (Go 'Cats!) where she earned a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology.
Stephen Burke
Stephen BurkeDigital Marketing Manager
Stephen leads Digital Marketing at DonorsChoose, overseeing our email program and other digital channels. Before moving to the Marketing & Community team, he managed our organic social channels, wrote lots of blog posts, and made our videos. And before that he worked for a few other nonprofits, building better cities with the Project for Public Spaces and advancing STEM education with the Ocean Exploration Trust.

The proud son and grandson of public school teachers, he graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Television/Radio Production. When he’s not in the office, you can find him running around NYC, reading in the sun, baking mostly successful loaves of bread.
Alisa Catellier
Alisa CatellierVice President, Partnership Activation
Alisa helps partnerships come to life by managing projects to develop new features, tools, and processes. She joined DonorsChoose in 2006, originally helping to scale and streamline work on our Operations team.

Alisa graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in Political Science and Theatre. As a K-12 public school alum, Alisa relishes having a job where she can help give other students access to essential and enrichment opportunities.
John Choi
John ChoiAssociate, Partnership Activation
Before becoming an FY20 Fellow, John worked as the School Data Assistant of the Trust & Safety team and the Data Science & Analytics Assistant on the Data Science & Analytics team.

His interests include testing his limits with spicy food, the occasional horror movie that will certainly result in a sleepless night, and being prepared to make a SpongeBob reference whenever possible.
Dorthea Damaskos
Dorthea DamaskosManager, Partnership Activation
Dorthea supports the Partnerships & Business Development team by executing partnerships with companies and foundations. Her commitment to positive societal change, specifically involving gender and racial inequality and education inequity, drew her to the non-profit sector.

Dorthea holds a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish Language & Literature from Wellesley College and is proud to be working in her home state of New York.
Devin Dillon
Devin DillonPartnership Activation Manager
Devin develops processes and shares partnerships insights across the DonorsChoose team to ensure that each partnership successfully enables teachers to get the resources they need.

Prior to this role, Devin led a global education program at Technovation. She has a Master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University, where she specialized in working with students who have learning disabilities. DonorsChoose has been special to her for a long time; she used the site when she was a teacher in Baltimore to get a projector for her 7th grade classroom.
Alex Fagundez
Alex FagundezCommunity and Teacher Engagement Associate
Alex is responsible for building and cultivating a strong community of teachers who use our site to successfully bring resources into their classrooms. This includes connecting teachers to inspire and learn from one another, empowering them to advocate for their needs, and ensuring their projects get funded.

Prior to joining our team, Alex studied psychology and taught third grade in New Jersey where she fell in love with that “AHA!” moment—when a concept finally clicks for a child. In her free time, Alex loves to hike, garden, and spend time with her dog Lucy.
Yesenny Fernandez
Yesenny FernandezFellow
Hey my name is Yesenny, and I am very excited to be a FY21 fellow at DonorsChoose and be part of the Partnership Activation Team. For me having the resources needed to achieve the maximum out of education is the key to success.

In May 2019, I completed my BS in Computer Information Technology with a minor in Studio Art at St. Joseph's College. From September 2019 until June 2020, I was privileged enough to do an internship at UNICEF, and work for the Nutrition Section where I was working with countries in humanitarian situations. I was part of the team that reported data collected through various nutrition programme monitoring systems. Previous to UNICEF I was an IT Assistant at CORE Services Group where I provided all aspects of IT support.

In my spare time I am mostly watching romantic movies, drawing, painting, doing some graphic design work, and taking photographs around NYC.
Abby Feuer
Abby FeuerSVP, Marketing & Community
Abby leads the Marketing & Community team, focused on driving individual donations and engagement with DonorsChoose and empowering our community of teachers to increase their project and classroom success.

Prior to this role, Abby earned her MBA at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and honed her marketing and community chops at LinkedIn and Etsy. In Seller Development at Etsy, Abby managed a team focused on seller engagement, retention and insights, organizing grassroots community efforts both on and offline and developing an email education strategy for existing sellers.

Abby is an avid-yogi, bike rider and dog lover. She's inspired every day by the above and beyond teachers who use DonorsChoose.
Shantaa Foster
Shantaa FosterCommunity Partnerships Manager
Shantaa develops and executes campaigns with corporate and foundation partners, bringing resources to classrooms nationwide. Prior to joining DonorsChoose, she worked in Finance, specializing in trade execution and optimization projects. As a proud alumna of the Prep for Prep program and Columbia University, Shantaa is grateful for the opportunity to support teachers and students across the nation.
Ariana Jacobs
Ariana JacobsSpecial Assistant to the CEO
Ariana supports the CEO by coordinating his schedule, speaking engagements, and business travel. She also manages internal org-wide events like business reviews, and builds relationships with non-profit peer organizations. An alumna of both NYC public and private schools, Ariana saw first hand the difference that a well-resourced classroom made in her education. She joined DonorsChoose as a Fellow to pursue her passion of making sure teachers can provide their students with the tools they need to thrive.

Ariana graduated cum laude from Barnard College with a B.A. in Urban Studies. When she’s not in the office, you can find her making a mess in her kitchen while perfecting recipes for her home-based cake business and spending time with her family.
Kristina Joye Lyles
Kristina Joye LylesPartnerships Director
Kristina ("Steen") develops and manages corporate and foundation partnerships. Steen previously served on the Operations team, where she helped maintain happy relationships with donors and teachers. Prior to joining the DonorsChoose team, she practiced corporate law, focusing on merger and acquisition transactions for private equity clients. Before that she taught Street Law to high school students in the D.C. public school system. Steen graduated from Spelman College and Georgetown Law and loves all things related to cheerleading, dance, Harlem and coffee.
Logan Keller
Logan KellerPartnerships Manager
Logan manages partnerships with companies and foundations to facilitate funding to classrooms, with the goal of creating a more equitable education space. Prior to this, he led the Gratitude Operations team at DonorsChoose, managing a group of 200 volunteers that process student thank-yous to send directly to donors.

Logan graduated from Vanderbilt University, where he majored in Political Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Spanish. Outside of work, Logan enjoys working on his novel, finding the best vegan food in NYC, and getting the best deals on Broadway shows.
Zachary Kobayashi
Zachary KobayashiPartnerships Coordinator
Zach recently graduated from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, where he studied Business and Political Economy with dual minors in Public Policy & Management and American Sign Language. He has worked in the nonprofit space for more than four years and is especially passionate about the education, equality and discrimination, mental health, and LGBTQ+ rights cause spaces. He is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work at an organization that encompasses all of these passions!

In his role as Partnerships Coordinator at DonorsChoose, Zach works with the Partnerships team to assist with the execution of partner campaigns and strengthen the connections between our partners and teachers. He also researches potential corporate and foundation partnerships.

Outside of work, Zach spends his time Tweeting too much, buying and making clothes, writing, and volunteering with his hometown ambulance service.
Janelle Lin
Janelle LinSenior Vice President, Business Development
Janelle works with corporations and foundations across the country to build partnerships to support local public schools. She first developed her passion for education when she managed mentoring programs for middle school youth in Los Angeles Unified School District. Prior to DonorsChoose, Janelle served as Regional Vice President, Sales for, Managing Director of Step Up Women's Network, and Director of LA's BEST afterschool enrichment program. Janelle graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. in Studio Art and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She was awarded the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, the Harvard Business School Leaders Fellowship, the Pomona College Inspirational Young Alumna Award, and the NAWBO Rising Star Award. Janelle serves on the Board of Directors for Cookies For Kids' Cancer.
Jasmine Marrow
Jasmine MarrowPartnerships Director
Jasmine develops and manages corporate and foundation partnerships. Prior to joining the DonorsChoose team, Jasmine developed tools and strategies to help nonprofits share their stories with the world at Candid (formerly GuideStar). She has her MPP from Mills College in Oakland, CA, where she also earned her B.A.

Jasmine’s very first job was in the classroom and she’s had a passion for education ever since! Outside of the office, Jasmine can usually be found reading in cozy places and eating noodles everywhere.
Ryn McLennan
Ryn McLennanSenior Writer
Ryn supports the Marketing & Partnerships team by ensuring quality writing with a unified voice. They previously supported the west coast team as the San Francisco Office Manager. Prior to joining DonorsChoose, they worked with education companies and non-profits around New York. They hold a BFA in Acting from NYU, where they focused on the arts as a tool for social change. Outside the office, Ryn can usually be found knitting socks or reading outdoors.
Jamal Moody
Jamal MoodyAssociate, Partnership Activation
Jamal is a proud first-generation college student. He attended Baruch College, where he majored in Operations Management and double minored in Black Studies and English. He understands the detriment of educational inequity and is committed to helping as many teachers and students as possible.

Jamal started as a Project Fulfillment Intern, then transitioned to a part-time role on the Business Relations Team, and now he is honored to be a part of this Fellowship class. He has also worked with America Needs You, where he cultivated his professional skills and learned of his passion for Non-Profits. He is excited to continue his professional journey with DonorsChoose as a Fellow and make even more teachers and students smile.
Lynn Overmyer
Lynn OvermyerDesign Manager
Lynn uses design, illustration, and photography to bring our teachers’ stories into the hearts and minds of our supporters. Lynn works closely with the marketing, product, and partnerships teams to help launch national campaigns that drive engagement and awareness of our programs.

Before joining the team, Lynn was a graphic designer at the Clinton Foundation, and taught high school as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Vanuatu. She holds a B.S. in Graphic Design with minors in Nonprofit Marketing and Spanish Language.

If not doodling, Lynn is most likely running along the Hudson River, baking elaborate birthday cakes for her friends, or hosting an impromptu art night.
Chris Pearsall
Chris PearsallVice President, Brand & Communications
Chris leads the DonorsChoose Brand & Communications team, helping inspire donors, partners, and teachers through media, social media, events, brand partnerships, and communications design. He joined the team in 2013, and in his prior role worked with Charles and the executive team to manage a variety of special projects, including disaster relief, flash funding events, media inquiries, and the #BestSchoolDay campaign.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Chris managed communications for a health services company and was a consultant for a global public relations agency, where he supported clients at brand initiatives such as the Sundance Film Festival and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Chris graduated from Ithaca College with a B.S. in Communications Management and Design.
Jasmine Penny
Jasmine PennyEmail Program Manager
Jasmine is responsible for our campaign-based teacher and donor email marketing efforts. Before joining the Marketing Team, Jasmine worked part-time at DonorsChoose as a Donor Experience Agent. She recently graduated from the University of New Haven with a BA in English. In her spare time, Jasmine enjoys going on new adventures, writing poetry, and looking for great places to get pizza.
Jessica Reed
Jessica ReedAssociate, Donor Engagement
After earning a B.A. in English from Princeton University, Jessica worked with educators in the New York City public school system through the lens of nonprofit programming. This experience, in addition to her time teaching, showed Jessica her passion for equity in education, bringing her to DonorsChoose as the Teacher Success Fellow. Jessica's time learning about the teacher experience deeply informs her current work with donors.

Outside the office, Jessica can be found searching for the best coffee shops in New York, finding ways to bring up the Midwest, and buying more books than she can actually read.
Josephine Rivera
Josephine RiveraFellow
Josephine (she/her/hers) has joined our team as the Marketing + Community Fellow. As a born and raised New Yorker who grew up attending the city’s public schools and being a first-generation college student, Josephine learned the value of education and was able to cultivate her passions advocating for equitable education during her college career, working with non-profit organizations such as the Opportunity Network and The Boys’ Club of New York. She is a recent graduate of Gettysburg College with a B.A. in Sociology and minors in Educational Studies and Peace & Justice Studies. She is excited to start her post-graduate professional journey with DonorsChoose and be a part of DonorsChoose’s mission!

In her spare time, you can find her getting fro-yo, going to concerts, watching Hamilton (again!) or catching up with pop culture!
Rianne Roberts
Rianne RobertsPartnerships Manager
Rianne develops and executes corporate and foundation partnerships with the ultimate goal of putting invaluable resources into the hands of teachers and students across the country. Before joining the Partnerships Team at DonorsChoose in 2016, she taught at an alternative urban high school in San Diego, California, where many of her students were refugees, recent immigrants or former gang members. She saw first hand the impact that education and access to the tools necessary to learn could have on students’ lives and futures. In addition to teaching, Rianne also owned a floral design and event styling business where she designed the aesthetic details for countless weddings. Rianne is thrilled to be at DonorsChoose where every day she has the joy of contributing to the mission of changing the world, one classroom at a time.
James Robinson
James RobinsonFellow
James is joining DonorsChoose as a fellow. He is from Brooklyn, NY and a recent graduate from Dartmouth College where he earned his B.A in Quantitative Social Science modified with Afro-African American Studies. His journey began with the number 8 because he learned that only 8% of people of color graduate from 4 year universities/colleges. His passion to elevate that number and inspire the youth in his community led him to DonorsChoose.
Tia Robinson
Tia RobinsonBusiness Development Associate
Tia assists the Business Development team through researching potential corporate and foundation partnerships and cultivating those partnerships. She recently graduated from Amherst College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Tia joined the DonorsChoose team because she witnessed first hand resource disparities between her public elementary school and her private middle and high school. She is passionate about providing classrooms with the necessary resources so that every child may have an equal opportunity to learn.

Outside of work, Tia can be found cuddling up with a book, traveling, or obsessing over any cute puppy on the street. Tia also enjoys baking and watching crime-related shows on Netflix.
Ali Rosen
Ali RosenHead of Foundation Giving, Business Development
Ali works with foundations and individual philanthropists interested in supporting students and teachers.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose in 2013, Ali was a teacher in San Pablo, California. She used DonorsChoose to secure tablets, copies of The Giving Tree, and more for students who were, in her totally unbiased opinion, the world's smartest preschoolers.

An alumna of Teach for America (Bay Area Corps ‘11), Ali graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University and holds an M.A. in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University.
Emily Rosenbach
Emily RosenbachDonor Relationships Researcher
Emily supports the Marketing & Community team in building relationships with the organization’s most engaged donors. She comes to DonorsChoose from the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank focused on sexual and reproductive health in the US and globally. At Guttmacher, she worked as part of the development team on sustaining and growing the Institute’s portfolio of foundation and foreign government grants. Outside of work, Emily is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Emily is a proud Jersey native and an alumna of Rutgers University, where she received a BA in English and communication. Some of her favorite things include horror movies, feminist literary theory, mashed potatoes and rubber duckies.
Tim Sommer
Tim SommerPartnerships Director
Tim works with corporate and foundation partners to bring their giving to life in classrooms across the country. As a dad to two young kids, he's a firm believer that every child should have access to a solid education, no matter what zip code they live in.

Outside of DonorsChoose you're likely to find Tim cheering on the Oakland A's (where he spent the first seven years of his career), on the golf course, or playing pub trivia a little too competitively.
Danielle Spinelli
Danielle SpinelliPartnerships Manager
Danielle manages partnerships with companies and foundations to support teachers and students across the country. Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Danielle managed client relationships at the advertising agency, ARGONAUT, leading integrated advertising campaigns across broadcast, digital, social and print media.

She holds a B.A. in psychology from Georgetown University, with minors in English and Justice & Peace Studies. Outside the office, Danielle can be found hiking north of San Francisco, reading outdoors, or eating green curry.
Mitchell Tillwick
Mitchell TillwickDigital Marketing Associate
Mitchell helps support advertising campaigns, explore new solutions, and use data to optimize campaigns. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and International Business.

Outside of the office, he enjoys practicing parkour, training MMA, playing the piano, learning something new, and eating disproportionate amounts of food.
Ky Turman
Ky TurmanPartnership Marketing Associate, Teacher Success
Ky works on the Marketing & Community team to raise awareness in classrooms around the country about our site's funding from companies and foundations, helping more teachers get what they need to create meaningful learning experiences for their students. As a former teacher and local organizer, she’s seen first-hand what it’s like when communities and schools have big ideas to boost student achievement, but need more resources to make those ideas a reality. That experience motivates Ky every day in her work to help more teachers see their dreams come to life.

Ky graduated from Wake Forest University in 2017 with a degree in English Literature. Outside of work, her favorite pastimes include attending art exhibitions and concerts, searching for new music and podcasts, and scrolling @catsofinstagram.
Katie Vallas
Katie VallasMarketing Director, Teacher Success
Katie leads Teacher Success on the Marketing & Community team, overseeing initiatives to grow, connect, and empower the community of DonorsChoose teachers to help them succeed on our site and in their classrooms.

Prior to joining the team, she taught history in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where DonorsChoose's generous army of supporters always made sure her junior high students had notebooks, pencils, and books.
Risa Ward
Risa WardVice President, Partnerships
Risa leads a team that creates high-impact partnerships with companies and foundations. Before joining the Partnerships team, Risa led Customer Relations at DonorsChoose, expanding the team to deliver personalized support and a strong customer experience for a growing community of teachers and donors.

Risa has a B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard, where she researched national service in the U.S. She is a mentor with America Needs You and sings in the Manhattan Choral Ensemble. In 2015, Risa was named to the Mic 50 list, a celebration of the next generation of impactful leaders, cultural influencers, and innovators.
Susan Yassky
Susan YasskyDonor Relationships Researcher
Hello! I'm so thrilled to join DonorsChoose as a Donor Relationships Researcher. I grew up here in the city, and now live in Brooklyn. I studied theater in college, and since then I've been working as a dramaturg in New York and in Louisville, Kentucky. Outside of DonorsChoose, I'm a Literary Associate at a theater company in Brooklyn called The Civilians. When I'm not working, I love writing plays, hosting board game nights, and playing with my dog.
Di Zhao
Di ZhaoManager, Donor Relationships
Di is the Donor Relationships Manager on the Marketing & Community team, focused on engaging with our generous supporters and showing them how much of a difference they're making to classrooms across the nation.

Prior to DonorsChoose, Di worked at S&P Global Market Intelligence and received her Masters in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University. Education-centered missions hit especially close to heart, having come from a family of teachers and having been a teacher herself.

Outside of work Di can be found at Moth story slams, tango classes, and anywhere there is food.


Aysha Operations Assistant
As a first-generation college graduate, Aysha's passion for education grew and she knew she wanted to make an impact in the non-profit education sector. She is directly working with teachers to ensure their projects are meeting guidelines, represent classrooms from all around the country, and working with partnerships. Another passion of hers is planning elaborate weddings on weekends. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books, crafting from Michaels, and spending time with family and friends.
Aran Abilock Clemmons
Aran Abilock ClemmonsTrust & Safety Assistant
Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Aran worked for Randall’s Island Park Alliance as a communications assistant. Aran graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2017, where he received his BA in Theatre and English. He is also an actor and comedian and can often be found goofing around at mics around the city. In his free time, he enjoys listening to podcasts, cooking, playing video games, and laughing too loudly.
Brittney B.
Brittney B.Customer Support Specialist
I've been working in Operations/Support for about 10 years and am thrilled to be a part of the Donors Choose team! I love to help people, so I'm glad to come to work every day to do just that.

In my spare time, you can find me pretending to be a barista and creating a new coffee or tea drink to enjoy. I love to cook and eat, so I’m frequently seen around Atlanta, giving new restaurants a try. DIY projects are my love language, so if I’m not making a drink or cooking something, I’m probably at the craft store.
Dan Blum
Dan BlumDirector, Customer Support Analytics
Dan uses data and analytics to ensure that customer support at DonorsChoose is as efficient as possible. With DonorsChoose since 2010, he previously managed corporate and foundation partnerships on the Partnerships team.

Prior to DonorsChoose, Dan worked as a Community Director for the Connecticut Chapter of the March of Dimes. He also served as an AmeriCorps member in Federal Way, WA, tutoring potential first-generation college students and instructing English language learning students. Dan is the son of a public school teacher and he holds a BA in Urban and Community Studies from the University of Connecticut where he lived in a log cabin.
CarlyCustomer Support Specialist
Hello from Texas! I live on a tiny farm near a National Forest and love hiking, camping and playing with my four giant dogs. I spend my free time riding horses and gathering eggs my chickens have laid. I also love to read and have a constantly evolving list of books I'm planning to read. Previously, I worked for a small vitamin shop and loved developing relationships with folks who started out as customers and ended up as friends. With DonorsChoose, I'm excited to meet new friends from all over the country and help teachers and students get the supplies they need. My favorite projects are the classroom pet projects!
Alison Chatfield
Alison ChatfieldDirector, Program Management
Alison leads the Program Management team to improve DonorsChoose's operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Alison is motivated by helping great organizations get better. She has worked for social business start-ups, global research and policy initiatives, and served as an AIF Clinton Fellow in rural India. She is a graduate of George Washington University and the London School of Economics.
CooperCustomer Support Specialist
I joined DonorsChoose in early 2016 for what I thought would be a temporary part-time job and ended up really enjoying the work and the folks I work with. When I'm not at work I'm most likely spending all of my time with my daughter. There's a chance you'll find me at the gym, playing music, cooking, or reading if time permits.
Danielle Curtis
Danielle CurtisCustomer Support Manager
Danielle manages a team committed to supporting our teachers and donors by answering their questions as quickly and effectively as possible. She also streamlines the team’s processes in order to meet and exceed goals.

Danielle enjoys Jeopardy, the phrase “find a need and fill it,” and listening to the same playlists over and over again. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Societies and a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Leadership.
Mary DeCarlo
Mary DeCarloSenior Operations Assistant
Mary supports the Operations team by screening projects for special campaigns and handling trickier project requests!

She is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Birkbeck University. While not helping teachers bring their projects to life, she can be found writing plays, performing, or going for a swim!
Mamasa Dukuray
Mamasa DukurayFellow
My name is Mamasa Dukuray and I am so excited to be joining DonorsChoose. I received my BA in International Political Economy this past May from Fordham University and I am excited to start my professional career at an organization that has a mission I am passionate about. I am very passionate about education and public health. In college, my internship and work experience revolved around nonprofit work and also some work in human resources. When I am not at work you can find me hanging with my friends and family or laying around binge watching funny videos on social media.
Katie Eliot
Katie EliotCustomer Support Readiness Manager
Katie works to support teachers with all inquiries big and small - from Funding Opportunities to Thank-you packages, she’s your gal! Katie graduated from Vassar College where she studied history and economics. She previously worked at the Brooklyn Museum, where she coordinated and led workshops for teachers. When not talking to teachers, you can find Katie hiking the Hudson Valley, spending time in the kitchen, or perusing the local library.
Drew H.
Drew H.Trust & Safety Assistant
Drew works on the Trust & Safety team, helping to support and maintain the integrity of user systems. He grew up in northern California and was educated at the University of California, Davis and the American Conservatory Theater. Drew is also an actor and an arts educator.
Francine Karpeh
Francine KarpehOperations Coordinator
My name is Francine, and I’m so happy to join the Content and Volunteer Operations Team! I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, but my family is from Liberia. Although my family worked hard to secure a good life for me, growing up in Newark made me sensitive to the deeper social inequities around me. Since age 15, I enjoyed different types of volunteer work, from serving dinner at soup kitchens, to tilling soil at urban gardens, and mentoring youth in my neighborhood (still mentoring to this day!). My passion for service led me to pursue a degree in Nonprofit Management from Rutgers University, where I graduated in 2016. I now teach code for an after-school program at a local high school, and I’m excited to be working with DonorsChoose in supporting teachers and students across the nation!
KrystleCustomer Support Specialist
Hola! Fellow New Yorker here! Before Donors Choose, I was a public school teacher to my adorable 3rd-grade class. Working in this setting really drove my passion in helping teachers get the materials they need simply because I've been in their shoes before!

When I'm not working, you can find me looking for artsy pop-up shops to take selfies, scrambling to find a good brunch spot or at home re-watching the Harry Potter movies a gazillion of times.
Mia Livingston-Edwards
Mia Livingston-EdwardsManager, Customer Experience
Mia and her teammates ensure that teachers and donors can seamlessly engage with partner initiatives and campaigns on DonorsChoose, like match offers and classroom rewards. She's a proud graduate of NY public schools and holds a B.A. from Vassar College in Religion and French. Outside her amazing job helping teachers bring even more joy to classrooms, Mia loves hiking, finding four leaf clovers, and spoiling her feline friends.
Will Luft
Will LuftCustomer Support Specialist
Will has been supporting teachers and helping them get the right materials for their classroom since 2015. He is now supporting both teachers and donors across all their experiences using DonorsChoose.

Will loves playing sports like soccer and volleyball, learning how to build websites, and playing Magic the Gathering (his favorite card is Craterhoof Behemoth). He graduated from Fordham University in 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a minor in Theology.
Maya Lundhagen
Maya LundhagenSenior Vice President, Operations
Maya heads the Operations team, which efficiently brings classroom ideas to life through a successful and trusted end-to-end experience for teachers and donors. The team includes Customer Experience, Customer Support, Trust & Safety, and Volunteer Operations.

Before joining DonorsChoose, Maya co-founded 100Kin10, a STEM teacher-focused non-profit applauded by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. She has extensive K-12 education reform experience at institutions including Carnegie Corporation of New York/Institute for Advanced Study and NYC Department of Education, and she served in the Peace Corps in Honduras as a water/sanitation engineer. She lives with her family on a wonderfully Sesame-Street-esque block in Brooklyn.
MalihaCustomer Support Specialist
Maliha sees her role as giving teachers and students the tools they need to succeed and be happy in the classroom. How does she do that, you might ask: by providing our teachers and donors with as much support as they need to use our site. Since joining the Customer Support team in 2018, Maliha has done it all, from helping a teacher-turned-bride with her wedding registry to tracking down materials so that a Science Olympiad team would have the kits they needed for their competition, and every other situation in between. When not answering tickets, she enjoys film photography, painting, looking for the best brand of instant noodles, and listening to all sorts of music (side note: check out the K-pop group, BTS!).
Jennifer Mao
Jennifer MaoDirector, Content & Volunteer Operations
Jennifer oversees engagement and operations strategy for our DonorsChoose volunteer communities who annually review thousands of project submissions and student thank-you notes that forge meaningful connections between donors and classrooms across the country.

Prior to joining the team, Jen led community engagement efforts for Reading Partners, where she managed strategic partnerships and volunteer recruitment to support San Francisco Bay Area students. She graduated from the University of Washington, with dual degrees in Psychology and Photography. When not at work, you will likely find her at a used bookstore, getting lost on the subway, and/or on the hunt for NYC's best bagel.
Alice Pencavel
Alice PencavelCustomer Support Specialist
Alice's background is in writing, theater, and teaching. Prior to joining the Customer Support crew, she worked with the Gratitude Operations team shuffling through one her favorite things: mail. Alice is also a zen enthusiast, avid cyclist, and hospital volunteer -- always down for an adventure, or a good ol’ heart to heart.
Kierran Petersen
Kierran PetersenCustomer Support Specialist
Before I joined the Customer Support team in 2019, I spent a year working at DonorsChoose on the Office Experience Team. I loved learning about facilities and hospitality while in that position. I'm using a lot of the same skills when replying to teachers and donors today!

I was born and raised on Long Island, but today I live in Brooklyn with my partner Alex and whatever dog we're taking care of lately. I love taking long walks in the city, diving headfirst into Wikipedia rabbit holes, drawing, and playing video games.

Before I moved to New York and began working at DonorsChoose, I was a podcast producer. I still love listening to (and occasionally making my own) podcasts today. I'm always down to hear about people's dream podcast ideas, and I might just offer to help you make episode one!
Yvonne Phan
Yvonne PhanCustomer Support Specialist
Yvonne joined the DonorsChoose Customer Support Specialist team in July 2019 and enjoys seeing the impact of DonorsChoose on teachers, their students, and their classrooms every day!

When she isn't helping teachers and donors, Yvonne loves camping, road tripping, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows, canoeing, kayaking, reading, and sleeping. She owns two cats and a dog, who regularly make appearances in video meetings. She graduated with a BFA in Film from CU Boulder in 2011 and is a Colorado native! Yvonne joined the DonorsChoose organization as a remote employee and her newest dream is to travel in a van with her pets and work from all over the continental US.
Corey Potts
Corey PottsOperations Assistant
Carol Powell
Carol PowellAssociate, Content & Volunteer Operations
Carol supports operations efforts to ensure projects and student gratitude handled by staff at our New York City headquarters are screened effectively, helping create a smooth teacher and donor experience. Before joining DonorsChoose, she contributed to marketing, operations, and customer service teams in ed-tech. She holds a BA in history and literature, as well as African American studies. Outside of work, you’ll most likely find Carol cooking, baking, and enjoying the rain, snow, or shine!
Julia Prieto
Julia PrietoChief Operating Officer & EVP, People Operations
Julia ensures that both our one million active customers and our mission-driven 150-person staff enjoy a best-in-class​ DonorsChoose experience​. ​

As COO, Julia leads ​the organization's frontline team, Operations, whose mission is to support, advocate, and solve problems that address the needs of teachers and donors using our platform.​ ​

​Before joining the organization, Julia ​managed​ ​digital fundraising programs for the 2012 Obama campaign and oversaw digital engagement at the Robin Hood Foundation. She is a graduate of Williams College and earned an M.A. from the New School for Public Engagement. She lives in ​Fort Greene and can be found cheering on the U.S. Soccer National Team in her free time.
Kassandra R.
Kassandra R.Customer Support Specialist
Kassandra joined DonorsChoose in 2016 after graduating with a BA from the University at Albany, where she majored in Economics and minored in Business Administration. She loves helping others, and being on the Customer Support team helps her provide direct support to teachers and donors daily!

When she's not supporting our wonderful teachers and donors, she loves exploring NYC, hanging with friends, watching reruns of 90's sitcoms, trying to get a workout in, but more importantly searching for a great slice of pizza!
Camila Santibanez
Camila SantibanezTrust & Safety Assistant
Hello! My name is Camila and I am the newest member of the Trust and Safety Team. I am a current senior majoring in Criminology and minoring in Police Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I was born and raised in Mexico! As an international student, I have a wide experience in overcoming new challenges and taking initiative. As part of my job experiences I’m currently doing an internship at Physicians for Human Rights. This is a place that documents and investigates human rights violations, giving voice to survivors by ensuring that perpetrators can be held accountable for their crimes. Here, I have the role of research and investigations intern where I am in charge of performing news sweeps, contribute to the development of advocacy strategies and writing reports.

Apart from my academic side, I love traveling and exercising. I could do it for a living. My most recent trip was to South Africa where I participated in a youth development program where I was in charge of running the surf after school program. The three weeks I spent there gave me so much joy, helping the most disadvantaged communities with simple activities.
SelenaCustomer Support Specialist
After joining the Customer Support team in the summer of 2018 and proudly repping the first remote cohort since, you can now find me working from Los Angeles, where I struggled to maintain an appropriate cat-work balance. Prior to DonorsChoose, I worked as a homeschool teacher and assistant in film and TV. When I'm not working, I have a love-hate relationship with long-distance running and a love-love relationship with cocktails and reading.

BUT enough about me-- as previously alluded, I have two sibling cats, Boot and Ting, who may have once emailed a coworker the thoughtful and provocative message, "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeejkl."
Takisha Sexton
Takisha Sexton Associate, Trust & Safety
Takisha focuses on the Trust & Safety team’s incident response efforts and is the first person to act when there's a report of site misuse. Having raised a child in the NYC public school system, Takisha witnessed firsthand how difficult it can be for teachers to provide their students with the materials and experiences they need to be successful in the future. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading horror and mystery novels, watching true crime shows and listening to 80’s and 90’s music.
Michelle Shin
Michelle ShinManager, Gratitude Volunteer Operations
Michelle leads the Gratitude Volunteer Operations team at DonorsChoose, overseeing a community of NYC-area volunteers that review handwritten student thank-yous from classrooms, before packaging and sending out to donors across the country.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Michelle was a Career Program Manager at The Posse Foundation, a college access nonprofit. She is a former Fulbright Scholar and Teach for America New York City Corps member. Michelle is a proud Rutgers University alum, with dual degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Women's & Gender Studies. When not at work, she is trying new recipes, helping out at her parents' Cajun restaurant, and attending Yelp Elite events with her husband.
Hannah Silleck
Hannah SilleckAssociate, Content & Volunteer Operations
Hannah works on the Volunteer Operations team to ensure that the thousands of projects posted on DonorsChoose each week have been reviewed efficiently and effectively. Her focus is managing the national volunteer workforce that screens project submissions to help teachers translate their classroom dreams into concrete resources.

Hannah graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 where she studied international economics. Before coming to DonorsChoose, she worked at a consulting firm that executes fundraising programs for nonprofits in New York. She is a New York City native and has lived in Brooklyn her whole life.
Lauren Summers
Lauren SummersCustomer Support Specialist
Lauren is a Customer Service Pro, dedicated to improving both the teacher and donor experience on our site. As a graduate of Howard University with a degree in Economics and a Masters degree in Arts Administration from Savannah College of Art & Design, Lauren has a background in non-profit operations & experience working with museums, theatres, & a symphony!

In her spare time, you’ll catch Lauren visiting her local Sephora or reading up on skin-care tips. She also spends time doing freelance web design and development. When she's not glued to her computer screen, she's spending time with her family and friends trying new food, pushing each other in group workouts, or ordering craft cocktails on rooftops.
Brianna Thomas
Brianna ThomasVolunteer Operations Assistant
Brianna currently helps to enhance the experience + retention of our volunteer force. As a native New Yorker, she’s passionate about connecting the DonorsChoose cause to teachers and citizens who reside within the local community.

Prior to joining us, Brianna was a Production Assistant in the world of film & television. She’s worked on feature films, short films, commercial advertisements, and a network tv show.

In her off-time- she enjoys being a volunteer for NYCares, exploring museums, and investigating who makes the best vegan pizza in the city!
Michelle Withkowski
Michelle WithkowskiCustomer Support Specialist
Things to know about me, I am absolutely obsessed with providing world-class customer service! I have mastered my craft by assisting all types of customers in a variety of settings over the last twenty years. I am personally drawn to the mission of DonorsChoose because I have three children who attend public school in a fiscally stressed school system and am excited to be apart of something that helps innovative teachers with great ideas get funding to engage their students in interesting new ways!

In my free time, you will most likely find me outdoors walking my dogs, perusing garage sales and flea markets, or cheering on one of my kids at their sporting events.
Jeremy Yong
Jeremy YongProgram Management Associate
Before joining the Program Management team, I worked for three years on the Customer Support team. I live in Queens, NY and like to bike when it's warm and make as much soup as possible when it's cold. Favorite recent read is Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker!
Daphne Zhen
Daphne ZhenSenior Associate, Trust & Safety
Daphne works to ensure DonorsChoose is a platform and charity that people can trust.

She holds a degree in Secondary English Education from NYU, and has also spent some time teaching students how to think critically about the world around them through reading and writing. Daphne is honored to be part of an organization that aims to make a difference by helping to connect teachers and their classrooms to a growing community of supporters. On the weekends, you can find Daphne taking a walk at the local park, perusing the farmer’s market, trying out new restaurants around the city, or hiking somewhere upstate.

People Operations

Ana Antunes
Ana AntunesTalent and Development Coordinator
Ana graduated from Binghamton University, where she studied English Literature and engaged in local activism. Before joining DonorsChoose as Talent and Development Coordinator, she worked as an assistant teacher in upstate NY. Her time spent in the classroom fueled her passion for accessibility and education equality. When she’s not at work, she enjoys reading and writing, attempting veganism, going to concerts with friends, and successfully twisting apart Oreos (vegan!).
Jharline Calderon
Jharline CalderonIT Specialist
Jharline received her BBA from Baruch College and majored in Computer Information Systems. In order to continue learning more about technology she joined NPower where she attained a tech fundamentals training and certification. As the IT Specialist she will incorporate all her education in order to ensure all staff have amazing IT support.

Having been a part of the public-school system herself, she saw how impactful it would be to join DonorsChoose, which makes projects in classrooms come to life for teachers and students who may not otherwise have those experiences. In her spare time she loves to read, travel to new places and spend time with family.
Aliza Caplan
Aliza CaplanSenior Associate, Equity & Experience
A former intern herself, Aliza is responsible for the Internship and Fellowship programs at DonorsChoose. She also supports the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy and employee experience, striving to build a workplace culture that is equitable, inclusive, and reflective of the diverse teacher and student population DonorsChoose services.

Aliza comes to DonorsChoose by way of Philadelphia, where she studied Sociology and Jewish Studies as an undergraduate and completed a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to moving to NYC, she worked at Penn Hillel building Jewish community and supporting undergraduate growth and leadership. She is an uncoordinated but enthusiastic zumba-goer, an aspiring plant parent, and is always game for a stroll and a snack.
Austin Galoob
Austin GaloobManager, People & Talent
Austin is a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study where he concentrated in media, public policy, and social impact. He is excited to work at an organization dedicated to improving the educational system in the country.

As a People & Talent Manager, he works alongside the Talent, Diversity, & Inclusion team to create and execute hiring processes aimed at building a staff that is reflective of the teachers and students that DonorsChoose serves. In his spare time, Austin can be found watching theatre, discussing pop culture, and admiring the dogs of New York City.
Mary Holtzhauser
Mary HoltzhauserDirector of People
Mary’s focus at DonorsChoose is on employee experience and people analytics - everything from benefits administration, to employee perks, to a data-driven employee satisfaction strategy.

Mary joined DonorsChoose after receiving her B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of Dayton. Prior to joining this role, she led knowledge management initiatives on the Operations team at DonorsChoose.

In her free time, you’ll find her plant-shopping in the floral district, searching for the best brunch in Brooklyn, or settling in with a good book.
Briana M.
Briana M.Fellow
Briana is a graduate of St. Joseph College's Brooklyn Campus, where she majored in English and minored in Sociology. Prior to joining Donors Choose Briana completed an AmeriCorps VISTA service year with New York Cares, a volunteer mobilization organization. There she worked as part of their School Success Initiative to bring educational and recreational programming to public schools students at the elementary and middle school level. Outside of work, Briana enjoys reading (novels, manga, comic books), writing (poems and short stories), and binge-watching a plethora of shows and movies.She is also a proud Bottom Line alumnae and continues to volunteer for job shadows and other career related events.
Elizabeth Ortega
Elizabeth Ortega Office Experience Assistant
As a native New Yorker, Elizabeth grew up attending public schools and recognizes the need for improvement for both students and teachers. Elizabeth values education and has devoted her life to taking advantage of the opportunities that her parents were denied in their homeland. Elizabeth holds a B.A in Psychology and is a recent graduate from The City College of New York. She joins DonorsChoose with a heart full of hope and a desire to help teachers make a difference in their student's lives.

Outside of work, Elizabeth can be found getting lost and wandering the streets of New York looking for great food spots, taking her younger nieces/nephews out to have an adventure or joining her parents at home to watch their daily marathon of novelas!
Sam Ortega Aguilar
Sam Ortega AguilarPeople Associate
After working with teams across DonorsChoose during her time as an intern and fellow, Sam rejoined the People Operations team where she now supports benefits administration and leads projects around staff development.

Sam is a proud graduate of the NYC public school system where she discovered her love of reading and numbers before going on to study Psychology, Biology, and Classical Studies at Macaulay Honors-Hunter College. She enjoys spending her time reading anything set in a magical land, learning a new skill, and eating foods that come in pockets.
Julia Prieto
Julia PrietoChief Operating Officer & EVP, People Operations
Julia leads the People Operations team, delivering an employee experience ​that the NonProfit T​i​mes ranked as ​t​op​ among medium-sized employers.​ ​Prior to ​this role, Julia spent four years leading an Operations team at DonorsChoose.

​Before joining the organization, Julia ​managed​ ​digital fundraising programs for the 2012 Obama campaign and oversaw digital engagement at the Robin Hood Foundation. She is a graduate of Williams College and earned a M.A. from the New School for Public Engagement. She lives in ​Fort Greene and can be found cheering on the U.S. Soccer National Team in her free time.
Christopher Prince-Barry
Christopher Prince-BarryDirector of IT
Christopher leads Information Technology at DonorsChoose, working to ensure that our staff members have the technology they need to best support our teachers and students. A product of NYC public schools, Christopher fell in love with technology while volunteering at an after school homework help program in The Bronx.

Since then, he's earned a Bachelor of Technology degree at the New York City College of Technology and spent the majority of his career helping organizations to use IT to drive business decisions while streamlining their processes.

After eight years of IT consulting, Christopher joined our team to combine his passion for technology with his deep commitments to helping public school students recognize their potential and honoring our teachers as heroes.
ShaniqueOffice Experience Manager
Shanique is a Northeastern University graduate, where she majored in Psychology. As a child of a NYC public school teacher, she knows all too well the effect of not being able to provide everything you think is best for your students. Because of this, Shanique was so excited and humbled to join DonorsChoose as they continue to help teachers serve their students with new opportunities to learn and create educational experiences. At DonorsChoose, Shanique manages and supports the Office Experience team. Outside of the office Shanique enjoys reading, baking, cooking, and traveling.
Steve To
Steve ToDirector, Equity & Experience
Steve leads the Equity & Experience team, focusing on the diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy alongside the employee experience at DonorsChoose.

Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Steve worked as a Student Affairs Administrator at New York University where he oversaw the community development initiatives for college students with a focus on leadership development and advisement. He also served as a trainer and consultant, engaging with various communities on topics of diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Steve holds a B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Student Affairs from Boston College.

Outside the office, Steve can be found catching a Broadway show, drinking boba, finding the best places to eat, and spending quality time with good company.

Product, Engineering & Data

Sebastian Askenazy
Sebastian AskenazySenior Software Engineer
Prior to joining DonorsChoose, Sebastian, as an independent software developer, helped build web applications for several industry-leading companies. He also gained valuable experience assisting in high-profile academic research projects, as well as completing a variety of projects to improve the technical capabilities of non-profit organizations. He graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU with concentrations in cognitive science and music, and studied piano and composition at a music conservatory.
Dan Betz
Dan BetzVice President, Product & Design
Dan leads the mighty product team, whose job is to help DonorsChoose deliver on its mission by creating a frictionless, enjoyable experience for everyone involved. That means empowering teachers to tell their stories in a compelling way and making it easy and gratifying for donors to find projects to support.

Dan comes to DonorsChoose from the startup world, where he spent the last several years at Etsy and Seamless (née SeamlessWeb). When not designing or spending time with his family, Dan can usually be found lifting heavyweights in his garage.
Liam Cates
Liam CatesJunior User Experience Researcher
Liam works with teams across the org to ensure that teachers and donors have a positive experience while using DonorsChoose. Prior to joining the Product team, he led a team of NYC based volunteers who connect classrooms to donors through handwritten student thank-yous.

Before DonorsChoose, Liam worked in youth development and education and studied political science and education policy at American University in Washington, DC. Outside of work (and sometimes at work), you can find him scouring the internet for cheap plane tickets and planning his next vacation abroad!
Karen Chow
Karen ChowProduct Designer
As a product designer at DonorsChoose, Karen focusses on creating an intuitive and friendly experience for donors and teachers. Before joining the team, she worked in user experience and responsive web design across different industries, including education, healthcare, and nonprofit. She holds degrees in English (University of Alberta) and Fashion Design (Fashion Institute of Technology). Karen has an iterative approach to design—her favorite teacher always said, "If it doesn’t look good, MAKE it look good!"
Susan Chow
Susan ChowSenior Web Developer
Susan builds new donor- and teacher-facing website functionality for DonorsChoose, and enjoys bringing pen-and-paper plans to life. With over 12 years experience in website development and interactive design, she has created transactional and informational websites for Hewlett Packard, SpaFinder, and a host of smaller sites. Susan has also authored interactive games and fiction for clients that included Disney Software, Sony Music, and Popular Science. Susan graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Music.

David Crane
David CraneDirector of Engineering
David has 19 years experience building distributed systems and internet services. He has deep expertise in object-oriented languages, relational databases and middleware technologies, as well as a healthy respect for software engineering discipline. David has built software systems for financial service companies including NASD, Thomson Financial, Salomon Brothers, and Knight-Ridder Financial. Most recently, David served as Director of Front-End System Development at CheckFree. He was also responsible for capacity planning for the CheckFree Investment Services platform, which processes portfolios with assets under management totaling more than $1.8 trillion.

Prior to his career in financial information systems, David earned his M.S. degree from NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and worked at Los Alamos National Laboratories.

Andrew Gaun
Andrew GaunSoftware Engineer
Andrew is a full stack engineer who has previously worked at an advertising firm, a finance company, a start up, an ecommerce shop, and for exactly one day on an ice cream truck.

Andrew graduated from Stony Brook University with a Master in Computer Science and an dual BS in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. During his time in university, Andrew worked as a teaching and research assistant and was acknowledged in a popular algorithm textbook.
Oliver Hurst-Hiller
Oliver Hurst-HillerChief Technology Officer and Head of Product
Oliver is responsible for the technology and user experience that power DonorsChoose's unique philanthropic marketplace.

Prior to joining the team in 2006, Oliver managed product engineering projects for Microsoft's new search engine, now called Bing. He also helped start Microsoft Live Labs, an applied research laboratory for Internet technologies, and is the co-inventor of 22 issued U.S. patents related to Internet search technologies. Oliver joined Microsoft when the Windows division acquired EQuill, a venture-backed startup that he co-founded and led for three years as CEO.

In 2011, the Microsoft Alumni Foundation honored Oliver with the Integral Fellows Award. He is the Chair of CTOs For Good and on the Advisory Council on Computing & Information Technology for Brown University. Oliver has a Computer Science degree from Brown and spent the first 13 years of his academic career attending New York City public schools.
Chris Judkins-Fisher
Chris Judkins-FisherPrincipal Software Engineer
Chris came to DonorsChoose from the city of Madison and the world of health IT. Prior to joining the DonorsChoose team, he worked at the UW - Madison Center for Health Enhancement System Studies (CHESS) developing mobile and web applications for those with chronic health problems. He also has experience contributing to EpicCare Ambulatory, the outpatient component of the most-used electronic medical record in the United States.

He has a degree in computer science from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.
Nancy Mond
Nancy MondSenior Director, Engineering
Before joining, Nancy designed and built applications and websites at Rutgers University and Telcordia Technologies (formerly Bell Communications Research). She was also a principal contributor to the open source project OpenRegistry. Nancy has a BS in Computer Science and Applied Math at SUNY Albany and an MS in Computer Science from Brown University.
Andi Muskaj
Andi MuskajBusiness Analyst
As a Business Analyst on the Data Science & Analytics Team, Andi focuses on wrangling new data sources into our business intelligence tool, running analysis on large datasets, and helping colleagues with reporting requests.

Andi studied Finance, Economics and Psychology at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. He co-founded a social media platform with the goal of increasing student interactions in the physical world. Through that experience, Andi developed a passion for improving education equality. He believes the coupling of technology and education is the key to building a better world.

Andi likes staying active and takes every opportunity to explore new places and spend time in nature. He is a fan of any and all podcasts. He is one of the select few people to legitimately enjoy the taste of kale.
Lisa Nuccitelli
Lisa NuccitelliSoftware Engineer
Lisa is a software engineer who is proud to be doing work that is making a difference for students and teachers across the nation. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Computer Science. When she's not at her computer, she enjoys trying new fitness classes, traveling, and playing the piano.
Jackson Popkin
Jackson PopkinSoftware Engineer
Jackson Popkin is a newly-minted software engineer. Before joining DonorsChoose, he learned to build Rails apps at App Academy. He graduated from Princeton University in 2013 with a B.A. in East Asian Studies.
Mohammad Radiyat
Mohammad RadiyatData Scientist
Mohammad loves telling impactful stories with data, and is happy to be able to use his data science & machine learning experience to support DonorsChoose on its mission. After graduating with a B.S. in chemical engineering from Cornell and doing management consulting primarily in the media & entertainment industry, he decided to pursue graduate studies in data science at Columbia University. An internship at Knewton during his M.S. program sparked Mohammad’s curiosity for how data science interfaces with the education space, and that curiosity and passion naturally led him to DonorsChoose.

In his free time, Mohammad loves to play ultimate frisbee & soccer, go swimming at his local YMCA, try out new board games, and travel. He’s always up for a challenge in his favorite video game, Super Smash Brothers Melee for the Nintendo Gamecube.
Josh Rosenberg
Josh RosenbergLead User Experience Researcher
Josh works with our Product and Engineering team to make our website intuitive and easy to use. On a typical day at the office, you'll find him interviewing teachers and donors or conducting a survey. His favorite office supply is the humble sticky note.

Josh holds a B.A. in Psychology from The New School and an M.S. in Human Factors from Bentley University.
Gwendolyn Royer
Gwendolyn RoyerProduct Manager
Gwen collaborates with colleagues across the organization to define problems, support the execution of solutions, and measure the impact of changes to ensure a great experience for our teachers, donors, and partners. Prior to joining the Product team, she focused on supporting our teachers and donors on the Operations team.

A graduate of Muhlenberg College, when not in the office you can find Gwen planning her next travel adventure, finding any excuse to be outside, and spending time with friends and family.
Jim Steinberger
Jim SteinbergerSoftware Architect
Hailing from southeast Michigan, Jim gained substantive experience in all aspects of web development while leading a team at Dynamic Edge, Inc. Armed with a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, he seeks to bridge the common problems and solutions of academia and industry. Jim is also a strong advocate for developers in general, and the open source community in particular, and strives to make software development more efficient, enjoyable, and cost-effective for everyone involved.
Paul Tai
Paul TaiSoftware Engineer
Paul is a 2015 graduate of Rutgers University, where he earned a B.S. in Computer Science. His favorite classes included algorithms and artificial intelligence. Beyond his coursework, Paul attended numerous student hackathons and contributed to a variety of hackathon projects. A long-time fan of games and game-design, Paul assisted in founding the Rutgers Creation of Game Society, a student organization focused on game development.
Alina Taveras Shelley
Alina Taveras ShelleySoftware Engineer
As a full-stack engineer at DonorsChoose, Alina proudly works to create software with social impact and make education more accessible to communities across the country. She graduated from Brown University in 2019, where she studied Computer Science and Ethnic Studies. During her time in college, she served as a head teaching assistant and taught programming to local high school students. Alina enjoys exploring pockets of nature in New York City, making people laugh, and tending to her many plants.
Michael Thompson Walker
Michael Thompson WalkerSenior Director, Engineering
Tommy joined Donorschoose in 2009, after stints as a QA manager and test automation engineer. Before his adventures in software engineering began, Tommy could be found working knee deep in databases as an archivist at Pixar.

His favorite things to work on are: infrastructure & platform architecture, scaling capacity and performance of the site, and designing common sense, low ceremony processes that allow the team to maintain operational integrity while achieving maximum forward velocity.

Tommy has also been a truck driver, a piano mover, a vegan cook, a hospice volunteer and a kitten-foster-dad. He lives with his almost-teen-aged daughter in Brooklyn.
Diana Timko
Diana TimkoProduct Manager
Diana collaborates with stakeholders across the org to define, measure, and support the execution of new features. She is thrilled to help shape an incredible site experience for teachers, donors, and partners.

Diana graduated from McGill University, loves to escape the city for outdoor adventures, and is endlessly inspired by teachers & students.
Rebecca Widom
Rebecca WidomDirector, Data Science and Analytics
Rebecca leads the data team, which provides the analytics infrastructure and data science behind the organization's data-driven approach. MIT’s program in Women’s Studies started Rebecca on a lifelong path of using data for good. She has managed and analyzed poverty and social and legal services data for a wide variety of organizations, including national think tanks, small nonprofits, and municipal government. Rebecca holds an MS in Sociology from the University of Arizona, and an MBA in Information Systems from Baruch/CUNY.

National Advisory Council

Jonathan Alter
Jonathan AlterMSNBC Analyst, Bloomberg Columnist, Author
Jonathan is an award-winning author, reporter, columnist and television analyst. Since 2011, Jonathan has written a column for Bloomberg View, a worldwide commentary site housed under Bloomberg News. He spent 28 years at Newsweek, where he was a longtime senior editor and columnist and wrote more than 50 cover stories. He has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, The New Republic and other publications.

Since 1996, Jonathan has been an analyst and contributing correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC. His 2010 book, "The Promise: President Obama, Year One," went to #4 on the New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller List and was one of the Times' "Notable Books" of the year. "The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope," published in 2006, was also a bestseller.
Kelvin Beachum
Kelvin BeachumOffensive Tackle, New York Jets
Kelvin Beachum, a Mexia Texas native, graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in 2010 with a BA in Economics and a minor in Sports Management. In 2012, he completed a Master of Liberal Studies in Organizational Dynamics and delivered the commencement address for the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Beachum is entering his 9th season in the NFL and has played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and most recently, the New York Jets.

In addition to his commitments with the NFL, Beachum is known for his dedication to end hunger by working directly with advocacy groups like World Vision and supporting community food banks across America. He also sits on the Entertainment Council for Feeding America. Beachum is an Executive Board member for the Simmons School of Education and the Lyle School of Engineering at SMU. He is an alternate union rep for the NFLPA and a member of the NFLPA Brand Ambassador Program as well as a Players Inc. Advisory Committee member. Beachum is a member of the advisory board for the OneTeam Collective and a founding member of the NFL Players Coalition. Beachum sits on the Brookings Council and the Donors Choose Advisory Board.

Beachum is committed to helping young people, especially minority and disadvantaged youth, develop skills for success. He has a special focus on encouraging minority youth to engage STEM-centric disciplines and STEM careers. Beachum is a professional speaker and an active investor, focusing mainly on the technology ecosystem.

A man of strong faith, Beachum is devoted to glorifying God in everything he does and uses his time and influence to encourage others by advocating education, faithful devotion and being of service to others. Beachum resides in Arizona with his wife, Jessica, and their three children.
Anil Dash
Anil DashCEO of Fog Creek Software
Anil Dash is an entrepreneur, activist and writer recognized as one of the most prominent voices advocating for a more humane, inclusive and ethical technology industry. He is the CEO of Fog Creek Software, the independent New York City tech company that incubated landmark startups like Trello and Stack Overflow, and created Glitch, the friendly new community that helps anyone make the app of their dreams.

Dash was an advisor to the Obama White House’s Office of Digital Strategy, and today advises major startups and non-profits including Medium and DonorsChoose. He also serves as a board member for companies like Stack Overflow, the world’s largest community for computer programmers, and non-profits like the Data & Society Research Institute, whose research examines the impact of tech on society and culture; the NY Tech Alliance, America’s largest tech trade organization; and the Lower East Side Girls Club, which serves girls and families in need in New York City.

Described as a “blogging pioneer” by the New Yorker, Dash has a unique presence on social media, where he’s been maintaining his Webby-recognized personal website since 1999, with its analysis of the technology industry and its impact on culture earning recognition and citations in sources ranging from the New York Times to the BBC to TMZ, as well as hundreds of academic papers. In 2013, Time named @anildash one of the best accounts on Twitter, and it is the only account ever retweeted by both Bill Gates and Prince, a succinct summarization of Dash’s interests. As a writer and artist, Dash has been a contributing editor and monthly columnist for Wired, has had his works exhibited in the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and DJed the XOXO arts festival.

Prior to joining Fog Creek, Dash cofounded Makerbase, an online community for people who make apps and websites, and Activate, the boutique management consultancy which defines strategies for many of the most important companies in media and technology.

Earlier in his career, Dash founded the non-profit Expert Labs, a research initiative backed by the MacArthur Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which studied online public engagement in policy making. He also helped start Six Apart, the seminal social media company that invented the technology behind many of the earliest and most influential social media sites on the Internet.

Dash is based in New York City, where he lives with his wife Alaina Browne and their son Malcolm. Dash has never played a round of golf, drank a cup of coffee, or graduated from college.
Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi GoldbergCo-host, ABC's The View
Born and raised in New York City, Whoopi worked in theatre and improvisation in San Diego and the Bay Area, where she performed with the Blake Street Hawkeyes theatre troupe. It was there that she created the characters which became "The Spook Show" and evolved into her hit Broadway show, Grammy Award-winning album and the HBO special that helped launch her career.

Whoopi Goldberg is one of a very elite group of artists who have won the Grammy ("Whoopi Goldberg," 1985), the Academy Award ("Ghost," 1991), the Golden Globe ("The Color Purple," 1985 and "Ghost," 1991), the Emmy (as host of AMC's "Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel," 2002 and a Daytime Emmy for "The View" in 2009) and a Tony (Producer of "Thoroughly Modern Millie," 2002).

In addition to the Oscar, the Grammy and two Golden Globe Awards, Whoopi has been honored with multiple NAACP Image Awards, numerous People's Choice Awards (including a special tribute in 1998) and five Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards as "Favorite Movie Actress," as well as various awards and honors for her many humanitarian efforts.

In 1992, Whoopi made her debut as an author with her first children's book, "Alice." Her second literary endeavor, simply entitled "Book," became a bestseller in the U.S. and around the world. Hyperion Books published "Whoopi's Big Book of Manners" in 2006 and launched the "Sugar Plum Ballerinas" book series for young readers in 2008 with "Plum Fantastic," followed by "Toeshoe Trouble," "Perfectly Prima" and "Terrible Terrel." Her most recent book for adults include "Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There?" in 2010 and "If Someone Says 'You Complete Me'…Run!!!" in 2015.
Arianna Huffington
Arianna HuffingtonCEO & Founder, Thrive Global

Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of fifteen books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution.

In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet, and in 2012 won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. Thrive Global provides trainings, seminars, e-courses, coaching and ongoing support based on the latest scientific findings to improve people’s health and increase productivity for both companies and individuals around the world.

She has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.

She serves on numerous boards, including Uber and The Center for Public Integrity.

Her last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, on the science, history and mystery of sleep, both became instant international bestsellers.

Anna Kendrick
Anna KendrickActress, Singer

Anna Kendrick has a variety of accomplishments that showcase her impressive range of talent. Kendrick is known for her lead in Pitch Perfect 2, which broke the record as the highest-grossing musical of all time. The song “Cups,” which she performed in the first Pitch Perfect went multi-platinum, and was one of Billboards’ top songs of 2013. Kendrick is the author of Scrappy Little Nobody, a collection of humorous, autobiographical essays, published by Simon & Schuster, and was released in November 2016.

Kendrick most recently starred in Fox Searchlight’s Table 19, the action-thriller The Accountant opposite Ben Affleck and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates with Zac Efron. She is the voice of ‘Poppy’ in the DreamWorks Animation music-filled comedy Trolls, opposite Justin Timberlake.

Kendrick’s other recent credits include Walt Disney Pictures’ Into the Woods, where she played ‘Cinderella’ opposite Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, Drinking Buddies, in which she starred opposite Olivia Wilde and Ron Livingston, and David Ayerʼs intense crime-drama, End of Watch, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal. Kendrick was also in the blockbuster Twilight Saga franchise.

In 2010, Kendrick starred opposite George Clooney and Jason Bateman in the lauded film Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman, for which she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and was honored by The National Board of Review for Best Supporting Actress and by the MTV Movie Awards for Best Breakout Star. She also earned nominations from the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, The Golden Globes, BAFTA, and the Screen Actors Guild.

Anna made her feature film debut in director Todd Graffʼs Camp, a favorite at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. Her performance in the cult classic earned her an Independent Spirit Awards nomination, as well as a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Annual Chlotrudis Awards.

Sallie Krawcheck
Sallie KrawcheckCEO & Co-Founder, Ellevest
Sallie Krawcheck’s professional mission is to help women reach their financial and professional goals (or, put more bluntly, to get more money into the hands of women), thus enabling them to live better lives and unleashing a positive ripple effect for our families, our communities and our economy. To that end, she is the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a digital-first, mission-driven investment platform for women. Ellevest is one of the fastest growing digital investment platforms and has been named a #24 on CNBC’s top 50 “Disruptor” list, #14 on LinkedIn’s 50 “Most Sought-After Startups” (and #2 in New York), and one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Brilliant Ideas. Krawcheck is also Chair of the Ellevate Network, a 135K-strong global professional women’s network; she is Chair of the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund, a fund that invests in the top-rated companies for advancing women; and she is the best-selling author of “Own It: The Power of Women at Work.”

Before launching Ellevest, Krawcheck built a successful career on Wall Street: She was the CEO of Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, US Trust, the Citi Private Bank, and Sanford C. Bernstein. She was also Chief Financial Officer for Citigroup. Prior to that, Krawcheck was a top-ranked research analyst covering the securities industry.

Krawcheck, one of few executives to find success in large complex companies and as a startup CEO, is widely recognized as one of the most influential women in business. She has been recognized by Inc. as a “Top Female Founder”, called “The Last Honest Analyst” by Fortune magazine, was named the seventh most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, was # 9 on Fast Company’s list of the “100 Most Creative People in Business,” called one of the top 10 up and coming entrepreneurs to watch by Entrepreneur Magazine and has landed on Vanity Fair’s “The 2018 New Establishment List.”

Krawcheck received a BA summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School. She has two children and two cats.
Genein Letford
Genein LetfordEducator, Speaker, Author
Genein Letford is an elementary music teacher from Canoga Park, CA and believes that every child, despite socioeconomic status, deserves a quality education that includes the arts. Genein began her teaching career as a third grade teacher of low-income English language learners. It was there she discovered the power of using music and dance to help teach vocabulary and academic concepts to her students.

Genein is now the music director at the same elementary school and has created a dynamic award-winning music curriculum that not only teaches music standards but also incorporates corresponding math, science, language arts and social studies concepts. In 2009, Letford began the Music For All: Instrument Scholarship Fund, which awarded low-income high achieving students with instruments for their ongoing music education.

In 2010, Genein was named the Great American Teacher of the Year and was a recipient of the Los Angeles Music Center's Bravo Arts Educator Award. In 2014, she was honored with the 'Innovation in Education' Award from the Valley Economic Alliance for her dynamic arts program and has traveled to Japan and South Korea during the summer of 2014 as part of the prestigious Hilton Worldwide Teacher Trek program. Genein was honored with the Charter School Teacher of the Year Hart Vision Award in March of 2015.

Mrs. Letford received her bachelor degree from UCLA in psychology and completed her master thesis, 'Integration With Integrity: The Importance of Keeping Music in the Elementary Classroom' at California State University, Northridge in 2010. Due to her extensive knowledge in arts integration, she was recently appointed as a lecturer of the 'Interdisciplinary Arts Education' masters course at CSUN's Eisner College of Education. She has done numerous professional presentations on this topic and remains focused on bringing arts education to underserved communities.

Craig Newmark
Craig NewmarkFounder, Craigslist
Bio: Craig Newmark is a Web pioneer, philanthropist, and a leading advocate on behalf of trustworthy journalism, veterans and military families, and other civic and social justice causes. In 2017 he became a founding funder and executive committee member of the News Integrity Initiative, administered by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which seeks to advance news literacy and increase trust in journalism.

In 2016 he created the Craig Newmark Foundation to promote investment in organizations that effectively serve their communities and drive broad civic engagement at the grassroots level. Amid growing concerns about the proliferation of “fake news” in the context of the presidential campaign, one of the foundation’s first donations went to the Poynter Institute to create the Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics. Newmark is widely credited for his leadership in promoting “news we can trust.”

Craig serves on the board of directors of a range of nonprofits including Blue Star Families, Center for Public Integrity, Consumers Union/Consumer Reports, Girls Who Code, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Poynter Foundation, Sunlight Foundation, VetsInTech, and nWomen in Public Service Project. He also serves on the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Journalism Review. He serves on the advisory board of nearly twenty other nonprofit organizations including Donors Choose, EFF, New America Foundation, Voto Latino, Wikimedia Foundation, Women Who Tech, and many others.

In 1995 Craig started curating list of San Francisco arts and technology events he personally emailed to friends and colleagues. People were soon calling it "Craig's List,” and when Craig turned it into a company he monetized minimally, opting for a business model that prioritized "doing well by doing good." Today more than 5 billion ads have been posted on the site, the vast majority for free. While Craig remains chairman of craigslist, he has not been involved in management since 2000.

In 2015 craigslist received an award from the FBI in recognition of its undisclosed cooperation with the bureau in combatting human trafficking. Craig was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2013 he was named “Nerd-in-Residence” by the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation.

Born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1952, Craig earned degrees in computer science from Case Western Reserve University. He lives in San Francisco and enjoys bird- and squirrel-watching, science fiction, TV, and Dad jokes.

Craig communicates regularly through his own blog at and through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, and HuffPost. He also travels the country speaking about issues and appearing on behalf of organizations he supports.
Lorna Simpson
Lorna SimpsonPhotographer & Multimedia Artist
Lorna Simpson was born in 1960 in Brooklyn, New York, and received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. When Lorna Simpson emerged from the graduate program in 1985, she was already considered a pioneer of conceptual photography. Her initial body of work alone helped to incite a significant shift in the view of photographic art's transience and malleability.

Lorna Simpson first became well-known in the mid-1980s for her large-scale photograph-and-text works that confront and challenge narrow, conventional views of gender, identity, culture, history, and memory. In the mid-1990s, she began creating large multi-panel photographs printed on felt that depict the sites of public - yet unseen - sexual encounters. Over time she turned to film and video works in which individuals engage in enigmatic conversations that seem to address the mysteries of both identity and desire. In Simpson's latest works, characteristic ambivalence is presented with hazy ink washes to present isolated figures amidst nebulous spaces - a return to and departure from her earlier unidentified figures in a deepened exploration of contemporary culture.

Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Miami Art Museum; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. She has participated in such important international exhibitions such as the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany, and the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy. She has been the subject of numerous articles, catalogue essays, and a monograph published by Phaidon Press. Most recently, in 2016, Simpson's new body of works were exhibited at Salon 94, New York and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas.
Laura Swihart
Laura SwihartPartner, Dechert LLP
Laura Swihart, a partner in Dechert's global finance practice, focuses on commercial real estate finance and securitization matters. Ms. Swihart regularly represents issuers, underwriters, mortgage loan sellers and subordinate bond buyers in connection with commercial mortgage backed securitization transactions. She has represented joint ventures and entities in connection with the creation of commercial mortgage loan origination platforms, including the negotiation of organizational documents, the creation of internal underwriting and closing processes and the creation of form closing documents.

In addition, Ms. Swihart has represented financial institutions and funds as both seller’s and purchaser’s counsel in connection with the sale and purchase of whole mortgage loans and mezzanine loans and the creation, sale and purchase of pari passu, junior and senior interests in mortgage loans and mezzanine loans. She represents both borrowers and lenders in connection with commercial mortgage loan warehouse facilities and repurchase facilities. Ms. Swihart has also represented numerous borrowers, lenders, issuers and underwriters in connection with the negotiation of repurchase facilities and securitizations secured by non-performing commercial mortgage loans and REO properties.

Ms. Swihart is recommended in The Legal 500 (U.S.) 2015 for structured finance and her work within CMBS and was named a "2016 Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting Group. In 2017, Ms. Swihart was named among the Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal.
Benjamin Watson
Benjamin WatsonNFL Tight End, New Orleans Saints
Benjamin Watson (born December 18, 1980) is a tight end for the New Orleans Saints. After an all-SEC senior campaign at the University of Georgia, he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. As a Patriot, Benjamin was blessed to receive a Super Bowl ring in his rookie season as well as appear in another in 2007.

In the 2005 AFC Divisional Game against the Denver Broncos, he made perhaps one of the most notable plays in NFL history, when he tackled Denver cornerback Champ Bailey one yard short of what would be a 101-yard interception off Tom Brady. This play is of note due to the fact that Watson was on the other side of the field when Bailey made the play. He had to sprint an estimated 120-yards, run through a referee and never gave up in the chase.

Watson has played for the Cleveland Browns, and the New Orleans Saints where he was named a team captain for the 2015-2016 season. In his 12th year in the NFL, Watson had a career season where he had career bests in receptions (74) and yards (825), and tied his career high in touchdowns (six). On March 9, 2016, Benjamin Watson signed a two-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

Off the field, Benjamin stays busy with his foundation One More, his growing family, and the NFL Players Association, where he serves on the Executive Committee. In 2015, Watson published his first book, “Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race- And Getting Free From The Fears and Frustrations That Divide Us”. On May 2nd, 2017 Watson released his new literary work, “The New Dad’s Playbook: Gearing Up for the Biggest Game of Your Life.”

Randi Weingarten
Randi WeingartenPresident of The American Federation of Teachers
Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal government employees; and early childhood educators. The AFT champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for students, their families and communities. The AFT and its members advance these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through members' work.

Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education. In 2013, the New York Observer named Weingarten one of the most influential New Yorkers of the past 25 years. Washington Life magazine included Weingarten on its 2013 Power 100 list of influential leaders.

Weingarten has launched major efforts to place real education reform high on the nation's and her union's agendas. She created the AFT Innovation Fund, a groundbreaking initiative to support sustainable, innovative and collaborative education reform projects developed by members and their local unions. At Weingarten's direction, the AFT developed a model to transform teacher evaluations from a way of simply rating teachers to a tool for continuous improvement and feedback, and is using this model to align tenure and due process so that tenure serves as a guarantee of fairness, not of a job for life. Weingarten led an AFT committee that called for all prospective teachers to meet a high entry standard—as in medicine or law—so that they're prepared from the day they enter the classroom.

Weingarten oversaw the development of the AFT's Quality Education Agenda, which advocates for reforms grounded in evidence, equity, scalability and sustainability. She promotes what she calls "solution-driven unionism"—an approach to collective bargaining and collective action that unites the interests of union members and those they serve in the pursuit of solutions that benefit students, schools and communities.

The AFT and a broad array of parent and community partners have collaborated on events across the country to advance a community- and educator-driven agenda for public school reform. Parents and many others have joined the AFT's efforts to end the overuse and misuse of standardized tests, and to fix—not close—struggling schools, something Weingarten has advocated since her involvement in the creation of New York City's Chancellor's District, which dramatically improved achievement in what had been some of the city's lowest-performing schools.

In 2012-13, Weingarten served on an education reform commission convened by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which made a series of recommendations to improve teaching and learning. She was appointed to the Equity and Excellence Commission, a federal advisory committee chartered by Congress to examine and make recommendations concerning the disparities in educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap.

From 1986 to 1998, Weingarten served as counsel to UFT president Sandra Feldman, taking a lead role in contract negotiations and enforcement, and in lawsuits in which the union fought for adequate school funding and building conditions. A teacher of history at Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood from 1991 to 1997, Weingarten helped her students win several state and national awards debating constitutional issues.

Weingarten's column "What Matters Most" appears in the New York Times' Sunday Review the third Sunday of each month. You can follow her on Twitter at @rweingarten or on Facebook.

Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law. She worked as a lawyer for the Wall Street firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan from 1983 to 1986. She is an active member of the Democratic National Committee and numerous professional, civic and philanthropic organizations. Born in 1957 and raised in Rockland County, N.Y., Weingarten now resides on Long Island and in Washington, D.C.