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Ruben Alonzo, Student, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Ruben, a native of southwest Texas, is a Eugene and Margaret McDermott Scholar and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he majored in Economics with a concentration in Education. Ruben is co-founder of Project L.E.A.D. and Real Men Read, mentoring programs dedicated to bridging the gaps between the academically/economically privileged and the disenfranchised. He is passionate about reversing the high school dropout crisis in America and empowering young students to become role models for our even younger generations. This past summer, he interned with the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics. Currently, he is pursuing a one-year Masters of Education program in Prevention Science and Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a Harry S Truman Scholar.
Erin Belitskus, Program Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Erin currently works in regulatory affairs for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health where she drafts regulation, creates policies and guidelines, and implements statutory directives for health professions licensure boards. She has also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania, and has worked at Harvard’s Kennedy School. She is Vice-President of her college’s alumni board, and is Immediate Past President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County. Erin holds a B.A. in behavioral science from Green Mountain College, an environmental liberal arts college in Vermont and an MScEcon in terrorism and international relations from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Originally from southwestern Pennsylvania, Erin has lived in the Boston area for eight years.
Sally Brzozowski, Senior Associate, M+R Strategic Services
Sally Brzozowski is a Senior Associate at M+R Strategic Services, where she works as an online communications consultant helping progressive non-profits with fundraising, advocacy, and list growth. Prior to this job, she fought for financial reform by organizing non-profits in a coalition to push for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Sally is a veteran of the campaign trail, having worked on presidential, gubernatorial, senate, and local races in her home state of New Hampshire, and serving as the field director for a successful state representative race in Michigan on behalf of EMILY’s List. Sally graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, with a degree in English and Politics and spent time studying abroad in London. When not working or campaigning, Sally volunteers at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, CT, helping kids with cancer and blood diseases have the time of their lives, sits on an Institutional Review Board at Dana-Farber Cancer Center, and enjoys backyard astronomy. Sally has lived in Boston for almost three years and is still amazed at the number of awesome adventures and intense Red Sox fans the city holds.
Stephany Collamore, Associate, Foley Hoag LLP
Stephany Collamore is a litigation attorney at Foley Hoag LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. Her litigation practice is focused on complex litigation in the areas of accountants’ professional liability, governmental investigations, and patent litigation. Before beginning her legal career, Stephany served as a legislative aide to a Massachusetts state representative for two years. In that position, Stephany worked on proposed legislation, facilitated the delivery of state services to constituents, and represented the office at community meetings. While attending law school at Boston University, Stephany drafted a bill to facilitate the acceptance of food stamp benefits at farmers’ markets. Stephany also authored a report on the rights of homeless students in Massachusetts as a legal intern at Greater Boston Legal Services. Passionate about domestic politics, Stephany has worked on a number of political campaigns at the local, state, and national level. She holds a law degree from Boston University and graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. Stephany is a native of Lexington, Massachusetts and is an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan. She ran Boston’s Run to Remember half marathon last year and is looking forward to running another.
Amy Faulring, Field Director, MoveOn.org
Amy is currently the Field Director at MoveOn.org, supporting MoveOn members across the country to organize on progressive issues in their community. She joined MoveOn in 2009 and has been part of a team that built MoveOn’s in-house field organizing program to over 200 volunteer-led groups and thousands of member leaders. Previously, she worked at Greenpeace for nearly five years, first as co-creator of the Greenpeace Semester, an advanced training for college students to become environmental leaders, and then as the National Canvass Campaign Coordinator. She got her start as a professional organizer in Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. Amy graduated from Duke University in 2003 with a B.A. in History and a concentration in social movements. Last year, she completed a 200-hour teacher-training program to become a certified yoga teacher. Amy hails from Maryland and is a recent transplant to Boston. In her free time, she enjoys getting to know Boston, exploring New England hiking trails with her partner and two dogs, practicing yoga, taking crochet classes, and being part of the 549Columbus co-working collective in the South End.
Kate Fedosova, Co-Founder and Director, Peace in Focus
Kate is the co-founder and director of Peace in Focus, a global non-profit organization that provides peacebuilding and leadership education to youth living in fragmented and post-conflict communities. Since 2008, her organization has served young people in the US, Africa, and the Caribbean. Kate is also the founding trustee of the Red Thread Foundation for Women, an organization that extends scholarships and mentorship to college-bound women of international backgrounds. Previously, Kate worked as a researcher and analyst at Associates for International Research, Inc. Kate is fluent in Russian and French and has extensive international experience working in over twenty countries in areas of global mobility, peacebuilding, and youth development. She graduated summa cum laude from Occidental College with degrees in Diplomacy & World Affairs and French. An immigrant from the Ukraine, Kate is celebrating ten years as a naturalized American citizen this year.
Zhandra Ferreira-Cesar, Research Coordinator, Boston University School of Public Health
Zhandra is currently working as a Research Coordinator at the Boston University School of Public Health and Boston Medical Center. In the past, Zhandra has worked in higher education in the capacity of Coordinator of Programs and Program Advisor. As an undergraduate student, she led various community service programs that work directly with the Boston community, such as the Multicultural Advancement Partnership Program and the First Year Student Outreach Project. Later, she worked as the Program Manager of Alternative Spring Breaks, a community service program which aims to increase participation in and knowledge of the importance of service and of supporting local non-profits across the country. Upon completing high school at Tabor Academy, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy from Boston University. Recently, Zhandra completed a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management at Boston University’s School of Public Health. She is very interested in the fundraising mechanisms of non-profits and healthcare organizations. She is also very passionate about the issue of healthcare access for all. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Zhandra enjoys learning and practicing languages, as well as traveling and experiencing different cultures.
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office
Originally from Puerto Rico, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan has served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s since 2010. In 2011, he also worked for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office as a Special Assistant District Attorney. Prior to moving to Boston in 2010, Omar attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Cornell University. He also has a Master’s in Environmental Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. An advocate for LGBT rights and natural resource conservation, Omar has worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Conservation Law Foundation, and has volunteered for various LGBT organizations and electoral campaigns. Currently, Omar serves on the boards of the Mass LGBTQ Bar Association, Young Democrats of Massachusetts, and Boston Chapter of the American Constitution Society. Aside from his passion for the law, LGBT rights, and natural resource conservation, Omar is an avid college hockey fan and enjoys travelling and the outdoors.
Dustin Kight, Communications Manager, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
Dustin Kight is Communications Manager at AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, New England’s leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention and care services, improving the lives of one-in-six people diagnosed with HIV in Massachusetts today. He previously worked at Family Equality Council, the national organization working to ensure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) headed families. At Family Equality Council, Dustin organized community-building events, conducted speaker trainings in cities across the United States, and managed the organization’s communications efforts, including Family Equality Council’s involvement in the 2008 election and Proposition 8 campaign. Dustin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he worked as student manager of Blegen House, the college’s LGBTQ Center for the Study of Social Change. In high school, he studied creative writing at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina. A native of South Carolina, Dustin has also lived in Chicago and Washington, DC, calling Boston home since 2007. He devotes most of his volunteer time to the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund, a grassroots fundraising and grant-making organization that works with women to ensure access to safe and affordable abortions.
Christopher Knight, Director of Admissions, Year Up
Chris is Director of Admissions for Year Up Boston – a nationally leading nonprofit whose mission it is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. In this role, Chris is responsible for the recruitment, evaluation, acceptance and enrollment of 304 students a year. Chris’s life changed in his senior year of high school when he was awarded a full-tuition leadership scholarship through the Posse Foundation to attend Bowdoin College where he majored in Sociology and Gender & Women’s Studies. While there, he became increasingly aware of the incredible education and access to opportunity he was receiving and became intent on finding ways to ensure that every person has an opportunity to realize their own potential. This objective was what first brought him to Year Up, initially as an AmeriCorps*VISTA. Chris stays closely involved with the Posse Foundation and AmeriCorps. He has served a two-year term as a member of the Posse National Alumni Advisory Council and currently sits on the AmeriCorps Alums Boston Board. He is a native of Malden, MA and currently lives in Brighton.
Caitlin Lorincz, Health Policy PhD Candidate, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Caitlin Young Lorincz is a Health Policy PhD Candidate at Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She is also a Research Analyst at CSC’s Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices where she is responsible for monitoring trends and drafting reports on various healthcare topics. Caitlin’s background is in state health policy. She spent six years working in the Massachusetts Legislature in various roles, including Research Analyst for Medicaid and Elder Affairs Policy for the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and Policy Director for Elder Affairs and Health Care Financing in the Office of Massachusetts State Senator Sue Tucker. Prior to this, she taught English and Citizenship classes to adult immigrants as an AmeriCorps Direct Service Volunteer in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Caitlin holds a M.A. in Social Policy from Brandeis University, a M.S. in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts - Boston, and a B.A. in American History from the University of San Francisco. Originally from Portland, Oregon she now resides in Waltham, Massachusetts with her husband and cat.
Raffi Mardirosian, Consultant, McKinsey & Company
Raffi Mardirosian was born and raised in beautiful San Rafael, CA. A loyal Californian, he attended Stanford University, graduating with honors in Public Policy and Economics with focus in international security and cooperation. At Stanford, he conducted extensive studies in the field of infrastructure development and conflict studies and graduate work in International Policy Studies. Raffi is the co-founder and CEO of BlackBoxBio, a technology startup innovating to find cleaner and cheaper solutions to natural gas refining. He is also a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he specializes in energy and economic development work, including recently helping craft a growth strategy for a major emerging markets country. He also serves as an advisor to Ashoka's Globalizer program, working with entrepreneurs such as Fabio Rosa (IDEAAS) and Eric Dawson (Peace First). In past lives, he worked in infrastructure investment banking, economic policymaking, and founded a nonprofit, IDEAS, dedicated to bringing students together from around the world to create tangible solutions to environmental issues. Raffi is an avid squash player, pianist, and learner of languages, and is passionate about finding solutions to finding solutions to global problems in economic development, energy, and education.
Carey McDonald, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Unitarian Universalist Association
Carey is the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Unitarian Universalist Association, the national church organization for Unitarian Universalists, where he provides resources and leadership development for youth and young adult ministry across the country. He moved to Boston in 2011 from Columbus, Ohio where he worked for the Ohio Department of Education as the staff director for the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council. At ODE he focused on education reform, educational equity and “closing the achievement gap.” Prior to working at ODE, Carey served in the Ohio House of Representatives as a senior policy analyst for education issues and advisor to the Speaker, and helped secure the passage of Gov. Strickland's far-reaching 2009 education reform package. In Ohio he also worked as a budget analyst and legislative aide, and has considerable experience in political campaigns and organizing, including two-years as President of the Franklin County Young Democrats. Carey has a BA in Economics from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. He grew up in Ohio and considers himself a proud Midwesterner, with family roots int he Boston area. He now lives in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston with his wife, Sarah. He is a seventh-generation Unitarian Universalist.
Jared Milrad, Student, Northeastern University School of Law
Jared Milrad is a third year student at Northeastern University School of Law and a fundraising chairperson for Generation44, a national movement of young people working to reelect President Obama. During law school, Jared completed legal internships in the Office of Presidential Personnel at the White House; in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; and at the Boston Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. In May 2011, the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association honored Jared with the Alexander Gray Scholarship Award for his commitment to the LGBT community in New England. He previously advocated on behalf of low-income transgender clients in Boston and has helped investigate civil rights cold cases in Arkansas and Mississippi. Born in New York City and raised by a single parent in New Jersey, Jared holds a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina State University, where he graduated with highest honors and delivered the Student Commencement Address. He also holds a Master's degree from the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, where he received the Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service. He currently resides in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, with his boyfriend Nathan and rescue dog Cooper.
Nasir Qadree, Officer, State Street Corp - Investment Manager Services
Nasir Qadree works within the Investment Manager Services sleeve of State Street where he is responsible for covering North American Business Development and Sales. Nasir works with prospective clients to review and align their current operations with State Street’s servicing model. Previously, Nasir worked in the Institutional Equity Sales Research group of State Street Global Markets (SSGM). In this role, he introduced portfolio managers, analysts, and traders to SSGM’s proprietary macro and quantitative research Prior to joining State Street, Nasir worked at Goldman Sachs in New York where he worked as an operations analyst on the Fixed Income Sales desk. At Goldman Sachs, he supported municipal bond and money market sales traders. Nasir serves as a founding member of the Young Professional Council for Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) National in Boston, a nonprofit focused on delivering educational summer and after school experiences that increase time on-task and accelerate academic achievement. Previously Nasir has been a guest instructor for The East Harlem Tutorial Program, where he focused on financial literacy, leadership and community service skills to underrepresented minority teenagers of East Harlem. The Atlanta, Georgia native primary philanthropic endeavor includes running 51 marathons, one in each U.S. state including DC, to raise $25,000 for New York Needs You, a nonprofit focusing on career development for first-generation college students. Nasir received a B.S. from Hampton University in Marketing.
Lindsay Rosenfeld, Research Scientist, Brandeis University, Heller School, Institute on Child, Youth, and Family Policy
Lindsay E. Rosenfeld is a social epidemiologist with research interests in program and policy design that focus on the health impacts of “nonhealth” policies and programs, particularly concerning the built environment, urban planning and design, housing, neighborhoods, education, (im)migration, and health literacy. She works with a team focused on the social determinants of health and racial/ethnic health disparities at Brandeis University’s Heller School – Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, Bouvé College’s Institute on Urban Health Research. She has taught undergraduate/graduate courses at Northeastern University and the Harvard School of Public Health. Throughout her career she has served in numerous research, policy, teaching, and community social-service capacities — passionate about translating research into policy. Rosenfeld earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from Brown University and both her master’s degree and doctorate in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. Rosenfeld was born in Chicago and raised in Wilmette, IL. She has lived in Madison, WI; Providence, RI; Sevilla, Spain; Cuernavaca, Mexico; Los Angeles, CA; and Santiago, Chile. She currently resides with her husband in Milton, MA.
Katie Schlepp, MOC Program Manager, Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School
Katie Schlepp works as the Microeconomics of Competitiveness (MOC) Program Manager for Michael Porter’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, where she manages Professor Porter’s MOC course at HBS and nearly 100 affiliate universities around the world as well as supports research and case writing. Prior moving to Boston for graduate school, Katie worked for nearly three years at The Pacific Institute in Seattle, Washington managing a diverse portfolio of education and organizational development projects throughout Latin America. Her favorite projects included training over 12,000 primary school teachers in Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico in response to exceptionally high student dropout rates across the region. Katie graduated from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University where she finished a dual MBA/MA in Sustainable International Development. Much of Katie’s graduate work focused on the rise of impact investing for microfinance institutions in developing countries. Fluent in Spanish, Katie studied Spanish and Global Studies from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. Having been a competitive rower for 10 years, Katie loves her early mornings on the Charles River, and growing up in Bozeman, Montana Katie returns home to her family and the mountains whenever she can.
Ashli Stempel, Social Media Specialist, Carbonite
Ashli Stempel is the Social Media Specialist for Carbonite, an online backup company headquartered in Boston’s Back Bay. Previously, Ashli worked as the On-air Personality and in Sales and Marketing at Hits 94.3, a Western Mass. radio station, as well as the On-court MC for the Springfield Armor, the Springfield, Mass. NBA D-League team. Ashli earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the Northeastern University School of Journalism. While at Northeastern, Ashli participated in the school’s co-op program and earned roles at Boston companies including McNeil, Gray and Rice (formerly Gray & Rice PR), MFS Investment Management, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. Ashli also worked as the Director of Marketing for WRBB 104.9 FM, Northeastern’s student radio station. Born and raised in Greenfield, Mass., Ashli still spends much of her time in Western Mass. In her free time she enjoys speaking about and educating others on social media use, and volunteering for various municipal and state-wide political campaigns and children’s charities. She is proud to have completed Tough Mudder Vermont in 2011 to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, and looks forward to finishing the 10-mile, military-inspired obstacle course again in 2012.
Melanie Topel, Program Director, Northeast Accessible Golf Association
Melanie Topel brings a strong passion for social justice and community service to the 2012 NLC institute. She is active in the coach education and sport based youth development movements as well as being a committed advocate for marriage equality and equal rights in the US. Melanie currently serves as a mentor to coaches in the Coach Across America program, which promotes health and nutrition, educational success, civic engagement, and positive personal and social development among youth in our nation’s most under-resourced communities. She also works with the Northeast Accessible Golf Association, a non-profit that promotes the empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities utilizing the game of golf. Melanie coaches Golf at Wellesley College and Basketball at Beaver Country Day School as well as delivers sport psychology, coach education, and youth leadership workshops throughout New England. Prior to joining the non-profit sector, Melanie worked in online marketing, specializing in SEO, SEM/PPC, and Social Media. Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, Melanie has lived in Boston for seven years. She holds a B.A. in English and Sociology from Franklin and Marshall College and an Ed.M. in Counseling with a focus in Sport and Performance Psychology from Boston University.
New Leaders Council is a 501 (c) (3) public charity dedicated to educating a new generation of leaders and to providing those leaders with the tools they need to succeed. NLC does not engage in political or legislative activities of any kind, does not support or oppose any candidate for public office, and serves only as an educational leadership training ground.
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