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Jason Andrean, Assistant Vice President, Relationship Manager, Capital One
A leading force at the junction of corporate banking and community leadership, Jason Andrean is a rising pillar in the Greater Washington, DC region. As an Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager at Capital One commercial banking group, Jason meets the capital needs of government contractors, issuing over $200 million a year in debt financing. A native New Yorker, with more than 10 years of retail and commercial banking experience, Jason is an expert in financial and credit analysis.
Leveraging his knowledge in corporate finance and credit risk mitigation, Jason helps provide financing for working capital needs, capital expenditures and mergers & acquisitions for government contractors. Jason graduated from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business in 2005 with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. His academic focus on finance and management with concentrations in leadership and change management has equipped Jason to be an effective leader and innovator in organizational structure and transition. While climbing the corporate ladder from an in-branch management trainee to middle-market relationship manager, Jason's service to community has remained a priority.
As a past chair of Capital One's D.C. community corps council driving volunteerism in the corporate space, he now chairs the D.C. Board of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington where under his leadership he has narrowed the organization's deficit by nearly $1.7 million dollars. He provides oversight for 12 local sites that serve over 1,300 youth daily. The son of Jamaican immigrants and entrepreneurs who made their home in the United Sates, Jason witnessed firsthand the importance of hard work and determination. Named 40 under 40 by The EnVest Foundation, Capital One Volunteer of the Year 2011 finalist, and a Leadership Greater Washington alum, Jason Andrean is poised to be one of Washington's most transformative leaders in community and business.
Lena Bell, Brand and Events Manager, Rock the Vote
Lena Bell is the Brand and Events Manager at Rock the Vote, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that engages young people in the political process. During this past midterm election, she worked with corporate partners and cultural ambassadors to communicate to Millennials the ease with which they can register to vote online, and cast their ballot on or before Election Day.
Lena came to Rock the Vote from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, where she worked on the national political team and with the PPAF Federal PAC to support pro-women's health candidates, running for federal office across the country. Prior to her time at Planned Parenthood, Lena worked on the 2012 Obama for America campaign, helping to develop and execute the national Women for Obama program and ultimately serving as the Women's Vote Director in Iowa. Lena is originally from New York City and graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in International Studies.
Catharine Bellinger, State Director, Washington D.C., Democrats for Education Reform
Catharine serves as Director of the Washington, D.C., branch of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), a political reform organization that cultivates and supports leaders in the party who champion America's public schoolchildren. Prior to joining DFER in 2014, Catharine co-founded and led Students for Education Reform, a grassroots movement of college students fighting for educational justice in their communities.
As co-founder of SFER, she was named a Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, one of TIME Magazine's "12 Education Leaders for 2012," and one of the "Forbes 30 Under 30" in the education sector in 2013 and 2014. Catharine graduated from high school in D.C. in 2008 and attended Princeton University, graduating with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Melissa Cantrell, Media Research Director, American Bridge 21st Century
Originally hailing from Texas, Melissa Cantrell became an expert on live music and BBQ at a young age, but didn't find her place in progressive politics until she attended college in the liberal city of Austin. What started as a college hobby eventually led to her current position as the Media Research Director at American Bridge 21st Century, a progressive research and communications super PAC.
Melissa got her start working in progressive video while at My Digital Manager, an offshoot of Link Strategies, in Des Moines, Iowa. There, she built searchable video databases for campaigns. Her time at Link Strategies sparked an interest in video research and understanding the value that the 24-hour news cycle has in shaping the narrative of a campaign, leading her to Washington DC and to a position as a media research analyst at American Bridge.
Nearly two years later, Cantrell has taken charge of the Media Research Department, leading a team in monitoring the media appearances of over 90 conservative Republican candidates in 48 states. She currently manages three analysts and has been instrumental in creating an in-house comprehensive digital asset management program. Melissa studied International Relations at the University of Texas and has a cat named Beasley. In her free time she enjoys running, frequenting the Monets at the National Gallery of Art and continuing the search for live music.
Dylan Nicole de Kervor, Attorney Advisor, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Dylan recently joined the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, where she serves as an Attorney Advisor in the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section. As an Attorney Advisor, Dylan supports the office's mission to ensure federal agencies consistently and effectively enforce civil rights statutes and Executive Orders that prohibit discrimination in federally conducted and assisted programs and activities.
Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Dylan was a Civil Rights Analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), where she served as a lead staff member for the office's rulemaking and enforcement efforts related to the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (Section 1557). In this capacity she advised on novel legal and policy issues raised by Section 1557 and provided guidance and technical assistance to OCR's Regional offices on enforcement matters. Outside of the office, Dylan remains passionate on issues related to racial and gender justice. She served on the Board of Directors of DC Lawyers for Youth, a local nonprofit organization advocating for holistic juvenile justice reform in the nation's capital, from 2010-2014 and has published on issues related to the topic.
In 2014, Dylan became a volunteer for the Whitman-Walker Name and Gender Change Clinic, which provides support to transgender individuals seeking to change their name and gender markers on identity documents. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dylan received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and her M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare. As a law student, she was a founding Board Member and Production Editor of the Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law, and Executive Articles Editor and Supervising Editor of the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice. Dylan received her B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego and is a member of the State Bar of California.
Adam Duffy, Consumer Protection Analyst, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Secretary
Adam Duffy currently serves as a Consumer Protection Analyst in the United States Department of Transportation's Office of the Secretary. In this position, Adam investigates cases involving violations of the Department's consumer protection regulations, specifically regulations concerning civil rights and consumers with disabilities. Adam enjoys the constant interaction with the public that this position provides, particularly with members of disability rights advocacy organizations.
Prior to his position at DOT, Adam first began his work on transportation policy as a staff member for the Senate Commerce Committee for Senators Inouye of Hawaii and Rockefeller of West Virginia, from 2008 to 2012. In addition to his time in the Senate, Adam worked on Capitol Hill for Representative Nancy Boyda from Kansas and Representative William Delahunt from Massachusetts.
Adam's first job out of college was as field organizer in Minnesota for the John Kerry for President Campaign, where he organized 18-30 year old voters and managed the volunteer and intern programs. In between the Kerry Campaign and his time working for Representative Delahunt, Adam volunteered for several local campaigns in Massachusetts, where he was born, including Deval Patrick's campaign for Governor and his friend Jim Cantwell's race for State Representative. Adam was honored to serve as a delegate for the Massachusetts Democratic Party's Convention in 2007 and he counts this as his highlight of his time in the state. His work in Massachusetts spawned Adam's passion for local politics, a passion that continued over the eight years he has lived in Washington D.C, a place he proudly calls home.
This passion for D.C. was one of the many reasons Adam ran for local office to represent his neighborhood (Eckington in Northeast D.C.) as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC). While he wasn't successful in his 2014 election bid, Adam remains active in his neighborhood through several volunteer positions including with the Eckington Civic Association where he serves as the Events Committee Chair.
Adam is a proud Orangeman who graduated from Syracuse University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and he remains active in the Syracuse Alumni community through his service as a D.C. Alumni Chapter Board Member. Adam obtained his Masters of Public Administration from American University, where he graduated with honors in 2009. In his spare time, Adam enjoys running races which allows him to enjoy his other passion, drinking great local beer.
Brendon Gehrke, Senior Legislative Associate, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.
Brendon has successfully collaborated with others to achieve a common goal throughout his career. He has managed staff and volunteers to implement community education programs in a low-income school. He has built relationships with Afghan village elders to bring stability to a war-torn area and has partnered with other service organizations to increase political and social awareness on important issues.
Currently, Brendon is a Senior Legislative Associate for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW). As a VFW Associate, Brendon is regularly sought out by policy makers and journalist for his expertise and insight on a host of issues facing the military and veterans community. Brendon has testified as an expert witness in front of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on pending legislation, service member transition issues and has written statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding military personnel programs. Prior to joining the VFW, Brendon served as a Military Legislative Assistant for Representative Tim Walz.
During his time with Congressman Walz he received multiple rewards from Military Service Organizations for his professionalism and his contribution to various pieces of legislation signed into law. In addition to his Capitol Hill experience, Brendon has worked on political campaigns in Utah, Maryland, and Minnesota. Brendon is a U.S. Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and remains active in the Marine reserves. Having never lived in a place longer than four consecutive years, Brendon has learned to embrace new people and experiences with zeal.
Brandon Gray, Bank Manager, Bank of America
As someone who prides themselves on the Development and progress of anything he touches, Brandon Gray is currently leaving his mark in the financial industry as a Banking Center Manager in the District of Columbia working for Bank Of America. Brandon works closely with a team that manages the financial Process and portfolios of clients while developing his staff to become efficient bankers. While in the banking industry he has teamed with universities in the District of Columbia to provide mentorship and guidance to college students aspiring to be in the financial Industry.
Through matriculation of this mentorship underrepresented students are offered internships that lead to a plethora of job opportunities in the banking industry. Brandon's Passion for mentorship and development started in the United States Army where he spent eight years in logistics and field training. It was then he learned he had a knack for inspiring individuals and that he began to progress the talent. During that time he acquired a bachelors Degree in criminal Justice from California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) where the passion grew deeper.
As a native of Inglewood California, life was seen through a different lens. That would eventually lead Brandon on his pursuit of knowledge regarding politics and the overcoming of classism. From student government to Program Development and implementation through being a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Brandon has served and continues to act as a servant leader to his community. In his Spare time Brandon is A Runner for Nike, developing and training beginner to intermediate 5k participants to marathoners. He also serves as an image consultant to clients across the country and acts.
David Heifetz, Speechwriter, U.S. Senate
David Heifetz currently serves as the Speechwriter for U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware. He crafts the Senator's remarks, op-eds, and other public pieces, develops communications strategy, and advises the Senator on messaging and long-term planning. Prior to working for Senator Coons, David served as the late Senator Frank Lautenberg's (D-N.J.) Speechwriter, interned with West Wing Writers, and worked for City Year Co-Founder Alan Khazei's U.S. Senate campaign as his Speechwriter and Personal Aide. David also spent time organizing for the 2012 Obama campaign in Cleveland, as well as writing for Congressman Seth Moulton during his recent, successful campaign in Massachusetts' sixth district.
David is passionate about conflict resolution, political empowerment, and the challenge of mobilizing people to solve tough, shared problems. He currently hones his skills as a mediator and convener on Tuesday nights when he teaches 25 eighth graders at Temple Sinai's Religious School. David grew up in the Boston area and graduated in 2011 from Carleton College, where he studied International Relations and Political Economy. At Carleton, he won and lost elections for student government, mused about politics in the college's weekly newspaper, and played catcher for the varsity baseball team. Today he lives in Washington, D.C.
Sheila E. Isong, Policy Manager, Generation Progress, Center for American Progress
Sheila E. Isong is the Policy Manager for Generation Progress, the Millennial arm of the Center for American Progress where she focuses her work on higher education and student loan reform. She hails from the great state of Maryland and is a proud Nigerian-American. Prior to joining the Generation Progress team, she served as the Legal and Public Policy Advocate at the National Black Justice Coalition, where she proposed short and long-range public policy initiatives that advanced civil rights enforcement for the Black and LGBT community.
Isong provides a wealth of experiences that were cultivated through the National Black Law Students Association, AFL-CIO, Center for Community Change, and the United States Student Association. Isong graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College with a Bachelors degree in Politics and Philosophy, and she holds a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and also holds membership within the American Bar Association and National Bar Association.
Additionally, she sits on the Board of Directors for the University of Pittsburgh's African American Alumni Council and she serves as the Executive Vice-President of the Prince George's County Young Democrats. In her spare time, Isong enjoys running, live music, reading, hosting soirees, and lively philosophical conversations.
Clayton Keir, Senior Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton
Clayton is a national security and foreign policy professional with experience working on projects with the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, as well as the intelligence community. Prior to returning to Washington, DC in March 2014, we worked as a contract Persian translator for the United States Government in Doha, Qatar for 2.5 years. He recently started as a senior consultant with Booz Allen in Washington, DC, where he will apply his experience with data analytics and predictive modeling.
Clayton has also engaged in pro bono translation work for Impassion Afghanistan, a company that promotes social media use among Afghans to support election monitoring. He is also helping establish Washington, DC's first chapter of Moneythink, a nonprofit dedicated to educating low-income students about personal finances.
Joseph Kitchen, Administrator, Washington School for Girls
Born in southern California, Joseph grew up in the central valley being raised by his mother. In junior high school the country was dealing with a spring of school shootings taking over the news just about everyday. California was also going through a crime wave. With a group of friends Joseph founded the United Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) of Fresno City, one of the largest chapters of the National SAVE organization based out of North Carolina. For three years, working with police officials, school administrators, and elected leaders, Joseph became a forceful advocate for safe streets, reforming criminal laws to focus on building strong families and communities, as well as empowering young people to have a say in determining their lives.
In high school Joseph became focused on improving the political representation for people of color and the under-represented. As a high school senior Joseph was appointed, by then Fresno City Councilwoman Cynthia Sterling, as a member of the Edison Merger II Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the Planning Commission. Joseph would use this seat to fight for redevelopment in southwest Fresno that met the unmet needs, without uprooting long-term residents. For the last fourteen years Joseph has been an active member of the Young Democrats of America. He has served as a member of the Executive Committees of the Fresno City Young Democrats and the California Young Democrats.
In Maryland he has served as Executive Vice President of the Prince George's County Young Democrats and State Minority Caucus Chairman. He has also held various seats on the Young Democrats of Maryland Executive Committee such as, National Committeeman, Executive Vice President and now President. In 2009 while Executive Vice President of the Prince George's County Young Democrats, PGCYD was named the 2008/2009 YDA National Local Chapter of the Year.
In 2011 while Executive Vice President of the Young Democrats of Maryland, YDM was named the 2010/2011 YDA National State Chapter of the Year. Joseph has been recognized for his leadership with the Channel 47 on Your Side Gold Star Leader Award, named one of the 40Under40 by the Prince George's County Social Innovation Fund, a Capital Cause Change Maker, and recently one of the 100 Black LGBTQ Leaders to Watch by the National Black Justice Coalition. An ordained Baptist minister, Joseph resides in Cheverly, MD and works as an administrator at a school in southeast Washington, DC. He is also a member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.
Chris LaTondresse, Director of Communications & Campaigns , The Expectations Project
Raised in the former Soviet Union as the son of American missionary parents, Chris LaTondresse leverages his talents as a global communicator, connector, and strategist, helping world-shaping institutions (including government, private sector, civil society and faith-based) advance the common good. In his current role as the Director of Communications and Campaigns at The Expectations Project, he leads the organization's national efforts to mobilize faith communities across America to address the academic achievement gap in U.S. public education.
From 2011 to 2013, LaTondresse served as Advisor in USAID's Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives, advising the Agency's efforts to partner with faith-based and civil society organizations on global development. This included serving as liaison between USAID and faith-based organizations on Feed the Future, the Obama Administration's global food security initiative, and Challenge Slavery, an international contest aimed at tapping college students for their best ideas to fight human trafficking.
He started his career as the Special Assistant to Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners Magazine, followed by a tenure as the U.S. Director of Questscope, an organization based in Amman, Jordan pioneering education and youth mentoring strategies across the Middle East. He is also the founder of Recovering Evangelical, a national movement of Millennial-generation Christians. In 2014 he helped launch Evangelicals for Marriage Equality a national campaign (covered by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and TIME magazine) focused on elevating the voices of religious allies for LGBT equality.
LaTondresse has been interviewed by CNN, ABC and Fox News. His writings have appeared at CNN, RELEVANT, The Huffington Post and Sojourners. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Ashley and French Bulldog / Instagram celebrity Cedar.
Tangelina or Tangie, as she prefers to be called, is a young, lively, energetic entrepreneur who co-founded a Text Message Fundraising Company, smsElect.net. Her company specializes in helping political campaigns and committees, nonprofits, youth organizations as well as churches raise funds and facilitate donations via text message at an affordable rate. She was inspired to start this company after learning of the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Citizens United vs. The Federal Election Commission which classified corporations as people.
Now, she works to beat back the decision by creating more ways in which small dollar donors can also have a strong voice. She also saw that there was a need to empower the small to medium sized non-profit organizations who until now, had little to no access to this technology.
Prior to starting her own business, Tangie worked in the scientific Research/Development and Biotechnology fields. In her previous roles she worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a Quality Control Supervisor as well as an analyst for the Dow Chemical Company. From a young age she has always been fascinated with math and science. She is a native southerner, having been born and raised in Louisiana and a die-hard Saints fan. Go Saints! She graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans, LA with a BS degree in Biological Sciences and attended graduate school at the University of Southern Mississippi in the curriculum of Medical Technology.
Tangie was married in Baton Rouge, LA in 2007 and has a two year old son, Dean, whom she affectionately calls Mr. Wonderful.
Jon Mandel, Communications Specialist , Office of Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie - Ward 5
Since graduating from college, Jon Mandel grew passionate about serving his native hometown of Washington, District of Columbia. After working for one of largest public relations agencies in the world, he left his job to become the deputy campaign manager for Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie.
For the past three years, Jon has worked for Councilmember McDuffie in several capacities, including as a staff assistant, legislative aide, constituent services coordinator, and campaign manager for his successful re-election bid. In his current role, Jon's responsibilities include drafting press releases, talking points, and managing both website and social media content with respect to legislation, policy, and community affairs. Jon Mandel has over five years of experience in both local and national campaigns.
In 2012, he took a leave of absence from work to serve as a field organizer in Ohio for President Obama's re-election campaign. In addition, Jon has held elected positions in the local Democratic Party, including currently as the Third Vice President of the Ward 5 Democrats.
Jon received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont, majoring in Political Science and Russian. When he is not attending a community meeting or neighborhood clean-up, he enjoys going to the movies and exploring new places in DC.
Preethi Nampoothiri, Learning Metrics Task Force, Project Manager, Brookings Institution
Preethi Nampoothiri has spent the last ten years in the education sector focusing on the promotion and protection of childrenÕs human rights around the globe. From the South Bronx in New York City to Baghdad, Iraq, she has found that advocating for the most vulnerable in their pursuit of an education, and supporting children in becoming engaged members of their communities, are vital for creating a just and peaceful world. Preethi began her career as a Special Education middle school teacher through the New York City Teaching Fellowship program.
After her time in the classroom, she pursued her interest in international education working with the International Rescue Committee, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Save the Children. In these roles, Preethi contributed to the development of and provided guidance on education projects and policies for improving access to quality learning opportunities for children in school and outside of school. Her portfolio has included helping governments develop national education strategies, writing curriculum for teacher training institutes, training teachers on child and adolescent socialÐemotional well-being, and identifying vocational opportunities for out-of-school youth in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, the Philippines, South Sudan, and Syria.
Currently, Preethi is the Project Manager for the Learning Metrics Task Force at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. With a specific focus on issues of measurement, Preethi collaborates with organizations around the world to build consensus on how to improve learning opportunities and outcomes for children and youth. She holds a Master of Science in Urban Education from Mercy College, a Master of Education in International Educational Development from Teachers College at Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Boston University. In addition to her current full-time position, Preethi volunteers as a mentor for survivors of human trafficking with the International Rescue Committee.
She enjoys good coffee, hot sauce and dancing in sweatpants.
Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy & Policy, United We Dream
Lorella Praeli is the Advocacy and Policy Director of United We Dream, the largest immigrant-youth led network dedicated to advancing the rights of non-citizens in the United States. Praeli is responsible for developing the organization's political strategy and her advocacy focuses on passage of the DREAM Act, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) policies.
In 2012, her advocacy and leadership with United We Dream played a key role in persuading the Obama administration to deliver reprieve from deportation and work permits to 1.4 million Dreamers through DACA. Before joining UWD, Praeli co-founded and directed CT Students for a DREAM where she led the public advocacy campaign for the successful passage of Connecticut's in-state tuition bill. In CT, she also worked as the state organizer for United Action of Connecticut, where she built an intergenerational network of undocumented parents and youth.
Praeli is often interviewed by media outlets such as MSNBC, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, Univisi—n, CNN en Espa–ol, and Entravision, among others. She immigrated from Ica, Peru to New Milford, Connecticut with her family at the age of ten, where she grew up undocumented. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Quinnipiac University in 2011.
Andrew Simpson, Senior Legislative Assistant/Communications Director, Congressman Mike McIntyre
Andrew Simpson has demonstrated a deep commitment to engaging and mobilizing our nation's moderate core around issues of economic equality and social justice, in pursuit of progress. As a Senior Policy Adviser and Communications Director for a North Carolina Member of Congress, Andrew combines extensive policy knowledge, political savvy, and communications acumen to execute a comprehensive legislative strategy focused on securing Democratic victory in battleground territory. In this role, Andrew serves as a policy expert on such wide-ranging legislative issues as Foreign Affairs, Energy, Telecommunications, Faith, Environment, and Social Security. He also oversees all speech-writing, press outreach, and new media operations for his office and serves as Democratic staff lead on several bipartisan Congressional Caucuses.
In 2012, Andrew worked as Political Director for Congressman Mike McIntyre's campaign, securing victory for the North Carolina Democrat in the year's most competitive congressional race, despite a district heavily gerrymandered in favor of the Republican candidate. Prior to his tenure on Capitol Hill, he worked at the intersection of faith and progressive politics at Sojourners, a forward-thinking non-profit committed to issues of faith-based social justice. In this role, he focused on engaging and organizing communities of faith around issues of poverty reduction, immigration reform, and climate change. An avid Tar Heel fan, Andrew grew up as the son of a pastor in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, amongst a vibrant community of academia and faith. He earned a degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina, where he was heavily involved in community service, vocal music, and student leadership.
Outside of work, he currently serves as the Vice President of the North Carolina Democratic Club of Washington, D.C., an organization dedicated to mobilizing, educating, and networking progressive North Carolina leaders working in Washington. He is most in his element, however, when volunteering as a coach and mentor for an inner-city youth basketball team in Washington, D.C., where he has the honor of investing in the lives of young athletes and teaching life-lessons through sports.
David Street, Community & Political Engagement Coordinator, Washington Teachers Union
David Street is a native of Washington, D.C. who currently serves as the Community and Political Engagement Coordinator for the Washington Teacher's Union Local 6 AFL-CIO. Before joining the teachers union, Mr. Street worked former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame F. Brown as his community outreach specialist. He also spent four years in the non-profit sector as the Director of Employment Services for the Living Classrooms Foundation.
Street received his Bachelors in Political Science from North Carolina A & T State University and holds a Masters in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary. Street was recently appointed as the Executive Director for P.E.N.(Promote, Enrich and Nurture) DMV, a faith based non-profit that specializes in activities for local high school youth and senior citizens. Street is an associate minister at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church where he serves as the community engagement liaison.
Street volunteers with the local Boys and Girls Club #15, The United States Attorney General's Office through their Clergy Ambassadors Program and is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
Christopher Suarez, Associate, Williams & Connolly LLP
Christopher Suarez is a teacher and lawyer who carries a passion for education reform and policy. A product of the Chicago Public Schools, he is particularly interested in urban education. Chris graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with dual degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Political Science. He began his career teaching sixth grade math at a charter school on Chicago's near-west side, where he led an after-school math tutoring program.
During subsequent stints at Teach For America's summer training institute, he trained middle school math teachers in Los Angeles and served as a high school leader in Chicago. After teaching, Chris attended Yale Law School. While there, he served as a clinic director of the law school's Education Adequacy Project, which involved a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of school funding in Connecticut.
At Yale, he also led the Project for Law and Education at Yale, which provides a forum for law students to discuss education policy. Chris' technical training has also given him a passion for technology. Thus, after graduating law school, Chris clerked for judges on two federal courts, including the Court of Appeals for the Federal CircuitÑthe United States appellate court which specializes in Patent Law. He is currently a litigation associate at Williams & Connolly LLP, where his litigation practice includes patent, antitrust, and technology-related cases. As a litigator, Chris retains his passion for education and provides pro bono counsel to families who cannot afford representation in special education and school discipline cases.
In his spare time, Chris is an avid runner and traveler. He hopes to complete a half marathon in all 50 states and run a full marathon on all seven continents.
Jheanelle Wilkins, Senior Field Manager, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Jheanelle Wilkins is the senior field manager for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. In this role, she develops and implements grassroots strategies and public education campaigns to advance education equity, immigrant rights and other civil and human rights issues.
In her personal capacity, Jheanelle is also an elected member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee in Montgomery County, MD where her duties include increasing voter participation and electing Democrats to state, local and national office.
Jheanelle obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Delaware and a Master of Public Administration from the American University in Washington, D.C. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Kyle Williams, Legislative Director, Financial & Housing Policy, National Urban League
As Legislative Director for Financial and Housing Policy at the National Urban League Washington Bureau, Kyle Williams designs strategies to increase access to affordable financial products for communities of color. Kyle's advocacy portfolio includes housing, small business, tax, financial reform and financial capability. Kyle drafts public comment letters, writes position papers and speaks on behalf of the organization. Kyle staffs President Morial with his duties as Chair of the PreK-12 Committee on President Obama's President's Advisory Council for Financial Capability for Young Americans.
Prior to working for the National Urban League, Kyle worked for the Honorable Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH). Kyle's issues included housing, financial services, small business, healthcare and labor among others. As her committee staffer on the Education and the Workforce Committee, Kyle drafted a bi-partisan amendment to a workforce training bill that passed by voice vote. Kyle drafted appropriation request letters and submitted appropriation requests.
Kyle worked as a Federal Policy Analyst for the former Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, during the last six months of his tenure. Working in his Washington DC office, Kyle helped ensure Ohioans had a voice in the nationÕs capital. Kyle played a key role ensuring the State of Ohio was considered for funding opportunities and allowed to use the dollars at its discretion. To go along with his experience in federal policy, Kyle has firsthand experience in the consumer finance industry. Serving as a Mortgage Broker for Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corporation, Kyle helped homeowners save hundreds of dollars per month on their mortgages.
Kyle was awarded Top Performer three times, received ten customer-commendations and helped train new hires as a Senior Loan Officer at MBNA America. In addition, Kyle is a Co-founder of 10 Friends, LLC, a networking and consulting company whose mission is to bring together the best and brightest to ensure a more robust future for all. Since its inception in 2012, 10 Friends has hosted nearly 50 events and amassed a contact list of over 10,000 young professionals living in the Greater Washington D.C area. 10 Friends has been featured in the Washington Post and WJLA News Channel 8.
Kyle was born and raised in Greater Cleveland, Ohio. A true Ohioan, Kyle earned his undergraduate degree from Ohio University with Honors and his Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University's Michael E. Moritz College of Law. Kyle is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio.