Our Leadership

NLC’s staff, board of directors, and senior volunteers provide support to our local chapters and direct the strategy for the organization.

Meet our Team

Our staff – the overwhelming majority who are alumni of the NLC Institute – supports our chapters, caucuses, senior volunteers, and Fellows across the country.
Clare Bresnahan English (She/Her/Hers)

NLC President and CEO

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Karen Pandy-Cherry (She/Her/Hers)

Vice President, Programs

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Ambar Mendez (She/Her/Ella)

Programs and Operations Director

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Charisse Price She/Her/Hers

Project Manager, Allstate Partnership

Ashley Nealy (She/Her/Hers)

Digital Consultant

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This year reaffirmed that every minute, dollar, and thought spent in service of this organization was worthwhile. The groundswell of inclusive, local leaders emerging from NLC not only validates our belief in this program and community… it proves that what we do works.

– Candace Stanciel (she/her)
Board Chair, NLC Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Representing a wide-range of industries and experiences, our board of directors supports our national network of local changemakers.
Candace Stanciel (She/Her/Hers) NLC Board Chair
NLC Atlanta ’13
Chief Equity Officer,
City of Atlanta
Clare Bresnahan English (She/Her/Hers) NLC President and CEO
NLC Washington DC ’13
Yumi Lawlor (She/Her/Hers) NLC Board Secretary
General Counsel, Forage
Michael Toland (He/Him/His) NLC Board Treasurer
NLC Columbus ’18
Sr. Product Management,
Test Double
Founder of Converge Consulting LLC
Sherry Merfish (She/Her/Hers) NLC Executive Committee Member
Community and Political Activist
Mark Walsh (He/Him/his) NLC Executive Committee
NLC Board Chair Emeritus
Managing Director, Ruxton Ventures, LLC
Chris Kelly (He/Him/His) NLC Executive Committee
NLC Board Chair Emeritus
Founder of Kelly Ventures
Co-Owner at Sacramento Kings
Justin Braz (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
NLC New Jersey Co-Founder
Managing Director, MAD Global Strategy
Raymonde Charles (She/Her/Hers) NLC Board Member
Vice President of Communications, Education & Venture, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Wendy Davis (She/Her/Hers) NLC Board Member
Sr. Adviser, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes
Former TX State Senate
Robert Abernethy (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
Chairman, American Standard Development Company
Rhianon DeLeeuw (She/Her/Hers) NLC Board Member
NLC Arkansas Co-Founder
Sr. Vice President, Enterprise Strategy and Innovation, Walmart
Donnie Fowler (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
Director, Innovation Campaign, Meta
Adela Ghadimi (She/Her/Hers) NLC Board Member
NLC Tallahassee ’16
Executive Director, United Faculty of Florida
2023 Obama Leader USA
PhD, Public Administration & Policy
Joon I. Kim (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
Associate Vice President, External Affairs, Comcast
David Lee (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
President & Co-Founder, Texas Signal
Derrick Lewis (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
Global Head of Cyber Advisory Services, Liberty Mutual
Ty Lim (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
NLC San Francisco ’18
Chief of Staff & Head of Legal Ops, Lyft
Tim Mason (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
NLC Broward Co-Founder
Director, Energy & Mitigation, Energy & Environment Program, The Aspen Institute
Liz McElroy (She/Her/Hers) NLC Board Member
Vice President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
Prashanthi Raman (She/Her/Hers) NLC Board Member
Public Policy Executive
Advisory Board for Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Northwestern
Nick Rathod (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
President of Impact, People of Culture Studios
MaryEllen Veliz (She/Her/Hers) NLC Board Member
NLC San Antonio ’16
Business Development Director, DSPolitical
Kellan White (He/Him/His) NLC Board Member
NLC Philadelphia ’13
First Deputy City Controller

Advisory Council

Our Advisory Council is made up of cross-country, cross-sector leaders who bring their experience and perspectives to NLC and expand our network.
Raul M. Alvillar (He/Him/His) Executive Vice President at Resolute; Chair of the Sixteen Thirty Fund Board
Laphonza Butler (She/Her/Hers) President, EMILY’s List
Sandy Clark (She/Her/Hers) CEO of StoryCorps
Caroline Fayard (She/Her/Hers) Managing Member, Fayard Law Firm LLC
Suneel Gupta (He/Him/His) Author of “Backable”
Errin Haines (She/Her/Hers) Editor at large and founding mother of The 19th
Hari Kondabolu (He/Him/His) Comedian and Activist
Hanh Le She/her Vice President of if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility
Nasir Qadree (He/Him/His) NLC Boston ‘12; Founder of Zeal Capital Partners
Debra Schifrin (She/Her/Hers) Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Invest in proximate, place-based leadership. Invest in NLC.

If we want to build the country we want to see, then we have to start by investing in leadership.