American Express Leadership Academy 2.0: Emerging Nonprofit Leaders – 2017 Fellowship Class
Jonathas Barreto has more than 10 years of experience promoting social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability in the private and social sectors in Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States. He currently works as Senior Director at Points of Light (Washington, DC, USA), focusing his efforts on accelerating the growth of global citizen engagement by strengthening and scaling the organization’s global footprint, and developing strategic cross-sector partnerships.
Over the years, Jonathas has worked with premier organizations such as McKinsey & Company and Ashoka, gaining extensive experience in intersectoral partnership development and strategic social investment.
In 2011, he was awarded the Atlas Corps Fellowship to serve in the United States as a young rising leader and development professional from Brazil. In 2013, he was recognized as one of the Top 99 Under 33 young foreign policy leaders in the world by Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in the USA. He holds a degree in Business Administration from the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (Brazil), with specialization courses on corporate sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and nonprofit management.
Terri Broussard Williams currently serves as the Vice President of Government Relations for the American Heart Association-SouthWest Affiliate. The SouthWest Affiliate covers Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Wyoming. In her current role, she is responsible for managing thought-leadership, industry trends and fighting heart disease and stroke through public policy. Terri leads a team staff lobbyists, grassroots organizers and contract lobbyists in her region.
Prior to her current role, Broussard Williams served as the AHA’s Senior Government Relations Director in Louisiana, Press Secretary for the Alex Sanders U.S. Senate Campaign and Capital Campaign Coordinator for EdVenture Children’s Museum. She also had a long career in television news as a morning show news producer at WIS-TV and WBRZ-TV. Along with her work within the public health arena, Terri has been featured in various publications including Giving City Magazine, Influential Magazine and the Austin Business Journal.
Terri first became interested in “doing good” at an early age in her hometown of Lafayette, LA. One of her first volunteer experiences was volunteering at the Lafayette Parish Public Library in elementary school and serving cookies at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Ivy Reading Academy. Since then she has been a sought after expert for non-profits looking to build sustainable structures for volunteer management.
In 2005, Terri joined The Junior League of Lafayette and later transferred to The Junior League of Austin. During this time she has served as Strategic Planning Chair, Provisional Team Leader, Communications Vice President, Membership Vice President and 80th Anniversary. Terri has served as the Capital Campaign Coordinator which is a $10 million effort to build their Community Impact Center. She credits her membership in Junior Leagues for helping to strengthen her as a professional and furthering her community servant beliefs. Terri joined the Association of Junior Leagues International Board in 2016 and is the only under 40 board member.
Annie Burridge was named General Director and CEO of Austin Opera in October 2016, assuming leadership of all aspects of the company’s operations, including artistic programming, business planning, and community impact.
Prior to joining Austin Opera, Annie spent nine years at Opera Philadelphia, where she most recently served as Managing Director. Responsible for the implementation of the company’s business plan and leadership of the development, marketing, and communications departments, she led the company’s rebranding campaign and the most comprehensive consumer study ever conducted in the opera field, resulting in the company’s new programming model and the creation of the O17 festival. During her tenure as Opera Philadelphia’s chief development officer, contributed income increased 183%. Annie is a frequent speaker on topics related to arts administration, including change management, fundraising, branding, and community impact. She has been a keynote speaker at numerous national and international gatherings of OPERA America, Tessitura, Creative Partnerships Australia, and CultureBusiness.
Before switching her focus to administration, Annie performed as a coloratura soprano with several opera companies and orchestras, and was a young artist with Des Moines Metro Opera. Annie holds a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Pennsylvania; a M.M. in Voice Performance and a M.M. in Opera Studies from the New England Conservatory; and graduated the valedictorian of the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State University, where she earned a B.M. in Voice Performance with a Minor in Business Administration. Annie is an alumnus of Wharton’s Women’s Executive Leadership program and OPERA America’s Leadership Intensive program. She was named a 2017 Woman of Power by Austin Way Magazine.
Shelley Danner is founding Program Director of Challenge Detroit. She has a multi-disciplinary background that combines business consulting experience with a passion for impact and innovation that pivoted her career into the social entrepreneurship / nonprofit sector. In 2012 Shelley helped launch Challenge Detroit, a nonprofit organization that focuses on leadership, social impact and revitalization in Detroit. By designing and running an innovative fellowship program model, and through fostering an ecosystem of cross-sector partnerships, she has co-designed and led over 45 community impact projects and developed over 165 next-generation leaders in the city. She leads and guides cohorts of multi-disciplinary early career professionals to use a human-centered design approach and work in teams on community project collaborations. These projects tackle complex urban and social needs and intersections on topics such as arts and culture, economic development, education, transportation, land use, food security and more. She seeks to provide opportunities to empower others to learn-by-doing while also making a positive, tangible contribution to the nonprofits served and ultimately the community. Shelley is part of other initiatives in her city in addition to Challenge Detroit. She is an adjunct faculty in the Integrated Design MFA at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She is part of the strategic advisory committee for the Detroit Women’s Leadership Network, which focuses on inclusion and diversity in supporting women leaders. Shelley is also a facilitator and coach, and has given workshops and talks at institutions locally and nationally including American University, University of San Diego, Wayne State University, and University of Michigan. Shelley was invited to attend President Obama’s inaugural South by South Lawn for changemakers at the White House in October 2016 and is a Salzburg Global Seminar Young Cultural Innovator. A former management consultant with Accenture, Shelley holds a leadership coaching graduate certificate through the Institute of Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University as well as a Bachelors of Science degree in business from Miami University. Shelley is passionate about people, design thinking and strategy, education and leadership, sustainable cities, the arts, and travel.
Lorena Gomez-Barris is a nonprofit leader with over 20 years of experience in the sector. Lorena is Senior Manager of Operations for Rise Up, a program based at the Public Health Institute dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of women, girls and youth across the globe. She is competent at bridging structural and human-centered systems to organizations while enhancing mission-centered and passion-driven leadership. Her expertise includes financial management, strategic planning, international contracts development, and marketing.
Passionate about storytelling, Lorena has brought this lens to Rise Up in the form of digital stories, a global video contest, and the award-winning documentary film PODER, creating a bridge to connect global audiences to the advocacy efforts of marginalized populations as they work for change.
Before joining Rise Up, Lorena worked on behalf of the environment with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), where she helped launch the Latino Outreach Committee engaging the Latino community in environmental justice advocacy. She has lived in several countries including England, France and Chile. She speaks fluent Spanish and French and is determined to learn Italian. Lorena holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from the University of San Francisco and degrees in Business Administration and Environmental Studies from Sacramento State University.
Daria Hall is the vice president of communications and external relations at America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. With 15 years of experience working both in-house and in agencies in the corporate, non-profit and government sectors, Daria knows the value communications brings to any organization and cause. As a leader of the integrated strategic communications and marketing team at America’s Promise, she is responsible for overseeing content development, media and external relations strategy.
Working closely with digital, the team offers full-service expertise in the areas of traditional media, social media, writing, and website and email development, providing communications direction and support to the organization’s campaigns, initiatives, research efforts as well as its national and community partners. Focused on raising awareness and driving action in support of young people, day to day the team works on highlighting best practices in youth development, releasing new research, curating and writing original news content, uplifting youth voices, pitching stories to the media, providing technical assistance to Alliance partners and amplifying their work as well as building ongoing relationships with external stakeholders.
Daria joined America’s Promise after 12 years in New York City, where she was a vice president in the Corporate & Legal Practice at Rubenstein Associates. While there, she also chaired the firm’s Community Relations Committee, RUBEActs, coordinating all service initiatives for the employees of the firm. In this capacity, she worked with several non-profit organizations, including Year Up, City Harvest, Volunteers of America and New York Cares.
Before then, Daria managed media relations activities for various professional service companies at PR boutique Walek & Associates, and spent a few years as the media relations coordinator at international law firm Cleary Gottlieb. Early in her career, she was an assistant in the Brand Marketing Practice at global PR firm Burson-Marsteller and held various communications positions in city and federal government.
Itena is one of the two first Albanian fellows of Atlas Corps Fellowship, serving at Making Cents International in Washington, DC.
Itena Hoxhallari holds a Bachelor degree in Philosophy-Sociology from the Social Sciences Faculty of Tirana University, Albania. Currently she is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the same University. Itena has eight years of work experience in the nonprofit sector. As one of the contributors for the establishment of “Children Are the Future” organization in Albania, Itena has coordinated several projects aiming at the improvement of education quality and empowerment of children and youth in rural and disadvantaged areas.
She has worked closely with schools through awareness-raising and consultation meetings, capacity building trainings, and workshops with students, teachers, and parents.
In addition, she has developed international partnership projects through Erasmus+ Program, focused on youth active participation and intercultural learning, which have strengthened her designing, networking, implementation, coordination, and cooperation skills.
Itena has also worked as an adjunct university teacher and as a teaching assistant of Sociology at public and private universities in Tirana for four years.
Her studies and work experience have helped her gain a deep understanding of various issues concerning youth in Albania and in the region, and she is highly committed to the development of a socially just society, where children and youth have equal chances to develop and realize their full potential.
Cheryl Jones is now the President & Chief Executive Office of Girls Incorporated of St. Louis since January 2013.
She was the President of Jones & Associates, Inc. Jones & Associates, Inc. focuses on providing individuals and organizations with strategies and solutions to bring out their best performance and effect positive change. Cheryl has created this company to allow her to live her passion to teach and inspire others to become leaders who can transform corporate America into a business environment where employees of all diverse backgrounds can experience extraordinary success. Cheryl’s areas of expertise: Leadership; culture; complex systems; change management; recruitment; diversity and inclusion. She is an outstanding stand-up trainer who creates excitement, involvement and commitment among participants.
Cheryl has been a staff trainer for the NCCJ Dismantling Racism (Anytown Youth and Leaders Programs) and Focus St. Louis Leadership Program. Cheryl has customized many services to clients such as Frito-Lay, Ralston Purina, Citigroup, Sara Lee, Nestle Purina, Pepsi Americas, Tyco Healthcare, AT&T, Anheuser Busch, Barnes Jewish Hospital, Washington University, Unigroup and NASA.
As a former senior sales/training executive, she was responsible for a number of leadership and sales management training programs. Cheryl played an integral role for developing a talent management and training program for leaders at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Cheryl is a seasoned professional with experience in project management, sales/ sales management, executive coaching and training.
Lai-shan SZE graduated from the Hong Kong Baptist University with a Bachelors degree in Social Work (Honors) in 1995 and from the University of Hong Kong with a Masters of Laws (Human Rights) in 2004. She joined the human right NGO, Society for Community Organization(SoCO) as a community organizer in 1995. Her work in organizing the cage dwellers and new immigrants as well as children rights to fight for their human rights, led to her recognition as the outstanding social worker in Hong Kong in 2005. She was appointed as a part-time member of Central Policy Unit by the HKSAR Government in 2007 and 2008.
Vanessa Leung joined CACF as Co-Executive Director in April 2017. She has served the education community through her career, advocating on behalf of Asian Pacific American students and English Language Learners in New York City public schools. She was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to the the Panel for Educational Policy and has been Chair of the PEP since January 2014. She currently also sits on the Advisory Panel for the Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education.
Prior to returning to CACF, for three years she was the Director of Member Initiatives at FPWA (formerly, the Federation for Protestant Welfare Agencies), where she was responsible for membership recruitment and engaging 200 community based and faith based member organizations, and worked with a team to provide professional development, grants, and other resources to support and strengthen nonprofits throughout the City.
While Deputy Director for CACF, she was responsible for the development of a pan-Asian children’s advocacy agenda to improve policies, funding, and services for the Asian Pacific American community. As Education Policy and Program Coordinator of CACF, she authored Hidden in Plain View, a report detailing Asian and Pacific American students’ needs, and worked alongside other advocates on the creation of Chancellor’s Regulation A-663, mandating comprehensive interpretation and translation services, as well as the Dignity in All Schools Act which reduces bias-based harassment in schools.
Vanessa spearheaded a high school youth leadership project, the Asian American Student Advocacy Project (ASAP) that trains a diverse group of high school students to advocate for the needs of Asian Pacific American students. In 2007, she was named a member of the City Council’s Middle School Task Force.
Juan Carlos Linares builds communities and advances housing as a human right. He is the Executive Director of LUCHA (Latin United Community Housing Association), a Chicago-based affordable housing development agency which offers housing counseling, foreclosure prevention and legal assistance to over 7,000 clients annually throughout the Midwest. LUCHA is currently building the first multi-family “Passive House” in the Midwest to go along with what will be 200 affordable housing units in the Humboldt Park, Logan Square and West Town neighborhoods of Chicago.
Juan Carlos currently serves as Chairman of the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which has held hearings on environmental justice and access to voting in Illinois. He has a mayoral appointment to the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund Board and is a former Commissioner on the Chicago Plan Commission. A founding Board member and past President of Legal Prep Charter Academy on Chicago’s west side, Juan Carlos meets regularly with neighborhood youth as a mentor and advocate. Juan Carlos also serves on Northeastern Illinois University’s El Centro campus Advisory Council, where he teaches Political Science and “Latinos and the Law,” and he currently serves as Board President to Urban Theater Company.
Juan Carlos holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a JD from DePaul University and an LL.M. in International Business Law from The John Marshall Law School, where he also serves on the Adjunct Law faculty. His BA in Sociology and Spanish is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Juan Carlos was raised in the near west suburb of Bellwood, Illinois in an immigrant household with his Peruvian mother and Guatemalan father. As human rights attorneys, Juan Carlos and his wife Monica have visited 36 countries to work on issues of law, justice, immigration and housing, and along with their two children reside on the south side of Chicago.
Diana Nambatya Nsubuga, a recipient of the 2016 American Express NGen Leadership Award, has demonstrated significant impact in addressing society’s critical needs. Prior to joining GHC as Uganda Country Manager, Diana worked at Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO) where she supported the coordination of the Eastern Africa Reproductive Health Network that brings together 6 countries including Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. In addition, she coordinated project implementation in Ethiopia and Uganda and further as part of the team supported advocacy efforts in the 14 PPD member countries in the Africa Region. Diana has a deep passion and commitment to health as a human right, population and development and has also been involved in advocacy with policy makers including parliamentarians. As a 2015 Vision award-winning farmer, she has played an important role in empowering women through farm training. Diana is a demographer with a PHD in Public Health (Focusing on Maternal New Born and Child Health) from Atlantic I. University, a Master of Science in Population and Reproductive Health from Makerere University, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management at Uganda Management Institute and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Population Studies from Makerere University.
Akshai J. Patel is an Arizonan, an educator, and a social entrepreneur. He is co-founder and CEO of Phoenix Collegiate Academy, a preK-12 network of free public charter schools in South Phoenix with the mission of preparing students to succeed in college and be leaders in the community. Patel is also the lead founder and Board Member of DeansList, an education software company that helps high-performing schools nationally use data to improve results, a part-time instructor at the ASU Public Service Academy, and most recently joined the board of the Phoenix Public Library Foundation.
Motivated to improve lives in the community where he began his career, Patel joined two fellow TFA alumni to found PCA in South Phoenix. The three public school teachers began the school with 60 sixth graders in 2009; it has since been recognized on multiple occasions for top academic results and high-quality management. It is the first seamless preK to college pathway in the area.
Patel earned his MBA at Columbia University and M.Ed at Arizona State University. He attended Barrett College at ASU and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Political Science with concentration in Public Policy Advocacy. He’s a graduate of the American Express Leadership Academy and a member of the Pahara Institute NextGen leadership program. Driven by a passion to change life trajectories for the neediest students in his hometown, Mr. Patel joined Teach For America after college. Later, he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study and teach at la Universidad de Concepción in Southern Chile. Upon returning to Phoenix, Mr. Patel continued teaching elementary school while joining the ASU College of Education staff as Faculty Associate part-time, instructing evening graduate level courses in educational assessment, until later founding PCA.
Kevin Vuong, FRSA is a social entrepreneur, city-builder, and military officer focused on building a more prosperous and resilient Canada that leaves no one behind. A tri-sector leader, Kevin operates at the nexus of public, private, and not-for-profit where he leverages social innovation to build healthier livelihoods, sustainable development, and social impact.
Today, Kevin leads the Agency for Public + Social Innovation where he is focused on innovating procurement for social impact and improving Ontario’s social innovation ecosystem through capital, capacity-building, and scaling. He is also a Local Pathways Fellow for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Principal Innovator for a social initiative with the Institute for Global Health Equity & Innovation to redress health inequities through social innovation.
Winner of the Ivey School of Business’ Robert G. Siskind Entrepreneurial Medal, Kevin recently spoke at The Walrus Talks Social Innovation – Innovating Procurement for Social Impact, and TEDxBranksomeHall on the role of social enterprise and business as a force for good. For his service and impact, Kevin has been named Her Majesty The Queen’s Young Leader for Canada, Canada’s Top 30 Under 30, and Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts.
Nancy Yap is the Director of Development at Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP). Her responsibilities include fund-raising for the organization and building external relationships through community and alumni networks. In addition to her development responsibilities, she represents LEAP as a trainer, facilitator, and speaker across the country. Prior to working at LEAP, she was an artist manager for artists such as Suheir Hammad, Denizen Kane, Beau Sia and the Visionaries. She has worked at numerous nonprofits including the Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) in New York City and Youth Speaks in San Francisco. She has also consulted on various projects including the 2003 Tony Award winning Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway.