Our Team

Our team is composed of game-changing leaders with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Many of us are service year alums; and all of us hold a deep passion for service.


Dr. Robert Simmons lll
EJ Delpero
Military and Veterans Fellow
Kevin Boyer
Associate, Policy
Kareen Sanchez
Eli J. Segal Fellow for Public Policy Research
Dr. Robert Simmons lll | President

Robert Simmons III, EdD is Service Year Alliance's President. Prior to becoming the President of Service Year Alliance, Robert was the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. As a nationally recognized scholar and expert on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, Robert has authored over 40 publications focusing on a variety of issues including service learning in urban communities and urban education. During his time as the Chief of Innovation & Research in the District of Columbia Public Schools, Dr. Simmons' leadership was critical to the development of city wide efforts to increase opportunities for boys of color.

Robert has served as a tenured professor of urban education and science education at Loyola University Maryland, and as a research associate at the Baltimore Education Research Consortium at Johns Hopkins University. A former middle school science and math teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, his career has included being nominated twice as the Walt Disney National Teacher of the Year and once for the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Foundation Outstanding Educator Award. Robert has been a fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation and participated in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund.

Robert currently serves as the Chair of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee for FIRST and as a Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at American University's School of Education.

EJ Delpero | Military and Veterans Fellow

As a Military and Veterans Fellow, EJ leverages his passion for service—military and national service, in creative ways to connect his work in the sector with the greater mission of Service Year Alliance. EJ served in the United States Navy for over six years in the field of communications and with the Navy’s Riverine Force. EJ was awarded a Boeing-funded Mission Continues Fellowship for transitioning veterans in 2015, serving as a program coordinator with the National Air and Space Museum. After his fellowship, EJ went on to serve as a platoon leader with The Mission Continues, coordinating projects for national parks and urban agriculture for two years in southeast D.C. EJ is a current student of communications at George Mason University, where he is a chapter leader at Student Veterans of America.

Kevin Boyer | Associate, Policy

Kevin Boyer serves as Policy Research Associate at Service Year Alliance, where he conducts legislative outreach and gathers evidence about the impact of service year opportunities on corps members and communities.
Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, his work focused on social entrepreneurship, innovative financing, and public-private partnerships. He completed his service year through AmeriCorps in Virginia, where he provided microfinance services to low-income and minority entrepreneurs. Kevin has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Foreign Affairs and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Virginia, where he was a Tri-sector Leadership Fellow.
In his spare time, Kevin designs and develops websites with his sister. He enjoys diving, cooking, and hiking in Virginia's parks.

Kareen Sanchez | Eli J. Segal Fellow for Public Policy Research

Kareen serves as the 2017 Eli J. Segal Fellow for Policy Research at Service Year Alliance. In this role, she identifies strategies to disseminate research on how one million service year corps members engaged across the nation could solve the nation’s biggest challenges. Kareen is a part of the Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program at Brandeis University, which consists of 100 inspiring and multi-generational Segal Fellows committed to social change.

Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Kareen was a Spanish Instructor in Peru. She proudly served with Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic 14-16 as a youth, families, and community development promoter along the Dominican Republic and Haitian border. Prior to her time in the Peace Corps, she served as an AmeriCorps Member with City Year Los Angeles mentoring at-risk high school students at Thomas Jefferson High School.  

She received her M.S.Ed in community and social change from the University of Miami, her B.A. in psychology, minor in sociology from the University of California, Riverside and completed an online course with Stanford University focused on International Women’s Health and Rights. As a dual US/Mexican citizen, Kareen often travels to Mexico, is fluent in Spanish and is a proud native of Los Angeles. In her free time, Kareen likes to travel, listens/dances to Latin music, attends concerts, practices yoga, hikes, is a big Los Angeles sports fanatic, eats out with friends, volunteers and is always planning her next adventure.

Sandy Keith
Director, Business Development
Hailey Horn
Marketing and Communications Fellow
Kevin Colao
Manager, Cohort Programs
Nic Hill
Business Development Manager
Sandy Keith | Director, Business Development

In 2006, Sandy graduated from the University of Maryland College Park and began working in the nonprofit sector. He completed a service year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at Jumpstart for Young Children, working to build their regional fundraising efforts. After serving his term, he spent 6 more years at Jumpstart in various fundraising roles out of their Washington, DC office. Most recently, Sandy served as the Director of Development at Council for a Strong America, a public policy organization working to improve America's public safety, national security, and economic growth through research-based investments in children.

Today, Sandy serves as the Director of Business Development, building funding partnerships that help fuel Service Year Alliance's ambitious strategic plan. In his spare time, Sandy enjoys Brazilian jiu-jitsu, hiking, and brunch. Especially brunch.

Hailey Horn | Marketing and Communications Fellow

As the Marketing and Communications Fellow, Hailey manages Service Year's social community and develops new ways to reach young people and inform them about the benefits of a service year.

Hailey served as an AmeriCorps member for the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia under the Clio Foundation, and created projects that promoted education in the Mountain State.

She graduated with a B.A. in history from Marshall University, and is excited to make an impact outside of Appalachia. In her spare time Hailey enjoys writing applications for historical markers, cemetery restoration, scaling mountains, and cuddling her Great Dane, Harper.

Kevin Colao | Manager, Cohort Programs


Kevin comes to Service Year Alliance after completing his Masters Degree at the University of Southern California in Business and Social Enterprise. His background comprises 5 years of healthcare experience spanning both the public and private sectors with a specific focus on capacity building and internal operations. 

Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, he completed a Fellowship with the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health working to empower various populations experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges. He also worked alongside the Veterans Administration supporting the deployment of various housing initiatives for Veterans.

When not working, Kevin enjoys learning about the different forces that make up communities, specifically the role empathy and technology play in community development. He also enjoys nature, aviation, writing, and attending concerts.

Nic Hill | Business Development Manager

As Business Development Manager for Service Year Alliance, Nic focuses on building corporate partnerships that enhance the service year experience of corps members.

Nic started her journey in national service as a Team Leader for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) in Denver, CO.  After graduating NCCC she joined the Development team at Teach For America - D.C. and then served as a Civic Engagement Program Manager for City Year New York. Most recently, Nic worked for DC Public Schools in their School Partnerships Division.

Nic is from Virginia Beach, VA and graduated from George Mason University with a B.A. in Communications.  She loves podcasts, classic cinema, and very long walking explorations of D.C.

Taimarie Adams
Director, Governmental Relations
Brooke Bohnet
Director, Program Development
Dennis Elwell
User Engagement Associate, Service Year Exchange
Thorsten Ruehlemann
Managing Director of Marketing & Communications
Taimarie Adams | Director, Governmental Relations


Taimarie Adams serves as Director, Government Relations at Service Year Alliance. She has more than seven years of legislative affairs experience managing education policy at the local, state, and federal levels. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Taimarie worked with the Association of Community College Trustees, an organization that promotes high-quality and affordable higher education, student success, and the opportunity for all individuals to achieve economic self-sufficiency. In her free time, she enjoys taking cooking classes, spinning at the best cycle studio in the DC metro area, and training for her first half marathon. She also loves spending time with her sweet rescue dog and avoiding confrontations with her not-so-sweet rescue cat.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Speech Communications from the Pennsylvania State University and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Brooke Bohnet | Director, Program Development


As a member of Service Year Alliance’s growth team, Brooke works with organizations to develop strategies to replicate, scale, and develop new service year models. The growth team is striving to increase the number of service year opportunities to 100,000 annually by 2019 and one million within a generation.

Brooke is passionate about advancing opportunity in communities and bringing people together through cross-sector collaboration and program development. Previously she spent five years at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where she launched the Promise Zone initiative, bringing more than 13 federal agencies together with local leaders to address priorities in 22 urban, rural and tribal high-poverty communities. Her work was recognized as a 2017 NextGen Courageous Champion finalist.

Brooke did her service year through Teach for America in Baltimore, teaching middle school social studies for two years. After working on Sherrod Brown’s Senate campaign in Ohio, she then managed the Call to Serve college-federal agency network at the Partnership for Public Service from 2007-2012.

An Arizona native and first-generation American, Brooke holds a BA in political science and psychology from Scripps College, a MA in teaching from Johns Hopkins University and a MPA in collaborative management and urban sustainability from George Washington University.

In her free time, Brooke loves to explore the city on bike with her husband and two-year old daughter, traveling to new places and getting dirty gardening. Her goal is to end her career in the Peace Corps.

Dennis Elwell | User Engagement Associate, Service Year Exchange


Dennis serves as the User Engagement Associate for the Service Year Exchange, where he helps people navigate ServiceYear.org and find service year opportunities that fit their skills and interests.  

Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Dennis completed a total of three years of AmeriCorps service: one year with VISTA, as a lender to small businesses in New Jersey damaged by Hurricane Sandy, and two years with City Year Philadelphia, as an academic coach and Team Leader in a K-8 school in South Philly. During his time with City Year, he directed an afterschool sports club, coordinated large-scale school mural painting projects, created a social media campaign and represented Philadelphia’s Corps on the national Dean’s Council.

Dennis graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The College of New Jersey. As a student at TCNJ, he regularly volunteered as an afterschool tutor to kids through a non-profit called Homefront, and he helped rebuild storm-damaged New Orleans homes as part of TCNJ’s Alternative Break Club. Based in Washington, D.C., Dennis enjoys visiting the national monuments and exploring the city.

Thorsten Ruehlemann | Managing Director of Marketing & Communications


Thorsten serves as Service Year Alliance’s Marketing & Communications Managing Director. He did his service year in Germany providing elderly care.

Prior to Service Year Alliance, he was Worldwide Managing Partner at Ogilvy & Mather, serving Blue Chip companies like Allianz, DuPont, Philips, Siemens and Zurich. Before that he was VP Digital at Unit 7 in New York and worked for BBDO Proximity on accounts like Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Coca Cola, Nike, Pfizer, Porsche and Volvo. Thorsten is a trained lifeguard and earned his Masters in Political Science. Thorsten loves to beat traffic in Washington DC biking to work. He’s a fan of the German Soccer team Borussia Moenchengladbach. As you might have figured out by now – he also loves the “umlaut”.

Durrel Douglas
Regional Field Director
Bryan Hall
Associate Director, Organizational Learning
Jennifer Moss
Technology Project Manager
Floyd Sartin
Director of Human Resources
Durrel Douglas | Regional Field Director


Growing up in South Park, an inner-city neighborhood in Houston, then later working as a correctional officer at a Texas prison, Durrel saw firsthand the awesomeness that occurs when people come together to address society's problems, and what can happen when we don't.

Prior to Service Year Alliance, Durrel worked for local, statewide, national and international organizations on issues like fighting poverty, raising the minimum wage, marriage equality, racial justice and women's equity to name a few. 

Durrel recently received the Teamsters' National Black Caucus Community Trailblazer award in 2017, the League of Women Voter's Rising Star designation, i10 Media 40 under 40 award and a host of other acknowledgements that he's usually embarrassed to receive, but quick to include in bios like this one.

When he’s not traveling around the Western States, Durrel enjoys spending time with his friends, raiding his mother's refrigerator and hosting a weekly podcast.

Bryan Hall | Associate Director, Organizational Learning


As Associate Director of Organizational Learning, Bryan works across Service Year Alliance (SYA) with current and potential host organizations to create best practice resources to support institutes as they build new or scale programs. All SYA resources help organizations and communities towards demonstrating how service years at scale can help repair broken cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty.

Bryan has over 15 years in the nonprofit sector working previously at U.S. Green Building Council, Sunlight Foundation, and United Way Worldwide before coming to Service Year Alliance. In all his positions, Bryan works to increase organization effectiveness through ongoing feedback loops and building positive, collaborative teams to tackle hard issues. Bryan holds a BA from Clark University and a MS in Organization Development from American University.

Bryan is a Peace Corps alumni, having served in Armenia 2009-2012 as a Community & Business Development volunteer. He believes in the power of people coming together to solve community and world problems through active listening and compassion for one another’s’ stories. Bryan loves traveling the globe observing and interacting with differences and similarities across cultures. He also is an active runner, biker, and outdoor enthusiast. His favorite quote is “It always seems impossible until it's done (Nelson Mandela).”

Jennifer Moss | Technology Project Manager

As the Technology Project Manager, Jennifer works on a wide variety of technology related projects, primarily focusing on the day-to-day management of both the development and operation of ServiceYear.org as well as the assessment, introduction and/or integration of other platforms as needed to fulfill our mission.

Previously, Jennifer managed IT projects and built business intelligence practice areas for various federal agencies with a focus on agile development. She has managed the development of several enterprise data warehouses, data analytics tools and dashboards, and has hands-on experience as a technical developer and data architect.

Jennifer graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA with a B.B.A. in Finance. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and traveling. When not at work, Jennifer can usually be found walking her dog, Panda, in and around Capitol Hill or trying out the city's latest new restaurant. 

Floyd Sartin | Director of Human Resources


Floyd Sartin, Director of Human Resources at Service Year Alliance, is a seasoned Human Resources professional with experience leading strategic business initiatives. Floyd is responsible for managing and implementing HR functions, which include talent acquisition, benefit administration, on-boarding, human capital, and employee relations.

Prior to Service Year Alliance, Floyd was the Human Resources Manager at The Washington Home & Community Hospices where he successfully streamlined their HR functionality into a paperless environment, enhancing performance management, and cultivating a dynamic culture within the organization.

Floyd is originally from Detroit, MI, and has a MBA in Human Resources Management from Walden University and a B.A. in Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University.

Outside of practicing human resources, Floyd is a coffee roaster entrepreneur, enjoys spending quality time with his wife and young son, and watching any sports program that’s on the television.  

Raabia Budhwani
Director of Place-Based Growth
Henry Mackintosh
Director, Customer Data and Optimization
Ben D'Elia
Development Associate
MacKenzie Moritz
Chief of Staff and Chief Partnerships Officer
Raabia Budhwani | Director of Place-Based Growth


As Director of Place Based Growth, Raabia works with local leaders across the country to lead our strategy of demonstrating how service years at scale can help repair broken cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty.

Previously, Raabia facilitated international and philanthropic partnerships at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and led a federal interagency team to pilot the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative engagement Macon-Bibb County, Georgia. A groundbreaking place-based initiative, SC2 works to better align federal policy and resources with committed city leaders as they implement locally driven economic visions.

Prior to joining SC2, Raabia built partnerships and advanced economic policy to spur entrepreneurship and job creation in Africa and the Middle at the U.S. Department of State. Before joining the federal government, Raabia consulted for local governments, federal agencies, social enterprises, and international organizations on strategic planning, service and organizational design, and urban development.

Raabia earned dual Master’s degrees in urban planning and public administration from the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy, and her B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics from Emory University. Raabia proudly served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, as an AmeriCorps member in Atlanta, and is a NextCity Vanguard.

Henry Mackintosh | Director, Customer Data and Optimization


Henry is the Associate Director, Customer Data and Optimization. He’s helping Service Year Alliance make data-informed decisions, and measuring and optimizing the Service Year recruitment initiatives to movement building activities in the field.

Henry was previously Communications Manager at SolarCity, the largest solar energy services provider in the US. Prior to SolarCity, he worked on various projects for organizations including Avaaz, TaskRabbit and CODEPINK.

Henry’s previously held roles in software, nonprofit, and political organizations. He worked as a field organizer in Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 and subsequently as a senior organizer for NationBuilder - a community organizing software company. A dual US/British citizen, he’s also worked in the UK volunteering sector.

Between school and university, he served as a volunteer English teacher in rural Peru. He holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Edinburgh.

In his free time, Henry likes to ride bikes, travel, and go camping.

Ben D'Elia | Development Associate


Ben D’Elia is a Development Associate for Service Year Alliance. In this role, he assists the Development team with all of Service Year Alliance’s development efforts, including fundraising from foundations, corporations, and individuals. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Ben worked as a Political Sales Coordinator for an advertising company.  Prior that position, Ben held Development internships at nonprofits and congressional internships on Capitol Hill. 

Ben is originally from Bethesda, Maryland and graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with his Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Having grown up in the area, Ben immediately took an interest in politics. In his spare time, you can find Ben somewhere outside biking, visiting museums, or enjoying live music at the 9:30 Club.


MacKenzie Moritz | Chief of Staff and Chief Partnerships Officer


MacKenzie serves as Service Year Alliance’s chief of staff and also has the privilege of leading the partnerships, growth, value proposition, knowledge sharing, and leadership engagement teams. His passion for national service stems from his experience as a 2006 Teach For America (TFA) corps member and his experience working on TFA’s staff. As the managing director of TFA’s national recruitment strategy and technology team during the organization’s most successful recruitment seasons in TFA’s history, MacKenzie saw first hand the potential for young people to come together to improve society -- as well as the large number of young people eager to serve, but unable to find an opportunity to do so. MacKenzie earned undergraduate degrees in Economics and Political Science from the University of Florida and a masters degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he is a graduate of various fellowship programs, including the Montpelier Summit for Emerging Millennial Leaders, the State Department/RISD Human Centered Design & Public Policy Institute, the AEI Leadership Network, and is a member of the NationSwell Council and the Armed Services Arts Partnership Advisory Council. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Melissa

Csilla Aglaure-szekelyhidi
College Organizing Manager
Laura Thompson
Northeast Regional Field Director
Cali Moore
Manager, Career & Education Pathways
Grettie vonVorys-Norton
Crowdfunding Fellow
Csilla Aglaure-szekelyhidi | College Organizing Manager


As a College Organizing Manager for Service Year Alliance, Csilla works to engage youth in a year of service nationwide. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, she worked at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) selecting and placing AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) applicants to serve at one of their five regional campuses. She has previously done a year of service with AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps assessing damages and writing grants for communities affected by natural disaster. 

Csilla originally hails from Chicago, IL, and is a graduate of George Mason University with a B.A. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and exploring new DC restaurants!

Laura Thompson | Northeast Regional Field Director


Laura Thompson is the Northeast Regional Field Director at Service Year Alliance.  In this role, Laura is responsible for building the service movement from the ground-up by recruiting, training, and mobilizing teams of grassroots and grasstops leaders across the northeast to take action around core advocacy and recruitment campaigns.  Previously,Laura worked with Vital Voices, an organization that builds the capacity of women extraordinary women around the world as leaders in their communities. At Vital Voices she managed a fellowship program of 300+ women and led a research initiative to measure their global impact. Laura holds her M.A. in International Education and is fluent in Spanish.

Cali Moore | Manager, Career & Education Pathways


Cali Moore works to increase the value proposition of serving and to build a network of knowledge-sharing as the Associate, Learning. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, she served as the 2015 Eli J. Segal Fellow at the Corporation for National and Community Service, where she spent a year working on special projects to support the agency’s many initiatives and programs. 

Cali was born and raised in Vermont and starting volunteering at a young age. Her community service background led her to Ohio Wesleyan University, where she graduated in 2013 with majors in Sociology and Politics & Government. After graduating, she worked as the Post-Graduate Intern for Community Service Learning where she matched college students with community service opportunities and managed a tutoring program. She then moved to DC to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Horton’s Kids, where she worked with the K-6 tutoring program and created cooking and gardening classes on the weekends to support food security and healthy habits. Cali loves life DC and tries to take advantage of all the events, museums, food trucks, and other perks of living in the city. She is addicted to coffee and attempts to copy recipes she sees on cooking shows

Grettie vonVorys-Norton | Crowdfunding Fellow


Grettie is a service year corps member serving as the crowdfunding fellow for Service Year Alliance. During her time in this position, she will be creating crowdfunding resources and implementing a crowdfunding pilot program to aid organizations in being able to host service year corps members of their own. Before joining the Service Year team, Grettie was a student and active volunteer with Virginia Commonwealth University's ASPiRE in Richmond, Virginia, where her focus was working to educate elementary school children about nutrition and provide their families with access to healthy food.

Grettie is originally from New Jersey and graduated from VCU with a B.A. in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies. She is excited to discover and take advantage of all the opportunities that D.C. and the surrounding communities have available to her and her puppy, Mully.

Stephanie Armstrong
College Organizing Manager
Laura Pelner
Manager, Graphic Design
Lauryn DuValle
Associate, Growth
Elizabeth Robinson
Executive Assistant
Stephanie Armstrong | College Organizing Manager


As a College Organizing Manager for Service Year Alliance, Stephanie works to engage youth in a year of service nationwide. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Stephanie worked at Food & Friends focusing on mobilizing volunteers to deliver meals to critically-ill clients in the DMV. Her commitment to service began in childhood and blossomed when she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in southwest Virginia creating and implementing a Mobile Food Pantry program for the surrounding coal country towns. She enjoys bringing people together in order to address the challenges that arise in their communities.

Stephanie graduated from Allegheny College with a degree in Art History and enjoys exploring new neighborhoods with her dog Lovie, reading western mystery novels, and figuring out how to fix household appliances. 

Laura Pelner | Manager, Graphic Design


As Service Year's Design Manager, Laura produces creative concepts and executes them through a multitude of media platforms including digital, print, and video. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Advertising and spent a couple of years in the ad industry in New York City before transitioning to her passion of working to expand service. 

Prior to life at Service Year, Laura held different creative and communication roles to maximize her work experience. Most recently she comes from a Senior Designer position at a creative agency where she worked on a team to produce websites, mobile apps, as well as promotional materials. She has worked with a range of nonprofits in communications and design roles in DC.

Laura is no stranger to service as a former Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana. During her 2 years abroad she taught Information Technology courses, led female youth empowerment camps and helped with coordination of the STARS program geared towards encouraging academic and community leadership for young Ghanaian students.

Laura enjoys exploring the outdoors with her rescue dog Bamboo, competing in weightlifting and is an avid scooter rider.

Lauryn DuValle | Associate, Growth


Lauryn Imann DuValle is a native Tennessean who has served two years as both an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) and VISTA Leader at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, at the North Mississippi VISTA Project, managing the largest AmeriCorps VISTA site in the state. She helped develop service learning and sustainable volunteering opportunities ranging from cultural inclusion programming, college accessibility, early childhood development, and health awareness initiatives. She also played an active role in establishing the largest annual University road trip to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute where she encouraged School of Education students to explore the historical and racial implications of segregated teaching in the Deep South.

Most notably, in 2011, as a cinema/documentary student at the University of Mississippi, Lauryn was selected by MTV Productions to assist Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, TN, compete in the White House’s Race To The Top Commencement Challenge. To enter the competition, Lauryn worked with MTV to produce a film which chronicled the students' tremendous academic achievements while overcoming adversities. Of the numerous entries submitted from across the nation,the film was selected as the winner by the President of the United States Barack Obama. As a result, the graduating class at Booker T. Washington High School was honored with the 2011 commencement address delivered by President Obama--His first trip to Memphis as President of the United States. Shortly thereafter, Lauryn (An alumna of Grambling State University, LA) received the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Media Advocacy INC. award for Female Alumnus of the Year.

These diverse experiences helped reinforce her dedication and commitment to nonprofit and policy sectors. In addition, it has bolstered her enthusiasm for community relations and outreach. She received a BA in History from Grambling State University, LA, a minor in Cinema/ Documentary at the University of Mississippi,MS, and pursued graduate studies in policy at New York University, NY.

Elizabeth Robinson | Executive Assistant

In her role as Executive Assistant, Elizabeth works to support the executive team and assist in day-to-day operations. Before joining Service Year Alliance, Elizabeth worked in foreign policy and public diplomacy initiatives at the German Marshall Fund. She graduated with her Masters degree in International Communication and has her Bachelors of German Language, and British History. A strong believer in the growing power of people-to-people diplomacy, Elizabeth hopes to continue strengthening her external relations skill-set and fostering cross-cultural communication.

A proud Austrian, Elizabeth is fluent in German and attempts to get by in French. She enjoys traveling abroad, cooking and hosting dinners (mainly the eating part), and spending time with her adorable but very misbehaved puppy, Meeko. 

Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell
Managing Director, Strategic Engagement
Diane Ty
Senior Advisor
Shirley Sagawa
President & CEO
Sandie Quinn
Chief Technology Officer
Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell | Managing Director, Strategic Engagement


As Director of Strategic Engagement, Yasmeen focuses on keeping champions of service invested in the work of the Service Year Alliance, and attracting and retaining new leaders committed to our mission and aligned with our work. Yasmeen is a proud AmeriCorps alumna, and served in 2008 with the Arab American Resource Corps in a community support and cultural resource position before becoming a supervisor for future members. She came to Service Year Alliance from the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, where she designed and ran a fellowship program after directing the relaunch of the service year movement at the Summit at Gettysburg. Yasmeen was a business development consultant with News Deeply, a new media and technology startup, and previously managed programs at the Arab American Institute, where she oversaw youth and advocacy efforts, fundraising galas, leadership summits, and the Arab American Census Information Center. Yasmeen earned a master’s degree in Religion, Ethics and Politics from Harvard Divinity School and her B.A. in International Affairs and Anthropology from the George Washington University.

Diane Ty | Senior Advisor


Diane is an independent marketing consultant with a track record of product, service and program innovation in the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors. She serves as Senior Advisor to Service Year Alliance on projects ranging from the organization’s new branding, consumer research, earned income strategy, content production, grant writing, and new service corps development. She works with Georgetown University’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative, a consulting arm of the McDonough School of Business that forges cross sector solutions to pressing social issues. Other clients include a Silicon Valley-based technology company and other nonprofits. Diane has held senior level positions at AARP, Save the Children, and American Express. Her work has been recognized with a Gold-level IDEA award for design strategy (AARP); an Emmy nomination for Save the Children’s (STC) Ad Council campaign “Do Good: Mentor a Child”; and The Cable and Wireless Childnet award (STC). Diane has degrees from Duke University (BA) and The University of Pennsylvania (MBA-Wharton/MA) where she was a fellow at the Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies. For fun, Diane is an avid runner, singer, and chauffeur and sports spectator to her three kids who she loves raising in Bethesda, MD with her husband, Dan Connors.

Shirley Sagawa | President & CEO


Shirley Sagawa is Service Year Alliance’s President and CEO and founder of the Service Year Exchange, the technology platform for full-time, full-year service now run by Service Year Alliance. Prior to becoming founding CEO of Service Year Alliance, she developed social innovation policy, authored reports, and advised national organizations and foundations on strategy as a partner with sagawa/jospin. Shirley served as a presidential appointee in both the first Bush and Clinton administrations. She was First Lady Hillary Clinton’s first policy assistant and later deputy chief of staff. She drafted the AmeriCorps legislation and helped lead the start up of the Corporation for National and Community Service for President Bill Clinton. For President George H. W. Bush, she helped to start and served as vice chair of the Commission on National and Community Service. A visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and adjunct faculty at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown, Shirley is author of three books, including The American Way to Change. For fun, she plays tennis, designs jewelry and collage, travels, and spends time with her husband, Greg Baer, and three (almost) adult sons.

Sandie Quinn | Chief Technology Officer


Sandie is the Chief Technology Officer for Service Year Alliance. Prior to Service Year Alliance, Sandie served as an Information Technologist developing and deploying scalable, flexible system solutions for more than 20 years, in diverse industries such as the financial, mobile, telecoms, non-profit and healthcare sectors. Sandie’s deep experience with the software development lifecycle enables her to bridge the gap between the technology and business domains, assemble high-functioning teams, and lead them through effective implementations. Her understanding of longer-term design implications, application usage profiles, and production support needs allows her to strike a pragmatic balance between benefits and costs.

Before joining Service Year Alliance, Sandie worked for FI Consulting, managing IT projects in the financial sector. Prior to that, Sandie worked for Fannie Mae as Director of Risk Management Applications. She was CTO at a mobile Internet startup, worked as a technical instructor for Apple, and as a consultant in systems development for telecoms and healthcare applications. Sandie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Applications from Dublin City University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (European School of Management), where she studied in Paris, Oxford, and Berlin.

Rosa Moreno
Managing Director, Growth
Brandon Moore
Southeast Regional Field Director
Jennifer Bagaglio
Chief Operations Officer
Jonas Kane
Associate Director, Certification
Rosa Moreno | Managing Director, Growth


Rosa Moreno serves as Managing Director, Growth at Service Year Alliance. In this position, Rosa leads Service Year Alliance’s growth team. The growth team is responsible for increasing the number of service year opportunities to 100,000 annually by 2019 and one million within a generation by working with nonprofits, governments, universities, and philanthropy to create or grow service year programs.

Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Rosa was Senior Advisor for Partnerships and Advancement at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) where she worked on efforts to support the expansion of national service through public and private partnerships. Rosa joined CNCS in 2010 as Deputy Director of AmeriCorps, a program that supports and places over 70,000 individuals in results-driven community service in communities in every state.

Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., she served as Vice President of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility with the OneStar Foundation in Austin, Texas. Rosa is a proud AmeriCorps Alumnus. In her free time, Rosa is a member of Batalá Washington, an all-women percussion group bringing Afro-Brazilian rhythms and culture to DC. She enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, and attending baseball games at the Washington Nationals ballpark.

Brandon Moore | Southeast Regional Field Director


Brandon is a graduate of Miami University (In Southwest Ohio) where he studied Political Science and Public Administration. His professional work includes electoral campaigns, community organizing, fundraising and issue advocacy throughout the country. Initiatives varying from raising the minimum wage to environmental protection. Most recently working to reform education policy in Ohio, where he played a role in passing several pieces of legislation that improved the quality of education for kids throughout the state. In his free time Brandon enjoys traveling and sampling new cuisine!

Jennifer Bagaglio | Chief Operations Officer


Jennifer Bagaglio serves as the Managing Director of Operations. In this position, Jen works closely with the entire team to handle budget development and reporting, human resources, strategic planning, Board relations, meeting and event planning, as well as other organizational support tasks. This is an evolution of Jen’s previous role as Operations Director with NCoC.

Prior to joining the NCoC team, Jen spent four years working at DC Vote to end taxation without representation in our nation’s capital. She worked there as the Public Affairs Manager. In that capacity, she worked on community engagement, coalition building strategies and managed the volunteer program. At times she was also responsible for the development and communications tasks in the office.

Jen is a New Englander at heart. She grew up in Massachusetts and attended the University of Vermont for her undergraduate degree. She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration on social movement theory and political activism and civic engagement in the nonprofit sector.

In her free time she enjoys attending SoulCycle classes and finding new books for her book club to read.

Jonas Kane | Associate Director, Certification


Jonas manages the certification process for the Service Year Exchange. His work on the Service Year Exchange also includes developing resources, supporting partnerships, and creating and implementing communications and customer support strategies. Jonas’ belief in the power of service years is tied to his firsthand experiences, which began when he served as a corps member with City Year Philadelphia in 2010. He served a second year with City Year as a Diplomas Now Team Leader, before going on to teach at Baltimore City Public Schools as a 2012 member of Teach for America.

Prior to joining NCoC, Jonas worked in public education as a member of both Teach for America and City Year. He created and taught original units and lessons as a middle school English teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools. While teaching, he earned a Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University.

As a Diplomas Now Team Leader with City Year, Jonas coordinated a team of AmeriCorps members in providing strategic interventions and whole school programming to middle school students in Philadelphia. In this role, he also managed school partnerships, tracked and utilized data to advance student achievement, led trainings for corps members, and facilitated feedback from over 230 AmeriCorps members by administering a site-wide corps council.

Jonas graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Villanova University. During his time at Villanova, he was a columnist for The Villanovan and also served as a teaching assistant. Outside of work, he enjoys running, hiking, cooking new dishes, and finding new music to add to his record collection.
He currently lives in Washington, DC.

Jon Gromek
Midwest Regional Field Director
Erin Finucane
Managing Director, Movement Building
Aly Ferguson
Director, Communications
Monique Ellington
Chicago Director
Jon Gromek | Midwest Regional Field Director


Jon is the Midwest Regional Field Director for Service Year Alliance in Cleveland, OH responsible for building the service movement from the ground-up. He focuses on growing the political will to expand national service while also driving recruitment and broadening awareness of service year opportunities in the Midwest.

Graduating with undergraduate degrees in Theology and Political Science from Xavier University and an MBA from Wright State University, Jon offers 10 years of professional organizing and advocacy experience working both in local communities and national organizations.

Prior to Service Year, Jon worked as a Senior Regional Organizer for Bread for the World, was the Executive Director and Head Organizer of a local congregation-based community organization in Dayton, Ohio, and did his service year with the Network Associate Program in Washington DC.

When he’s not traveling around the Midwest, Jon enjoys spending time with his young son and wife, drinking (too much) good coffee rediscovering his hometown of Cleveland and watching baseball (Go Tribe!).

Erin Finucane | Managing Director, Movement Building


Erin Finucane, Managing Director of Movement Building at Service Year Alliance, is a seasoned campaign strategist with a strong record of building diverse, people-powered movements across a variety of domestic and international issues. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, she was the Global Campaign Director at Global Zero where she managed international advocacy, creative campaigns, and public mobilization. She spent three years with The ONE Campaign, including a year-long stint in Brussels as Campaign Manager where she launched ONE’s inaugural EU public mobilization effort, successfully protecting investments in development aid despite an overall budget reduction for the first time in history. Erin has a master’s degree in international peace studies from Trinity College Dublin and a bachelor’s degree in political science from La Salle University. In addition to movement-builder, she also identifies as a struggling filmmaker, vegetarian gourmand, and retired track and field athlete.

Aly Ferguson | Director, Communications


Aly is the Director, Communications at Service Year Alliance where she manages media relations, messaging, social media, and advocacy communications. Aly previously was the Communications Manager at ServiceNation. She came to ServiceNation from The Incite Agency where she worked with public affairs and advocacy clients and managed the firm's administrative responsibilities and research. Aly was the assistant to Robert Gibbs, former White House Press Secretary, as well as Ben LaBolt, 2012 Press Secretary for President Obama's reelection campaign.

Prior to joining The Incite Agency, Aly handled press in the U.S. Senate for Mo Cowan (D-MA) during his interim term in the U.S. Senate and continued working in that capacity as a press advisor as Sen. Cowan transitioned to private life. Previously, Aly worked on client projects at ASGK Public Strategies and fundraised for Joe Kennedy III and Alan Khazei on their respective House and Senate campaigns in Massachusetts.

She offers experience in nonprofit, public sector, and private sector communications, as well as political campaigns and development strategy. Aly holds a degree in Communication from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, enjoys skiing, boxing, and hanging out with her husband, puppy, cat, and tortoise.

Monique Ellington | Chicago Director


Monique Ellington is skilled, multifaceted leader with a strong record of helping individuals achieve their full potential by creating new opportunities and overcoming barriers to success. Monique has extensive experience in workforce development, program development, individual empowerment and development.

She is the Chicago Director of Service Year Alliance, where she strives to make a service year a common opportunity for every young person in the city. Monique is fervently working to address social make a service problems and injustices in Chicago by connecting opportunity youth to new and existing opportunities and overcoming challenges that impact communities through service year opportunities. Previously, Monique served as the Training Development Manager for Greencorps Chicago, a city of Chicago program to assist individuals in gaining technical and professional skills while simultaneously overcoming multiple barriers to success.

Prior to joining Greencorps Chicago, Monique worked Safer Foundation, an organization to assist individuals with criminal records, and Haymarket Center, a comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment facility, where she connected individuals to career opportunities. Monique graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where she majored in English Literature and minored in Black World Studies. While in college, she implemented a service program teaching arts and crafts and mentoring children in the Delaware, OH community.

In her spare time, Monique enjoys spending time with children and youth and exposing them to dance, music, history and poetry.

Anna Cooper
Associate, Service Year Exchange
Cameron Blossom
Associate Director, Marketing
Kristen Bennett
Managing Director, Service Year Exchange
Amy McIsaac
Managing Director, Business Development
Anna Cooper | Associate, Service Year Exchange


As the Program Associate for the Service Year Exchange, Anna supports all Exchange efforts through assisting in certification reviews, quality assurance testing and customer support. Through her role at Service Year Alliance, she has had the opportunity to continue her deepened commitment to service and personal interest in inspiring young Americans to positively impact their communities. Prior to Service Year Alliance, Anna graduated from East Carolina University where she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Communications-Public Relations. During her time in college, she served as an Ameriprise Fellow and Student Leader for various on-campus volunteer food recovery and service organizations. Upon relocating to Washington, D.C., Anna served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at D.C Hunger Solutions. There she aided in strengthening the capacity building efforts of nonprofits interested in improving healthy food access across the District. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, cooking and attending music festivals.

Cameron Blossom | Associate Director, Marketing


Cameron manages the implementation of Service Year Alliance's brand in the outside world through the website, video, photos, and design. He also contributes to recruitment for the Service Year Exchange and email marketing to all of our audiences.

Prior to Service Year Alliance, he served as Communications Associate for the National Conference on Citizenship, managing communications efforts for the national Civic Health Initiatives and Annual Conference on Citizenship. After graduating college, he worked as the Coordinator for the Action Research Center at Illinois Wesleyan University, which serves as the hub for university and community engagement by maintaining partnerships with over 40 local non-profits. Cameron also served on the Board of Directors for the West Bloomington Revitalization Project, a grass-roots community development organization in the low-income community of West Bloomington, IL for 3 years. For his service to the community, Cameron was awarded McLean County’s 25 Community Leaders under the age of 25, as well as Illinois Wesleyan University’s Distinguished Service Award for the class of 2013.

In his free time, Cameron enjoys playing acoustic guitar, biking, and performing stand-up comedy.

Kristen Bennett | Managing Director, Service Year Exchange


As Managing Director of the Service Year Exchange, Kristen is responsible for the development and implementation of the Exchange, which includes leading certification and both customer support and engagement. This is an evolution of Kristen’s previous role as Service Year Director with NCoC

Prior to working on the Exchange, Kristen served as an AmeriCorps Program Officer with California Volunteers, the state service commission. In this capacity, she evaluated AmeriCorps grant applications, contributed to the development of Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps programs, and trained, assessed, and monitored an $8.5 million portfolio of programs. During this time, she guided, coached, and advised well over thirty programs across California to maximize their community impact while maintaining compliance.

Kristen is also a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alum. As a VISTA, Kristen served on California First Lady Maria Shriver’s WE Connect campaign, connecting low-income families with valuable programs and resources to become more financially secure. While serving, Kristen built crucial community partnerships, trained and managed volunteers, and planned and implemented large-scale community events during tax season.

Kristen earned a Bachelor of Science in Planning, Public Policy, and Management from the University of Oregon and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from California State University, Sacramento.

Amy McIsaac | Managing Director, Business Development


Since graduating from Providence College, Amy McIsaac built a career in the national and international non-profit sector. She started as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Washington, DC, running the grants department of LIFT, a domestic anti-poverty non-profit. She quickly grew to become the National Director of Development where she was responsible for forming and managing relationships with funding partners, building the development infrastructure to effectively support the organization, and working closely with executive leadership on long-term growth strategies.

In 2012, Amy became the founding Executive Director of 2Seeds Network, an innovative non-profit deploying teams of young people for one year to build sustainable development projects in the most rural and isolated villages in East Africa. After joining the ServiceNation team in 2014 as its Managing Director, Amy was part of the team that built Service Year Alliance’s strategic plan and helped to merge the Franklin Project, ServiceNation, and the Service Year Exchange when it became Service Year Alliance in 2015.

Today, Amy serves as the Managing Director of External Affairs for Service Year Alliance, where she works on strategic partnerships and major external events and opportunities for the organization. Amy lives in New York and travels frequently to Washington, DC.

Our Team
Our Team
Together we have the potential to make a #serviceyear a common expectation and opportunity for all