Our Initiatives

Emerging Leaders Council

LISC’s Emerging Leaders Council is a group of leaders and entrepreneurs from a diverse range of sectors working to bring fresh perspectives, networks and attention to LISC’s work. Launched in conjunction with LISC’s 40th anniversary, the group is helping to bring next generation insights and leadership to our sector.

Over the course of their two years of service, ELC members will be charged with supporting LISC by expanding its network of supporters and advocates, and with learning about community and economic development in order to serve as ambassadors to their respective networks.

New Ideas from a New Generation: LISC’s Emerging Leaders Council
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Council Members

Andrew Klaber (Co-Chair; New York, NY) is a partner at Paulson & Company, an investment firm. Since 2002, he has served as the founder of Even Ground, an international non-profit that provides scholarships for children affected by HIV/AIDS. Originally from Buffalo Grove, Illinois, Andrew graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale College, where he rowed on the varsity Yale lightweight crew. He earned an M.S. in Financial Economics and Economic History from Oxford as a Marshall Scholar and a J.D./M.B.A. from Harvard. Andrew is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Economic Club of New York, and New York State Bar and a past Partnership for New York City David Rockefeller Fellow. Andrew serves on the boards of the International Rescue Committee, National Museum of American Jewish History, and Cornell Technion Jacobs Institute.

Jenna Nicholas (Co-Chair; San Francisco, CA) is the CEO of Impact Experience, an organization focused on building bridges between funders, innovators and marginalized communities. Jenna is also President of Phoenix Global Impact, a firm that specializes in impact investing, social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy. Through her firm, Jenna has project managed Divest-Invest Philanthropy, a coalition of philanthropic foundations divesting from investments in fossil fuels and reinvesting in new economy solutions. Jenna graduated from Stanford University with an International Relations Honors Degree, during which time she also read International Development at Oxford University. Jenna has an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), which she attended as a PD Soros Fellow. At GSB, Jenna received the Stanford Social Innovation Fellowship. Jenna has also been selected as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Echoing Green Fellow and Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur. 

Lauren Baer (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) served as an official in the Obama Administration from 2011-2017, acting as a senior advisor to Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. During her time in government, Lauren was responsible for ensuring that the promotion of U.S. values remained central to foreign policy and advised on a range of critical national security issues related to human rights and international law. Lauren also oversaw large-scale initiatives to make government work better, and to engage everyday people and businesses on U.S. foreign policy. Lauren holds a B.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an M.Phil. from the University of Oxford, where she was a Marshall Scholar.

La Tasha Barnwell (Baltimore, MD) is pursuing a doctorate of public health (DrPH) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As a Bloomberg American Health Initiative Fellow, La Tasha’s work focuses on improving addiction medicine treatment and support services for the Baltimore community. While pursuing her degree, La Tasha serves as a Senior Administrative Manager for the Division of Addiction Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (JHBMC), where she is responsible for inpatient and outpatient operations, financial reporting and budgeting, as well as marketing and strategic planning for the division. At JHBMC, La Tasha co-chairs the hospital-wide Health Equity Strategic Action Team and has spearheaded a community asset mapping exercise to identify resources and partners that serve high-need patient populations. La Tasha also serves as a member of JHBMC’s Population Health Strategic Planning Committee, where she offers a public health approach to improve clinical care. La Tasha graduated from San Jose State University and holds a M.P.H. from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

Markeze Bryant (San Francisco, CA) works on the Finance & Strategy team at Palo Alto Networks, a global cybersecurity technology company based in Silicon Valley. Previously, Markeze was a Portfolio Manager at Acumen America, where he made venture investments in disruptive, technology companies that build products for low-income Americans. Markeze holds a B.A. from Morehouse College, where he received a merit-based scholarship, and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Yahonnes Cleary (New York, NY) is a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York. Previously, Yahonnes clerked for Hon. Barrington D. Parker, Jr. for the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. Before starting his legal career, Yahonnes worked with a micro-enterprise organization in Harlem, interned in the Mayor's office in Washington, DC as a Truman Scholar, where he supported the city’s economic development initiatives, and worked as a Program Associate at the Ford Foundation supporting asset-building initiatives. As a Lowenstein Community Development Fellow at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Yahonnes worked on affordable housing and a prisoner re-entry initiative. Yahonnes graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University. He holds an M.Sc. in modern history from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar, and a J.D. from Yale University, which he attended as a PD Soros Fellow. Yahonnes is an alum and member of the Board of Trustees of Prep for Prep.

Leila Collins (New York, NY) is currently pursuing an M.B.A. at Columbia University. Previously, she worked as a consultant at Friends Rehabilitation Program, an affordable housing developer and community development corporation, and as a Senior Associate at MetaProp NYC, a venture capital firm focused on real estate technology. While there, Leila launched a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners to invest $5M into technology companies driving housing affordability. She also led the MetaProp Accelerator at Columbia University, the MetaProp Pre-Accelerator at Columbia University and the MetaProp Bridge at Columbia University. Leila received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University where she double-majored in Anthropology and Political Science.

Patrick Duhaney (Cincinnati, OH) is the City Manager of Cincinnati, OH. Patrick was sworn in as City Manager in December 2018 after holding the title of Acting City Manager for the previous eight months. Patrick began his career with the City of Cincinnati in June 2009 when he accepted a position of Contract Compliance Specialist with the City Manager’s Office. He also held several leadership positions in the Department of Sewers (now known as the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati) prior to transitioning to the role of Chief Procurement Officer. Patrick holds a B.A. in Sociology and Urban Studies from the Cleveland State University and Master’s in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati. He is a graduate of the Urban League’s African-American Leadership Development Program.

Laura Fox (New York, NY) is currently the General Manager of Citi Bike in NYC. Previously, Laura worked at Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet company dedicated to building the city of the future through urban technologies and comprehensive development. Prior to joining Sidewalk, Laura was a project leader at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where she led strategy and digital venture projects for urban innovation, technology, and cultural organizations. In parallel, she edited a book on entrepreneur-led urban development and delivered a TED talk on the role of curiosity and ignorance in the creative process. Laura holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from New York University (NYU), Stern School of Business.

Alexander Glustrom (New Orleans, LA) is a documentary filmmaker. Alexander has directed, shot, produced, and edited a wide variety of film projects. His work has ranged from commercial, music, and art videos that have reached hundreds of thousands online, to documentaries that have been featured in film festivals internationally. He has shot footage that has aired on HBO, CNN, Fusion, NYtimes.com, Great Big Story and Democracy Now. He has also created a number of fundraising videos that have raised thousands of dollars for New Orleans youth programs. In addition to filmmaking, Alex served as the director of The Boys & Girls Club of The Iberville public housing development, co-founded a photo workshop at The Youth Empowerment Project, and regularly leads art and film classes to New Orleans youth. Alex graduated from Tulane University, where he studied marketing and digital media.

Jukay Hsu (New York, NY) is the co-founder & CEO of Pursuit, whose mission is to create transformation where it’s needed most. Pursuit’s programs increase participant incomes from $18,000 to $85,000 and create leaders reflective of the diversity of our society. After graduating from Harvard College, Jukay served as a U.S. Army officer where he commanded a rifle platoon in Iraq and earned the Bronze Star Medal. Jukay served as the youngest member of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Transition Team and Jobs Task Force. He currently serves as a Director of the New York City Water Board, the Vice Chair of Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for New York City Foundation.

Steven Hussain (Denver, CO) serves as the Director of Community Workforce Programs for Prologis. In that capacity, he leads the organization's efforts to generate shared value for customers and the community through investments designed to advance economic opportunity. Prior to joining Prologis, Steven served as the Chief Mission Services Officer for Goodwill San Antonio where he led education and employment services to individuals within the Agency's 24 county service area. Steven previously worked as the Director of Community Initiatives for San Antonio Mayor, Ivy R. Taylor, where he helped to develop education, workforce and economic development policy, and launched the local My Brother's Keeper initiative. Steven also worked for the P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County as the Director of Community Partnerships. Steven holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington, and is currently pursuing his M.B.A. at Baylor University.

Ashwini Krishnamurthy (New York, NY) is an Investment Banking Analyst at Centerview Partners. Prior to working at Centerview, she was the CEO of the Emory Impact Investing Group, where she helped raise $100,000 for micro-loans to local Atlanta-based entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional sources of capital. Ashwini has published research with the Division of Renal Medicine faculty at Emory University’s School of Medicine, has worked in investment research at Diversified Trust, a wealth management fund with $7B AUM, and in entrepreneurship education at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Ashwini graduated from Goizueta Business School at Emory University with a B.B.A. in Finance and Concentration in Healthcare Innovation. She was the recipient of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Change-Maker Award and was named one of Poets & Quants’ “Best & Brightest Business Majors of 2019”.

Benjamin Mensah (New York, NY) is currently a Vice President at the Carlyle Group. Previously, Ben was an investment analyst at Paulson & Co. and SVP Global. He began his career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. A Harlem native, Ben remains active in many service organizations, including Prep for Prep, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, The Apollo, Sponsors for Educational Opportunities, The Robert Toigo Foundation, Council of Urban Professionals, The New York Public Library and The Children’s Aid Society. Ben volunteers on Saturdays as a math teacher for grades 5 – 8 at the Dunlevy Milbank Center in Harlem. He also serves on the board of a multifamily HDFC building in Harlem. Ben received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Bridget Palombo (Philadelphia, PA) is Senior Associate at The Food Trust and an expert in community planning and redevelopment as well as fresh food distribution. Bridget supports The Food Trust's national consulting team in strategic planning and technical assistance to increase healthy food access, support regional food systems, promote equity and enhance economic development across the U.S. Locally, she leads Philadelphia's healthy food retail programming to help bring more affordable and fresh, nutritious foods into the city's neighborhoods. Bridget also serves on the board for Neighborhood Gardens Trust, helping to protect community gardens across Philadelphia, and is an appointed member of Philadelphia's Food Policy Advisory Council. Prior to her role at The Food Trust, Bridget was director of community and economic development at Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM), where she implemented strategic initiatives to improve quality of life in Lower North Philadelphia. Bridget is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and a former LISC AmeriCorps member.

Emily Rasmussen (New York, NY) is the Co-founder and CEO of Grapevine, a collaborative giving platform. She was the founding Executive Director of NYU’s Center for Ballet and the Arts, launched the Lincoln Center at the Movies global media initiative, and developed innovative financing models for impact at Enterprise Solutions to Poverty. Emily has consulted on event cinema for Disney Theatrical Group, taught Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at SUNY Purchase, and spent two years developing microfinance and fair trade programs in India. She holds a B.A. from Occidental College in Diplomacy, World Affairs, and Economics and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Neha Sodhi (New York, NY) is an Assistant Vice President on Citi’s community development team, managing flagship community partnerships that expand financial inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved individuals and families in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Chicago. Prior to joining Citi in 2016, Neha worked for the New York City Department of Small Business Services where she led signature initiatives to support immigrant entrepreneurship and small business development. Neha holds a B.A. in Political Science from Villanova University and a Master of Public Administration from Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College. Neha serves as the Co-chair on the Junior Board for Sakhi for South Asian Women and on the Advisory Board for the Desai Foundation.

Cary Stathopoulos (New York, NY) is currently a Vice President at Warburg Pincus. Prior to that, Cary worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. He also worked in the Office of Capital Markets at the US Department of Treasury. He has been involved with New York Professional Advisors for Community Entrepreneurs (NYPACE), providing pro-bono consulting services to entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities and Student Sponsor Partners, a mentorship program for high school students. Cary holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College where he studied Economics and Religion and M.B.A. from Harvard.

Esther Uduehi (Philadelphia, PA) is a doctoral candidate in Marketing at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests are language framing, virtue signaling, and topics that intersect with stigmatization and underserved populations. As a PhD student, Esther has won numerous awards, including the American Marketing Association's Valuing Diversity Award. Prior to joining Wharton, Esther taught mathematics at the Spence School in NYC and mathematics, science, and violin at the Fay School in Massachusetts. Esther earned her B.A. in both Chemistry and Mathematics from Indiana University as well as a Master's in Nature, Society, and Environmental Policy from Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Language and the Way We Think About Stigmatized Groups: Q&A with Esther Uduehi
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