Staff & Board

Most of the superhero talent is out in the states, but some of us get to run the Alliance HQ.

Whitney Celestin

Development & Grants Manager

She/Her/Hers

▼ In the Office

  • Prepare grant reports and proposals
  • Research and prospect new foundation funders based on Alliance network priorities
  • Support development staffers across Alliance network organizations
  • ▼ Out of the Office

  • Eating donuts
  • Covered in paint doing DIY projects
  • Trying to convince everyone Layla (my Shitzu) is my child and definitely not a dog
  • Rebecca Gorena

    Senior Program Director

    She/Her/Ella

    ▼ In the Office
    • Leads and manages the amazingly competent lineup of the Alliance Program Team
    • Supports the scaling and building of electoral programs and issue advocacy campaigns within the Alliance’s network
    • Develops the Alliance’s programmatic goals, implementation, and “incubation” process to expand the network of state-based youth organizations
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Will talk to anyone (at all) about Texas in all of its magnificence
    • Some farmers market, somewhere, scouting her next fermentation or pickling project
    • Pestering the DJ to play reggaetón

    Dakota Hall

    Executive Director

    He/Him/His

    ▼ In the Office
    • Hypes our incredible network of local youth-led organizations to fight for change
    • Fights for the issues that young people care about the most
    • Builds youth power nationally at this pivotal time in our country’s history
    ▼ Out of the office
    • Hiking and visiting national parks
    • Long road trips with his lonely Cancer spirit
    • Engaging in the Marvel cinematic universe

    Erika Jaimes

    Fiscal Sponsorship Associate

    She/Her/Hers

    ▼ In the Office
    • Contributes to the Alliance’s capacity building work through the Fiscal Sponsorship Program 
    • Has an eagle eye for details and uses it to review invoicing and expense reimbursement requests 
    • Manages internal tracking and systems to maintain up to date records and reporting for fiscally sponsored projects
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Doting on her adorable niece
    • Learning French – it’s a lifelong journey
    • Expanding her culinary horizons

    Scarlett Jimenez

    Senior Development Director

    She/Her/Hers

    ▼ In the Office
    • Leads our exciting and rapidly growing development portfolio
    • Amplifies how our crews are building power every damn day
    • Supports network organizations in building and implementing bold, people-powered development plans
    • Pens powerful proposals and materials to reflect the fun and sophisticated work of our network
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Always cookin’
    • Regularly stares at photos of her precious shih-tzu, Sage
    • Loves a good horror movie or suspenseful docuseries

    Billy Koontz

    Senior Finance Director

    He/Him/His

    ▼ In the Office
    • Monitors and maintains organization-wide financial management systems to ensure financial reporting, analysis, and planning are on lock
    • Develops internal financial systems, processes, and controls to keep the auditors happy
    • Manages and tracks documentation, grant and contract agreements, and all the fun stuff to ensure the organization is ready to rock at all times
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Sings for 90 minutes during Newcastle United matches
    • Always trying to find the best live music
    • Could eat BBQ for every meal

    Maddie Love

    Senior Data Director

    She/They

    ▼ In the Office
    • Leads the data department!
    • Supports our amazing network through the development of internal data management systems and practices
    • Ensure the work of the network is accurately reflected and understood through metrics tracking and analysis
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Baking desserts and bringing them to all my friends
    • Refusing to get up after my pets fall asleep on my lap
    • Carefully curating my collection of fun earrings

    Amit Mistry

    Deputy Executive Director of Network Strategy

    He/Him/His

    ▼ In the Office
    • Manages the Program and Data department heads, leading the coordination and completion of projects across departments
    • Coordinates regular engagement and collaborative work between the network and the Alliance national team
    • Works with network orgs to get them the right tools and systems to do their work more efficiently
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Figuring out how he can cheaply fly international business class anywhere
    • Watching all of the Fast and the Furious movies to get over how Game of Thrones ended (still)
    • Loudly proclaiming that Maryland is the greatest state

    Daniela Mrabti

    Digital Director

    She/Her/Hers

    ▼ In the Office
    • Manages all digital communications
    • Supports our network organizations effectively tell the story of their work
    • Supports the Alliance’s overall communications strategy in line with our mission, vision, values, and culture
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Peaked in college as part of the ukulele orchestra
    • Always starting tv shows, but never finishing them
    • Catch her at the local farmers market on the weekends

    Kenny Myers

    Director of Network Capacity

    He/Him/His

    ▼ In the Office
    • Serves as a liaison between our network and the rest of the Alliance staff
    • Supports Alliance affiliates developing badass programs that deliver real wins and results for our generation
    • Facilitates collaboration among the network for sharing best practices and lessons learned
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Will derail his travel path to ensure he can say hello to random dogs
    • Obsesses over his National Parks passport stamps
    • Avid nerd and board gamer

    Carmel Pryor

    Senior Director of Communications

    She/Her/Hers

    ▼ In the Office
    • Leads the Alliance’s comprehensive communications strategy
    • Lifts up the bold work of young people nationwide through storytelling
    • Works with the Alliance’s incredible network to build communications capacity and strategy
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Proud Cleveland, Ohio native who has the Cavs championship ring to prove it
    • Believes weekends aren’t complete without BRUNCH
    • Loves making collages and shoe shopping in her spare time

    Eliana Reed

    Content Manager

    She/Her/Hers

    ▼ In the Office
    • Maintaining website content and integrity
    • Developing and managing Alliance email programs
    • Supporting our network comms cohort, and managing the Shared Resource Library
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Taking her dog Shuri to the dog park.
    • Rewatching the Marvel Cinematic Universe in its entirety for the hundredth time. 
    • Making too many Spotify playlists to keep up with.

    John Serpas

    Senior Operations Director

    He/Him/His

    ▼ In the Office
    • Leads the Operations department to develop and maintain well functioning internal systems.
    • Leverages our Operations to elevate our mission, values, and create a work environment focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
    • Works with network organizations to identify operational challenges and create lasting solutions.
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • A gamer aficionado. Mario Kart, Rocket League, you name it, I’m there.
    • Overly critical of chefs on Food Network shows like Chopped, but get nervous when I have two stove tops going at the same time.
    • An NBA fanatic even though the Boston Celtics have continued to let me down since their 2008 championship.

    Marisa Slifka

    Operations Director

    She/Her/Hers

    ▼ In the Office
    • Manage seamless logistics to ensure everyone can get down to business at meetings
    • Keeps internal systems tidy for a smooth day to day work environment
    • Works to cultivate an inclusive and productive workspace for the whole team
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Emotionally invests in adult recreational soccer far too much
    • Identifies with Buddy the Elf’s relationship to coffee and then falls asleep. Literally everywhere
    • Peaked when compared to Park and Rec’s Jenn Barkley by a former student

    Kate Travis

    Data Manager

    She/They

    ▼ In the Office
    • Support and foster organizations to build data capacity and carry out voter & community outreach
    • Facilitate network-wide collaboration on data use and best practices
    • Ensure the metrics and data are correct and in the right place
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Brainstorming ways to visit all of their friends in all of their far-flung places
    • Entertaining / befriending / bending to the will of their household (and other) cats
    • Experiencing more of their home state of Colorado each season whether by ski, hike, drive, or camp

    Mariella Villacorta

    Development and Individual Giving Manager

    She/Her/Ella

    ▼ In the Office
    • Crafts compelling proposals, powerful narratives, and timely updates for our donors
    • Make sure $$$ is on track to support our growing network and campaigns
    • Helps raise national resources to ensure young people’s work is uplifted and their voices are heard
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Taking her cat, Muffin, on walks
    • Spending too much time smelling candles at Marshalls
    • Buying new books but never finishing them

    Board

    The Alliance for Youth Organizing have some awesomely brilliant and strategic advisors behind us. Our board[s] of directors are the kind of activists who’ve been getting it done for years — and they make sure the raucous and riotous Alliance stays on track and on mission. The arc toward justice is bent a lot farther because of their work.

    The Board of Directors of the Alliance for Youth Organizing

    Affiliates listed for identification purposes only.

    Amy Faulring
    Partner and Coach, The Management Center

    Alexis Anderson-Reed
    Executive Director, State Voices

    Cathy Lerza
    Philanthropic Advisor

    Kim Rogers
    Consultant

    Liba Rubenstein
    Senior Vice President of Social Impact, 21st Century Fox

    LiJia Gong
    Interim Legal Director, Public Rights Project

    Mollie Ruskin
    Independent Civic Designer and Researcher

    Steven Cole-Schwartz
    Portfolio Director, Group Health Foundation

    Vaughn Frisby
    Senior Major Gifts Officer, The Trevor Project

    Whitney Porter
    Director of Finance and Administration, Jews United for Justice

    Click here to see the Alliance for Youth Action board members

    For inquiries, please reach out to info@allianceforyouthaction.org