Staff

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
  • Rudy Garrett

    Vice President of Capacity Building

    She/Her/Hers

    ▼ In the Office
    • Supporting the most powerful network of youth-led, grassroots organizations in the country. 
    • Working with the Alliance program, data, and advocacy teams to provide top-of-the-line services and support to our network. 
    • Connecting all Alliance departments to the capacity building team.
    ▼ Out of the office
    • Cheering on the Chicago Sky.
    • Perfecting her brownie recipe. 
    • Watching any show produced by the CW.

    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

    Billy Koontz

    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

    Amit Mistry

    Chief Impact Officer

    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

    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

    Marisa Slifka

    Senior 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

    Jordan Swanson

    Operations Coordinator

    She/They

    ▼ In the Office
    • Supporting internal operations systems including the onboarding of new operations systems to ensure a smooth deployment. 
    • Supporting the Staff Professional Development program including identifying and promoting staff development opportunities.
    • Collaborating in annual goals and budget for the Operations Department.
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Buying video games and forgetting to actually play them
    • Putting stickers on as many things as humanly possible
    • Making sure that everyone knows I’m a Virgo

    Robyn Swirling

    Chief of Staff

    She/Her/Hers

    ▼ In the Office
    • Overseeing big organization-wide projects and initiatives
    • Leading all things internal management, performance and leadership development, and org culture
    • Organizing the ideas, projects, people, time, and resources to keep the Alliance moving forward
    ▼ Out of the Office
    • Cooking elaborate meals from her out of control cookbook collection
    • Watching her pup run around their second home, the dog park
    • Funding abortions and coordinating clinic escort volunteers

    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

    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.

    Alexis Anderson-Reed
    Executive Director, State Voices

    Hernan Carvante
    CEO and Founder, Healing Ninjas

    Amy Faulring
    Management Coach, The Management Center

    Vaughn Frisby
    Director of Individual Giving, SPUR

    Amy Faulring, Secretary

    Cathy Lerza, Treasurer
    Philanthropic Advisor

    Tatenda Musapatike
    CEO and Founder, Voter Formation Project

    Whitney Porter, Chair

    Gisel Romero
    Clinical Counselor, City Colleges of Chicago

    Liba Wenig Rubenstein

    Mollie Ruskin, Vice Chair
    Digital Consultant