Click on any of the names below to find out more about our talented team of asset builders.
Roberto Arjona serves as the Creative Services Specialist at CFED. As a key member of the Communications Team, Mr. Arjona is responsible for the visual conceptualization, design and production of CFED’s publications and communications tools. He is in charge of designing themes for new suites of products and developing digital and interactive media for CFED’s website. Mr. Arjona comes to CFED with extensive experience developing creative campaigns within the nonprofit sector. Before joining the CFED team, Mr. Arjona worked for a nonprofit media development organization that focused on the empowerment and education of underserved communities. He brings to CFED his passion for helping others become equipped with the necessary tools to improve their quality of life. Mr. Arjona holds a BA in Graphic Design from University of Maryland, College Park and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Advanced Graphic Design from Corcoran College of Art & Design.
Sara Benabdallah is Special Assistant at CFED, working closely with the Chief Program Officer and across the Program, Policy and Research Teams more broadly.
Ms. Benabdallah brings a unique and dynamic understanding of policy issues affecting children, education, women, development and the media in both domestic and international capacities. Since 2000, she has passionately worked on behalf of various grassroots and nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and women.
Prior to joining CFED, Ms. Benabdallah worked with The Sheridan Group, a leading Policy Development and Legislative Strategy firm in Washington, DC. There, she worked as a Policy Associate and Project Manager on a number of projects related to poverty alleviation, adolescent health and wellness, and education. While at The Sheridan Group, she also worked closely with the Strategy and Business Development team as well as the Vice President for Policy and Client Services.
Ms. Benabdallah holds a Master’s Degree in Social Policy and Gender Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Northeastern University.
Adnan Bokhari is CFED’s Chief Financial Officer, charged with guiding all aspects of the organization’s fiscal operations, ensuring adherence to the highest standards of nonprofit financial management. Adnan has over twelve years experience in nonprofit financial reporting, analysis, forecasting, budgeting, cash management, auditing and controls. He is a strategic thinker, effective in reorganizing, streamlining and strengthening financial operations to maximize efficiency with a proven track record of helping management and board achieve their organizational goals. His core competencies include strategic and business planning, risk management, financial statements and management reporting, regulatory compliance, internal controls, budgeting and business development.
A rising leader in the profession, Adnan was recognized as one of the top CPAs in Washington, DC by SmartCEO Magazine in 2010. He recently served on the CPA Exam scoring panel of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, being one of the 40 panelists selected from across the nation. Adnan was one of 16 accountants from the Greater Washington Society of CPAs who testified in support of the CPA mobility legislation before DC Council members in June 2011. In addition to his participation in professional activities, Adnan is an active member of the community. He is a member of the Finance Committee of Byte Back, a nonprofit organization providing computer literacy and employment readiness skills to underserved communities throughout Washington, DC. Adnan earned degrees in Economics and Accounting from Strayer University.
Michael Chasnow manages partner relationships, helps with the execution of the 1:1 Fund online platform and conducts business development to raise matched funds for Children’s Savings Accounts.
Michael has extensive experience in community development and environmental finance. Within community development finance, Michael was co-founder and COO of community-banking startup Directed Deposits; focused on business development for potential new loans in renewables and cleantech at Self-Help Credit Union; and focused on microfinance investment at the Centre for Microfinance in Chennai, India. Within environmental finance, Michael worked with the UNC Environmental Finance Center, helping state and local governments implement energy efficiency and renewable energy lending programs.
Michael was also a Senior Manager at the Corporate Executive Board, where he was the first hire for an online ethics training business, marketing to and creating training for Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Chasnow has an MBA and Masters in Urban Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill, and earned his A.B. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Elizabeth Coit is CFED’s Chief Development Officer. Prior to joining CFED, Ms. Coit led resource development efforts for the Center for Community Change, Ms. Foundation for Women, Legal Momentum and the Wilderness Society. She is recognized as a Certified Fundraising Executive, and also provides pro-bono fundraising assistance and training to several domestic and international non-governmental organizations. She serves on the Board of Friends of Action India and Invest in Knowledge-Malawi, and also coordinates pro-bono fundraising for the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth. She is a former instructor in fundraising for the Graduate School, USDA. Earlier in her career, Ms. Coit served as a program leader for the International Women's Health Coalition and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, developing health, economic and social justice projects in Africa, India and the Caribbean. Ms. Coit holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a graduate degree from Columbia University.
Parker Cohen is a Program Manager with the Savings & Financial Security Team at CFED. In this role, Mr. Cohen provides program coordination, research and writing for projects that provide matched savings accounts and other financial empowerment tools to adults and children.
Prior to joining CFED, Mr. Cohen worked as the community development manager for the Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers, where he provide strategic planning support to community health centers and helped establish the West Baltimore Primary Care Access Collaborative. He also previously worked to provide technical assistance to community centers in federally insured and assisted housing properties through the HUD Neighborhood Networks program.
Mr. Cohen holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota, and an undergraduate degree in economics from Macalester College.
Dominique Derbigny is a Program Manager with the Savings & Financial Security Team at CFED. In this role, Ms. Derbigny provides program coordination, research and writing for projects that provide matched savings accounts and other financial empowerment tools to adults and children.
Prior to joining CFED, Ms. Derbigny worked as a community outreach specialist for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, where she collaborated with practitioners to facilitate the integration of financial education and counseling services into existing programs. She also previously worked with United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg as Program Director for the local Earned Income Tax Credit coalition, where she provided strategic direction and oversight to expand access to free tax preparation services and heighten awareness of EITC.
Ms. Derbigny holds a Master of Social Work degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore, and an undergraduate degree in Human Services from Elon University.
Anita Drever is CFED’s Director of Applied Research. In this capacity she provides research and evaluation support and guidance to CFED’s Program and Policy initiatives and external partners, and leads projects as an evaluator, researcher, survey design expert and statistical analyst.
Before coming to CFED, she was a tenured Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a visiting scholar at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW-Berlin), and a program evaluator at the University of Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center, and at Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC). Dr. Drever’s previous research and evaluation work focused on improving program and policy outcomes for immigrants and other financially vulnerable populations. Dr. Drever has authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She has received research funding from the National Science Foundation and the Social Science Research Council, among others. Dr. Drever holds a Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dara Duratinsky is CFED’s Network Associate, supporting the State & Local Policy team. In this role, Dara is the point-of-contact for the Assets & Opportunity Network and provides the Network with webpage assistance, researches and writes monthly Network e-updates, and promotes and supports other Network activities. Prior to joining CFED, Dara was an intern at ASGK Public Strategies, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the Office of Senator Durbin in Chicago. In these roles, Dara provided assistance in online-based research, social media and media outreach. Dara has also volunteered as a Community Organizer for Obama for America for President Obama’s 2012 campaign.
Dara holds a B.A. in Public Communication from American University.
Kate Griffin is a Senior Program Manager on CFED’s Savings and Financial Security team. Ms. Griffin oversees projects that provide matched savings accounts to adults and children to save for educational expenses, mortgage downpayments, business investments and other asset-building purposes.
Prior to joining CFED, Ms. Griffin worked in the international microfinance space. At Grameen Foundation, she ran a global program to ensure appropriate financial services were available to the world’s poorest people. Over 500,000 people gained access to tailored savings, credit, and livelihood services as a result of this program. She also worked extensively in the legal and regulatory space while at the IRIS Center at the University of Maryland. She is published widely in the microfinance field and serves as an adjunct faculty member teaching microfinance at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Ms. Griffin holds a B.A. in international studies from Kenyon College and an M.A. from American University’s School of International Service.
Kori Hattemer is a Program Manager with the Savings & Financial Security Team at CFED. In this role, Ms. Hattemer provides writing, research and program coordination for projects that provide matched savings accounts and other financial empowerment tools to adults and children.
Prior to joining CFED, Ms. Hattemer worked as a Policy Research Assistant for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, where she co-authored an annual report on child well-being in Texas and researched factors that affect family economic security. She also worked as the Program Director for the American Lung Association, where she managed community initiatives for the Greater Austin area.
Ms. Hattemer holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where she also completed her undergraduate degree.
Joanne Irby is CFED’s Chief Operating Officer. In this role she provides leadership to key internal and external activities, including strategic planning, organizational performance management, Board of Directors staffing and support, human capital management and internal infrastructure. Ms. Irby partners with CFED’s President to plan and prepare for future growth and coordinate strategic responses to emerging programmatic and organizational opportunities. Previously, she served as CFED’s Director for Human Resources and Administration, with a focus on the recruitment and ongoing development of a diverse and superior workforce. Prior to joining CFED she was the Compensation & Benefits Manager for the Association of American Medical Colleges, handling such issues as total rewards strategies, performance management, compliance, and training and development. Other work experiences include The George Washington University, and the Advisory Board Company.
Ms. Irby received a Bachelor's degree in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University and holds Senior Professional in Human Resources and Compensation Management Specialist designations.
Lisa Kawahara is the Executive Assistant for Bob Friedman and Office Manager for CFED in San Francisco, CA. She also manages a small family foundation whose giving focus is economic development. Prior, she was self-employed, working with nonprofit community organizations and foundations.
Ms. Kawahara received an Associate's degree in Business Management and furthered her studies at New College in San Francisco.
Niya Kight serves as the Resource Development Staff Manager at CFED. As a key member of the Development Team, she is responsible for prospect research analysis, individual donor fundraising and database management. Niya successfully restructured a database management system which resulted in individual donor fundraising plan and increased quality control.
In this role, Niya also serves as corporate liaison between the development and finance department to manage an efficient grant and contract management system.
Prior to joining CFED, Niya worked as a manager at Irislee, Inc. in Chestnut Hill, MA, where she was instrumental in the planning, production and launch of the Boston Basketcases online store.
Niya holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialty in Entrepreneurship from Towson University, and is a graduate of Boston College, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development.
Irina Krivosheenko is an Accounting Associate at CFED. She provides a variety of complex daily and periodic tasks to support CFED's accounting and finance functions.
Before joining CFED, Ms. Krivosheenko was interning in the accounting department at Resources for the Future, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC.
Irina is a graduate of George Mason University's School of Management, where she majored in Accounting.
Susan Krupka is Special Assistant to the President at CFED.
Ezra Levin is CFED’s Federal Affairs Manager, working with the Government Affairs Team. He helps develop CFED’s federal policy agenda and advocacy strategy in order to advance the mission of expanding economic opportunity.
Previously, Mr. Levin served as Deputy Policy Director for Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources. While on Capitol Hill, Mr. Levin covered appropriations and budget issues as well as a wide range of domestic social policy issues, including TANF, SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), unemployment, stimulus, education and labor. On leave from Congress, he ran Congressman Doggett’s field operation during the 2010 elections. Prior to his federal policy and political work, Mr. Levin served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Homeless Services Division of the San Jose Housing Department. In the summer between years of his graduate program, he interned at the White House Domestic Policy Council’s Office of Urban Affairs and Economic Mobility.
Mr. Levin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Carleton College and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Wes Lin is CFED’s Human Resources Generalist, in charge of shaping and implementing an HR strategy that develops and nurtures our current staff and brings top talent to the organization. In this role, Wes focuses on performance management, learning and development, diversity and inclusion, talent acquisition and total rewards.
Prior to CFED, Wes worked for OCLC, a global non-profit library sciences and technology firm where he helped to build a new diversity and inclusion program from the ground up and revamp the talent and performance management strategy. Wes also worked in the non-profit sector doing child welfare social work with The Buckeye Ranch in central Ohio, where he helped reunite dozens of families and help protect their children from abuse, neglect and harm. Wes’ recruiting experience comes from his time as a professional recruiter with Aerotek, the nation’s largest privately held recruiting firm where he sourced and managed 150 contractors placed with Fortune 500 companies in the Columbus area and around the nation. Wes was also the principal human resources officer at an IT startup that focused on small contracts for local government agencies in Columbus, Ohio.
Wes earned his Master of Labor and Human Resources from The Ohio State University, where he also completed a B.A. in Psychology. As a DC native and former Ohio transplant, Wes brings to the organization his East Coast attitude that has been tempered with some Midwest charm.
Toni Lovings is CFED’s Accounting Manager. Ms. Lovings oversees day-to-day accounting transactions and ensures compliance with requirements related to CFED’s government grants and contracts (OMB Circulars A-122, A-133, GSA MOBIS Schedule and FAR). She also leads accurate and timely monthly closings of the general ledger and generates monthly entity-wide and departmental reports, including monthly cash flow projections, revenue release reconciliations and analysis.
Prior to CFED, Ms. Lovings worked for Seamon Corporation, a government contractor specializing in program management and convenings with various health care agencies within the federal government. During her 14-year tenure, she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the accounting department, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and general ledger.
Ms. Lovings holds a B.S. in Business Administration and Master’s in Management and Accounting.
Shira Markoff is a Senior Program Manager on CFED’s Savings and Financial Security team. Ms. Markoff oversees projects that provide matched savings accounts that enable low-income children and adults to save for a first home purchase, higher education expenses and business start-up or expansion.
Prior to joining CFED, Ms. Markoff worked as a Program Manager for Seedco, where she managed a portfolio of six government and private grant programs, totaling over $2.2 million annually. She worked with community-based organizations across New York City to implement programs that helped low-income families access government benefits such as SNAP and Medicaid, assisted taxpayers in receiving the EITC and other tax credits and provided job training and placement assistance. Ms. Markoff also served two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA at New Jersey Community Development Corporation, where she helped to implement and manage an IDA program.
Ms. Markoff holds a B.A. in history from Rutgers University and a Master of Public Policy degree from American University.
Donnise McWeay is CFED's Office Manager.
Jennifer Medina is CFED’s State and Local Policy Manager, where she supports the Assets & Opportunity Network, a movement-oriented group of policy advocates, practitioners and other stakeholders working to broaden adoption and deepen the impact of asset-based strategies. She also helps manage CFED's annual Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, contributing to in-depth policy research and documentation of state and local progress related to a range of policies focused on asset building, asset protection and equitable economic development.
Previously, Ms. Medina served as a Program Specialist for the Assets for Independence (AFI) Program at the Department of Health and Human Services. White at AFI, she provided technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and state, local and Tribal governments implementing individual development account (IDA) projects for low-income families saving to purchase a home, start a business or pursue postsecondary education. In addition to monitoring the use of federal grant awards for these IDA projects, she also managed several contracts and other projects to expand asset-building services across the country, including within Indian country. Jennifer has studied and worked in Chile and traveled extensively throughout South America and other parts of the world.
Ms. Medina holds a Bachelor of Arts in history, with a concentration in global development from Grinnell College, a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chile.
Timothy J. Murphy is CFED’s Network & Systems Administrator. Mr. Murphy holds an assortment of certifications in the Information Technology field. At CFED, he is part of the IT Team that works to ensure that Staff have everything they need to help create a simple user experience with advanced technology.
Mr. Murphy served in the United States Marine Corps from 2004 to 2008, serving in the current conflicts in the Middle East, as well as in Southeast Asia. After his four-year stint, Mr. Murphy attended University of Maryland, where in 2011 he graduated with a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice. He is currently undertaking a second degree with a B.S. in Computer Networking and Security and Master Program in Information Technology Project Management with a focus in Information Security from University of Maryland.
Elizabeth Musyoki is the Operations Assistant/Receptionist for CFED. In this capacity she provides administrative assistance to various departments and works closely with the Office Manager to ensure the office runs smoothly.
Ms. Musyoki received her undergraduate degree in International Relations, and is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Federal Program Management at Trinity Washington University in DC.
Emory Nelms is a Research Program Associate at CFED, working as a member of the Applied Research Team. In this capacity, he provides research, data analysis and writing support for the Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. He also assists projects across the Applied Research, Behavioral Economics, State & Local Policy, and Savings & Financial Security teams. Most recently, Emory was an AmeriCorps VISTA supporting Higher Achievement in Washington, DC, where he supported program evaluation by developing an early warning tool to identify the middle school scholars who are most at risk for academic decline.
Mr. Nelms holds a B.A. in Public Health from Beloit College in Wisconsin.
Emanuel Nieves is Policy Associate at CFED, working with the Government Affairs Team. In this capacity, he provides research, writing, event coordination as well as assisting the Government Affairs team’s effort of building the capacity of the Assets and Opportunity Network to conduct advocacy on asset building issues at the federal level. Before joining CFED, he worked as a policy assistant at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation where he was responsible for the coordination of LISC’s local office advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. as well providing support to the staff on an array of housing and community development federal issues.
Emanuel has a bachelor's degree in political science from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
William Pate is a Senior Program Evaluator on CFED’s Applied Research Team. In this position, he provides quantitative and qualitative evaluation support for a number of programs across the organization to include CFPB Financial Education Metrics Development, Bank of America/CFED Intensive Learning Cluster, and the Asset Initiative Partnership.
Prior to joining CFED, Bill worked as an independent consultant with a focus on program evaluation, and also served as the Assistant Director of the American Psychological Association Center for Workforce Studies. Mr. Pate’s previous work experience includes the evaluation of a federally-funded training program in neuroscience, national mixed-mode survey research and workforce analysis. His training in psychology has included advanced quantitative statistics, cognitive research and experimental design. Mr. Pate has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the changing demography, salaries and workforce of professional psychology and working memory across the adult life-span.
Mr. Pate holds an M.A. in Industrial‐Organizational Psychology from George Mason University and a B.A. in Psychology from Wichita State University.
Lebaron Sims is a Senior Research Associate at CFED. As a member of the Applied Research team, Mr. Sims provides research, data analysis and writing support for the Assets & Opportunity Scorecard and I’M HOME Initiative. He also assists in conducting CFED’s upcoming outcome evaluations in shared equity housing. Most recently, Mr. Sims was a Research Associate at LISC MetroEdge in Chicago, IL, where he provided technical support, analysis and data visualization for local economic development initiatives in cities across the country.
Mr. Sims holds an M.A. in Urban Affairs from Loyola University Chicago, and a B.A. in Economics from California State University, Fresno.
Caryn Sweeney is CFED’s Director of Program Resource Development. Prior to joining CFED, Ms. Sweeney led program development efforts for the Aga Khan Foundation USA, securing resources and managing programs for multi-sector poverty alleviation in Africa and Asia. Ms. Sweeney also spent more than a decade at the Academy for Educational Development (AED) in a number of functions, including program management, research and evaluation, and new business development for social and economic development programs in the United States and around the world. As a freelance writer, she has written about responsible travel, the NGO sector, and food security for a variety of online and print publications. A member of the Board of Directors for the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, Ms. Sweeney holds a B.A. and Ed.M. from Boston University and was a visiting student to St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, UK.
Alan Thompson is CFED’s Director of Information Technology. Responsible for ensuring that CFED’s staff enjoy a modern and reliable IT infrastructure, he comes to the job with more than fifteen years’ experience in nonprofit and association IT. During that time, he has done everything from front-line user support, to designing network infrastructure and website and database development. His current interests include expanding mobile access to key systems and developing affordable ways for smaller groups to take advantage of leading edge developments in IT.
Mr. Thompson is a native of Scotland, and a graduate of the University of Edinburgh.