Staff

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

Whitney Celestin

Development Director

She/Her/Hers

▼ In the Office
  • Preparing grant reports and proposals
  • Researching and prospecting new foundation funders based on Alliance network priorities
  • Supporting development staffers across Alliance network organizations
▼ Out of the Office
  • Eating donuts
  • Covered in paint doing DIY projects
  • Trying to convince everyone Layla (her Shitzu) is her 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
  • Hyping up our incredible network of local youth-led organizations to fight for change
  • Fighting for the issues that young people care about the most
  • Building 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

Chief Financial Officer

He/Him/His

▼ In the Office
  • Monitoring and maintaining organization-wide financial management systems to ensure financial reporting, analysis, and planning are on lock
  • Developing internal financial systems, processes, and controls to keep the auditors happy
  • Managing and tracking 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
  • Singing for 90 minutes during Newcastle United matches
  • Always trying to find the best live music
  • Could eat BBQ for every meal

Jules Mandel

Senior Training Manager

They/Them/Theirs

▼ In the Office
  • Developing, project managing, and delivering high quality trainings, bootcamps, and workshops that support the growth of our network of affiliates
  • Creating guides, templates, and training documents that meet the needs of our Affiliates, and maintains the Alliance’s network-facing Shared Resource Library
  • Supporting peer-learning spaces where affiliate staff can share ideas and discuss best practices and solutions
▼ Out of the Office
  • Watching every TV show known to man with their partner
  • Babying their two Chihuahua mixes, Chickpea and Zephyr, and their pet jumping spider, Cha-Cha
  • Falling down hobby rabbit holes

Amit Mistry

Senior Advisor

He/Him/His

▼ In the Office
  • Managing the Program and Data department heads, leading the coordination and completion of projects across departments
  • Coordinating regular engagement and collaborative work between the network and the Alliance national team
  • Working 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
  • Serving as a liaison between our network and the rest of the Alliance staff
  • Supporting Alliance affiliates developing badass programs that deliver real wins and results for our generation
  • Facilitating collaboration among the network for sharing best practices and lessons learned
▼ Out of the Office
  • Derailing his travel path to ensure he can say hello to random dogs
  • Obsessing over his National Parks passport stamps
  • Avid nerd and board gamer

Robin Rodolfo

Senior Manager of Grantmaking and Strategic Partnerships

She/Her/Siya

▼ In the Office
  • Executing and elevating our grantmaking processes to best serve our affiliates and their communities. 
  • Helping ensure we’re compliant in our grant agreements. 
  • Cultivating strategic, sustainable partnerships across the progressive ecosystem
▼ Out of the Office
  • Trying out every karaoke spot in D.C.
  • Bingeing Korean dramas and reality shows
  • Dressing up and serving lewks, just to go to the grocery store

Marisa Slifka

Senior Operations Director

She/Her/Hers

▼ In the Office
  • Managing seamless logistics to ensure everyone can get down to business at meetings
  • Keeping internal systems tidy for a smooth day to day work environment
  • Working to cultivate an inclusive and productive workspace for the whole team
▼ Out of the Office
  • Emotionally investing in adult recreational soccer far too much
  • Identifying with Buddy the Elf’s relationship to coffee and then falling 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 she’s 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

Selasi Tagbor Morales

Communications Coordinator

She/Her/Ella

▼ In the Office
  • Creating visual & written content for the Alliance’s social media
  • Finding ways to highlight & uplift the work of our amazing Network
  • Working with partners to manage external communications
▼ Out of the Office
  • Consuming all forms of reality television
  • Picking up new creative hobbies just as fast as she drops them
  • Traveling to visit family and friends all around the world

Kate Travis

Data Manager

She/They

▼ In the Office
  • Supporting and fostering organizations to build data capacity and carry out voter & community outreach
  • Facilitating network-wide collaboration on data use and best practices
  • Ensuring 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 Action / 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 Action

Affiliates listed for identification purposes only.

Alexandra Acker-Lyons
President, AL Advising

Tracey Corder
Campaign Coordinator, Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE)

Juan Escalante
Digital Campaigns Manager, FWD.us

Colleen Loper
Senior Director of Political Strategy, Way to Win

Aaron Merkin, Treasurer
Sr. Confidential Specialist, National Education Association

Kunoor Ojha

Jonathan Paik, Chair
Executive Director, Orange County Civic Engagement Table

Paola Ramos
VICE Host/Correspondent and NBC/Telemundo Contributor

Kim Rogers, Vice Chair

Natalia Salgado
Director of Federal Affairs, Working Families Party

Chris Sloan
Director of Government Affairs, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

Resha Thomas, Secretary
Statewide Political Director, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of Texas

Ben Wessel
State and Local Politics Director, Emerson Collective

Click here to see the Alliance for Youth Organizing board members

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