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2011 American Express NGen Fellows

Over the course of nine months, these accomplished and innovative leaders collaborated with other talented under-40 leaders, interacted with established mentors, and contributed to Independent Sector's work on nonprofit impact and leadership.

The 2011 Fellow Project was Leading Through Data. Learn more.


The 2011 American Express NGen Fellows are:

  • Angie Chen, Program Officer, S. D. Bechtel, Jr Foundation
  • Reynaldo Decerega, Director of Programs, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
  • Kevin Flynn, Director of Recruitment and Candidate Services, Commongood Careers
  • Elisha Gilliam, Senior Associate, Child Welfare Strategy Group, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Roxanne Hanson, Director of Education and Consulting, Tides
  • Ayofemi Kirby, Director of Strategy and Programs, Mobilize.org
  • Amy Lazarus, Executive Director, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network
  • Dan McCabe, Chief Development Officer, Network for Good
  • Jane Mugo, Director of Internal Controls at Habitat for Humanity International
  • Claire Neal, Senior Director for Mission, LIVESTRONG
  • Mayur Patel, Vice President of Strategy and Assessment, Knight Foundation
  • Lisa Flick Wilson, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Harwood Institute


Angie Chen joined the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation as program officer in July 2010. She manages all grantmaking in the Environmental Education program, to advance environmental literacy and behavior in California. Before joining the Foundation, Angie was the program officer at the Pacific Forest & Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, where she oversaw grant giving and evaluation to connect California’s youth with the outdoors. Angie was also an associate program officer at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where her grantmaking focused on youth development and children’s health insurance. Angie holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University. She has served on the national board of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) and is a past chair of the Bay Area EPIP chapter.

Angie Chen
Reynaldo Decerega, a native of Panama, began his professional career as a history teacher at a private school in Northern Virginia where he also coached athletic teams.  He was recognized for his teaching efforts by being nominated to the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program. Reynaldo has also worked at The Washington Center, where he ran the Americas Program, Cordova y Fernos Program and The Pilar Barbosa Teacher Program. He worked with the Puerto Rican Legislature and private sector to secure scholarship funding for interns.  Reynaldo also worked at The Department of Labor in the Division of Youth Services helping organizations implement national projects. Reynaldo is an avid basketball trainer and has had the opportunity to do trainings in Panama and the Canary Islands.  In 2009, he was chosen by the Spanish Embassy to attend the Jovenes Lideres Program in Madrid and Santander.  In 2010, he was nominated as a finalist for the MillerCoors Lideres Program. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his M.A. from the University of Miami.

Kevin Flynn is the Director of Recruitment and Candidate Services at Commongood Careers.  Kevin began his career working with high-risk and gang-involved youth in cities throughout the country while replicating a successful model for youth violence prevention. In his current role at Commongood Careers, he has led over 80 executive searches for nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs including Public Allies, College Summit and Year Up.  In addition, Kevin manages Commongood’s career advising program.  He has presented on the topic of human capital in the nonprofit sector at universities including MIT, Harvard, Yale and Boston University, and at the national conferences of KIPP Schools, Independent Sector and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy.  Kevin attended Boston College and is a founding board member of the Boston chapter of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN). He is an active volunteer with a number of his clients, including Greenlight Fund, Citizen Schools and Youth Villages.

Elisha Gilliam is a Senior Associate with Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Child Welfare Strategy Group (CWSG).  During her career Elisha has focused extensively on fostering better outcomes for vulnerable youth. Prior to Casey, Elisha served as a College Advisor with DC’s College Access Program, assisting public school students achieve their aspirations of attending college. As a Strategic Consultant with Casey, she works intensively with state and local leaders to transform public child serving systems to improve service delivery and accountability. Some of her notable work includes helping Louisiana’s juvenile service agency evolve from a punitive adult corrections model to one that utilizes an evidence-based practice framework to address youth’s therapeutic needs. Additionally she has worked on public system reform efforts in Virginia, Maryland and California. In her free time, Elisha mentors teenagers and young adults, and speaks to youth about attaining a higher education.  She received her BA in Psychology from Hampton University with Departmental Honors and an MPA from American University in Washington, DC. In 2009, Elisha was selected as National Finalist for The White House Fellowship.

Roxanne Hanson is Director of Education and Consulting at Tides where she leads technical assistance, project consulting, educational programs, and product development on nonprofit shared space and services, primarily through The Nonproft Centers Network.  Prior to joining Tides, Roxanne spent twelve years working in the national and international nonprofit community based in Washington, DC.  She directed communications, fundraising, and travel programs for Witness for Peace, an advocacy organization focused on Latin America.  Before that, Roxanne worked for Points of Light Foundation as Training and Consulting Manager after working in the Volunteer Resources department at Whitman-Walker Clinic.  Roxanne has provided marketing, program and planning consultation for a variety of diverse social change organizations throughout the US, Canada and Central America.  She has been an active board member of community arts organizations and served as a volunteer trainer.  Roxanne holds a BA in International Relations from American University.

Ayofemi Kirby is the Director of Strategy and Programs for Mobilize.org where she is responsible for developing and executing the organization's strategy to engage and invest in Millennial civic entrepreneurs.  Ayofemi is formerly the Mobilize.org Director of Communications, where she improved  the organization's online and media presence, develop the marketing and branding of the Target 2020 Education Summit Series and launched Mobilize.org’s first online video competition. Prior to joining Mobilize.org, Ayofemi was the community director for GenerationEngage Charlotte where she developed and launched Charlotte’s first interactive online voting guide and developed programs to engage young adults in the local democratic process. Ayofemi has been featured in an ITVS documentary for her community activism and was named "One of Seven Shaping Our Region" and a "Community Hero" by the Charlotte Observer for her work with GenerationEngage. She is currently pursuing her master's in public communication at American University’s School of Communication where she is also serving as president of the graduate school council.

Amy Lazarus is the first Executive Director of Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN), an initiative of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue. SDCN develops everyday leaders who engage differences as strengths to improve their campuses, workplaces and communities. Within  18 months under her tenure, the number of participants grew from 600 to 2600, and earned revenue increased by 350%. Amy previously worked at ICF International, consulting with federal agencies on leadership development and human capital. After participating in the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in Pittsburgh, she earned an M.S. in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School, where she received the Dean’s Diversity Fellowship and Dean’s Leadership Fellowship. As an undergraduate at Duke University, she co-founded the student-run Center for Race Relations and the Common Ground diversity immersion retreat to create safe spaces for meaningful interaction. Hailing from Shaker Heights, OH, Amy lives in Washington, DC and serves on the board of Operation Understanding DC.

Dan McCabe is Chief Development Officer of Network for Good, a national nonprofit that drives $150 million in donations to more than 45,000 organizations annually.  Through leadership roles in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors, he has launched multiple social impact initiatives, not the least of which includes devising and championing what is now known as the “Framing Hope” product donation program at The Home Depot. This environmental initiative doubled charitable giving for the company and has contributed over $100 million in merchandise to more than 1000 nonprofits since its inception just a few years ago.  Dan later joined Gifts In Kind International to help other Fortune 500 corporations such as Mattel, HP, and Disney to implement similar programs.  Dan began his career as executive director of Break Away, a national nonprofit that engages thousands of college students in school break-oriented volunteerism and active citizenship.  He earned a management degree from Florida State University and an MBA from Wake Forest University.

Jane Mugo is Director of Internal Controls at Habitat for Humanity International, a Christian homebuilding organization that builds simple, decent homes in partnership with people in need who are living in substandard conditions.  Her responsibilities include risk management and mitigation.  She is currently managing a hands-on initiative to implement controls across the organization’s worldwide operations.   Prior to joining Habitat, she worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Kenya and the U.S.    She has provided consultation for school and nonprofit boards and served on the board of directors of Logos Christian School in Kenya. Currently, she assists underprivileged schools in Kenya set up libraries by collecting donated books.  She has also participated in mentorship initiatives through faith and community-based programs.She holds a Law degree from the University of Nairobi, an International MBA from Temple University and a CPA certification in Kenya.

Claire Neal is the Senior Director for Mission at LIVESTRONG.  Claire joined LIVESTRONG in 2004 and now oversees the organization’s mission-related activities, including health policy, programs and partnerships, the young adult alliance, patient navigation and research and evaluation. As the daughter of a pediatric oncologist, Claire grew up volunteering in cancer hospitals and attending Camp Kemo with children with cancer.  She has a BA in public health and human development from Duke University.  She received her MPH from Tulane’s School of Public Health and studied Primary Health Care Management at the ASEAN Institute of Health and Development in Thailand.  Claire also served in the Peace Corps in Mali.  Her experience includes developing and coordinating health education programs and health worker trainings for both government and non-profit organizations.  At LIVESTRONG, Claire works to ensure people affected by cancer get the resources and support they need.

Mayur Patel is Vice President of Strategy and Assessment at the Knight Foundation, where he is responsible for aiding ongoing strategy development, and leading the foundation's research and evaluation activities. Prior to Knight, Mr Patel worked for Oxfam in the UK and Kenya, and as a trade policy advisor to Realizing Rights. He was previously a fellow with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva and the EVA Business and Policy Forum in Helsinki. He serves on Ashoka's impact advisory group and the advisory board for the South Florida Community Development Corporation. A Rhodes Scholar, Mr Patel is completing a doctorate in international development at the University of Oxford, from which he also earned a master’s degree. Prior to attending Oxford, he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Lisa Flick Wilson  has more than 15 years of non-profit leadership.  Currently as Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Harwood Institute, Lisa manages alliances and partnerships with national, regional and local organizations through forging innovative strategies to apply Harwood’s work. Prior to joining Harwood, Lisa served as a Program Officer in Civic and Philanthropic Engagement with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. At Kellogg, Lisa worked on initiatives to determine and execute investment strategies, assess policy needs and determine outcome targets.  Lisa also spent ten years with HandsOn Network. At HandsOn, Lisa served in almost every position and helped it grow from a group of 24 loosely federated organizations to more than 380 affiliates worldwide and eventually merge with Points of Light to create the largest volunteer organization in the world. Before joining HandsOn Network, Lisa completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Policy, and prior to Coro she served with AmeriCorps for two years.  Lisa is a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, GA. 

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