We’re a group of passionate individuals working
to help build tomorrow’s workforce.

Eshauna Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Eshauna joined Urban Alliance in March 2013. As CEO, Eshauna provides leadership in key areas including development, policy and advocacy, communications, and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Eshauna worked as a Senior Policy Advisor in the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education where she led the development of Raise DC, the District’s first cradle-to-career partnership focused on improving educational and workforce development outcomes for DC youth from 0-24.

Between 2006-2010, Eshauna served as the founding Executive Director of the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, a coalition of over 100 youth-serving organizations focused on youth employment, youth homelessness and strengthening out-of-school-time supports. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Texas, Austin.

Stella Afolabi

Operations Associate

Stella Afolabi is a 2012 Urban Alliance alumna and joined the team full-time as an Operations Associate in late 2017. Through Urban Alliance, Stella held internships at the Boston Consulting Group and Children’s National Medical Center. Prior to taking her current role, Stella worked as a part-time administrative assistant intern to Urban Alliance’s D.C. Alumni Director. Stella holds a B.S. in biology from Howard University.

Deirdre Ball

Donor Relations Associate

Deirdre joined Urban Alliance in August 2017. She graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland with a B.A. in Political Science. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Deirdre worked as a giving manager for Goucher College’s Alumni Association. As a Donor Relations Associate, Deirdre will provide essential administrative and technical support to the development team. She is grateful to have the opportunity to work at Urban Alliance and empower youth.

Susan Baumbach

Program Evaluation Coordinator

Susan joined Urban Alliance in March 2017 as a Program Evaluation Coordinator. Susan received her B.S. in Math and Economics at the University of Pittsburgh and a M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Over the past several years, Susan has mentored a high school student once a week with Community Club, a tutoring organization located in downtown DC. Susan is excited to continue working in youth development to provide valuable internship experiences.

Sokeng Cleary

Chief People Officer

Sokeng returned to Urban Alliance in May 2014 as Director of Special Projects, and now serves as Chief People Officer. She began her Urban Alliance career in 2007 as a Program Coordinator for the World Bank and Fannie Mae summer internship program. Despite leaving the D.C. area, she continued to support Urban Alliance as a consultant, working on curriculum development and assisting with Urban Alliance’s expansion into Chicago. Sokeng joined Teach For America after college and taught in Phoenix, Arizona. She also led an after school and summer youth center in South Central Los Angeles. Sokeng received her undergraduate degree from University of Maryland, College Park and her Masters in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Nicole Clegg

Human Resources Manager

Nicole joined Urban Alliance in August of 2004 and is a Washington, D.C. native. She graduated from Eastern Senior High School and received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She manages the day-to-day operations of the Urban Alliance office.

Sandra Cole

Finance Director

Sandra Cole serves as Finance Director at Urban Alliance. She has worked with Urban Alliance in various finance and accounting capacities since 2003. Sandra began her career in public accounting and has experience with a variety of corporate and private clients. Sandra is a native of southern New Jersey and received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting Information Systems from Virginia Tech.

Julie Farkas

Chief Strategic Growth Officer

Julie joined Urban Alliance in March 2013. Julie cultivates strategic partnerships with community leaders, institutions and businesses. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Julie worked as the Senior Program Officer at the Consumer Health Foundation, where she created and managed their strategic grants initiatives for twelve years.

Before that, Julie designed and directed the LifeWorks employment program at the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless. Julie began her career at the Enterprise Foundation where she helped launch a national network of employment programs in low-income communities. Julie is a graduate of TC Williams High School, one of the schools in UA’s Virginia expansion, and the University of Virginia. She is passionate about helping high school seniors continue their education and move on to rewarding careers and lives of self-sufficiency.

Kiara Holland

Business and Finance Associate

Kiara joined Urban Alliance as the Operations Associate for the DC Office in October 2015. In her current role as Business and Finance Associate, Kiara maintains proper controls surrounding financial transactions and manages many finance related responsibilities as our organization continues to grow. Prior to Urban Alliance, Kiara worked as a Personal Assistant and Nanny where she developed a passion for working with youth. She earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Accounting from Shaw University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Capella University.

Jeremy Ly

National Director of Program Quality

Jeremy joined the Urban Alliance Chicago team in 2013 where he served as Program Coordinator and then Program Director. In November 2018, Jeremy became National Director of Program Quality. Previously, he spent three years teaching elementary school on Chicago’s South Side through Teach For America. After his time with Teach for America, Jeremy worked for a U.S. Congresswoman who fought to ensure that the American Dream was possible for everyone. Most recently, Jeremy taught work-readiness skills to at-risk GED youth at Joliet Junior College, the nation’s first community college. Jeremy is a lifelong Chicago-area resident and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Illinois State University.

Chiara Montecchi

Development Associate

Chiara joined the Urban Alliance team in October 2016 as Development Associate for the Chicago region. Most recently, she worked as Major Gift Officer for PAWS Chicago, the city’s leading no-kill animal shelter. Before that, she worked for DePaul University, first as a receptionist, then as a Development Officer for four years. Chiara earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University, and holds a Master of Science in International Public Service from DePaul University.

Tyran Omary

National Alumni Director

Tyran joined Urban Alliance in June 2012 as a DC Program Coordinator and moved to the DC Program Director position in 2013. In August 2016, she transitioned to her current role where her focus is to support Alumni Services across all regions and create systems to connect all our alumni to pathways of opportunity.Tyran has over ten years of experience working in the field of youth development. Prior to Urban Alliance, she worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago in their Teen REACH Program, The Children’s Aid Society with their Scholarship and College Guidance Program and Futures and Options with their Internship and Career Development Program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the Chowan University.

Lauren Rice

Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

Lauren joined Urban Alliance in June 2016 as a Data Quality Coordinator, and became Monitoring and Evaluation Manager in May 2018. She graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A. in Political Science and received a Masters of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Non-Profit Programs from the George Washington University. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Lauren worked in various non-profit and government organizations including Charter Board Partners, Reach Out and Read Colorado, Denver Rescue Mission and the Colorado Governor’s Office. Lauren found a passion for working with youth during her seven years of coaching swimming at local YMCAs and club teams.

Paul Remy

Development Director

Paul Remy joined the Urban Alliance staff as a Development Associate in 2014, then served as Business Development Director, and became Development Director in November 2018. Paul received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Multimedia Design from Duquesne University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law. Prior to joining Urban Alliance, Paul participated in a number of public interest internships and volunteered with several non-profit youth organizations. He looks forward to supporting underserved youth through meaningful work with Urban Alliance.

Emily Rogers

Communications Director

Emily Rogers joined Urban Alliance in July 2017 as Communications Manager and became Communications Director in October 2018. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and holds a master’s degree in political communication from American University. After graduate school, Emily worked at the Democratic National Committee during the 2012 presidential campaign. She then spent four years in the communications office of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson where she served as his press secretary.

Jason Rotolo

Accounting Manager

Jason joined Urban Alliance in 2013 as the Chicago Program Associate and now serves as Accounting Manager.  In addition to Jason’s existing management of HSIP invoicing and cost reimbursable contracts, he will be responsible for all aspects of the monthly accounting close processes and will ensure Urban Alliance can report upon financial results in a timely manner.  Jason works to ensure Urban Alliance is a good steward of public and private funds and that information is available for timely and accurate reporting.  He is a graduate of SUNY at Buffalo and received a Master’s Degree in Education from DePaul University.

Jose Sousa

Chief Administrative Officer

Jose C. Sousa has served as Urban Alliance’s Chief Administrative Officer since 2013. Previously, he spent a decade in public service, first with the City of Newark, NJ, and later with the Government of the District of Columbia. During his time at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) in Washington, D.C., Jose served as Project Manager, Director of Communications, and ultimately as Deputy Chief of Staff where he helped to oversee hiring and operations while managing communications and community outreach for the agency. In his hometown of Newark, NJ, he spent four years as a management assistant working on community and economic development issues in the Office of the Mayor.

Jose graduated from the Catholic University of America with a bachelor’s degree in politics. He is a 2017 graduate of the Leadership Montgomery core program and has served on the Board of Trustees of Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School since 2016.

Charlie Thompson

Curriculum Outreach Director

Charlie earned a degree in English Language and Literature in 2006 from Bowie State University. After working with the Baltimore City Teaching Residency program, Charlie went on to serve as a High School English Teacher at Dunbar High School. After earning a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University, Charlie served as a University Supervisor for the institution. Her work with teacher preparation led her to accept roles as both a Mentor Teacher and an Intake Specialist for the Baltimore City Teaching Residency program. Charlie joined Urban Alliance as a Curriculum Outreach Associate in May 2016. She returned to UA as Curriculum Outreach Director in late 2017. She maintains a steadfast commitment to youth advocacy and providing students with enriching learning opportunities.

Dan Tsin

Chief Impact Officer

Dan serves as the Chief Impact Officer at Urban Alliance, a national youth development nonprofit. Dan works to create alignment, strategic direction, and shared measurement across Urban Alliance’s program implementation and support services to maximize impact. He leads the organization’s evaluation work, ensuring that Urban Alliance has high-quality, accurate data to drive program and operations-level decision-making, and frequently presents at national conferences and seminars. Through his work, Urban Alliance is now recognized as a leader in nonprofit performance management and evaluation.

Before joining Urban Alliance in 2012, Dan spent three years in consulting before transitioning to the social sector while working for D.C. Public Schools. Dan graduated from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in finance and government, and holds a master’s degree in public policy with a concentration in program evaluation and education policy from George Washington University.

Dan also serves on the board of the National Youth Employment Coalition.

Isabella Ulloa

Director of New Site Development

Isabella joined Urban Alliance in August 2017 to identify and launch its expansion to a fifth region. As Director of New Site Development, she implements strategic partnerships for sustainable growth, collaborates with public and private sector stakeholders to create infrastructure for the organization’s evidence-based programs, and supports senior leadership with business development. Until January 2017, Isabella served in the Obama Administration as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Homeland Security. In this capacity, she primarily collaborated with senior advisors to ensure the Secretary was prepared to make informed decisions about national security issues. Isabella earned a B.A. in International Relations with a concentration in International Security and minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Tufts University.

Meaghan Woodbury

Chief Operating Officer

Meaghan graduated from Loyola College of Maryland in 2003 with a degree in Political Science. After graduation, Meaghan worked for Catholic Relief Services then the Baltimore City Teaching Residency where she completed a Master’s Degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University while teaching 6th and 8th grade social studies at Harlem Park Middle School. Meaghan began working as a Program Coordinator for the Urban Alliance in July 2007.

Meaghan was the Program Manager and Director for the Urban Alliance Baltimore Internship Program from 2008 to 2010. In 2010, Meaghan became the Director of Corporate Partnerships and in August 2012, Meaghan was promoted to become the Chief of Strategic Partnerships, then Chief Operating Officer in 2014.