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Welcoming our new Washington, D.C. Executive Director

A note from Urban Alliance CEO Eshauna Smith about the appointment of a new Washington, D.C. Executive Director:

L-R: Nathaniel Cole, Monique Rizer, Eshauna Smith

Dear Friends,

Summer is traditionally a period of transition for our interns – transitioning to full-time work, to college, to adulthood. But this summer is also a period of transition for Urban Alliance as we say goodbye to a long-time colleague and welcome a new one aboard. Nathaniel Cole will be leaving his post as Washington, D.C. Executive Director after eight years with the organization, with Monique Rizer stepping in to the role this week.

From the start, Nathaniel has been a role model and leader for our interns. As a former UA intern himself, he brought a deep empathy and understanding to his work that elevated everything he touched. Nathaniel has a profound passion for youth development that will be greatly missed, but we know that his commitment to improving outcomes for young people will last a lifetime. Nathaniel will be heading to America’s Promise Alliance where, as Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, he will continue to advocate for youth and youth-serving organizations on a national platform.

While we are sad to lose such an integral member of our team, we are also excited to welcome Monique Rizer to take leadership of our D.C. program. Access to opportunity has been a theme throughout Monique’s life and career, as a first-generation college student who relied on a Gates Millennium Scholarship to attend college, and later as an advocate for the young people we serve. Monique previously served as Executive Director of Opportunity Nation where she fought to close the opportunity gap facing low-income and disconnected youth. She’s eager for the chance to work directly with the young people she’s been fighting for these past few years.

We began our work in Washington, D.C. 22 years ago, and are thrilled to have Monique as a part of our team as our hometown region continues to grow and evolve. The combination of Monique’s personal journey and national experience will be invaluable as we increasingly work at the intersection of both direct service – always our top priority – and sharing our expertise and wisdom with the broader youth development field.

Monique will be working closely with Nathaniel and UA leadership to ensure a seamless transition as we begin the 2018-19 program year. Please join us in wishing Nathaniel all the best as he moves on from UA, and help us to welcome Monique to the UA family.

Thank you for your continued support.

Eshauna Smith, CEO