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To reach any of our national staff members by phone, please call (212) 293-5480 and enter the extension listed below.


NATIONAL STAFF e


Donna Lawrence
President & CEO
(212) 293-5486 | e-mail

Cheryl Alleyne
Office Manager
(212) 293-5480 | e-mail

Lori Donoho
Managing Director of Affiliate Relations
(301) 686-9380 | e-mail

Courtney Joseph
Accountant

Quinton Lampkin
Manager, Postsecondary & Alumni Engagement
(212) 293-5477 | e-mail

Julie McAllister
Director of Development
(212) 293-5481 | e-mail

Eugena Oh 
(212) 293-5482 | e-mail

Laura Persichette Owens
Director of Strategic Initiatives
(212) 293-5483 | e-mail

Sonali Thimmaya
Director of Finance & Administration
(212) 293-5484 | e-mail

Melodi White
Managing Director of Data & Knowledge Management
(212) 293-5485 | e-mail




Donna Lawrence

President & CEO


Donna Lawrence has extensive experience in advocacy and policy development in support of disadvantaged children, youth and families. She spent many years at the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) where she served in both a statewide role as Director of the CDF-NY office and in a national position as Vice President of National Field Operations. She also worked as Director of the Mayor's Office for Children and Families under New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and was his Senior Policy Advisor on Children and Youth when he was Manhattan Borough President.

Donna most recently served as Vice President at the JPB Foundation, a relatively new family foundation with a grantmaking program that will grow to over $200M annually. Prior to this, Donna was the Children & Youth Programme Director at The Atlantic Philanthropies, responsible for directing a $100M global grant making program for disadvantaged children and youth, and the Executive Director of The Riggio Foundation, where she worked to develop a strategic social justice agenda and funding guidelines for the foundation, and served as a liaison to existing grantees. In that position she managed a $20M grant for building 150 homes for poor New Orleans families who lost their homes as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Prior to joining the Riggio Foundation, she was the Executive Director of the New York office of the Susan Komen Breast Cancer foundation. In addition to these, Donna has held many other leadership and managerial roles in her professional career.

Donna has an M.A. in Political Science from Columbia University and a B.S. in Social Work from Cornell University. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Revson Fellowship and Outstanding Women Achievers. Donna brings a wealth of experience in the foundation, government and not-for-profit sectors; strong organisational and managerial skills, and a commitment to work for social justice and equality for all people.




Cheryl Alleyne
Office Manager

Cheryl joined the "I Have A Dream" staff in January 2003. In addition to her duties as Office Manager, she provides general administrative support to the national staff.

Prior to joining "I Have A Dream", Cheryl worked at the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), where she was a member of the national staff for 13 years. She studied computer programming at Fordham University. Cheryl is a member of the North Central Bronx Hospital Auxiliary Board advocating for improved patient care for a predominantly immigrant community.



Lori A. Donoho
Managing Director of Affiliate Relations 

Lori joined the "I Have A Dream" national team in November 2004 as the Director of Programs after serving six years as the Program Director of an "I Have A Dream" program in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Chris & Sue White. Eighty-six percent of her Dreamers graduated from high school, and 70% entered higher education. Now the Managing Director of Affiliate Relations, Lori is responsible for providing guidance, training, and technical assistance to the "I Have A Dream" network.

Immediately prior to working with "I Have A Dream", Lori served as an Education Program Specialist with the Eisenhower Consortium for Mathematics and Science Education at SERVE (Southeast Regional Vision for Education), where she provided research-based technical assistance and professional development for mathematics and science education reform to school systems. Lori was also a Teach for America charter corps member, teaching mathematics at Northdale Magnet Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She then went on to serve as the Southeast Regional Recruiter for Teach For America. Lori graduated from Emory University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science. She plays an active role in her church as a member of the drama ministry and women's group, and through her work with the church's high school.



Courtney Joseph
Accountant


Courtney helps to manage the finances part-time at the "I Have A Dream" Foundation. Courtney previously worked at The Children's Scholarship Fund as a Controller for five years. After that tenure, he started his own accounting and bookkeeping company and works as a tax preparer.

A graduate of Iona College with a bachelor's degree in accounting, Courtney serves as treasurer for a football league and a softball league in New York City, and also plays both sports.



Quinton Lampkin
Manager, Postsecondary & Alumni Engagement


Quinton joined the National "I Have A Dream" Foundation in January 2012. He leads the development and implementation of the Foundation's postsecondary and alumni engagement strategy, overseeing a network of 12,408 alumni and 3,114 future alumni as they progress through and complete postsecondary education, pursue meaningful and rewarding careers, and maintain relationships with the "I Have A Dream" Family.

Quinton previously served as an intern at the White House where he contributed to the strategy and development of President Obama's education policies regarding college affordability, career and technical education, STEM education, early learning education, and education innovation. Prior to his White House internship, Quinton graduated from the University of Cambridge, where he completed an interdisciplinary Masters in politics, development, and education with a focus on social entrepreneurship and online learning within the American education sector. Additionally, Quinton holds a business administration degree from American University and a Masters degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. An outdoor enthusiast, he enjoys camping, hiking and whitewater rafting. He also enjoys poetry slams and short films.



Julie McAllister
Director of Development


Julie joined the "I Have A Dream" Foundation in September 2012. As Director of Development, Julie will be responsible for implementing a fundraising strategy and creating the marketing materials for the Foundation. Prior to joining "I Have A Dream", Julie worked as an associate in the Project Funds Group at Brookfield Asset Management, a global alternative asset manager. There she focused on the marketing and fundraising effort for a number of Brookfield sponsored private equity funds. Prior to that Julie was an associate in the Real Estate Finance & Securitization Group at Credit Suisse where she was responsible for marketing and selling below investment grade commercial real estate debt.

The compelling mission of "I Have A Dream" and the passion exhibited by each of her coworkers is what drew Julie to the Foundation. Julie received a B.A. in European History from the University of Rochester. In her free time, Julie enjoys running, cooking and spending time with her family.



Eugena Oh


Eugena joined the "I Have A Dream" Foundation in November 2011 and serves as IHDF's Legal Counsel, ensuring legal and regulatory compliance while promoting IHDF's interests in matters related to contracts, general business law, risk management, and insurance. Prior to joining "I Have A Dream," Eugena practiced commercial and products liability law, and served in development, strategy, and operations roles within several non-profit organizations, including Teach For America - New York City, Rock The Vote, and Washington State Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Eugena received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and her J.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Outside of work, Eugena supports the work of the Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA) as well as Asian and Pacific Islander America Vote (APIAVote), and is an active alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, serving on the board of the New York UPenn Asian Alumni Network and as a member of the Penn Secondary Schools Committee. She enjoys practicing yoga, running, cooking, and eating delicious and new foods. 



Laura Persichette Owens
Director of Strategic Initiatives

As the Director of Strategic Initiatives, Laura is responsible for leading critical cross-functional initiatives aimed at developing and testing new programming or program models and improving key processes across the organization, including an innovative College Savings Account initiative aimed at helping more students save for post-secondary education.

Laura Persichette Owens joined the "I Have A Dream" Foundation in December 2011. Before joining "I Have A Dream," Laura worked at the New York City Department of Education on a variety of projects. In her most recent role as Director of Talent for the Division of Academics, Performance, and Support, Laura was responsible for all human resource processes across a division of 300 people and directed key projects and pilots, including various performance management processes, a division staff satisfaction survey, and staff professional development opportunities. Prior to that role, Laura worked as a project manager on the ARIS project, a website that provides parents, principals and teachers across NYC the ability to view student information, explore instructional resources, and collaborate with other educators across the city. Laura also worked in the Division of Portfolio Planning supporting new school development for the Office of Charter Schools.

Laura has a Master of Public Administration from NYU Wagner and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola University Maryland. She serves on the Director's Council for Coney Island Prep Charter School and in her spare time enjoys running, cooking, and traveling.



Sonali Thimmaya

Director of Finance and Administration

Sonali has a Masters in Finance from the London Business School and a Bachelors in Commerce (Major in Finance) from McGill University, Canada. Previously, Sonali was a Vice President at Industry Corporate Finance Ltd., a London based specialist investment bank focused on industrial mergers & acquisitions. There, she was responsible for all aspects of sourcing and executing M&A transactions. Prior to business school, Sonali worked in the Treasury department of International Flavors & Fragrances, a specialty chemical company, in New York.

Sonali's interest in joining the IHDF team stems from her belief in the power of education. She is a strong believer in the positive impact that access to higher education can have, especially in terms of social and economic mobility.

She is an avid reader, sports fanatic and fitness enthusiast.



Melodi White
Managing Director of Data & Knowledge Management

As Managing Director of Data & Knowledge Management, Melodi is building out the foundation's infrastructure and expanding organizational capacity so that "I Have A Dream" can continue to help more students gain access to college.

Melodi joins the team with 10 years of private-sector experience as a management consultant for both PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. Over the years, she helped clients address technical issues through large-scale system implementations, developed reporting processes to track portfolio performance for global sales efforts, and drove education work streams for emerging solutions in Corporate Social Responsibility. More recently, Melodi decided to pursue her strong interests in education and public service. She holds a master's degree from Harvard's Graduate School of Education and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University.


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