Our National Team
President & CEO
Eugena Oh is the President & CEO of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation, and is responsible for leading the national education nonprofit in setting and achieving its vision of college access and opportunity for all, regardless of the circumstances of one’s birth. She believes deeply in educational equity and is excited to be working with the passionate team at the national office, its volunteer leaders, and its affiliates and Dreamers, to create positive social change.
As the child of Korean immigrants who were first-generation college graduates, and a first-generation American college graduate herself, Oh understands that education – and in particular higher education – is key to achieving ones professional and personal dreams.
Since joining “I Have A Dream” in 2011, Oh has served in several roles including Chief Operating Officer, Interim President & CEO, Chief Governance Officer, Legal Counsel, and Director of Talent, Administration, and Special Projects. Prior to joining “I Have A Dream”, Oh 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.
Oh’s personal honors include being named to New York Non-Profit Media’s inaugural class of 40 Under 40 Rising Stars (2015) and receiving the University of Pennsylvania’s Asian Alumni Association’s Outstanding Alumna Award (2008). She serves on the University of Pennsylvania’s Alumni Board of Directors, is a member of the Brooklyn Historical Society’s George Hannah Society, and enjoys spending down time with her partner and children.
Chief Growth Officer
As the Chief Growth Officer, Lori Canova is responsible for the development of a national growth and expansion strategy for the “I Have A Dream” Foundation affiliate Network. In this new role, Lori will work to retain and grow existing affiliates, provide high-touch support to affiliate leadership and boards, and identify and steward new potential “I Have A Dream” affiliate locations.
Chief Program Officer
Richard Rivera has spent 30 years in education, starting off as a middle school teacher. He spent half of his career creating and leading college access and retention programs at Bank Street College of Education and Kingsborough Community College. He has spent the last 5 years working for non-profit organizations developing work-based learning programs.
Prior to joining I Have a Dream Foundation as Chief Program Office, Richard worked on two exciting challenges. For the past year and half he has been a part-time consultant with CareerWiseNYC developing a post-secondary pathway at CUNY for apprentice students to earn up to 30 college credits over the three-year program and has also helped developed and launched The Last Mile Talent Development initiative, a Cloud Computing Academy, which trains college students and recent graduates living in under-resourced communities and places them with employers.
Before he transitioned to consulting, he was a founding member at HERE TO HERE, a Bronx-based nonprofit that unites employers, educators, and community-based organizations to connect young people to family-sustaining careers and create a thriving and inclusive economy. During his time at HERE to HERE, he placed over 1,100 Bronx high school students in summer career exploration programs and internships. He also worked with the Bronx Borough President and 20 employers to create the Bronx Private Industry Council to hired over 300 summer interns.
Prior to joining HERE TO HERE, Richard was the Associate Director of Educational Programs at Goddard Riverside Community Center. He managed a youth department of 50 staff with a budget of $4.5 million that served over 2,000 youth and oversaw the Options Institute – a leader in providing professional development on college access to NYC Department of Education and CBO staff.
In 2007, Richard joined Kingsborough Community College as the founding Director of the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) a retention and graduation program where participant’s graduate rate (56%) was more than double the national average graduation rate of community colleges (23%).
In 2000, Richard founded the Institute for Leadership Excellence and Academic Development (I-LEAD) Program at Bank Street College, a leadership and college access program. During his tenure, 98% of all students attended college and raised over $4.2 million dollars.
Since 2002, Richard has periodically been an adjunct professor at Bank Street College (Current Issues in Urban Education), Bronx Community College (American Government) and recently at NYU School of Professional Studies (Leadership for a Changing World).
Richard is a graduate of Syracuse University and holds a master’s degree in Urban Affairs from Hunter College and a second in Public Administration from Baruch College.
Manager of National Data and Reporting
As the Manager of National Programs, Justine promotes the highest standard of programming across the “I Have A Dream” network. She trains and coaches sites across the country to deliver a college and career success curriculum. Additionally, she oversees national data management and reporting, ensuring staff members have the information they need to guide programming and best support students.
Before joining the national “I Have A Dream” Foundation team, Justine worked as a college counselor for first-generation students as the 12th Grade Program Manager at SEO Scholars and the NYU College Advising Corps. She has managed the college application process for a total of over 400 students. Her direct experience working with underserved students inspires her to ensure that all students get the resources and support they deserve. She holds a B.A. in history and minor in gender studies from Eugene Lang College, The New School. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.
In her free time, she enjoys exploring different neighborhoods and eating all the amazing food New York City has to offer.
Nadira Chase Saunders
Director of Operations
As the “I Have A Dream” Foundation’s Director of Operations, Nadira develops and cultivates operational excellence with the National headquarters’ functions and business operations.
Nadira’s passion for social justice work was born during her tenure as the director of health and fitness at Girls for Gender Equity, where she worked to enforce Title IX’s mandate to increase athletic opportunities for young women in middle and high school. She is a dedicated advocate for youth and LGBTQ folks, is committed to dismantling the institutionalized criminalization of race and poverty, and has done community organizing and published writings on sexual violence.
Nadira’s career also encompasses experience in production management and event administration for large scale concerts and festivals hosting between 50,000 and 80,000 attendees.
Nadira studied Psychology at Georgia State University and completed the American Sign Language program at Georgia Gwinnett College. She holds a National Interpreter Certification.