Austin Halbert, Chair & Project Lead of ImpactEd
Austin is CEO of ImpactEd, a platform bridging universities with businesses, NGOs, and governments to solve pressing challenges and reduce the skills gap. Since founding ImpactEd in 2017, he has led partnerships to connect leading organizations like NASA, Unilever, and H&M with a variety of universities including Stanford, Vanderbilt, and University of Illinois. He previously served as G20 Young Global Changer, carried out research on sustainable development in Sweden as a Fulbright Scholar, and authored a book entitled The American Workday. As Chair of the Youth Working Group, Austin directs his energy towards accelerating the impact of youth, with a focus on championing efforts to improve the quality of education and reduce economic inequality. Austin is a native of rural North Carolina.
Neha Dalal, Vice Chair
Neha currently serves as the program and operations coordinator at the Institute for College Access and Success, an independent nonprofit. Previously, she helped launch a higher education nonprofit. Before that she was a staff economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, advising the President and senior staff on economic opportunity policy areas including early, K-12, and higher education. Neha’s experience also includes senior roles in other education related nonprofits, volunteer teaching and mentoring domestically and internationally, education related economics research at Harvard, and organizing and representing youth in a variety of capacities. She has been recognized nationally and internationally for her work on education and youth issues. At 16, she was admitted to Harvard, where she completed a bachelor's and master's in a combination of mathematics, economics, and education within four years.
Joyce Kim, Director of Research and Policy & Project Lead of Global Hangouts
Joyce is currently an MPhil candidate and Rotary Global Grant Scholar at the University of Cambridge studying Education, Globalization and International Development. Her research interests include higher education, global competencies and 21st century skills, and civic engagement of immigrant populations. Her prior employment experience includes program evaluation for education non-profits, research as a Fulbright fellow in South Korea, curriculum design and facilitation based on experiential learning, and international education policy analysis at the U.S. Department of Education and the UN. She graduated magna cum laude at the University of Pennsylvania where she founded an organization at the nexus of intercultural dialogue and community engagement, chaired an undergraduate student coalition of the university's cultural and ethnic groups, and served as Student Body President.
Donya Nasser, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Donya is a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at the Truman Center for National Policy, a progressive think tank that identifies, trains, and positions leaders across America. Prior to this role, Donya pursued her Masters in Iranian Studies at SOAS, University of London, as a John Loiello and Kamran Djam Scholar. She is passionate about advocating for gender equality and reproductive justice; empowering women, youth, and minorities to become civically engaged, and contributing to Middle East policy while combating stigmas and stereotypes. Donya serves as the youngest Board Director of both the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund Boards, as well as Youth Director on the Governing Council of the International Planned Parenthood Fund. Donya served as the 2015-2016 U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations where she focused on bringing the work of the UN to youth globally while representing them at the international institution. She believes in the power of galvanizing younger generations, who embody the potential of our future to secure equality and justice for all. She was honored as a 2014 Glamour Top 10 College Woman, 2014 Truman Scholar, and 2015 White House Intern in the Office of Legislative Affairs.
Brenna Parker, Communications Director
Brenna is a communications and digital storyteller based in Washington, DC. She is currently the Deputy Director of Outreach for David Blair, a candidate for County Executive in Montgomery County in Maryland. Previously, she worked at Civic Nation, running digital for Dr. Jill Biden's College Promise Campaign.
She's collaborated on other projects with organizations such as the Biden Foundation, Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher/Better Make Room initiative, The United State of Women, Newseum Institute, Knight Foundation, Poynter Institute, Hillary for Ohio, Student Veterans of America and others on a local and national level.
She is passionate about connecting young people to mentors and improving global girls education. Parker studied abroad in the Greater Accra region in Ghana and looking at education access. She is a graduate of Kent State University with a degree in Public Relations and Visual Journalism.
Jessica Ou, Media Manager and Project Lead of From the Desk of the Youth Working Group
Jessica is passionate about women's rights and youth activism. She has been an advocate of youth representation in organizations and has served on the Youth Advisory Councils of Lady Gaga’s Born this Way Foundation, the American Association of University Women, Crisis Text Line (the world’s first 24/7 teen text line), and UNICEF’s Chinese Children Initiative. In college, Jessica served on the Working Group of the University of California President's Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and founded Young Women in Leadership, a nonprofit professional mentorship program connecting and empowering female students. She has also worked with Facebook's InspirED initiative and Intel's Hack Harassment Coalition to create positive social environments for youth to thrive in. She hopes to expand the youth voice and work with other passionate leaders through her work with the Youth Working Group. Jessica studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received a B.A. in Social Welfare and B.S. in Business Administration.
Aletta Brady, Project Lead of Our Climate Voice
Aletta is a Program Analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Inspector General. Her current projects include a program evaluation on the internal controls for EPA's Vehicle Emissions Testing Program, prompted, in part, by the Volkswagen emissions violations announced by EPA in 2015. In addition to her work at ELI, she is a member of the DC-Sierra Club Environmental Justice Committee and the Roosevelt Institute network. Previously, she worked at the Environmental Law Institute where her research focused on supporting healthy Gulf of Mexico communities and ecosystems, using federal law towards environmental justice, and international environmental dispute resolution. Prior to ELI, her work included both qualitative and quantitative research on transnational freshwater negotiation, mechanisms for stronger public participation in the political process, and developing interview mechanisms for advancing effective multi-stakeholder engagement. She has received awards for public speaking, quantitative analysis, creative writing, research excellence, leadership, and moral excellence. Additionally, she was a Department of State Critical Language Scholar in Amman, Jordan in 2015. Aletta received a BA (Honors) in Political Science from Wesleyan University in 2015.
William Fernandez, Project Lead of the Global Youth Case Competition
Will is a Youth Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Guadalupe de Cartago, Costa Rica where he works to promote positive youth development through a focus on mentorship, public health, and entrepreneurship. Prior to his work with Peace Corps, he has helped co-found and support a variety of ventures including service-learning organization Allow Good, SaaS EdTech company EnglishCo, the Latino Donor Collaborative, and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He also has worked with the Office of U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin, consulting firm 270 Strategies, Costa Rican-based venture capital firm Carao Ventures, and the White House National Economic Council. He hopes to continue to work on advocating for education equity, youth & minority entrepreneurship, and civic engagement within the functions of the YWG and hopes to assist in furthering its long-term sustainability. Will received a BA (Honors) in History, with a focus on 20th Century U.S. Social and Economic Policy, from The University of Chicago in 2015, where he was also recognized as a recipient of the Howell Murray Alumni Association Award for outstanding contributions to the University community.
Katy has been involved with the Youth Working Group since 2014. She is interested in the intersection of education and social justice. Katy served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in South Africa in 2016 and currently works at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. She has studied and conducted research about education and development in Kenya, Tanzania, and Switzerland. She has worked with public, multilateral, and nongovernmental organizations to support peace education curriculum planning and to develop policy proposals about social-emotional learning and restorative justice. She graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Peace and Justice Studies in 2015.
Saad is an environmental scientist, photographer and producer. He graduated from Harvard University where he studied Environmental Science and Public Policy with a minor in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. He co-wrote Harvard University's Sustainability Plan and has spoken at the United Nations' Commission For Social Development. He is a member of the National Parks Conservation Association’s Next Generation Advisory Council. He founded Saad Amer Design, a sustainability-minded design hub. His photography has been published by National Geographic, Vogue Italia, Bund Magazine (China) and more. He has produced and hosted videos for PBS. His graphics have been used by NBC and PBS NewsHour. He received the Congressional Artist Award from the U.S. House of Representatives, won an $80,000 First Place Prize from Samsung’s Solve For Tomorrow Environmental Video Contest and has exhibited his work in New York and Boston.
Nathaniel Erb, Chair Emeritus
Nathaniel comes to the Working Group having spent several years supporting the efforts of UNESCO in the U.S. During his undergraduate studies, Nathaniel worked with the UNESCO Center for Peace as the Director of Youth Initiatives. In 2013, he was appointed V.P. of Operations for the newly formed U.S. Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations where he represented the nation’s “grassroots” UNESCO efforts on the global stage. In these roles, Nathaniel regularly contributed to and led initiatives to engage youth, marking their undeniable value to international peace. When not lending himself to UNESCO initiatives, Nathaniel works on a number of social justice issues. He is a cofounder of Worthwhile:GO, a human trafficking awareness organization, and a cofounder of the sustainable clothing brand, Dashing Emancipation. In 2015, Nathaniel started Erb & Associates, a policy and strategic development firm that focuses on tackling the world's most pressing needs by empowering those on the front lines of social change.