Archives: Staff & Board Members

Lilly Andemicael

A strong believer in using language to drive social change, Lillian enjoys fusing her communications skills with her passion for social justice. 

Ana Garcia Noya

Ana has over 30 years of experience in accounting, including experience in government, education and non-for-profit accounting, among others. Ana was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where she started her professional career with one of the Big CPA firms, Ernst & Young, then held various positions as a Controller for a multinational company, Finance …

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Sherene Lewis

Passionate about and committed to helping and bringing people together. Specializing in personalizing diverse events and handling stressful event situations with grace. Creative designs with incredible attention to detail and structured + logistical event flow is a signature.

Christa Rowland

Christa Rowland believes in the power of uniting communities to create a brighter future for all children. Before joining the IEL team, Christa was the Director of Community Impact at the United Way of Treasure Valley in Boise, Idaho. She helped grow the system of Community Schools in Idaho, founded the Idaho Community School Learning …

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Dr. Donnie Ray Hale, Jr. Ed.D.

Dr. Donnie Hale is a proud father, husband, son, and friend that loves to create possibilities with others.  Dr. Donnie Hale serves as the Regional Deputy Director, Southern Regional TAC. He is responsible for engaging leaders and networks, coaching and supporting, and building capacity for community schools to positively impact youth and families.  Dr. Hale brings …

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Ryan Hurley

Community organizer. Loves family, basketball and poetry. Believes in the power of people to make meaningful change.

Michelle Lessly Blackburn

Michelle Lessly Blackburn joins IEL as a Policy Coordinator. She brings 15 years of experience in higher education administration and policy research. Her policy work focuses on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Clery Act, and accreditation innovation. Prior to joining IEL, Michelle was the Head of Student Success at an EdTech nonprofit …

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Sue Kay Kneifel

Sue Kay is joins the Center for Workforce Development team and will lead the training and technical assistance work on IEL’s Career Pathways project with the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services.  The project and Sue Kay’s leadership will assist the state in increasing employment and workforce outcomes for individuals with disabilities leading to …

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Eddie Koen

A Chicago native with roots in Alabama, Eddie has a passion for education, equity, and criminal justice reform.

Gaby Manriquez-Eschbach

Gaby has a background in domestic violence advocacy and a passion for providing inclusive, equitable, and trauma informed services. Always looking forward to her daily cup of coffee.

Mia Perry

Has a passion for creative storytelling that drives action and prioritizes social justice. Loves being a Hokie, exploring the great outdoors, and all things craft beer.

Ken Simon

Throughout his career in education, his passion & focus has been on ensuring that all students have access to deeper & more meaningful learning experiences.

Pele Le

Rooted in love and justice, Pele (he/him/his) is a second-generation Vietnamese American driven to create impact by bridging communities, building advocates & centering marginalized communities.

Dr. Emily (Li) Cheng

Emily (Li) Cheng joined IEL in 2019 as a senior program associate – data analyst, focusing on organizational metrics, large public data sets related to equity, and evaluation. She earned her Ph.D. in public policy and administration from Western Michigan University and her master’s degree in public administration from Binghamton University. She is also a …

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