UNCF Leadership Team
- In March 2018, Murray was instrumental in Congress’ passage, and the Department of Education’s successful implementation of, a program which deferred thirteen institutions’ loans to the HBCU Capital Finance Program. This deferment, passed into law in only 52 days after its inception, was funded at $20 million a year and allowed those institutions a full reprieve from their federal loan burden while holding the loans from principal growth or interest
- In December 2019, Murray lead UNCF’s effort to unite the major education groups that represent minority groups’ interest to support the passage into law of the Fostering
- During the novel coronavirus pandemic, UNCF and Murray led a coalition of other minority education organizations in advocating to Congress the needs of HBCUs and their unique student The results were the following:
- The March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security (CARES) Act contained funding for most institutions of higher education for stabilization and students; but a special set-aside of $1.054 billion was added to the law specifically for HBCUs, TCUs, and
- In the December 2020 stimulus and appropriations bill, another set aside of $1.7 billion was added to the law specifically for HBCUs, TCUs, and Additionally, there was the permanent relief / forgiveness of debt of 45 HBCUs which was owed to the Department of Education. The loan relief totaled $1.5 billion forever wiped off the balance sheets of nearly half of all accredited HBCUs.
- In March of 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) contained a funding set-aside of nearly $3 billion for HBCUs and
- In fiscal years 2018 – 2021, in the regular appropriations process, HBCU programmatic increases alone total over $300 million
Dr. Michael L. Lomax
Since 2004, Dr. Michael L. Lomax has served as president and CEO of UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students and a leading advocate of college readiness: students’ need for an education, from pre-school through high school, that prepares them for college success. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised more than $3 billion and helped more than 110,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, UNCF’s work enables 60,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically black college and universities (HBCUs).
At UNCF’s helm, Dr. Lomax oversees the organization’s 400 scholarship programs, which award 10,000 scholarships a year. He also launched the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, which helps UNCF’s member HBCUs become stronger, more effective and more self-sustaining.
Under Dr. Lomax’s leadership, UNCF has fought for college readiness and education reform through partnerships with reform-focused leaders and organizations and worked to further advance HBCUs with Congress, the administration and the Department of Education. He serves on the boards of the KIPP Foundation, America’s Promise, Teach for America and the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Before joining UNCF, Dr. Lomax was president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a literature professor at UNCF-member institutions Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. He also founded the National Black Arts Festival, was a founding member of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission in Atlanta, the first African American elected to that post.
Early Reese is UNCF’s chief operating officer, responsible for directing UNCF’s internal operations, including legal, strategic planning, scholarship programs and services, finance, investments, human resources and administration and information technology.
Early has more than 35 years of financial management experience. Prior to joining UNCF, he was vice president of finance and treasurer of Trinity College in Hartford, CT, a liberal arts college with 2,200 students. Earlier, he was chief of finance and administration for the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, where he was an integral player in its business planning, budgeting, accounting, risk management and information technology activities. He also served in a variety of financial accounting and information services positions at Philip Morris. Early began his career in 1974 as an auditor for Price Waterhouse accounting firm.
A certified public accountant, Early graduated from Virginia State University in Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and received an executive MBA from The College of William and Mary.
He has previously served on the board of the Salvation Army in Hartford, the Urban League of Greater Hartford Advisory Board and the Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance Board in Connecticut. In Colorado, he was a member of the Urban League Board and the Chamber of Commerce. And in Virginia, he was a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, the Richmond Community Blood Service and the Virginia State University Board of Trustees.
Maurice E. Jenkins, Jr.
Maurice E. Jenkins, Jr. was appointed executive vice president for field development of UNCF in 2011, with an annual campaign goal of $40.2 million focusing on fundraising strategy and execution throughout all of UNCF’s field offices across the country. In 2012, he was appointed to lead UNCF’s consolidated development operation. Jenkins is now responsible for UNCF’s total annual campaign goal of $64.6 million.
He began his extensive career with UNCF as a project manager in 1990. In 1993, he was promoted to area development director for Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, and in 1997, promoted to vice president, Southeast Field Operations. In May 2006, he became senior vice president, Southern Field Operations, with supervisory responsibility for one of three UNCF regional offices in the U.S., overseeing fundraising activities of nine UNCF offices covering 13 southern U.S. states with an annual goal of $18.8 million.
Jenkins is a native of Washington, DC. He attended Howard University and the University of Maryland in College Park, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He moved to Atlanta to attend Clark Atlanta University Graduate School and later taught in the Atlanta Public Schools System.
LaJuan H. Lyles
LaJuan Lyles is a seasoned executive, whose human resources and business operations experience and career spans Fortune 100 and nonprofit organizations. She joined UNCF as director of human resources in 1999. In 2000, she was named vice president of human resources. She was appointed to senior vice president, chief administrative officer and head of human resources in 2005 and is responsible for managing talent and organizational effectiveness through the human resources department; payroll administration; business continuity/disaster recovery; and purchasing, lease negotiations and building management through the administrative services department. In 2021, she was named Executive Vice President, People and Culture.
Prior to joining UNCF, Lyles held several senior management positions in human resources at Fannie Mae, including director of organizational development, in which she was responsible for orchestrating major organizational change initiatives, and director of staffing, in which she managed executive, professional and technical recruitment. Before that, she held senior management positions in human resources at Freddie Mac and Seabury & Smith/Marsh and McLennan.
She began her career as an assistant controller with Marriott Corp. Her strong managerial skills, counseling and training capabilities led her to change careers from accounting to human resources. She was a member of the Marriott executive team and provided leadership over human resources for numerous midsize to large hotels across the country, including starting human resources and payroll departments in new and acquired hotels.
Lyles received a master’s degree in organizational development from American University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Hampton University. She is an experienced trainer and is certified in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Benchmarks 360 Degree Feedback.
She is a member of numerous professional and civic organizations, including the Society of Human Resources Management, National Association of African American Human Resources Professionals, American Management Association, American Society for Training and Development, Chesapeake Bay Organizational Development Network and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Dr. Marc A. Barnes
Marc A. Barnes, Ph.D. Barnes serves as senior vice president, principal gifts and strategic impact investment fundraising at UNCF where he works directly with the president and CEO to strengthen financial support for strategic impact initiatives. In this capacity, he is responsible for the president’s strategic fundraising activities and leading a team to identify opportunities to broaden UNCF’s philanthropic revenue.
Barnes is an accomplished fund development officer who has more than two decades of experience in higher education and nonprofit management. Throughout his career, he has been an asset to leadership, having worked closely with university presidents, executives, and governing boards to raise capital for strategic goals and initiatives.
Prior to joining UNCF, Barnes served as vice president of institutional advancement at Dillard University, one of UNCF’s 37 historically Black college and university (HBCU) member institutions. While at Dillard, Barnes directed strategic planning and operations for fundraising, public relations, community relations, marketing and communications and strategic alumni giving initiatives from. Under his leadership, the university raised over $150 million, increased the alumni giving rate to 23%, secured the largest alumni donation on record in the amount of $1 million, and received more than $10 million from private individuals for strategic initiatives. In previous roles, Barnes served Dillard as assistant president for development and alumni relations and director of major gifts.
During his term as development director for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Barnes helped to create and deploy a growth-focused development program and capital campaign. His leadership garnered over $8 million to complete a capital campaign dedicated to building the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, stimulated fundraising by more than 200%, and increased annual gala net revenue by 400%.
Barnes earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing at Xavier University of Louisiana, a master of arts in philanthropy and development at LaGrange College, and a doctorate in urban higher education administration at Jackson State University. He is also a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).
He is a past recipient of the Fr. Charles Hall Award (Alumnus of the Year) at St. Augustine High School, and has been recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Greater New Orleans Chapter and HBCU Grow for his fundraising leadership and innovation.
Barnes serves on a number of boards and committees, including the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Commission on Philanthropy, the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater New Orleans Chapter Board of Directors, and the St. Augustine High School Board of Directors. He also co-chairs the CASE Advanced Development Strategies Conference and serves on the faculty for the CASE Conference on Leadership Development. He and his wife, Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes, have two children, Caitlin and Marc, Jr.
Desireé C. Boykin, Esq.
Desireé Boykin is the senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for UNCF. She joined UNCF in 2002 and provides advice and counsel to the UNCF Board of Directors, senior staff and member presidents in the areas of higher education, insurance, constitutional law, intellectual property, corporate compliance and corporate governance. She was elected secretary of the corporation in October 2017. Additionally, she practices probate, contracts, employment and nonprofit law. Desirée manages UNCF’s legacy portfolio (testamentary gifts), which has resulted in more than $67 million in revenue during her tenure.
Prior to joining UNCF, Desirée was an associate attorney at the law office of John Paul Simpkins, where she was responsible for all phases of general civil practice including personal injury, product liability, family law and medical malpractice.
She has numerous professional and civic affiliations, including membership in the National Bar Association, the Greater Washington Area Chapter Women Lawyers Division, Howard University Alumni Association, DC Club and the Howard University School of Law Alumni Association.
Desirée has a law degree from Howard University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Howard University.
Larry A. Griffith
Larry Griffith serves as an executive vice president at UNCF where he is responsible for the strategic management of UNCF’s more than 400 scholarships, programs, internships and fellowships.
Larry joined UNCF in 2007 as vice president for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, a 20-year, $1.6 billion scholarship initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is the nation’s largest scholarship program. Prior to joining UNCF, Larry was an executive director and assistant vice president at the College Board. In these capacities, he was responsible for providing overall leadership and management as well as directing and implementing national outreach initiatives and leading as the College Board’s representative to key national higher education professional organizations and associations.
From 1998 to 2002, Larry was director of undergraduate admissions at the University of Delaware, where he completed his tenure in 2003 as assistant dean in the College of Arts and Science. Before that, he was the associate director of admission at Brown University, director of college counseling at Gonzaga College High School and as an undergraduate admission officer at The College of William and Mary.
He currently serves on the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE) and in 2014 he was appointed by the governor of Virginia to serve on the board of Norfolk State University. His additional board service has included tenure on the boards of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, the National Scholarship Providers Association and the Collegiate Directions, Inc. He is active in his community through his involvement and membership in civic organizations.
Larry has a bachelor’s degree from The College of William and Mary and a master of education in educational leadership from the University of Delaware.
Lodriguez Murray joined UNCF in 2017 as vice president of public policy and government affairs. He was made Senior Vice President in 2019. In this role, he develops and drives strategies to influence and mobilize action in the U.S. Congress and executive branch on the public policy priorities of UNCF, its 37 member HBCUs and the 50,000 students they serve. Murray is also a member of the advisory board of the HBCU Capital Finance Program, has served on the Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking on borrower defense, and leads UNCF’s social and criminal justice portfolios.
Since joining UNCF, he has moved quickly to establish the organization as a difference maker on behalf of its membership and HBCUs overall. Major policy accomplishments include:
Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act. This law, passed by Houses of Congress on the same day, December 10, 2019, provides $255 million a year—in perpetuity—for HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to fund their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. Of that total, $85 million must go to HBCUs annually. This was a landmark standalone bill which was propelled to the top of legislative priorities by the #ProtectingOurFUTURE campaign, a pivotal, award-winning online platform led by UNCF which resulted in 62,000 emails and 3,000 phone calls.
Murray has had extensive previous government affairs experience representing academic centers, patient rights organizations and private companies. He began his career in Washington as a special assistant for the late Rep. Charles (Charlie) W. Norwood, Jr. (GA). It was in Norwood’s office that he learned the congressional authorization and appropriations processes as well as the importance of customer/constituent services.
Upon leaving Norwood’s office, Murray spent more than a decade working in government affairs as a lobbyist and senior vice president at Washington’s top firm specializing in healthcare and disparities. He has represented the interests of Meharry Medical College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Howard University Health Sciences Institutions, Tuskegee
University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, National AHEC Organization, Nation Council for Diversity in the Health Professions (NCDHP), Zimmer Inc.’s Movement is Life, American Liver Foundation and OraSure Technologies, Inc. Murray additionally served as the executive director of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools, the group of historically Black graduate schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.
Under Murray’s leadership, the firm’s landmark achievements include the elevation of the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, to the level of an Institute at the National Institutes of Health and safeguards in federal legislation protecting programs for HBCUs and funding on an annual basis for programs to assist with the education of minority health professions students.
A native of Augusta, GA, Murray is a first-generation high school and college graduate, having received a UNCF scholarship while attending Morehouse College. Recognitions for Murray include the original Congressional Black Caucus “40 Under 40” award in healthcare, a special award of recognition from Xavier University’s Health Disparities Conference, and named as one of Washingtonian Magazine’s “Most Influential People” (Education) of 2021. In 2021, Lodriguez received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from UNCF-member institution Talladega College.
Nadrea R. Njoku, Ph.D
Assistant Vice President, FDPRI
Dr. Nadrea R. Njoku is the Assistant Vice President of the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) at UNCF. There she leads the learning, evaluation, and execution of the research portfolio for UNCF, inclusive of longitudinal mixed-method evaluations, organizational data management, and telling the dynamic and evolving story of HBCUs. She has worked across multiple functions of higher education—housing, student affairs, fraternity and sorority affairs, alumni relations and evaluation—in both the PWI and HBCU contexts.
Dr. Njoku is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and holds a master’s degree and doctorate from Indiana University.
Sekou Biddle leads UNCF’s advocacy efforts to ensure more African American students will be college-ready and better prepared to enroll in and complete college by driving sustainable education reforms that benefit students and empower parents and communities to demand improvement. He manages UNCF’s advocacy platform, which includes three major components: grasstops partnerships, grassroots engagement and messaging and research. In addition, Sekou also leads UNCF’s Student Professional Development Programs, preparing students to navigate from college to early-stage careers by exposing students to industry-sector career opportunities through summer and semester training.
He has more than 20 years of experience in urban public education reform and is a former at-large member of the District of Columbia City Council. He represented Wards 3 and 4 on the District of Columbia State Board of Education. As executive director of the southern region of Jumpstart for Young Children, he partnered trained adults in year-long relationships with pre-school-aged children to prepare them for success in school.
Sekou previously was director of community outreach for KIPP DC, which operates 16 schools in the District of Columbia. Prior to this, he trained and supported first- and second-year teachers as a program director with Teach For America, the national teacher corps. He has hands-on experience in the classroom working as a teacher in New York City, Atlanta and Washington, DC. While in the Atlanta Public School System, he provided professional development for elementary school teachers through the Elementary Science Education Partnership, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Sekou has a bachelor’s degree in business from Morehouse College and a master of education degree in early childhood education from Georgia State University with a focus on urban education. He also completed advanced studies in education policy at Georgia State.
Robert Rucker is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of UNCF, where he is responsible for overseeing the design, implementation and communication of UNCF’s strategic vision, planning and operational improvement initiatives. Additionally, he leads the information technology department. Robert joined UNCF in 2005 as vice president of transformation, driving efforts to strategically align resources to support organizational change initiatives.
Robert began his career as a change agent in 1979 with Bank of America in its consumer bank operations, where he assumed numerous roles including his final position as senior vice president/senior change manager. In that capacity, he managed change initiatives for the 6,400-unit nationwide banking center network.
He received his bachelor’s degree in communications from Howard University and a master’s degree in business and public administration from Southeastern University. He also has a post-master’s certificate in information technology-telecommunications from Johns Hopkins University, an executive certificate in strategy and innovation from MIT and certifications as a public purchasing officer and professional buyer from the Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council.
Monique LeNoir is a seasoned strategic planning, marketing, and communications professional with 30+ years of experience. She was recently promoted to Interim Vice President of the Branding, Marketing and Communications Department, after serving as the National Director of Communications with UNCF for the past 7 years. In this role she oversaw the day-to-day activities of the department. Her prior positions include Director of Resource Development for the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and Director of Communications at the Washington Teachers’ Union. Monique also managed communications at DC Public Schools, worked for an international microcredit organization (FINCA), and ran her own freelance PR firm, Madison McKenzie Communications. She served as the past Board Chair of On Ramps to Careers, is a current board member of the Digital Health Equitable Alliance and the African American Wellness Project, and is a member of Jack and Jill of America, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Twelve Days of Christmas Inc. A native of Oakland, California, Monique holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Howard University and a Master’s Degree in Public Communications from American University. She resides in Washington, DC, with her family.
Kevin Lamár Peterman
Kevin Lamár Peterman is the Assistant Vice President & Deputy Chief of Staff of the United Negro College Fund, (UNCF). In this capacity, he drives cross-functional collaboration while providing expertise in the field of higher education and effective strategic leadership. He serves as a liaison and senior advisor to the President & CEO, advances key priorities and initiatives, manages stakeholder relationships, and oversees the organization’s executive office.
Kevin Peterman is a graduate of Howard University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts degree in Theology with an additional certificate in Black Church Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership & Policy.
Prior to returning to UNCF, he served as the Chief of Staff for Next Step Public Charter School. He previously served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives & Assessment at the Howard University School of Divinity where he co-launched the Ethical Leadership & Racial Justice Initiative. He has also for worked for the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, Issacson, Miller Executive Search Firm.. He has held fellowships with UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute and the DC Public School System’s Urban Education Leadership Program.
Kevin Lamár Peterman is also an ordained Baptist minister and currently serves at the historic Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Prior to returning to the nation’s capitol, he served at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois, the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York and the First Baptist Church of Vauxhall, NJ.
Kevin is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Akosua Ali is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the President at the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In this role, Ali drives the execution of strategic priorities and internal initiatives, aimed at strengthening operations through managing human and capital resources to deliver measurable, timely and cost-effective results for UNCF.
Akosua Ali brings over 18 years of leadership expertise in the federal government, non-profit and private sector organizations with a record of delivering mission-driven results in organizational transformation, while advancing civil rights, racial justice and Black excellence.
As a Director at the U.S. Department of Homeland, Ali delivered innovative performance management, financial management, contract management, human resource management and workforce engagement solutions, supporting mission-critical business operations. She managed a $7.8 billion IT acquisition portfolio and $603 million budget supporting mission-critical DHS services supporting 240,000 employees across 22 DHS component agencies, including FEMA, TSA, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Secret Service. At DHS, Akosua Ali managed 688 active contracts, 200 new contract awards, 1,200 purchasing requisitions, 120 interagency agreements and 800 contract closeouts annually, through project management, budget formulation, spend plan development, budget execution, acquisition planning, contract management and performance management. Akosua Ali yielded over $41 million in cost-savings, over four years, by leading innovative acquisitions, financial analysis and contract closeout de-obligation actions.
At the U.S. Census Bureau, Ali implemented the $319 million communications campaign developing television, radio, and print advertisement, 300 promotional products and road tour advertisements targeting audiences including African American, LatinX, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Asian and Asian Pacific Islander audiences in 28 different languages.
Between 2007 and 2009, Ali supported at the Federal Aviation Administration where she managed financial and contract actions for the FAA Contract Weather Observation $40 million program budget and the FAA Contract Tower $112 million program budget. She maximized operational efficiency through providing project management, contract management, budget management, quality assurance and programmatic support for weather observation and air traffic control contracts.
Over the past 13 years, Akosua Ali served as the President of the NAACP Washington, DC, Branch and on the NAACP National Board of Directors since 2016. As a nationally recognized champion for racial justice and equality, Ali has led the strategic implementation of diversity, equity and civil rights advocacy in health, education, climate, environment, housing, criminal justice and economic development. As president, Ali led transformative solutions to eliminate racial discrimination and drive operational efficiency and mission success across 17 NAACP program areas covering the economy, education, the environment, finance, climate justice, criminal justice, health, housing, LGTBQIA+, international affairs, labor, legal redress, membership, political action, public relations, religious affairs and veteran affairs. Ali navigated the NAACP in processing over 823 discrimination complaints in the areas of education, housing, police misconduct, employment and consumer rights. She has managed legislative and public policy advocacy and testified on over 43 key bills. In 2017, Akosua Ali pioneered the launch of the Next Generation Leadership Training Program in partnership with two phenomenal brother leaders, successfully training over 600 students across 33 states encompassing 16 core-competency curriculum areas including leadership fundamentals, political action, economic empowerment, criminal justice, environmental justice, health advocacy and racial justice.
Akosua Ali has received numerous professional awards. In 2018, she received the Homeland Security, OCIO, I AM IT! Acquisition Program Manager Award, and in 2015, she received the Rising Star Government Innovation Award. In 2012, Ali was named, the DMVs “Top 30 Under 30.”
Akosua Ali is a native of Washington, DC, and a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, where she received a bachelor’s degree and MBA degree in Global Business and Organizational Leadership. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Akosua Ali serves on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations, including the NAACP, DC Open Government Coalition, Kofi Tyus Art Institute and Next Generational Leadership Training Institute. Akosua Ali was a chartering member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blacks In Government (BIG) Chapter.
Development Vice Presidents
Paulette Jackson, Senior Vice President, National Development and Operations, has more than 25 years of experience in the area of higher education fund development. In her current position, Paulette is responsible for directing a $21 million annual campaign supporting national strategic initiatives from corporate, foundations, high net worth individuals, and various grassroots constituencies. In addition, she leads the organization’s efforts in direct response, donor management and development operations.
Paulette has a master of arts in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a bachelor of science in psychology from Cameron University in Oklahoma. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Planned Giving Design Center Network and the Association of Advancement Services Professionals. Formerly a member of the Matching Gift Advisory Council for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), she was a contributor on the CASE 2005 Matching Gift Administration publication, Examining the Evolving World of Matching Gifts.
Paulette currently serves as a volunteer member for the Washington, DC, Chamber of Commerce’s Business Growth and Development Committee and Workforce Development Committee. Active in her church, she is a volunteer on its scholarship and hospitality committees.
Diego Aviles is vice president, development, for the Northeast Region (Boston, New York and Newark), based in New York. In this role, Aviles develops and implements comprehensive annual fundraising goals, objectives, budgets and plans for all areas of management responsibility to achieve maximum growth, optimal yield and increase retention of donors.
Prior to joining UNCF, Aviles served as the YMCA’s vice president of fund development where he gave leadership to the Y’s Annual Campaign, which raises more than $8 million to ensure that New Yorkers of all ages have access to the Y’s essential programs. Aviles earned his B.A. in psychology from Queens College, CUNY.
Therese Badon has been employed with UNCF since 2005. Due to her fundraising success, she has been promoted several times within the organization. She currently serves in the role of vice president of development and is responsible for overseeing 12 local offices and 38 staff members with an annual revenue goal of $19 million. She previously served as the regional development director for UNCF, overseeing five states with a $7 million annual goal. Before coming to UNCF, Badon served as the executive director of alumni relations and annual giving at UNCF-member institution Dillard University in New Orleans. She also served as a banking officer at Capital One Bank, where she worked for 12 years.
Throughout the latter part of her career, Badon has been a strong advocate and supporter of education for minorities and low-income students aspiring to fulfill the dream of earning a college degree. She is engaged in efforts to help improve schools, health disparities and assistance to families from low-income communities.
In addition, after one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit U.S. soil—Hurricane Katrina—Badon had the privilege of working with two former U.S. presidents, President Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush, on the “Wave of Hope” campaign in 2005 that generated more than $4 million to support seven damaged colleges and universities along the Gulf Coast.
Badon is an elected official of the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee representing District E. She is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and served on the alumni relations commission for CASE. She has been rated as a “faculty star” for her presentation skills during the CASE/Kresge HBCU Learning Institute, and she is a Kresge Advancement Fellow. She is published and acknowledged in the book, “Changing the Odds: Lessons learned from the Kresge HBCU Initiative.”
Badon has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Dillard University in New Orleans. She has served as commencement speaker for St. Mary’s Academy, Women’s Day speaker and Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Speaker at St. Peter Claver Church and has participated in several other speaking engagements. She served as a member of the City of New Orleans Human Relations Commission, appointed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu and former Mayor C. Ray Nagin. Currently, she serves as a board member for the Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans, board member for Marillac Health Center, board member for KIPP New Orleans Schools and former board member for the Girls Scouts of Southeast Louisiana.
She was honored in 2008 and 2014 as one of New Orleans “Business Women of the Year” and she also received the 2014 “Role Model Award” from the Young Leadership Council and numerous other awards and recognition for her work in the community. Badon is a member of The Links, Inc., and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Badon is a notary public in New Orleans and the wife of New Orleans Clerk of First City Court Austin Badon, Jr., and mother of son Ayden.
Fred D. Mitchell serves as vice president of development for UNCF’s Mid-Atlantic and Midwest region and oversees the operations and fundraising activities of UNCF’s 12 offices located across the Northeast and Midwest. Mitchell is responsible for raising more than $17 million annually in support of UNCF’s national campaign. Mitchell joined UNCF in 2001 as the regional director for corporations in Chicago, IL. Since that time, he has worked as an area development director in Indianapolis, IN, and Newark, NJ, and as the regional development director in New York.
Before joining UNCF, Mitchell was Midwest area director with Western Union Financial Services in Chicago, responsible for directing sales, marketing and daily operations while overseeing an agent network of 2,500 agent locations across eight states. Mitchell has received numerous awards for his work in the community, and was honored with the key to the city of Indianapolis prior to him leaving in 2005. In 2010, he was nominated and selected to take part in the American Express Leadership Academy for Not-for Profit Leaders. In 2016 Mitchell was selected as a co-chair for the CASE/AADO Diverse Philanthropy and Leadership conference. During the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 fiscal years, Mitchell and his teams in New York and Indianapolis were credited with securing three of the largest gifts in UNCF history. His Northern-Midwest division was awarded the “Division of the Year Award” for 2014-2015 for its performance and contribution to the organization’s overall performance.
Mitchell is a former trustee at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, NJ, and is a founding member and immediate past president of the Clark Atlanta University Alumni Association of New Jersey, and a 37-year member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Mitchell is a native of Seattle, WA. Mitchell earned a bachelor of arts degree in business administration/marketing from UNCF-member institution Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. He is married to Emily Nichols-Mitchell and has two daughters, Lauren, a graduate of Clemson University and Georgia State University, and Morgan, a recent graduate of Georgia State University.
LaJuana Chenier is Vice President of Major Gifts and Individual Giving for UNCF. Prior to joining UNCF, she was the associate vice president of development/chief of staff at Xavier University of Louisiana. She brings to UNCF more than 25 years of professional fundraising experience raising more than $30 million dollars in the nonprofit sector.
LaJuana received her bachelor of arts in communications from Xavier University of Louisiana. She is a Kresge Foundation Advancement Fellow alumna. She has also served as the director of alumni relations and coordinator of alumni and professional affairs for the College of Pharmacy at Xavier. LaJuana also worked as the associate producer for WVUE television.
She is a member of the association of fundraising professionals. LaJuana is a recipient of the CASE Faculty Star Award and has done numerous fundraising sessions as well as serving as a contributing writer and on the editorial review committee for “Changing the Odds: Lessons learned from the Kresge HBCU Initiative.”
Angela Van Croft
Angela Van Croft is the Vice President for Corporate and Foundation Relations for UNCF (the United Negro College Fund). She brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership in her 30 years of experience driving fundraising strategies to increase and diversify the revenue stream for various non-profit organizations. In this role, she oversees the national development team with an average annual revenue goal of $40 million.
Working collaboratively with leadership, she works to identify new and grow existing relationships with corporate and foundation funders and creates innovative and strategic programmatic opportunities to move students from high school to college and into careers. Since coming to UNCF in 2013, she has raised over $300 million for UNCF priority initiatives.
Prior to transitioning to education and joining UNCF, Angela primarily worked in healthcare for various non-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Organizations included AIDS United, the Washington Home & Community Hospices, the Healthy Babies Project, and the Visiting Nurse Association. In addition, she has volunteered her time and talent in various leadership and board of director roles with the National Black MBA Association, Inc., Washington, D.C. Alumnae Foundation, Delta Housing Corporation of the District of Columbia, Ward Memorial Community Development Corporation, and Boy Scouts of America of the National Capital Area Council.
A native Washingtonian, Angela received her bachelor’s in marketing and her master’s in business administration and healthcare management from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; and a certificate in non-profit leadership from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship sponsored by Wells Fargo.
Currently, she is a life member of the National Black MBA Association, Inc., a diamond life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
As Vice President of Direct Response Programs and Prospect Research, Denise Scott is responsible for raising over $15 million within the annual UNCF fundraising campaign in the areas of direct mail and online fundraising. She manages the matching gifts, donor stewardship and acknowledgement processes, and prospect research of new and current donors. She is responsible for strategic planning, profit and loss management of a $4.5 million budget and execution of fundraising activities.