CORO STAFF

Our staff is passionate about creating transformative learning experiences for a wide range of communities in New York City. We work across sectors, industries, and age groups to help others reflect, grow, learn, collaborate, inspire and lead.

Christopher Neal

Christopher Neal

Senior Director, Youth Programs and Initiatives

cneal@coronewyork.org (ext. 321) Chris came to Coro in 2005 as program director for the Exploring Leadership program and has overseen the expansion of youth programs to engage hundreds of young people annually, helping develop their sense of leadership and civic engagement, preparing them to affect policy change, and teaching them how to be thoughtful partners in discussions with adults on policy issues. A “native son” of Detroit and the son of two talented artists, Christopher is a painter and began his formal art training at Mumford High School and at the Center (now College) for Creative Studies’ Saturday Workshops. He later went on to study Fine Art, African-American Studies, and Women’s Studies at Eastern Michigan University and received a Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University.

Claudia Paredes

Claudia Paredes

Director, Fellows Program in Public Affairs

cparedes@coronewyork.org (ext. 302) Claudia Paredes is driven by her commitment to equity, social justice, and the advancement of opportunity for communities of color and low-income communities. For the six years before she joined Coro in 2015, Claudia was the leadership academy director at The Greenlining Institute, where she led five core leadership development programs that engage diverse, emerging leaders in various stages of their educational and professional trajectory. These programs empower the next generation of leaders dedicated to sustainable solutions that include and benefit California’s most vulnerable communities. A formerly undocumented immigrant from Peru, Claudia holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Public Policy from Pepperdine University. Claudia is a proud of alumna of Rockwood Leadership Institute and the Hispanas Organized for Policy Equality (HOPE) Leadership Institute. Most recently, Claudia was a part of the inaugural cohort of the New Leaders Council Oakland. She is also an older sister, daughter, and adopted mother to Charlie, a multi-ethnic California rescue dog.

Elaine Roghanian

Elaine Roghanian

Assistant Director, Fellows Program in Public Affairs

eroghanian@coronewyork.org (ext. 318) Elaine has always been fascinated by the way language shapes personal and political identity and affects relationships across all areas of life. Her year as a Coro Fellow from 2015-2016 only further inspired her to explore the power of words and of people, and helped ground her interest in leadership development. She is fortunate to connect to her purpose and further develop her passions at Coro as the Assistant Director of the Fellows Program in Public Affairs. Prior to joining Coro as a Fellow in 2015, Elaine graduated from Villanova University with her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Honors. At Villanova, she cultivated her interests in facilitation and leadership development by serving as a Resident Assistant, leading students in the Service Learning Community, volunteering weekly in Philadelphia schools, and editing the Honors literary magazine. In her free time, Elaine enjoys cooking, reading, and exploring new places.

Elizabeth Maguire

Elizabeth Maguire

Development and Communications Manager

emaguire@coronewyork.org (ext. 315) Elizabeth joined Coro in 2015 after graduating magna cum laude with high honors in History from New York University. Prior to joining Coro, Elizabeth developed her interest in fundraising and public policy through internships with several immigrant advocacy organizations, including Make the Road New York and New Immigrant Community Empowerment. While at NYU, Elizabeth was co-Editor in Chief of the school’s undergraduate history journal and her senior thesis on the militarization of the U.S. Mexican border won the prestigious Albert S. Borgman Prize for the best thesis in the social sciences. Elizabeth is a 2017 Fellow in the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, a highly selective leadership and career accelerator program at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, and a member of the New York Immigration Coalition’s Young Professionals Leadership Council. She currently lives in Queens and enjoys food, biking, and knitting.

Gina Femia

Gina Femia

Recruitment Manager

gfemia@coronewyork.org (ext. 300) Gina is a Brooklyn native with a background in theatre and public education. Before joining Coro in 2014, she was most recently the project assistant for the Apollo Theater’s Education program, helping to implement more than 20 public education events during her time there. She mentors with Writer’s Guild of America, East and often works with Young Playwrights, Inc. as an educator. As a playwright, her work has been produced as part of more than 30 local, national, and international festivals. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in 2011 where she was awarded the Lipkin Prize in Playwriting.

Kristen Illes

Kristen Illes

Vice President, Programs & Training

killes@coronewyork.org (ext. 301) Since joining Coro in 2009, Kristen has supported the staffs of Coro’s seven premier civic leadership development programs. Her work also extends to strategy and the organizational wellbeing of Coro. Kristen’s career has focused on the nonprofit sector, and for close to 25 years, she has held management positions with a focus on learning and development. Prior to joining Coro, Kristen led training and development for Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization. There, she implemented a Community Trauma Response Academy to give 1,000+ community-based providers the skills to respond to New Yorkers impacted by 9/11, and partnered with Verizon Wireless to design and deliver SafeWork, a national training program that corporations used to equip their managers to respond to domestic violence in the workplace. The purpose-filled thread throughout Kristen’s career is to work with people and organizations who are committed to change grounded in vision.  Personally, Kristen treasures time spent with her son Connor, her partner Jeff, family, and friends. Kristen is accredited by the American Society for Training & Development as a Certified Professional in Learning & Performance, is a member of the International Leadership Association, and earned her master’s degree in psychology at Marist College.

Maya Gutierrez

Maya Gutierrez

Senior Director, Leadership New York and Alumni Training

mgutierrez@coronewyork.org (ext. 304) Maya’s career has focused on building personal and professional capacity for a wide range of audiences in 1:1, small group and organizational-level settings.  As Senior Director at Coro, Maya manages the Leadership New York Program from recruitment to alumni engagement (program design has won national recognition and replication from the George B. Kaiser Foundation) and has participated in the strategic planning, culture and talent development of the organization since 2010.  She also delivers tailored training and technical assistance for external clients.

Prior to Coro, Maya structured and offered talent development and leadership programs for 300+ staff members globally for the Ford Foundation and managed a national resource center for over 150 local sites for the I Have A Dream Foundation. Maya earned a self-designed BA (cum laude) from Dominican University and was awarded the National Urban Fellowship to earn a Master’s degree in Public Administration (valedictorian) from Baruch College. Maya is a proud AmeriCorps alumna.

Maya is committed to Coro’s mission of building an equitable, just and engaged society and developing savvy, capable change agents for New York City.

Meredith Cornelius

Meredith Cornelius

Manager, Training and Consulting

mcornelius@coronewyork.org (ext. 312) Meredith joined Coro as a Manager for the Training and Consulting Practice in early 2017. Having served as a corps member with City Year New York in 2007-2008, she has long felt passionate about fostering a just and engaged city. Since her corps year, Meredith has continued to work toward positive change here in New York City through program management in a variety of settings including public health, mental health, and youth development. She has experience in sexual and reproductive health education for youth in foster care, counseling services for adult union members, mentoring services for youth who have an incarcerated parent, and adolescent peer training. She is a Licensed Master of Social Work who holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Fordham University. She lives in Brooklyn and enjoys crossword puzzling, listening to podcasts, and baking delicious gluten-free treats.

STAFF CONTACT:

Coro New York Leadership Center 42 Broadway, Suite 1827-35 New York, New York 10004 (212) 248-2935 | main phone (212) 248-2970 | fax

Cynthia Wong

Cynthia Wong

Director, Participatory Budgeting Youth Fellowship

cwong@coronewyork.org (ext. 325) Cynthia joined Coro in 2015 after serving as Coordinator of the CUNY Start program at Medgar Evers College in central Brooklyn. A committed public service professional, she has spent several years building community leadership and strengthening resources in diverse neighborhoods across New York City. At the Coalition for Asian American Children & Families, Cynthia helped launch a leadership development program for pan-Asian high school students aiming to make positive changes in the educational system. As Senior Program Officer at the Union Square Awards, she oversaw grants and technical assistance programs for grassroots organizations working to address the city’s most pressing social justice issues. Cynthia is a proud member of the National Urban Fellows alumni network and Greenlining Academy Alumni Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College in New York City.

Garrett J. Lucien

Garrett J. Lucien

Director, Neighborhood Leadership & Immigrant Civic Leadership Program

glucien@coronewyork.org (ext. 308) Garrett is the Program Director of both the Immigrant Civic Leadership Program and Neighborhood Leadership. Garrett is a Neighborhood Leadership 2012 Alumni who joined the Coro team in 2013 with more than 16 years of community and economic development experience. Before coming to Coro, Garrett worked with SoBRO for eight years, most recently as the Senior Director of Economic Development and Financial Services. While working at SoBRO, he specialized in assisting immigrant entrepreneurs establish new businesses throughout the Bronx. He also brings a wealth of experience in facilitating groups and leading retreats and workshops. Garrett holds a B.A. from SUNY New Paltz and a MBA from Keller Graduate School of Business in New York. Garrett is a second generation New Yorker who is passionate about helping people to develop skills to create positive change within themselves and their communities.

Jared Schuster

Jared Schuster

Office Manager

jschuster@coronewyork.org (ext. 221) Jared has been the Office Manager at Coro since May 2016. Currently pursuing his degree in public administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, he brings with him three years of operational management experience. Proud to be a New Yorker, Jared is excited to support Coro programming. Jared hopes his experience in operation management will help enhance Coro’s vision and provide quality support for its staff and clients. Currently residing in the Bronx, Jared enjoys spending spare time reading, playing the piano, and walking his dog.

Laura Gale

Laura Gale

Senior Director, Training & Consulting

lgale@coronewyork.org (ext. 309) Laura has spent her career designing transformative learning experiences for a wide range of communities in New York City, including artists and audiences, students and educators, executives and early career professionals. As Senior Director of Training and Consulting, Laura is responsible for bringing Coro’s training and expertise into organizations across the city and beyond. Through this work, Laura helps teams and organizations tackle complex leadership challenges and collaborate across differences to build capacity, culture, self-awareness, and effectiveness. She also oversees the Fellows Program in Public Affairs, which she led at Coro for four years. Before coming to Coro in 2011, Laura founded and managed a nonprofit arts organization, serving as Executive Artistic Director for eight years, and worked in urban schools, using creativity as a vehicle for change-making to support the leadership and development of hundreds of New York City students and teachers. She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Organizational Development from The New School, as well as undergraduate degrees in Theatre and Sociology.

Ruth Santos

Ruth Santos

Finance Manager

rsantos@coronewyork.org (ext. 311) Ruth began her career as a bookkeeper at age 15 while still in high school and has been unstoppable since. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Accounting from Pace University in New York City while working full time in a multi-million dollar international merchandising company and steadily climbed the corporate ladder at the same company from entry-level bookkeeper to executive-level Director of Finance & Operations. Her career has expanded since into the engineering, health, social services and non-profit arenas. Ruth has had a life-long interest in serving her community and has held positions on the Board of Directors of The Committee for Hispanic Children & Families as Treasurer and Board Chairperson as well as full time work at the organization as Director of Finance and Administration.

Scott Millstein

Scott Millstein

Executive Director

smillstein@coronewyork.org (ext. 306) Scott has been the executive director of the Coro New York Leadership Center since 2008. Under his leadership, Coro developed a new strategic vision, expanded its programs, developed new partnerships with city government, and increased the number of participants and alumni engaged in the organization. Prior to Coro, Scott spent 10 years as Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer, then Interim CEO overseeing day-to-day operations at Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization. Scott has also worked for the City of New York in various leadership positions at the Department of Homeless Services, the Mayor’s Office, and the Parks Department. He serves on the National Advisory Board of the Center for Community Partnerships, which strengthens local, national, and international networks of institutions of higher education committed to engagement with their local communities. Scott is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a graduate degree in public policy from Columbia University.

Staci Taustine

Staci Taustine

Director, Youth Leadership Academy

staustine@coronewyork.org (ext. 307) Staci joined Coro in 2015 and has enjoyed supporting the growth and expansion of the Youth Leadership Academy. She is a passionate advocate of youth voice and the power of youth-adult partnerships. She is a 2011 Teach for America Corps member and taught in West Baltimore for three years. There, she implemented social emotional learning strategies in the classroom and facilitated district training to encourage teaching the whole child. She has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Urban Education from The Johns Hopkins University. She is passionate about helping people achieve their potential and believes that together we can be the change we wish to see in the world. She is a fan of traveling, green tea, indoor cycling, and anything written by Malcolm Gladwell.

Molly Rodau

Molly Rodau

Director, Training and Consulting

mrodau@coronewyork.org (ext. 326) Molly is committed to creating space for others to build self-awareness, transform relationships, and ignite curiosity. As Director of Training and Consulting at Coro, Molly has the privilege of bringing Coro tools and frameworks into new and exciting spaces and partnering with teams and institutions to investigate, understand and tackle their most pressing challenges. Molly brings expertise in human behavior, systems theory, change management, facilitation and Adaptive Leadership to her work. Before joining the Coro team, Molly worked at a number of nonprofits, where she managed strategic partnerships, drove volunteer engagement efforts, and developed and led comprehensive volunteer training programs. Molly has also worked as a mental health clinician and has traveled and worked extensively with community groups in Central America. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker who holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and an undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing from Suffolk University. Molly is a proud Coro Fellows alumna.