Board of Directors and Staff
Greg Banks, Chair, a former senior executive in the health care field, has served on the boards of a variety of business, community, and health care organizations, and has participated in various national health care associations. Greg serves as Chairman of the New Futures Long-Term Strategy Committee.
Barbara Kafka, Vice-Chair, is a retired World Bank senior executive who served in a range of posts which involved her in the economic and social development of countries across Africa, the Middle East, and East and South Asia. Barbara is a member of the Board of Directors of the East Meets West Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting health, education, and water and sanitation development in Asia and recently also Africa. She also is a member of the management committee and a project adviser at the Partnership for Transparency Fund, a nonprofit organization supporting civil society organizations to enhance transparency and reduce corruption in developing countries. Barbara is Chairperson of the New Futures Student Programs Committee, and a member of the Development Committee.
Michael Kershow, Secretary, is a former international trade lawyer who now focuses on representing immigrants seeking political asylum in the United States. His interest in New Futures was sparked largely by its history of providing vocation-centered educational assistance to young immigrants and other underserved youth looking to realize “the American Dream.”
Christina (Tina) Dykstra Mead, Treasurer, has had extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. She is an accomplished executive whose focus has been on financial planning and budgeting, operations, and strategic planning. Christina’s leadership positions have included Chief Administrative Officer, The International Trachoma Initiative; Provost and Chief Operating Officer, The Washington National Cathedral; and VP and Chief Financial Officer of Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MPA from New York University.
Romana Li, Chair of the Development Committee, is retired from Sallie Mae and two dot-com start-up enterprises, and serves on the board of WITF Public Radio & PBS television of Central PA. She previously was president and chairperson of the board of directors of the YWCA of York, Pennsylvania, and was on the board of directors of the United Way in York. Romana also volunteers with the Tocqueville Society (United Way, York, Pennsylvania).
Michael (Mike) Gould, Founder, served as the organization’s pro bono Executive Director from 1999 to 2013. Mike is a retired World Bank executive who formerly held many positions in the DC community, including chairman of the District of Columbia Education Licensing Commission; president of the Kalorama Citizens Association; president of the Friends of Marie Reed School and Recreation Center; founder of the Adams Morgan Summer Camp and After-School Program; and president of Escapades LLC, a bike tour company that contributed its after-tax profits to New Futures. Mike also is a Purpose Prize Fellow, and has received the “Local Hero” award from Bank of America and the “Visionary Educator” award from the Latin American Youth Center.
Martina Bradford is a Principal of the Bockorny Group, a bipartisan government affairs consulting firm in Washington, DC. Previously, Martina served as Deputy Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate. An established, highly-respected leader and strategist in business, law, and public policy, Martina is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law and American University with a BA in Economics. A native Washingtonian, she is active in a wide variety of professional and philanthropic organizations, including the Washington National Opera; and she has served on several corporate and nonprofit boards, including the Board of Trustees of American University and the Board of Visitors of the Duke University Law School.
Lauren Cross, Community Partner Representative, is a Case Manager in the Work Readiness Education and Training Center at Covenant House Washington, a nonprofit organization that serves homeless and disconnected youth in the Washington, DC, area. She is a native Washingtonian and holds a BA in Psychology from Wellesley College.
Donna Gerstenfeld is retired from a legal career in litigation, Wall Street banking, and financial services both in New York and in Washington, DC. Her background includes experience with financial aid to bright and enterprising students who lack financial means.
Emily Leveille, Junior Board Chairperson, is an equities analyst covering Latin America for Ashmore Group, an asset manager focused on investing exclusively in emerging markets for institutional clients. Previously, she worked as a consultant advising multinational companies on their operations in Latin America at Frontier Strategy Group in Washington, DC. Emily has served as the Chair of the New Futures Junior Board since November of 2013. She holds a BA in International Relations from New York University.
Earl McJett is an information management analyst in the federal government, and was formerly chairman of the Selection Committee for Free the Children, Washington, DC branch. Earl is Chairman of the New Futures Student Selection Committee.
Mark Popofsky is a Partner and Chair of the Antitrust Practice of the Ropes & Gray law firm in Washington, DC. Mark also serves as an adjunct professor of Advanced Antitrust at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Ilene Rosenthal is CEO of Footsteps2Brilliance, a breakthrough early learning mobile education platform that accelerates student achievement by uniting the power of mobile game technology with the latest in cognitive research. Previously, Ilene co-founded Lightspan, Inc., and served as President of Strategic Initiatives for Achieve3000, which provides differentiated instruction solutions for K-12 students. Ilene is recognized for creating city-wide Model Innovation Cities throughout the United States. And as a teacher, Ilene brings extensive experience in the fields of education, technology, strategic planning, and public policy.
Emily van Agtmael is retired from a career as an interior designer and teacher. Passionate about education and the New Futures mission, Emily served on the organization’s Executive Committee and now chairs the New Futures Governance Committee. She is a member of the President’s Advisory Council of Smith College, and recently stepped down from the board of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, DC. Before joining New Futures, Emily served on the national board of Free the Children Trust, and continues to support a variety of educational institutions, museums, and arts organizations throughout the city. She is a graduate of Smith College and received a MA from Bank Street College of Education.
Our Staff Team
Gregory (Greg) Cork, Executive Director, brings to the chief executive role 10 years of education-related nonprofit management experience, a deep commitment to the New Futures mission, and a passion for positive and sustainable societal change through educational advancement. Previously, Greg served as President and CEO of the Washington Scholarship Fund, where he implemented the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program – the first-ever federally-funded K-12 school choice initiative in the nation’s history. More recently, Greg managed all phases of a start-up DC public charter school, the Inspired Teaching School, and served as its Executive Director. Greg began his nonprofit career with College Summit – whose mission is to increase college access for low-income students nationwide – as the organization’s Director of Corporate Relations and General Counsel. Prior to getting involved in education reform, Greg practiced as a corporate litigation attorney for 10 years, first in Los Angeles and then in Washington, DC. Greg is a graduate of the University of Virginia (BA in English Literature) and of the University of Virginia School of Law (Juris Doctor).
Julene Jarnot, Director of Student Programs, previously served as an educational adviser with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, based at The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. Prior to this, Julene served as a Family and Community Partnerships Manager at a Baltimore City Head Start program, and as a Manager at The Choice Program, an intensive, community-based program for at-risk youth. Julene’s volunteer work includes service with the Baltimore Education Network (BEN), a group dedicated to improving the quality of education in Baltimore City Public Schools and empowering parents and community members to become effective advocates. Julene holds a BA in English and Political Science from Marquette University.
Imani Kane, Student Program Coordinator, brings to New Futures a background in youth development, cross-cultural facilitation, and leadership training. She has helped scale student support programs in nonprofit organizations and top-tier universities throughout the country. Imani holds a BA in Justice from American University and has earned several certifications, including the “Igniting Creative Potential Innovation Facilitator” Certification from the Creative Problem Solving Group and the “A World of Difference Institute Train-the-Trainer Program for Anti-Bias Facilitators” Certification from the Anti-Defamation League.
PJ Edelman, Development and Communications Manager, provides several years of experience in nonprofit development, communications, graphic art and project management. He is passionate about social justice and dedicated to the New Futures mission. Previously, PJ served as Director of Communications for Israel on Campus Coalition and Website Content Coordinator for the Jewish Federation in St. Louis. PJ also has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Hot Indie News and Write Click Copywriting. He grew up in New York, where he happily studied at Solomon Schechter High School during the school year and joyfully attended camp in the summer. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008, where he majored in English Literature and minored in Text and Tradition and Jewish, Islamic & Near Eastern Studies.
Emily Brown, Operations Coordinator, contributes to New Futures an accomplished background in youth development, grant research and writing, and a zeal for social change. She previously worked as an AmeriCorps Member for the national nonprofit, Playworks, serving as a Program Coordinator. Emily is a loyal North Carolina native, but thrives on the excitement and opportunities available in our Nation’s Capital. Emily earned her BA in Health Promotion from Appalachian State University.