Board of Directors

New Futures’ Board of Directors has evolved along with our organization over our 19 years of operation. Our Board members bring professional experience and talents in such areas as business management, finance, law, communications, marketing, software development, and information technology.

Executive Committee

Barbara Kafka, 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.

Susan Krause Bell, Ph.D., Vice Chair and Treasurer, serves as Managing Director at Promontory Financial Group, LLC.  Before joining Promontory, Susan worked for 20 years at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, where she served as senior deputy comptroller for international affairs, senior deputy comptroller for bank supervision policy, and deputy comptroller for economic analysis and strategic planning.  She is an elder at Georgetown Presbyterian Church, and has served on the board of the National Presbyterian School.  Susan holds a Ph.D. in economics from University of Southern California, M.A. in economics from University of Southern California, and B.A. in mathematics from University of California at Los Angeles.

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.” 

David LesserChair of the Development Committee, is a co-founding partner of Dyad Partners, an investment partnership that seeks to acquire and manage privately owned middle market manufacturing businesses. Prior to founding Dyad, David served as the President and COO of Z Communications, a public relations and advertising firm in Arlington, Virginia and General Counsel to The CompuCare Company, a leading provider of hospital information systems.  David is actively involved in several Washington, DC area not for profits, including The Council for Court Excellence, The Washington DC Police Foundation and Voices for a Second Chance. He also has done volunteer work for The Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection, Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue, Emergency Animal Rescue Service and Noah’s Wish.

Board Members

Michael (Mike) Gould, Founder, served as New Futures’ 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.

Greg Banks, 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.

Andrew Brown directs all activities of Stanford Properties, LC, a real estate investment and development company based in Bethesda, Maryland. Mr. Brown directs site selection, acquisition, governmental entitlements, financing, construction, leasing, and ongoing asset management of completed projects. Andy received his B.A. in Economics from Stanford University in 1983. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute where he is an Officer of the Washington District Council’s Executive Committee and was previously Co-Chair of the TAP Committee. He has served on the boards of several local educational and philanthropic organizations, including Greater D.C. Cares, Inc., which Mr. Brown helped found in 1989 to promote volunteerism throughout the Washington area and the New Community Foundation which Mr. Brown founded in 2000 to provide scholarships to low income students of the Shaw neighborhood of Washington to attend college and independent schools.

Kristoffer (Kris)  Collo, is the President of MicroPact. Kris’s primary focus and responsibilities are in the areas of strategic planning, business development, contracts, finance and administration. A visionary with sound business principles, Kris has led MicroPact to its position as a leading developer of enterprise Case Management and Business Process Management (BPM) software solutions. Despite having only three years of full-time work experience and having forgone college to start MicroPact, Mr. Collo bootstrapped the company into the growing company it is today and established himself as one of the top young executives in Washington.

Jon Ettinger, Associate Board Representative, currently works at MIGA, a part of the World Bank Group that facilitates private sector investment into developing countries. Previously, Jon worked in management consulting at Mesoamerica, a firm based out of San Jose, Costa Rica and Bogota, Colombia. Jon joins the Board as the co-chair and Board representative of the New Futures Associate Board, which is a group of young professionals in the DC area that volunteer their time to support New Futures. Jon is a graduate of Amherst College and holds an M.A. from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Ray Foote is currently Executive Vice President at the National Forest Foundation.  He has held, among others, leadership posts at the Washington National Cathedral and National Parks Conservation Association where his team exceeded its $125 million campaign goal.  Ray has lectured at several universities and presented at numerous conferences on leadership, volunteer development, fundraising, and partnerships.  He serves on the development committee of the National Cathedral, the board of Scenic Virginia, and is active in his Fairfax community.  Ray holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Romana Li 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). 

Christine Morfit has held senior executive positions in US higher education programs in Washington, DC. After teaching undergraduate and graduate students in Asia and Great Britain, she became Deputy Executive Director of the Fulbright Senior Scholar Program at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and Executive Director of the Higher Education in Development program at the American Council on Education. Christine brings extensive experience in leadership and management of scholarship programs, including, program design, funding and grant making.

Patience B. Peabody is the Director of Communications and Community Engagement at DC’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). In this role, she has global responsibility for communications, brand, digital media, internal communications, crisis communications, and co-leads the agency’s internal culture work.  Prior to joining OSSE, Patience was Vice President of Communications and Creative at the national poverty-alleviation organization, LIFT. In this role, she oversaw internal and external communications and brand. Patience joined LIFT from The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, where she oversaw marketing and donor-focused communications and stewardship. She has held roles at Share Our Strength and the Advisory Board Company.  She is a founding Board member of the Women Achieving Visionary Excellence Scholarship Fund, and supports several local and national charities. Patience holds an Executive Master of Global Strategic Communication from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Hampton University.

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.

Kim Vinick is the Director of Business Development and Operations for Marshfield Associates, a value equity money manager in Washington, DC. Kim joined Marshfield Associates in 2007 and works to expand and educate Marshfield’s investor base and business partners. Prior to joining Marshfield, Kim worked for Progressive Insurance.

Heather Wathington, Community Partner Representative, is the Chief Executive Officer of the See Forever Foundation and the Maya Angelou Schools. The Maya Angelou Schools are a multi-campus collaboration of schools for opportunity youth dedicated to empowering young people to reach their potential and to transition to college, career, and a lifetime of success; the See Forever Foundation supports the schools to accomplish this mission.  Prior to her appointment at the See Forever Foundation, Dr. Wathington was both an assistant and research professor of education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Dr. Wathington’s research spans the areas of college access, matriculation and persistence into higher education as well as postgraduate study and research training. Her research has been supported by more than $2 million in grants from the Institute for Education Sciences, the Houston Endowment, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Wathington has also held positions at Lumina Foundation and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She also serves on the boards of the National Youth Employment Coalition and the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation.  Dr. Wathington is an honors graduate of Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and earned a master’s degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. She has her doctorate from the University of Michigan in Higher and Postsecondary Education.