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Our Team

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Lisa Rawlings, PhD

President and CEO

Lisa Rawlings is a public service leader, a strategist, and a creative problem solver with a tireless work ethic. She brings experience in the nonprofit and public sectors and in academia. Her social impact portfolio spans from criminal justice, public health, and immigration to child welfare, disaster recovery, and youth development. As a member of the Senior Executive Service of the federal government, and throughout her career, her work focused on assessment, accountability and programmatic and organizational effectiveness.

Dr. Rawlings is an alumnus from the National Urban Fellows Class of 2011 and has been an active NUF supporter ever since. She led the creation of Research and Statistics Boot Camp for incoming fellows and served on the Academic Partner Search Committee, responsible for recommending Georgetown University as our new academic partner.

Dr. Rawlings is a lifelong learner. In addition to earning her MPA from Baruch College, she also holds MSW and PhD degrees in Social Work from Howard University. And she recently earned an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, where she received awards for values based leadership.

Cynthia Wong

Chief of Staff 

Cynthia works closely with the President & CEO to expand and enhance NUF’s operational and programmatic capacity. She has spent decades uplifting community leadership, advancing resources, and strengthening organizational infrastructure in New York City and the Bay Area, most recently serving as Director of Organizational Development at the New York Immigration Coalition. As Senior Program Director at Coro New York Leadership Center, she launched two leadership programs to bring greater youth voice to public decision-making processes. Cynthia also oversaw grants and technical assistance programs for the Union Square Awards, a family foundation supporting New York City grassroots activists and community arts organizations. 

A proud graduate of the class of 2012, Cynthia has served as an active NUF supporter and member of its inaugural alumni advisory board. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley, a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College in New York City.

Cynthia Wong

Careers at NUF

National Urban Fellows – Senior Director, Programs & Impact