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Our Team


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.

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Jonathan Vallejo

Strategic Engagement Advisor

Jonathan supports Fellow recruitment and onboarding, alumni engagement, and digital transformation efforts. Prior to his current role, he led domestic and global fundraising and immersion initiatives for buildOn, an organization that focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education. As their Development Director, Jonathan led multiple groups of donors in mentoring and social learning programs by connecting them with high school students from underserved communities from Bridgeport, CT to the Bronx, NY. He also recruited, trained, and led multiple donor groups to fundraise and build primary schools in solidarity with local villagers in Haiti, Nicaragua, Malawi, Senegal, and Nepal.  

Jonathan is a native Puerto Rican who grew up in the Bronx, NY and a proud alumnus of the NUF Class of 2012, holding a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in the Kingdom of Morocco as a Youth Development Specialist, and enjoys learning languages, traveling, skydiving, and swimming.  


Rosshelle Munoz

Program and Operations Support Coordinator

Rosshelle Munoz is a native New Yorker and graduate of Baruch College, where she obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Operations Management. Her course of study was collaboratively inspired by her mother’s passion as a social worker along with her close interest in using her skills to help organizations that serve neglected and underrepresented communities and individuals. At the National Urban Fellows, Rosshelle is driven to continue strengthening her knowledge and experience in the fields of finance and operations management in order to continue the journey of becoming a financial leader and public servant.

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Nadia Rahaman

Development Officer

Nadia is a fundraising professional with experience in individual and institutional giving, marketing, events, and alumni relations. Her love for the nonprofit sector was ignited in high school by her senior-year elective class, A.C.T.S. (A Chance To Serve). That love deepened when she worked at an American Red Cross call center during Hurricane Katrina, soliciting donations and fielding calls from those affected by the disaster.

Nadia has worked in the non-profit and higher education sectors. Recently, she was the Director of Development for Golf. My Future, My Game. and Fort Valley State University. Her duties ranged from corporate partnerships to endowments, major gifts, and alumni giving. She also worked for the American Red Cross Blood Services and Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson.

Hailing from Connecticut, Nadia earned her BBA in Marketing from Central Connecticut State University and an Executive MBA from Howard University. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, she continues her commitment to service and advancing the community. With her husband and kids, they spend time exploring historic locations and friendly competition during family game nights.

Neosho C. Ponder, PhD

Program Officer

Neosho C. Ponder is an educator, connector, and advocate with an extensive background in non-profit programming, communication strategies, and social justice advocacy. Dr. Ponder began teaching in higher education as a doctoral student at Howard University. She also serves as an adjunct professor in the School of Professional Studies at Trinity Washington University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate media studies and cultural communications courses. Dr. Ponder has served in several non-profit and academic roles, including program associate, convener of senior non-profit executives, and data and communications manager for a STEM fellowship program.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Dr. Ponder is a first-generation college graduate and an active member of the Washington DC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is also breast cancer survivor and advocate who loves rowing on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers with WeCanRow DC, a national rowing club for breast cancer survivors.

In addition to a Ph.D. in Communication, Culture, and Media Studies, Dr. Ponder earned a Master of Arts in Mass Communication & Media Studies from Howard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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Careers at NUF