Dr. Danielle R. Moss Cox

CEO

Dr. Danielle R. Moss Cox brings over 20 years of experience in college access and education to Oliver Scholars, a 40-year-old educational nonprofit that identifies high-achieving Black and Latinx students for admission to selective independent day and boarding schools and supports them through graduation from competitive colleges. A vocal proponent of expanded educational access and social justice for historically underserved communities, she previously served as the Inaugural Chief of Staff of the New York Civil Liberties Union, as the second Black woman to serve as President and CEO of the YWCA of the City of New York in its 150+ history, and as the award-winning CEO of Harlem Educational Activities Fund for ten years. In 2015, Dr. Cox was appointed by former Mayor DeBlasio to New York City’s Commission on Gender Equity and Co-Chaired the Young Women’s Initiative of the New York City Council – a citywide policy and advocacy effort aimed at improving the lives of girls of color in New York City. She currently chairs the Program Committee and sits on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of The New York Women’s Foundation.

Her contributions to education and the social sector have been recognized by the New York State Education Department, The New York Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Council of Urban Professionals, and The New York City Comptroller’s Office, among others. In 2015 The Network Journal named her one of the 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business. In the summer of 2016, she was featured in The New York Times’ Corner Office column and in Crain’s New York. Dr. Moss Cox has contributed to The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Edutopia, The Amsterdam News, The Nonprofit Quarterly, and City Limits Magazine. Her 2018 TED Talk on harnessing student potential has garnered over 2M views and been translated into over 10 languages worldwide. In 2023, Crain’s NY named her one of 50 Notable Black Leaders. She holds M.A. and Ed.M. degrees from Teachers College Columbia University, where she also completed her Doctorate in Organization and Leadership with a focus on Education Administration. Dr. Cox received her B.A. from Swarthmore College with a degree in both English Literature and History with a concentration in Black Studies. She holds certificates in Nonprofit Business Management from Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford Business Schools. Dr. Cox received her Certificate in Fundraising Management from The Fundraising School at Indiana University.

Dorothea B. Schlosser

Chair

Dorothea Schlosser graduated in 1993 from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. After several years working in the field of technology, she joined PeopleSoft in 1997 implementing large enterprise information systems in organizations including Aetna and Cushman and Wakefield. She became a Consulting Manager and managed a team of 35 consultants.

Elected trustee of Oliver Scholars in 2010, she easily earned the respect and confidence of the board by virtue of her strong, heartfelt commitment to the Oliver Scholars mission. Given her natural ability to think strategically, she led her fellow trustees through a revitalizing five-year plan. Elected to Board Chair in 2013, her thorough understanding of the financial implications and requirements of this plan will steadily guide an ever strengthening Oliver Scholars into the future.

Louisa S. Troubh

Vice Chair

Upon graduating from Hamilton College, Louisa worked in human resources in a large teaching hospital in Boston. In New York, Louisa worked for a management consulting firm specializing in compensation and salary management. After leaving the job market to raise her family, Louisa became very involved with her children’s schools, ultimately serving on the board of Allen-Stevenson as President of the Parents Association. She was a member of the Parent’s Advisory Council at Bowdoin College and served on the board of her co-op. Louisa joined the Oliver Scholar’s Board of Trustees in 1996 and is currently Vice-Chair of the Board.

A'nysha Aileen

Development Associate

A’nysha Aileen is a content strategist and artist born and raised in Texas. In 2015 she moved to Austin, Texas to obtain a B.S. in Advertising with a focus on Media & Analytics. She has over 5 years of nonprofit experience with missions ranging from supporting artists to mutual aid tool libraries. In her work, she values collaboration and learning new skills. When she’s not working on her MacBook, she loves to travel to national parks and paint.

Terry-Ann Burrell '95

Member
Chief Financial Officer, Beam Therapeutics

Terry-Ann Burrell is Chief Financial Officer of Beam. Prior to Beam, Ms. Burrell spent 11 years with J.P. Morgan, most recently as a Managing Director in the healthcare investment banking group. There, she had broad coverage across the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, helping to execute over $10 billion in equity and equity linked financings and more than $50 billion in M&A transactions. She was instrumental in advising clients on transaction considerations, including strategic rationale, valuation and structuring, and engaged with more than 100 companies during her tenure. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Ms. Burrell worked in equity research at Citigroup, where she covered specialty pharmaceuticals and generics. Ms. Burrell holds an MBA from New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a B.A. from Harvard University.
Terry-Ann is an alumna of Oliver Scholars.

Keith E. Canton '93

Secretary
JP Morgan

Keith is a Managing Director and Head of Private Capital Markets at J.P. Morgan. Keith focuses on structuring and raising capital for corporations for a variety of purposes across multiple industries. Keith is a proud alum of Oliver Scholars (Class of 1993) as well as a member of the Oliver Board of Trustees. Keith has experienced firsthand the significant benefits and profound life changes that Oliver provides its students and credits Oliver for playing a large role in his personal and professional development. As a result, Keith has been driven to give back and support Oliver in the mission to provide outstanding educational opportunities to African-American and Latino students in the NYC area. After Oliver, Keith received a B.S. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Diego Chavez

Assistant Director, Placement

Diego is a Queens, NY native who attended Phillips Academy Andover and Boston College, where he earned his Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology and Human Development with a minor in Psychology. During his time in college, he worked in the Office of Residential Life as both an Office Assistant and Resident Assistant, while also being a major contributor to the Latin community by raising awareness on issues faced by immigrants in the United States and abroad, all while celebrating the diverse Latin cultures. Through his experiences working in secondary and higher education settings, Diego has been and continues to be committed to helping students achieve their highest potential, both in and out of the classroom, especially those who live in underrepresented communities throughout the city. Outside of work, he loves to watch soccer, listen to music and try new foods from all around the world.

Moshé Crone

Director of Communications, Marketing and Special Events

Moshé Crone is a dedicated professional with over 15 years of experience in serving young people and enhancing educational opportunities. With a background that spans corporate, private, and nonprofit sectors, Moshé has made a significant impact in various roles throughout her career. Currently, she spearheads one of New York City's largest annual S.T.E.M Expos in collaboration with the Department of Education, while also forging partnerships with community-based organizations to secure funding and deliver essential programming to schools and students in need.

In August 2019, Moshé joined the Oliver Scholars team as the Interim Communications Director. Armed with a Communications Degree and a wide-ranging skill set encompassing education, production, graphic design, marketing, event coordination, and high-level sales, Moshé is well-equipped to drive the organization's mission forward. Her passion for empowering future scholars and her unwavering commitment to Oliver Scholars exemplify her dedication to making a lasting impact on the lives of young individuals seeking educational opportunities.

Nicholas Doering-Dorival '98

Member
Apollo Global Management

Nicholas Doering-Dorival is a Partner at Apollo Global Management. He is responsible for acquisitions in the firm's US Real Estate opportunity fund, and helps set the fund's strategy. Prior to Apollo, Nick was a Senior Vice President at Starwood Capital Group from 2010 to 2019, where he was responsible for over $6.5 billion of real estate acquisitions in the US and Europe across all property types. From 2006-2008, Nick developed tax credit affordable housing at Carlisle Development Group. Prior to that, he was an Associate with the Exodus Group from 2004 to 2006, and an Analyst at JP Morgan Asset Management in the Real Estate Investment Group from 2002 to 2004.
Nick earned his MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he was awarded the Bert King Fellowship in honor of his service to fellow students in the African American Student Union. Nick graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BS degree in Economics (Wharton) and a BAS degree in Systems Engineering; he was also a Joseph Wharton Scholar. Nick is a CFA charterholder. He was born and raised in the Bronx, and is a proud alum of Oliver Scholars (’98) as well as SEO and Toigo. Nick lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.

Bernell Downer '96

Director of Academic Affairs

Bernell is an alumnus of the Oliver Scholars Program. He is grateful to Oliver for instilling in him the importance of education to empower imagination and creativity. He was born in Georgetown, Guyana; and grew up in Kingston, Jamaica; and Brooklyn, New York; before graduating from Phillips Academy Andover in 1996. He received his Biology B.A. from Cornell University in 2000 and completed Cornell’s Mandarin language program at Peking University in 2012. Prior to joining Oliver Scholars in June 2019, as Director of Academic Affairs, Bernell taught English, Biology, and Math for 10 years at schools in Korea and China. He recently completed his M.S. Private School Leadership at Columbia Teachers College and strives to increase education access for all.

Eric Epstein

Member
Davidson Kempner Capital Management

Mr. Epstein joined Davidson Kempner in February 2000, became a Managing Member in January 2004 and President in January 2020. Previously, Mr. Epstein was a Managing Director at M.D. Sass Investor Services, where he oversaw the U.S. Sales and Marketing effort from January 1999 to January 2000 and was on the investment committee for the M.D. Sass Multi-Strategy Fund. From February 1995 to December 1998, he was Managing Partner of EJ Advisors, LLC, a middle-market investment banking advisory firm in Atlanta. From March 1993 to January 1995, Mr. Epstein was a Vice President of Bear Stearns, Inc. in New York City where he worked for the Asset Management and Financial Services Groups. From January 1991 to February 1993, Mr. Epstein was the Director of Marketing and a Portfolio Manager for the Asset Management Division of C.J. Lawrence, Deutsche Bank. He received an M.S. from the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate in 1990 and received a B.A. in Economics from Clark University in 1989. Mr. Epstein is Chair of the investment committee and a Trustee of Clark University, a member of the Board of The Managed Funds Association, a member of the Board of Trustees of Oliver Scholars, and a member of the finance committee of The Dwight-Englewood School.

Karina Eumana

Program Coordinator

Karina is a recent graduate of Baruch College where she majored in Operations Management and received a Bachelor of Business Administration. She volunteered at NYC Rescue Mission which is where she first became interested in the nonprofit sector. Her interest was further enhanced while visiting other countries where she witnessed the poverty and living conditions of the small-town residents. While at Baruch, she continued supporting the NYC and Veterans communities through donations provided by the school and by the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship club. Karina formerly worked at Oliver Scholars as an Intern, Scholar Immersion Program Administrative Assistant, and Administrative Assistant for Scholar Services. Her primary goal, in life, is to continue supporting underserved communities and instill her passion for community service, in others. She was born and raised in Williamsburg Brooklyn, loves to travel, and spend time with her pet rabbit, Bunny.

Marielena Fernandez

Scholar Counselor

Marielena Fernandez is a native New Yorker raised predominately in East Harlem. She is of Dominican heritage, first generation graduate from Queens College in 2020. She has worked at DREAM charter school for the last five years as a youth development specialist, driving social and emotional learning and development. The focus of her work has been supporting young people, their families, and their communities, in every possible way. She is to excited to bring all that she knows to the scholar counselor role to expand unlocking opportunities for youth.

Jon Fox

Member
Värde Partners, Partner and President

Jon Fox is a Partner and President. He is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. Based in New York, he joined Värde in 2013 and has led the firm’s New York office since 2019. In addition to his role in global firm leadership, Jon oversees Business Development and Investor Relations, product development, and Communications & Public Affairs.
Prior to joining Värde, Jon was Managing Director and Co-Head of International Capital Formation at Fortress Investment Group. He was previously a Director at Lehman Brothers in Senior Relationship Management in London after serving in corporate strategy roles for the firm’s Investment Management Division in New York. He previously held roles in technology companies including Yahoo and started his investment management career at Lazard.
Jon received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. In addition sitting on the Oliver Scholars board, he also serves on the boards of trustees of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Foundation and on the Business Council of the Asia Society.

Dr. Deidre Franklin

Chief Program & Equity Officer

Dr. Franklin’s career has focused on inclusion, access, and the psychological well-being of historically marginalized groups. She has been an advocate and thought leader in social impact and educational spaces with 18 years of experience in mental-health awareness, racial and gender justice, and youth development. Dr. Franklin has extensive experience in both the creation and implementation of culturally responsive training institutes focusing on anti-racist practices, psychological well-being, and the social and emotional growth of young people. Prior to joining Oliver Scholars, Dr. Franklin was Chief Program Officer for the YWCA of the City of New York, where she managed social justice programs for young people across New York City, and Managing Director of Youth Development and Counseling at the Harlem Educational Activities Fund, for which she developed culturally responsive curricula and counseling services to support middle school and high school students along their college trajectory. A native New Yorker and graduate of Howard University, Dr. Franklin has a Master’s Degree from Harvard University and received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College Columbia University.

Gabrielle Gilliam

Chief Development Officer

Gabrielle Gilliam is a fund development and non-profit management professional. She has over two consecutive decades of experience in fundraising and institutional advancement, and has served in leadership positions at organizations such as United Negro College Fund, Bottomless Closet, Poly Prep Country Day School, the French-American Foundation, and Opening Act.

Since 2014, Gabrielle has been working as an independent consultant, providing strategicplanning and fundraising support to NYC-based non-profit organizations. Her client list has included the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Fiver Children's Foundation, Brooklyn Children’s Theatre, and The Peter Westbrook Foundation. She is also a Lecturer at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Social Work. Gabrielle received her BA in Drama and Africana Studies from Vassar College and her MA in Performance Studies from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts.

A seasoned fund development generalist, Gabrielle enjoys sharing and applying her professional expertise in strategic campaign planning, institutional giving, and board development. She is particularly committed to organizations that engage and empower youth who have been under-served or unsupported by systems and institutions. Gabrielle takes special pride in working on behalf of programs - like Oliver Scholars - that create a path for young people of color to pursue their dreams and find success in life.

Carinda Greene

Director of Development

Carinda Greene has over ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector, developing strategies to enhance public awareness and revenue for educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. Most recently she served at the Harvard Business School Club of NY, which provides pro bono consulting services for clients such as The Central Park Conservancy, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Vera Institute of Justice, Girls Write Now, and NY Sun Works. In this role, Carinda provided procedural direction, campaign strategy development, and logistical support for consulting projects. In her fundraising role at Brooklyn Law School, she instituted a very successful individual giving campaign and in her other development roles she focused on events and stewardship. As a high school student she attended The Dwight School. Carinda holds a Bachelor’s Degree in African Studies with a minor in Media Studies from Hunter College and is an active volunteer for education-related causes, currently serving on the Young Professionals Committee for Figure Skating in Harlem.

Mark Hall

Chief Enrollment and Academic Officer

Mark is driven by the belief that all children deserve access to a high-quality and culturally responsive education regardless of the color of their skin, their socioeconomic status, or their zip code. After receiving his degree in English and Spanish from Amherst College, Mark taught English and Spanish at Westminster School in Connecticut and Thayer Academy in Massachusetts, where he also coached varsity basketball and track. After leaving the classroom, Mark served as dean of students and then director of the PREP 9 program for a decade. Mark joins Oliver Scholars from Ascend Public Charter Schools, where, as Director of the Teaching Fellows Program, he launched a program to recruit and train the next generation of urban educators. Mark resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant with his wife Samantha and is the proud father of Stokely, three, and Evers, six months.

Mauricio Hernandez

Scholar Counselor

Mauricio was born and raised in the Bronx but his family is from Ecuador. He attended Cornell
University and graduated with a degree in Economics. He began his educational career
volunteering throughout college and was previously a college advisor. His work has consisted of providing college access services to first-generation youth in the South Bronx and empowering them to see their potential. In his free time, he enjoys playing sports with friends and exploring New York City.

Taliyah Holder

Administrative Assistant (Scholar Services)

My name is Taliyah Holder and I am a Harlem native. After graduating from Beacon in 2017, I attended Syracuse University where I received my Bachelor's in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Sociology. I am currently studying to get my Master's Degree in Digital Media Design for Learning at NYU. When I'm not at school or work I like to spend my time watching and occasionally performing in musicals and plays.

Danelle Hussain

Director of Counseling and Scholar Support

Danelle Hussain (she/her) is an LCSW that has been in the trauma field for over six years. Her work has centered around developing prevention and providing evidence based therapy for New Yorkers of all ages who have experienced systemic and interpersonal violence. As a child of Indo-Caribbean immigrants and first gen higher-Ed student herself, Danelle is excited to bring her skills to Oliver Scholars. She looks forward to promoting the mission and aiding in building a more equitable and resourced society for our students and future generations. Danelle is also a Queens resident, earring collector, and lover of trash TV and Bollywood.

Jaky Joseph

Member
Vice President, Goldman Sachs

Jaky Joseph is a Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He previously served as director of public finance investment banking and Bank of America Securities. Previously, he worked at Public Financial Management, Inc., in the Quantitative Strategies Group, where he advised on complex bond transactions and built proprietary financial models.
A double major in economics and mathematics while at the College, Joseph received an M.S. in quantitative finance from Rutgers University in 2010. He was a member of the Alumni Council from 2010 to 2015, serving as co-chair
of the student working group from 2013 to 2015. He is currently on the board and steering committee for the Richard Rubin Scholars Program.
He has been a volunteer on the Oliver Scholars Finance Committee for two years.

Michael Kessler

Member
Alston & Bird, LLP

Michael Kessler is a Partner at Alston & Bird, LLP. Prior to that, he was Counsel in the Capital Markets group of Clifford Chance's New York office, where he regularly advised private equity firms, hedge fund managers, clean energy companies and real estate businesses in domestic and international capital markets offerings. Michael's experience also includes a secondment to the Singapore office of Clifford Chance where he worked on a number of significant matters for the firm's India practice. He has served on a committee of the board of Keigwin + Company, a modern dance company. Michael received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center. Michael has a passion for public service and he has made considerable pro bono service contributions throughout his legal career. Over the last few years, he and his firm have worked extensively with the Children's Arts Guild, a nonprofit dedicated to offering art and creativity educational opportunities to under-served children. His team prepares CAG's fundraising related state filings, and advises CAG on its growth strategy, including their acquisition and integration of Creative Classrooms, another nonprofit with similar core values. His work alongside CAG earned him a 2016 Cornerstone Award from the Lawyers Alliance for New York honoring outstanding pro bono legal services to nonprofits and he joined the board of CAG in January 2016. Michael also represents Oliver Scholars in connection with the establishment of an endowment fund to support its ongoing operations. Michael lives in the West Village neighborhood of New York City with his wife, Katherine, and their two young sons, Daniel and James. His favorite things include time with his family, good food and wine, and travel.

Don Lemon

Member

Don Lemon anchors CNN Tonight with Don Lemon airing weeknights at 10:00 p.m. He also serves as a correspondent across CNN/U.S. programming. Based out of the network's New York bureau, Lemon joined CNN in September 2006.

He has reported and anchored on-the-scene for CNN from many breaking news stories, including the Las Vegas shooting (2017), the Orlando shooting at Pulse Nightclub (2016), the Charleston church shooting (2015), the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (2014), the George Zimmerman trial (2013), the Boston marathon bombing (2013), the Philadelphia building collapse (2013), the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (2012), the Colorado theater shooting (2012), the death of Whitney Houston, the Inaugural of the 44th President in Washington, D.C., the death of Michael Jackson (2009), Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana (2008), and the Minneapolis bridge collapse (2007).

Lemon served as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College, teaching and participating in curriculum designed around new media. He earned a degree in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College and also attended Louisiana State University.

Dr. Lisa Long

Member
Supervisor of Education Programs, NYSED

Lisa Long has dedicated over two decades of her career to the New York State Education Department, where she has held various impactful roles. Presently, she serves as the Executive Director of the Charter School Office, a position in which she plays a pivotal role in advancing high-quality educational opportunities for all students, families, and communities across New York State. Before her current role, Lisa worked in the Office of Accountability. There, she focused on overseeing accountability and compliance in education across New York State, identifying and supporting schools and Local Educational Agencies with lower performance levels through the implementation of New York's Accountability System, operating under the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. Beyond Lisa’s professional accomplishments, she is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a sustaining volunteer with the Junior League of the City of New York. In addition, she has served on charter school and other non-profit boards, actively demonstrating her commitment to community engagement. Lisa, a native of Albany, Georgia, is a proud alumna of Spelman College. She furthered her education and earned her master’s in education at Georgia State University and her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Columbia University Teachers College.

Yolanda McCullough

Senior Accountant

Yolanda McCullough has worked her way up from an Accounts Payable Bookkeeper to Senior Accountant gaining 8 years of experience in Accounting for Not for Profits. Prior to joining Oliver Scholars, Yolanda was the Senior Accountant at The Center for Jewish History, there, Yolanda maintained the financials, assisted the Development department with all donations and handled some HR responsibilities. Yolanda also served as a Financial Consultant at CSBM, helping NYC Charter Schools practice and gain financial knowledge to help them continue to grow and maintain sustainability in the charter sector. Yolanda holds a B.A in Accounting from Monroe College and is excited to share her experience in Accounting at Oliver Scholars.

Adrian Millan '94

Member
Managing Director, Global LP Advisory

Adrian Millan is a Managing Director and founding member of the PJT Park Hill Secondary Advisory Group. Mr. Millan leads Global LP Advisory and specializes in the sale of limited partner interests on behalf of institutional clients. In addition, he has extensive experience advising on structures that provide partial liquidity to alternative asset investors globally including securitizations and portfolio recapitalizations. Mr. Millan has advised clients on over $25BN in secondary interests across 100+ transactions. He has completed many of the largest secondary portfolio transactions globally and is a featured speaker on secondary market trends. Mr. Millan is based in New York and joined the firm in 2009.

Mr. Millan has spent over 18 years in financial services and advisory roles within the banking and private equity industry. Prior to joining PJT Partners, Mr. Millan was Director of Alternative Investments at Citigroup where he was responsible for leading secondary transactions and business development initiatives including the acquisition and spin-off of several captive private equity managers. Prior to Citigroup, Mr. Millan was a member of the Global Telecommunications, Media and Technology investment banking practice at J. P. Morgan Chase.

Mr. Millan received a BA with honors in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives with his wife and two children in Rye, NY.

Alyssa Morales

Director of College Bound Initiatives

Originally from Rockland County, New York, Alyssa attended SUNY Geneseo where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. There, she began her passion for leadership, education, and career development through the Women's Leadership Institute. She continued her education at Fordham University's Graduate School of Education where she earned her Master's Degree in Education along with a NYS certification in school counseling. She continued to grow her expertise at Dominican Academy counseling 9th and 10th grade students. Most recently, she served as a Senior College Success Advisor with Bottom Line, advising low-income first generation students through their college career and to advance professionally and personally in their lives. Alyssa is an advocate for equity in education for students from underserved communities and is thrilled to continue to empower students through Oliver Scholars.

Raina Oberoi

Member
Managing Director - Head of Americas Research

Raina is a Managing Director at MSCI and heads the Americas Index Solutions Research team in New York. Raina and her team work closely with clients to help solve investment problems using thought leading research and powerful investment tools. Raina also heads the philanthropic committee at MSCI to further drive her passion to give back to the community. Prior to MSCI, Raina was an index trading strategist at Morgan Stanley. Raina comes with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Edward Olanow

Member
Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers

Edward Olanow joined Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers in 2005, where he worked for almost a decade as a member of the firm's Macro strategy. In 2015, he assumed the role of structuring new products for the Weiss platform and is currently the Director of Investment Solutions and Co-Portfolio Manager for the Weiss Alternative Multi-Strategy Fund. Previously, Edward worked as a quantitative analyst at Anchor Point Asset Management, a global macro fund. He began his investment career as a research and quantitative analyst with Citibank Global Asset Management where he designed global equity valuation toolsets for the fundamental research team and econometrics models for the firm's asset allocation committee. Edward holds a BA degree in Economics from Emory University.

Linda Penceal

Executive Assistant

Linda D. Penceal is the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer at the Oliver Scholars. She has more than 40 years of management and administrative experience in the nonprofit sector. Linda spent 29 years making extensive contributions to the Morningside Area Alliance, where she forged long-lasting community bonds with community partners, residents, Board members, and colleagues. During her tenure, she supported the implementation of numerous programs, including as Manager of Summer Youth Employment and other youth mentorship programs. She has played an important role in shaping the personal and professional lives of many of the community’s young adults.

Massiel Ramirez

Scholar Guidance Dean

Massiel Ramirez joined Oliver Scholars in June 2019 as a Scholar Success Advisor. Massiel was born and raised in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, and attended Hunter College where she majored in Psychology with a minor in African, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies. Prior to college, Massiel traveled abroad to Italy, Thailand, South Africa and Chile through Global Teens and was an active participant at another college access organization. Through traveling and community service work, Massiel became passionate about community building, working with youth, and advocating for social justice and reform. Throughout college her passion for helping and educating others led her to work with the after school programs at the Westside YMCA and Hudson Guild where she worked with youth ages 4-16 as a Group Leader. Prior to joining Oliver Scholars, Massiel was a Therapeutic Case Manager at Graham Windham, a foster care agency dedicated to providing supportive services to families and children.

Shirley Rumierk '95

Member

Shirley Rumierk was born and raised in New York City of Puerto Rican and Colombian descent, and she was a series regular playing the role of "Vanessa Suarez" on the Jason Katims series, RISE for NBC. She recurred on Jenji Kohan's Netflix series, TEENAGE BOUNTY HUNTERS as "Yolanda Carrion". She previously recurred on NBC's MANIFEST as Autumn Cox and guest-starred on CHICAGO PD, NEW AMSTERDAM and POWER.

She starred in the independent film, 11:55 and can also be seen in David Frankel’s feature COLLATERAL BEAUTY starring Will Smith. Shirley is a board member and alumna of The 52nd Street Project and an alumna of Oliver Scholars. Shirley is a graduate of Harvard University and Trinity School.

Gustavo Schwed

Treasurer
Professor of Management Practice, NYU Stern

Gustavo Schwed is a Professor of Management Practice at NYU Stern School of Business and a Visiting Professor at Princeton University. He teaches courses in private equity, venture capital, and entrepreneurial finance to graduate and undergraduate MBA students. Professor Schwed received the NYU Stern Distinguished Teaching Award in 2020 and was named NYU Stern’s Professor of the Year by the 2015 MBA graduating class.

Prior to joining Stern, Professor Schwed was an investment professional in the private equity industry. During his twenty-five year career, he worked at venture capital and buy-out firms and lived in and practiced private equity in the US, Europe, and Latin America.

Professor Schwed was a partner and Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners, the world’s largest media and telecommunications specialist private equity firm, with over $40 billion of assets under management. Working in the London office, he was one of the partners responsible for the firm’s European business. He participated in the fund raising of Providence VI, a $12 billion fund which was the largest industry specialized private equity fund ever raised. While at Providence, he led several transactions in the telecommunications industry, including the largest LBO in European history at the time.

Prior to joining Providence, Professor Schwed was a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Private Equity, where he launched and ran the firm’s Latin American private equity business out of the firm’s Sao Paulo office and became the Chairman of the firm’s Global Emerging Markets Fund, Morgan Stanley’s vehicle for private equity investing in Latin America, Asia, and Central Europe. He subsequently moved to London where he became one of three partners running Morgan Stanley’s European private equity business.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Professor Schwed was an Executive Director at Bassini, Playfair + Associates (BPA). He helped BPA raise and manage a $300 million Latin America private equity fund, one of the first of its kind. While at BPA, he moved to Brazil where he opened and co-ran the firm’s Brazilian office. He began his post MBA career at the New York office of Sprout Group, the venture capital affiliate of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) where he developed the firm’s practice in medical devices venture investing.

Professor Schwed currently serves on the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College, where he is a member of the Finance and Investment Committees

Professor Schwed received a BA with High Honors from Swarthmore College in 1984 and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1988. He is a US, UK and Argentine citizen and speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Dr. Basil Smikle Jr.

Member
Distinguished Lecturer of Politics and Public Policy

Dr. Basil Smikle Jr. is a Distinguished Lecturer of Politics and Public Policy at the City University of New York’s Murphy Institute, and a Democratic Strategist whose commentary has been regularly featured on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and in TheHill.com where he is a contributor. Basil was most recently the Executive Director of the New York Democratic Party during which time he was the “second highest ranking Democrat” in the State. A PhD candidate at Teachers College at Columbia University concentrating in Education and Politics, he is also an adjunct lecturer at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

As Executive Director of the Democratic Party, he worked closely with the Chair, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and Governor Andrew Cuomo to manage strategic and fundraising activities for the State, which included fundraising and oversight of a multi-million-dollar operating budget. He recruited candidates for political office and worked closely with the Democratic National Committee to create partnerships, engage donors and act as surrogate for local and national media outlets.

Recognized as a staunch advocate for public service and education equity, he is part of the next generation of thinkers and policy advocates. Basil was featured in the L.A. Times as “Harlem’s New Political Elite”. City Hall Magazine once named him one of 50 rising stars in New York Politics. United States Senator Cory Booker called him a "much sought-after consultant”. Rev. Sharpton called him an “impressive speaker”; Former Governor David Paterson noted that Basil is a “national caliber political operative”.

He gained national attention for his reforms in education and government. An early profile in the Wall Street Journal led to a feature in a New York Magazine cover story on the next generation of African American leaders. The New York Daily News called Basil a “fresh thinking...school reformer”. The New York Post “enthusiastically” said “New York needs such vibrant leadership”.

Basil was a senior aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton during her first campaign for Senate and later on her Senate staff. Mrs. Clinton called Basil a “key advisor and tremendous public servant...who makes sure all voices are heard”. Ron Kirk, the former Mayor of Dallas and President Obama’s former US Trade Representative, noted that Basil can “negotiate the politics of any community and knows how to marry it with sound public policy”. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations and received a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

A life-long New Yorker and raised in the Bronx by Jamaican immigrants, he is inspired by his father, a retired textile worker, and mother, a long-time public school special education teacher.

Basil is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, and 100 Black Men of New York where he helped start the Eagle Academy in the Bronx which has grown to 6 schools in New York and New Jersey. He is also a founding Board Member of the Harlem Hebrew Academy Charter School and sits on the Board of the NYC Center for Charter Excellence.

Cavell Stephenson

Grant Manager

Cavell Stephenson is a strategic thinker with an unrelenting work ethic, and a deep-rooted commitment to social justice, equity, inclusion, and access. Her social impact portfolio includes child and elder care, youth; education; and grassroots organizing. Her work has focused on program management, communications, grants management, and project coordination in family caregiving; interior design; graduate, and career and technical education; and historic preservation, architectural and cultural legacy in membership, national, local, and community organizations. A graduate of Hunter College, CUNY, Cavell earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, specialty in Creative Writing, with a minor in Communications. She earned a Master of Public Administration -- specialty in Public and Nonprofit Management - from Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, where she was a Public Service Scholar.

Sharon Sturrup

Chief Operations Officer

Sharon has more than 20 years senior HR experience. Prior to joining Oliver, Sharon served as Human Resources Manager for HSBC, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Mitchell Titus LLP (formerly a member firm of Ernst & Young), and Talent Manager for Exchange for International Studies in Washington D.C. Most recently, she was a Human Resources Business Partner at Black Forest Acres in Hamilton, N.J. Sharon holds a B.S. from Lehman College in Management Information Systems and an M.S. in Human Resource Management from The New School. She has served as a guest lecturer at New York University on corporate HR communications. She is also a keen volunteer with other education-related causes, including serving as a College Success Coach for Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF).

Mabel Tie

Assistant Director of Placement

Mabel Tie is a 2021 graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University with a BA in psychology and education. She is also a 2022 Schwarzman Scholar with a Master of Management Sciences in International Affairs and Public Policy, with a concentration in education. She is passionate about education and uplifting vulnerable populations including historically marginalized women and children. She advocates for the inclusivity of diverse students throughout her career and through her weekly community engagement with various nonprofits in New York City. Mabel believes in empowering young people to become civically minded citizens by teaching them ways to engage with their local communities and finding their own paths to positively impact the world.

Cherice Toney

Human Resource / Operations Manager

Cherice O. Toney has 17 years of experience as a Human Resource Professional. After several years of working in the financial services industry in investment banking and private wealth management; Cherice began her career in the nonprofit sector in 2008 and hasn't looked back since. Cherice has 10 years under her belt from New York-based nonprofits, Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center and Children of Promise.

Cherice holds a Bachelors of Science in Human Resource Management & International Business from the University of Vermont and Masters in Human Resource Management from Long Island University.

Cherice looks forward to sharing her years of experience in as the new Human Resource/ Operations Manager here at Oliver Scholars.

Laury Veudna

Scholar Counselor

Laury joined the Oliver Scholars team in December 2019 as a Scholars Counselor. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz with her BA in African Studies with a minor in Geology. While in college, Laury joined the SUNY service learning program in Jamaica at the University of the West Indies-Mona Campus, and was an active member at Alpha-Boys school, a community service program. Through community engagement and traveling, Laury continues to take a keen interest in servicing the diverse youth of color and their families of New York City. Her enthusiasm for developing youth leaders through active global education and leadership development is what led her to Oliver Scholars. Laury received her MSW degree from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College is an active volunteer for educational and social related causes, currently serving as campaign treasurer for Brooklyn’s 57th Assembly District. Laury resides in Brooklyn and loves to cook, read, and tackle DIY projects in her free time.

Aneesa Sarah Yadali

Director of Admissions

Sarah is a New York City native who has spent the last 13 years working in education. She recently returned to the United States from Spain, where she was working as an English Teaching Assistant. After graduating from Occidental College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Sarah began her career as a Special Education teacher with the New York City Department of Education. She continued her DOE career by working as a Teacher Assigned A in one of the many central offices before moving to Spain. Sarah is an alum of Prep for Prep. She attended the Emma Willard School. Sarah also holds a Master of Science in Students with Disabilities from Long Island University, and a Master of Science in Leadership for Educational Change from Bank Street College of Education.

In her free time, Sarah reads, writes, dabbles in the arts, visits new restaurants, spends time with her dog, and travels. “Where in the world is Sarah?” is a fair question. She has been to over 40 states and 35 countries.

Yvonne Quinn

Member
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Yvonne Quinn was a Partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP for 34 years until retiring in 2018 and continues to practice with the firm as Of Counsel. Yvonne is a litigator who focuses on antitrust and competition matters involving civil litigation, criminal enforcement, merger review and counseling. Yvonne was raised on a small farm in central Illinois but moved to New York in 1977 after obtaining a BA in economics from the University of Illinois, a JD from the University of Michigan Law School, and an MA in economics from the Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan. Over the years, Yvonne has sought to give back to the New York community by serving on boards such as the Harlem School of the Arts, the New York Women’s Foundation and now Oliver Scholars.