Angela Dorn, JD (Vice Chair)

COO and General Counsel, Youth INC NYC

Angela Dorn (she/her) is a Harvard trained lawyer with experience in the private and not-for-profit sectors, with success advising, managing and resolving complex legal and organizational issues throughout her career. She was a founding member of a team that launched a national, tech-based, not for profit. She also co-founded BlackHer, a website to promote the personal, political and economic power of Black women.

Angela has an AB in Economics and a Doctor of Law (JD) from Harvard University.

Aria Florant

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Liberation Ventures

Aria Florant (she/her) is a Public Allies San Francisco/Silicon Valley alumna from the Class of 2012 and is currently the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Liberation Ventures (LV), a new philanthropic and field building organization fueling the US Black-led movement for racial repair. By providing resources and technical assistance to efforts working toward truth, reconciliation, and reparations, LV is building momentum toward a comprehensive federal financial and non-financial racial repair program. LV’s vision is a healing society and healthy multiracial democracy, where the trauma and legacy of slavery and its aftermath have been repaired. 

Previously, Aria was an engagement manager in McKinsey & Company’s Washington D.C. office, where she served public and social sector clients on issues related to strategy, organizational design, racial equity, and financial sustainability. Additionally, Aria was a non-profit practitioner and organizer for four years in East Palo Alto, California, focusing on education, youth development, and civic engagement. Aria worked as an education consultant for the San Mateo County Private Defender Program, helping incarcerated youth navigate and complete college entrance requirements. She also helped launch the first-ever round of programs for civic leaders at the Obama Foundation.

Aria received a BA in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University, an MBA in Management for Social Change from The Wharton School, and an MPA in Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences from the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Christopher Besendorfer (Treasurer)

Global Vice President / General Manager of Global Customer Experience, American Express

Christopher Besendorfer (he/him) is a global entrepreneurial-minded executive with proven success of driving growth and transforming customer experiences in consumer products and services across loyalty, travel, and financial services verticals. Working for one of the most respected brands in the world, he has consistently delivered results in fast paced, rapidly changing growth businesses.

As an innovator and forward-thinker, Christopher has built new businesses including launching and scaling an e-commerce travel site, currently ranked as one of the Top 10 U.S. travel sites for sales. For Amex’s industry leading Membership Rewards program, he redefined the way customers interact, consider, and redeem loyalty product rewards.

Christopher received a BBA from Kings College and a MBA from Hosftra University.

Dorothy Stoneman

Founder and Former CEO, YouthBuild USA, Inc.

Dorothy Stoneman (she/her) is the founder and former CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc., a program that helps low-income unemployed 16 to 24 year olds work toward their high school diploma or its equivalent while building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in their neighborhoods. YouthBuild programs create a loving community that emphasizes leadership development and social responsibility. Over 165,000 young adults have participated in YouthBuild programs, producing over 34,000 units of affordable housing in over 260 local urban and rural communities in America and another 80 programs in 21 other countries.

Dorothy has received the White House Champions of Change Award (2012), Harvard Call to Service Award (2011), the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2007), the John Gardner Leadership Award (2000), and a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship (1996). She continues to serve on many boards and advisory boards related to ending poverty and increasing opportunity in America, including the board of trustees of America’s Promise, and the National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard.

She graduated from Harvard College with a major in History and Science in 1963, moved to New York City where she earned her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. Bank Street awarded her an honorary PhD in 1994. 

Emil Hill

Senior Vice President of Communications and Government Programs, United HealthGroup

Emil Hill (he/him) has more than 20 years of  experience in crisis and reputation management, corporate and public affairs, media relations, and integrated marketing communications. He has worked on a range of  matters and sectors, including defense, telecommunications, Non-profit, Federal, State and Local government, technology, healthcare, investment finance, banking, education, consumer, litigation, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Currently, Emil serves as the Senior Vice President of Communications and Government Programs at United HealthGroup. Emil also has distinct expertise developing communications strategies to reach multicultural audiences and building partnerships with leading national influencer organizations. Other notable clients and campaigns have included the U.S. Army’s, “Army of One and Army Strong” integrated campaigns and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s, “American Healing and the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Initiatives”.

Emil earned a BA from Morehouse College. He serves as a national trustee for the Boys and Girls Club of America, National Medical Fellowship and Advisory Board Member for the George Washington University Cisneros Institute. Emil has also been a frequent lecturer and commentator on communications, marketing, and public issues.

Kanwar Singh (Chair) 

Managing Director & Private Wealth Advisor, Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group 

Kanwar Singh (all pronouns) currently serves as a Managing Director & Private Wealth Advisor at the Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group. Prior to this, he was a Senior Vice President-Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services, a Law Partner at Baker & McKenzie and, prior to that, at Kirkland & Ellis. In business, Singh has held senior executive positions at Valence Capital Group, Monsanto Company, and BrightSage, Inc.

Singh earned their B.A. from Northwestern University and his J.D. (cum laude) from the Boston University Law School. Singh has a strong commitment to service, including formerly serving on the Board of Education of Butler 53 School District, currently serving on the board of Northwestern Integrative Medicine. Singh lives in Oak Brook, Illinois with his wife and two daughters. Kanwar received a baccalaureate degree from Northwestern University and a Juris Doctor (JD) from the Boston University School of Law.

Lisa Woodruff-White (Secretary)

Chief Judge, East Baton Rouge Parish Family Court

Judge Lisa Woodruff-White (she/her) currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Louisiana District Judges Association, where she serves on the legislative committee and chairs the self-represented litigant committee. She was elected to the East Baton Rouge Parish Family Court, Division B, in 2008. 

Lisa was appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco to the position of deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Social Services in 2004, where she led legislation and supervised the bureaus of General Counsel, Appeals, and Civil Rights. She also served as statewide director of the Louisiana Child Support Program from 2001-2004. 

Active in the protection and welfare of children throughout the state of Louisiana, she served as chair of the Child Support Committee of the Louisiana State Law Institute from 2004-2010; and chair of the Louisiana Child Support Guidelines Review Committee in 1999 and 2004.

Dr. Robert Ashcraft

Executive Director and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise, Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at ASU

Robert F. Ashcraft, PhD (he/him) is the executive director of the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University. As the Center’s founding executive director, He has a global reputation for his pioneering work to advance the understanding of and effective practice for leaders of nonprofit/philanthropic organizations.

Under his leadership, the ASU Lodestar Center is considered one of the world’s leading nonprofit academic centers, renowned for its research, education, leadership programs, technical assistance and conference activities, helping to build the capacity of the social sector for those who lead, manage and support nonprofits. In prior nonprofit professional service, Dr. Ashcraft worked as a director of volunteers, director of youth and community services, manager of human resources and executive director. In 2012  Ashcraft was named one of the most influential leaders in the nonprofit sector by the Nonprofit Times as a member of its “Power and Influence Top 50” list.

Ashcraft holds a baccalaureate degree from the University of Arizona, an M.A in Education degree from Northern Arizona University, and he earned his PhD degree from Arizona State University.

William Graustein

Trustee, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

William Graustein‘s (he/him) initial career was in the earth sciences. From 1981 to 1996, he was a research scientist in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale studying the behavior of natural radioactive elements in the environment. In 1996 Mr. Graustein left scientific research to devote his time to work in the nonprofit sector. 

He led the reorganization of his family’s foundation, the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund and serves as its lead trustee. In 2002 he created and still leads a workshop series, the “Community Leadership Program” for civic and nonprofit leaders in his home town of New Haven, Connecticut. In 2011 he co-founded, “Co-Creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations to support New Haven community movements and organizations in building internal practices and external interactions that are co-creative, that embody social and economic justice and that increase effectiveness.

William earned a PHD in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University.


This council supports Public Allies by advising the CEO and National Board of Directors, links Public Allies alumni to high-leverage opportunities, serve as alumni mentors, provide strategic feedback and guidance on what is happening in the National Service space, and support the mobilization of the Public Allies community around key policy actions aligned with the mission of Public Allies.

David Eisner


Christa Robinson