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Public Allies Appoints Three New Board Members and New Vice President

Public Allies is honored to announce the appointment of three new board members, as well as a new member of the executive team of the Public Allies national office. These new additions come during a time of growth and opportunity for the organization as we help forge a redesign of a post-pandemic future for this country. The three new board members, Marco Davis, Emil Hill, and Liz Hilton, bring decades of wide-ranging experiences in the fields of leadership, public policy, social impact, and philanthropy. Melanie De Bond has been hired to fulfill the newly created Vice President of Insights and Communications position, reflecting a commitment to bolstering core network capacity and supporting organizational learning and storytelling.

“The pandemic and racial reckoning of this past year have made our mission more imperative: to ensure there is a pipeline of nimble, anti-racist, creative problem solvers for the future and help empower our alumni network of 8000 to impact the redesigning of the country,” said Jaime Uzeta, CEO of Public Allies. “I’m grateful to Marco Davis, Emil Hill, and Liz Hilton for lending their insights and experiences by joining our committed Board of Directors. And I welcome Melanie De Bond to a team that is eager for her expertise and ready to take this work to the next level.”

“I’m excited to support Public Allies as they lead the way in helping young leaders from communities that have been excluded from decision-making that impacts them far too often chart their paths to productive careers that bring communities together and redesign historically inequitable systems for the common good,” said Marco Davis, President & CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and newly elected board member.

“It is a true privilege to join this exceptional team who has long been advancing equity and social justice across the country,” said newly appointed Vice President for Insights and Communications Melanie De Bond. “Public Allies is in a unique position to help redesign our systems, build inclusive cultures, lift up proximate leaders, and transform our communities; I’m excited to be a part of furthering this organization’s vital work.”

“Public Allies will continue to be a powerful voice ensuring that the communities hardest hit by the pandemic and social unrest are heard and included so they are not further marginalized, and I look forward to helping to amplify those voices,” said Emil Hill, Executive Vice President of Weber Shandwick and newly elected board member.

“I support the way Public Allies is intentional about recruiting young leaders whose promise and potential are too frequently overlooked, dismissed, or ignored, including young adults aging out of the foster care system, the formerly incarcerated and single mothers seeking a bridge to college and career,” said Liz Hilton, a Seattle-based mental health advocate and newly elected board member.

Below is more information about these four individuals:

New Board Member: Marco Davis

Marco is the President & CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to developing the next generation of Latino Leaders. Prior to joining CHCI, Marco was a partner at New Profit. He served under President Barack Obama as Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and as Director of Public Engagement for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Previously, he was Director of Global Fellowship and Regional Manager for Latin America at Ashoka’s Youth Venture, and Director of Leadership Development at UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza). Marco has more than 25 years of experience in leadership development, educational achievement, community advocacy, and civic engagement. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and holds a B.A. in History and Latin American Studies from Yale University.

Vice President of Insights and Communications: Melanie De Bond

Melanie has more than two decades of experience as a leader in the fields of communications, research, and education. For 18 years, she owned a consulting firm focused on these areas with clients ranging from small nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies, including ESPN, Microsoft, YWCA, and Children’s Hospital. Melanie has also served as the communication executive for a billion-dollar public company as well as a global non-profit. Melanie holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Communication from the University of Washington. She has designed and taught undergraduate and MBA courses at the University of Washington and has guest lectured at numerous other colleges and universities. In addition to her work in multiple organizations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, as a daughter of two immigrants and mother of Sri Lankan/African American children, Melanie is also deeply, personally committed to advancing social and racial justice.

New Board Member: Emil Hill

As Executive Vice President of Weber Shandwick, Emil has more than 20 years of corporate communications, reputation management, integrated marketing and public affairs experience. His expertise includes crisis communications and issues management for a variety of sectors including defense, technology, financial services, nonprofits, healthcare, education, government, diversity, inclusion and recruiting.

Emil is a graduate of Morehouse College, serves as a National Trustee for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the National Medical Fellowship. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, the University of Southern California School of Business, City College of New York, American University, Howard University, Spelman College and Morehouse College. He also has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Legal Times, The American Lawyer, and The Washington Times and has been interviewed for National Public Radio.

New Board Member: Liz Hilton

Liz Hilton is a mental health advocate living in Seattle, WA. She is committed to promoting prevention and early intervention strategies for youth. Finding inspiration to service during the COVID-19 pandemic, Liz has helped launch and fund various initiatives in the Pacific Northwest in response to COVID-19 and its impact on the well-being of marginalized adolescents. Examples include integrating a greater focus on mental health in service organizations like Teach For America WA and developing a digital mental health curriculum for use in K-12 schools. Liz currently serves on the board of Mindful Philanthropy.

About Public Allies

For twenty-seven years, Public Allies has been a pioneer in identifying, developing, and deploying high-impact leaders (aka Allies) from marginalized communities. Our flagship program, a ten-month AmeriCorps apprenticeship, has helped thousands of young adults discover, develop, and leverage their potential, and learn how to apply creative problem-solving skills to systemic challenges. Individually and collectively, they’ve shaped culture, changed policies, and transformed communities across the country. We work in twenty-four cities and have more than 8,000 alumni. Eighty percent of our Allies are people of color, sixty percent are women, and seventy percent work in the communities from which they come. Combating social injustice is core to who we are.