Opportunity Nation Staff
Opportunity Nation is staffed by dedicated and passionate professionals with varied and diverse backgrounds. The parent organization of Opportunity Nation is Be The Change, Inc.
Melanie Anderson Bio
Russell Krumnow Bio
Cara Willis Bio
Alyssa Meza Bio
Jennifer Jordan Bio
Sarah Beaulieu Bio
Lucas Trainer Bio
Scott Jones Bio
Mark Edwards is the Executive Director of Opportunity Nation, a national, bipartisan campaign that is devoted to expanding economic mobility and closing the opportunity gap for more Americans. Through his twenty-three years on the board of Horizons for Homeless Children, Mark came to believe the time had come for a national campaign that would dramatically increase economic opportunity for millions of Americans. He envisioned a national effort that would increase awareness of opportunity-related issues; encourage collaboration among public and private sectors to amplify and accelerate their work on the ground; and advocate bipartisan federal policy changes designed to improve the lives of Americans on a sweeping scale. Learn more about Mark Edwards
Russell Krumnow is the Managing Director of Opportunity Nation and works with more than 250 partner organizations to advance policy change and community actions that expand economic opportunity across the country. He focuses on growth and management of the campaign's cross-sector coalition engaging them in a diverse mix of events, policy advocacy and grassroots initiatives. Russell joined Opportunity Nation in 2011 and built a broad set of stakeholders who informed and propelled the campaign as it prepared to publicly launch. He enjoys working with inspiring organizations that are making an impact every day. Learn more about Russell
Melanie Anderson is the Director of Government Affairs at Opportunity Nation. Before joining Opportunity Nation, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education. Before joining the Department, she held senior-level government affairs positions with the American Library Association and ETS where she developed strategy on a wide variety of federal and state education issues. Melanie is originally from Iowa where she attended Iowa State University and graduated with a degree in Political Science. Melanie lives in Washington, D.C. Learn more about Melanie
Cara Willis is the Director of Communications for the Opportunity Nation campaign. Previously, Cara served as Special Assistant to Alan Khazei, Founder of Be the Change, and directed scheduling and advance for the launch events of Alan's 2011-2012 campaign for US Senate. Cara's prior work experience includes the Office of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Cara attended Boston University where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Political Science and History. In her free time, Cara is actively involved with the New England dance community as a performer, choreographer, and teacher, and currently serves as the Coach for the Northeastern University Dance Team. Learn more about Cara.
Alyssa Meza is the Communications Associate for Opportunity Nation. Prior to joining the campaign, she served as an Americorps VISTA in Washington, DC with Student Veterans of America (SVA), a national non-profit aimed at helping military veterans transition to academic life. After attending the 2012 Opportunity Nation Summit through SVA, she decided she wanted to be a part of the national opportunity movement. Alyssa is a graduate of the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism, and is passionate about leveraging multimedia storytelling for the public good.
Learn more about Alyssa
Jennifer Jordan joined Opportunity Nation in February 2013 as Senior Writer. A native of the Boston area, Jennifer worked as a daily news reporter for 15 years at three newspapers in New England. Most recently she was the statewide K-12 and higher education writer at The Providence (RI) Journal. Jennifer is a cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she majored in History and Spanish. She has a M.A. in Latin American History from San Francisco State University and a M.S. in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. In Spring 2013 Jennifer agreed to join the board of Resilient Kids, a nonprofit in Rhode Island that builds children’s self-confidence through yoga and mindfulness at school. Learn more about Jennifer
Sarah Beaulieu is the Senior Advisor to the Opportunity Nation campaign at Be the Change. Sarah has extensive experience in fundraising, program development, and volunteer management. Most recently, she was the Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the University of Massachusetts Foundation working on operations, accounting, and finance. Previously, she held senior fundraising positions at Boston College and Brown University. Sarah has a B.A. from Brown University and an M.B.A. from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, with additional course work completed at Boston University Graduate School of Social Work. Sarah is a member of the Reimagining Service Council and serves on boards of the Brown University Association of Class Leaders and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. She lives with her husband, son, and dog in Roslindale, MA. Learn more about Sarah
Liz Sarley is the Special Projects Fellow at Opportunity Nation. She joined the campaign in September 2013, just in time for the latest Opportunity Index launch and assists the team with scheduling, communications, and development. Growing up in Los Angeles, California, Liz has always been aware of the huge differences in opportunity that exist neighborhood to neighborhood. Learn more about Liz
Lucas Trainer is the Community Leadership Fellow for Opportunity Nation. Previously, Lucas served at the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, a private foundation working to create opportunity in communities throughout the South. In his role, Lucas helped deepen the foundation’s knowledge and engagement with strategies to help low-income families build assets. Lucas also has also previously worked at CFED, where he coordinated the grant application and reporting processes for policy and research. Lucas is a magna cum laude graduate of Saint Leo University, where he studied computer information systems. Learn more about Lucas
Scott Jones is the Development Associate for Opportunity Nation, joining the team in July of 2013. Scott is an AmeriCorps alumnus of City Year. Having served two years at under-resourced schools in the Roxbury and Mattapan communities of Boston, he understands firsthand the urgent need to restore opportunity in America. Scott is originally from San Diego, CA and graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Sociology. During his time at UCSB, he managed a chapter of a nonprofit called Project Eye to Eye, an organization which aims to strike out stigmas against people with learning disabilities. Scott currently lives in Jamaica Plain, MA. Learn more about Scott