Opportunity Nation Staff
Opportunity Nation is staffed by dedicated and passionate professionals with varied and diverse backgrounds. The campaign is supported by several staff members of Be The Change, Inc., the parent organization of Opportunity Nation.
Melanie Anderson Bio
Russell Krumnow Bio
Cara Willis Bio
Jennifer Jordan Bio
Lizzie Burns Bio
Mark Edwards is the Executive Director of Opportunity Nation, a campaign of Be the Change, Inc. Prior to joining Be the Change, Mark was the managing partner of Edwards & Company, Inc., a marketing and communications company focused on elevating educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations. He serves on the board of directors of Health Leads, Phillips Exeter Academy, Berklee College of Music/City Music, and Horizons for Homeless Children, where he served as board chair for five years. Mark is a graduate of Harvard College and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and three children. Follow Mark Edwards on Twitter.
Elizabeth Clay Roy is the Deputy Director of Opportunity Nation. Before joining Be the Change, Inc. she served for three years in the Office of Governor Deval Patrick, as a Policy Advisor and then as Director of Grassroots Governance and Commonwealth Corps. Before joining the Patrick administration, she worked for Abt Associates, researching affordable housing and community revitalization. Elizabeth is also the co-author of Shaping Vibrant Cities, a guidebook on effective community planning and political engagement for neighborhood organizations. It is based on community organizing work with Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy in Bangalore, India. She is a graduate from Columbia University and holds a Master in City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She volunteers at the International Commission for Dalit Rights and serves as a mentor through iMentor in New York City. Follow Liz Clay Roy on Twitter.
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.
Cara Willis is the Associate Director of Communications and Stakeholder Management 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 serving as the Scheduling Coordinator for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Originally from Massachusetts, 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. Follow Cara Willis on Twitter.
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. Follow Jennifer Jordan on Twitter.
Lizzie Burns is a Senior Associate for Opportunity Nation. Prior to joining Be the Change, Lizzie worked as the Deputy Finance Assistant on Alan Khazei’s Senate campaign, supporting events and fundraising efforts. She also served as an intern for the American Civil Liberties Union where she assisted the advocacy department in mobilizing its grassroots operations. Lizzie graduated with an honors degree in Political Science and a concentration in Legal Studies from Williams College. While there, she pursued her passions for improving communities and served for two years as the President of the Williams Lehman Council of Community Engagement – the umbrella board that manages all of the community service groups at the college. She was also the captain of the women's lacrosse team. Lizzie grew up in Delaware and currently lives in Massachusetts.
Johnette Ellis is the Local Action Organizer for Opportunity Nation. Prior to joining Opportunity Nation, Johnette worked for several non-profit organizations, primarily in Boston and New York City, including the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, Freedom House, Inc. and The Police Athletic League. Johnette is also a part-time Teaching Artist with Voices Unbroken were she facilitates creative writing workshops to youth and young adults who are detained in the Bronx, NY. Johnette received a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in African- American Studies and Political Science, and an MS in Urban Affairs from Hunter College.For the past 10 years Johnette has been deeply committed to exploring creative ways to support and foster community building and development – with a keen focus on issues related to youth.
Russell Krumnow is the Director of Coalition and Community Engagement for the Opportunity Nation campaign. Prior to joining Be the Change, Inc. he designed professional and leadership development programs with a non-profit consulting firm for clients including members of the Obama Administration, spent time organizing on a variety of political campaigns, and wrote curriculum for a national voter education effort in 2008. Previously with the non-profit Partnership for Public Service, he built a national outreach campaign aimed at inspiring college students to seek out public service careers. Before that, he planned and implemented student civic education programs with the National Young Leaders Conference. He is a graduate of Baylor University and earned a Master of Arts in political science at the University of Mississippi. Russell lives in Washington, D.C.
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. Follow Sarah Beaulieu on Twitter.
Katie Theriault is the Special Assistant to Mark Edwards, Executive Director and Sarah Beaulieu, Senior Advisor of Opportunity Nation. Katie is a former Be the Change intern and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Northeastern University, where she received a B.S. in Human Services and Public Policy. During her time at Northeastern, Katie was deeply involved in community service programs, and she traveled to India, Morocco, Spain and the Dominican Republic to study community development and international relations. She is also a proud AmeriCorps alumni of Jumpstart and City Year. Katie serves on the Board of Directors of Massachusetts Service Alliance, the acting state commission on service and volunteerism and, she stays involved in advocacy efforts for national service. Katie lives in Jamaica Plain, MA.