OUR TEAM

Choose a Category below to see team members across all locations

Kenyon DeVault

Executive Director, Bay Area

Kenyon DeVault is honored to serve as Bay Area Executive...

 

Kenyon DeVault

Position: Executive Director, Bay Area
Email: kdevault@summersearch.org

Kenyon DeVault is honored to serve as Bay Area Executive Director since January 2023, Summer Search’s founding and largest program site. Kenyon has been part of the Summer Search community since 2014, including serving as Bay Area Director of Development and then Deputy Director for nearly five years. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Kenyon has spent his career in nonprofit management and resource development, leveraging his lifelong propensity for relationship- and community-building into service of his values of social justice and equity. Prior to Summer Search, he held development leadership roles with youth-serving national nonprofits, Jumpstart and Peer Health Exchange. Kenyon is an enthusiastic alumnus of Macalester College and earned his Master of Nonprofit Administration degree through the University of San Francisco School of Management. He lives in San Francisco’s Castro District with his rescue pup, Levi.

Eunice Dunham

VP OF TALENT

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Eunice Dunham, our VP of Talent, has spent...

 

Eunice Dunham

Position: VP OF TALENT
Email: edunham@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

Eunice Dunham, our VP of Talent, has spent the bulk of her career working in youth development. She finds inspiration from and is committed to working with others that are trying to create a better, more equitable world for all students and families. Eunice comes to Summer Search from a national non-profit, Playworks, where she was the Chief People Officer. Building strong teams, developing empathic leaders and creating an environment where employees feel empowered to be their authentic selves are just some of what Eunice considers her “super powers.”

When she’s not at work, you can find Eunice in the kitchen cooking for friends and family, hiking with her dog or joining her wife, Kira in a good game of chase with their daughter.

Malika Graham-Bailey

Malika Graham-Bailey

VP of Program

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Malika brings with her a 20+ year functional...

 
Malika Graham-Bailey

Malika Graham-Bailey

Position: VP of Program
Email: malika@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

Malika brings with her a 20+ year functional leadership skillset informed by collaboration with organizations that partner with urban school districts to support positive student outcomes. She joins us from Duke University, where she led operations for the Talent Identification Program, which supported 100,000 students across nine states and 3 countries. Reinforced with a unique systems-level change perspective, Malika’s leadership and lived experience have shaped her focus on the efficacy and sustainability of supplemental education initiatives so critical to thriving post-secondary life outcomes for our under-resourced youth.

Malika obtained dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Carolina in Sociology and Black Studies and spent four years as a classroom teacher while pursuing an M.A. in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Michigan. After her experiences as a Teach for America corps member in the Bay Area and with classroom teaching in a district faced with challenges in quality assurance, compliance, and sustainability, Malika went from Detroit Public Schools to law and management school, focusing on strategic planning and systems-driven organizational development of social enterprises in the education reform/equity arena. In grad school, Malika was a Public Interest Law Fellow focused on McKinney-Vento Regulations for houseless students, and spent a year at the University of the Western Cape Law Faculty in South Africa researching the right to education and its implementation provisions included in the South African Constitution (1996).

Armed with a unique operational and compliance perspective and barred as an Attorney in the state of Illinois, post-grad school Malika applied her practical knowledge as a management consultant in Chicago for a public sector development firm supporting city-wide Public Schools and Park District initiatives, before shifting into organizational leadership. Regional leadership roles afforded her the opportunity to drive public-private projects and implementation plans with school management organizations, local colleges/universities, and governing state and local agencies.

In administrative and regulatory leadership, she served as a Detroit School Administrator and a compliance specialist with the Council on Foundations. And in Chicago, she helped lead scale efforts as a KIPP Board member and a Director of Programs at Youth Guidance, an organization that — like Summer Search — helps young people to overcome obstacles, focus on education and, ultimately, succeed in school and in life. Malika holds a JD/MBA from Indiana University, and as a member of the Illinois Bar, volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litem for foster youth dually-involved with justice; builds capacity and impact as an executive trainer for the woman-founded, women-led firm Raise for Good; and protects Black and Brown Genius as a member of the Village of Wisdom Board of Directors.

Learn more about Malika >>

Nick Hutchinson

COO & CFO

Pronouns: He/Him/His. Nick has served as the Chief Operating and...

 

Nick Hutchinson

Position: COO & CFO
Email: nhutchinson@summersearch.org

Pronouns: He/Him/His.

Nick has served as the Chief Operating and Financial Officer at Summer Search since 2018. In 2022, he stepped into the Interim CEO role in between CEOs.

Prior to joining Summer Search, Nick was Vice President of Public Policy at Citizen Schools and Executive Director of US2020, a national initiative to help close the opportunity gap in STEM education for girls, students of color, and children from low-income households. Launched by President Obama at the National Science Fair, US2020 served 22,000 students in thirteen cities, creating moments of discovery for the next generation of STEM professionals.

Prior to US2020, Nick served as COO at Juma Ventures, an award-winning social enterprise that provides employment and workforce development training to low-income students. During his tenure, Nick led fund development efforts to scale Juma’s model to New Orleans, New York City, San Diego, Santa Clara and Seattle, more than doubling the agency’s annual budget and quadrupling the size of Juma’s youth workforce. Before Juma, Nick served as Managing Director of the Arusha Project, a microfinance institution based in East Africa. His development background includes national political campaigns and public arts projects. He has served on the Education Committee at Opportunity Nation, the Governance Committee at Voices for National Service, and the K–12 Policy Committee at the Center for American Progress. Nick graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.

Lakesha Knatt

Lakesha Knatt

Executive Director, Seattle

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Lakesha Knatt, Executive Director of Summer Search Seattle,...

 
Lakesha Knatt

Lakesha Knatt

Position: Executive Director, Seattle
Email: lknatt@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

Lakesha Knatt, Executive Director of Summer Search Seattle, is a native of the Seattle area and lives with her family in South King County.

Prior to joining the Summer Search community, Lakesha served as the Regional Director at the College Success Foundation Seattle/King County, where she supported college and career readiness programs starting in middle school through college completion for BIPOC students from low-income households. Lakesha managed a team of 40 professional staff, including school-based staff in 6 middle schools, 12 high schools and 5 college/university campuses across King County.  Lakesha is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Work and Field Education at Seattle University and has been teaching in higher education for the past 6 years.  Before that, Lakesha worked as a social worker in various Seattle-based nonprofits including Habitat for Humanity, where she served as their Family Services Director.  Lakesha is a graduate of Arizona State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.  She then received her Master of Social Work degree from University of Washington.

In her spare time, Lakesha enjoys engaging in community work, parenting her 10-year-old daughter, traveling as often as possible, and spending time with family and friends.  Lakesha is excited to learn from her colleagues at Summer Search and build on the successes of the previous leadership while leading the Seattle team into a new era of success for the organization.

Ursulina Ramirez, CEO

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Ursulina has nearly 20 years of experience working...

 
Ursulina Ramirez, CEO

Ursulina Ramirez

Position: CEO

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

Ursulina has nearly 20 years of experience working on behalf of young people, with a personal mission of dismantling generational poverty. Most recently Ursulina served as chief program officer for XQ Institute where she led XQ’s program implementation strategy with school systems and partners with the aim of rethinking the American high school system. Prior to joining XQ, Ursulina served as chief operating officer at the New York City Department of Education. Ursulina was instrumental in creating policy and programs that help all NYC public school students achieve success, including the successful expansion of Pre-k for All, re-envisioning of the DOE’s discipline code, and increasing access to social and emotional supports for young people. Before starting at the DOE, Ursulina served as Deputy Executive Director to Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s transition team. During that time, she played a critical role in the hiring and management of Mayor de Blasio’s senior management team, including First Deputy Mayor, Budget Director, Police Commissioner and School’s Chancellor.

 

Ursulina began her work in New York City government as the Deputy Public Advocate and Senior Policy Advisor to Mayor Bill de Blasio when he served as Public Advocate; and before starting her distinguished career as a public servant, Ursulina served as the Senior Policy Analyst at the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF). Ursulina is continuously recognized as a leader in education and public service. She was given the honor of being named an emerging leader by Latino Leader Magazine and in 2012 recognized in City and State’s “Forty under Forty.” She has been a featured speaker at SWSX in Austin, TX, and has spoken about her work in early childhood education at Harvard University. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work, and her BA in Sociology, and Women, Culture and Development from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Read more about Ursulina >>

Megan Sussman

VP OF DEVELOPMENT

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Megan is inspired by the courage and bravery...

 

Megan Sussman

Position: VP OF DEVELOPMENT
Email: MSussman@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

Megan is inspired by the courage and bravery that Summer Search students show in stepping outside of their comfort zone and pushing themselves to make impact in the world. She has the gift of sharing the hard work, joys and challenges of our students with our community of investors in NYC and working closely with volunteer leadership to grow the program to serve more students.

Megan grew up in Colorado and graduated from Cherry Creek High School and the University of Washington (Go Huskies!). After College she stepped out of HER comfort zone and moved to London and worked in event planning.

Megan lives in NYC with her husband and loves everything the city has to offer. She is an aging-but-still avid soccer player and enjoys drinking coffee with too much cream, traveling, adventuring and laughing with family and friends.

Hermese Velasquez

Hermese Velasquez

Executive Director, Boston

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. A native of Belize, Central America and a...

 
Hermese Velasquez

Hermese Velasquez

Position: Executive Director, Boston
Email: HVelasquez@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

A native of Belize, Central America and a first-generation college graduate, Hermese has firsthand experience with the game changing power of education. Hermese’s long-standing commitment to Summer Search spans multiple roles, including participant during her high school years, Alumni Board Chair, and member of the Summer Search Boston Board of Directors. It is Hermese’s delight and Summer Search’s great fortune to have her add staff member to that list, stepping into the role of Boston Executive Director in December 2016.

Before joining the Summer Search staff, Hermese was a results-oriented Project Manager in the travel industry. She has provided project management over several top priority initiatives and enterprise wide implementations, cultivating her skills in data analysis, risk assessment, communication, relationship building, and change management, vital talents for a non-profit leader. While her professional experience is heavy in the project management capacity, her volunteer experience has been dominated by Summer Search! Though Hermese’s after work haven is now her full-time gig, she continues to volunteer as a coach for adults reentering college.

During the warmer months, Hermese enjoys daily 5Ks while listening to Beyoncé and Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits! She also loves to travel and has visited at least 1 new country a year for the past 5 years; with 5 continents, down and 2 more to go! Hermese and her family live in Boston.

Jen Weikert, Philadelphia Executive Director

Jen Weikert

Executive Director, Philadelphia

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Jen Weikert is a mission-driven social impact leader,...

 
Jen Weikert, Philadelphia Executive Director

Jen Weikert

Position: Executive Director, Philadelphia
Email: jweikert@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

Jen Weikert is a mission-driven social impact leader, fundraiser, and strategic problem solver with more than twenty years of experience leading and advising local, regional, and national nonprofits.

Prior to her role at Summer Search Philadelphia, Jen was the Executive Director of Covenant House Pennsylvania, a $6M non-profit committed to providing shelter and supportive services to young adults who are experiencing homelessness. In this role, Jen steered the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic, scaled and diversified revenue, enhanced the organization’s continuum of housing and services, and kicked off construction of a new 12-unit housing and administrative facility in Philadelphia.

Jen has also served as Executive Director for College Possible Philadelphia and Chief Development Officer for Children’s Literacy Initiative, two organizations that helped students from low-income backgrounds use education as a lever to reduce inequality and open up opportunities. She was an adjunct professor at Temple University.

A first-generation college student, Jen received her MA from the University College Cork Ireland and BA from La Salle University. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband and son.