Michael Brown

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder


Michael Brown is CEO and Co-Founder of City Year, an education-focused nonprofit organization that mobilizes idealistic young people for a year of service in high-need schools.

This year 3,000 City Year AmeriCorps members are helping to address the nation's high school dropout crisis and turnaround low performing schools by serving as full-time tutors, mentors and role models in high-need schools in 27 U.S. cities. City Year also has affiliates in South Africa and the UK.

Through its national initiative, "In School and On Track: A National Challenge," City Year aims to significantly increase the urban graduation pipeline in America.

City Year served as an inspiration for AmeriCorps, the federal initiative through which more than 900,000 Americans have served their country. City Year has more than 20,000 alumni who have contributed more than 29 million hours of service and earned access to $71 million in college scholarships through the AmeriCorps National Service Trust.

For his work developing City Year and advancing the national service movement, Michael has been awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award and several honorary degrees. He has been named one of America’s Best Leaders by US News & World Report and an Executive of the Year and a member of The Power and Influence Top 50 by The NonProfit Times.

Michael is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Prior to co-founding City Year, Michael served as a legislative assistant to then Congressman Leon Panetta and as a clerk for Federal Judge Stephen Breyer.

Jim Balfanz

(City Year Boston '94), President


Since 2010, Jim Balfanz has served as President of City Year, steering its continued evolution as a performance-driven organization. Balfanz led City Year’s strategic shift towards addressing the nation’s urban education challenge as a scalable human capital strategy for high-poverty schools and co-authored a 2012 City Year report, “Closing the Implementation Gap,” that highlights the critical role national service can play in helping to improve student achievement in America’s highest need schools. In partnership with Johns Hopkins Talent Development and Communities In Schools, Balfanz has also played a leadership role in the development of Diplomas Now, which was awarded a $36 million Investing in Innovation award by the Department of Education.

Prior to his role as President, Balfanz served as City Year’s Chief Operating Officer for 5 years during which he led the organization through a sustained period of growth that enabled it to grow from 15 to 21 U.S. locations and launch its second international affiliate in London. Balfanz began his work with City Year as a corps member at a Head Start Program in Boston in 1993, after which he joined City Year’s staff and has since assumed various roles in City Year’s National Headquarters, including Deputy Director of National Affairs, and Director of New Site Development, followed by being named the Founding Executive Director of City Year Greater Philadelphia in 1997.

Balfanz received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University, is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business Executive management Program, and a 2011-2012 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow. He currently serves on the Mass Insight Education board of directors and the City Year UK board of trustees.

Sean Holleran

(City Year Boston ’95), Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Sean Holleran joined City Year when he served as a corps member in 1994-95. After his corps year, Sean served as a team leader and held various jobs including Community and Civic Engagement Manager in Boston and National Convention Director. He joined the staff of City Year Greater Philadelphia as Deputy Director in the site’s second year and was soon promoted to Co-Executive Director, a position he held for three years. Sean then served for one year as the site’s Executive Director before moving back to Boston to serve as Vice President for the Office of Site Leadership, overseeing all U.S. City Year locations. Sean graduated from Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in English.  

Evelyn Barnes

Executive Vice President & Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Evelyn Barnes joined City Year as Chief Financial Officer in 2005. She brings to City Year more than 20 years of finance and operations experience. Evelyn came to City Year after serving as CFO for The Community Builders, the largest non-profit, urban housing developer in the U.S. Throughout her career, she has been employed in senior finance positions with several large nonprofit organizations. Evelyn’s leadership experience in nonprofit finance is extensive: she was the CFO at the YWCA in Boston and Midnight Mission in Los Angeles, and Deputy Director of the Los Angeles Community Design Center and the Alcoholism Center for Women. She received her undergraduate degree and master’s degree from Boston University and has a professional designation in financial planning from the University of California – Los Angeles.

AnnMaura Connolly 

Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President 
President, Voices for National Service


For more than two decades AnnMaura has worked to expand opportunities for young people to serve across the United States and around the world.  A member of City Year’s Management Executive Committee, AnnMaura directs City Year’s international work, and oversees public policy and public affairs.  In addition, AnnMaura serves as President of Voices for National Service, a coalition of hundreds of service organizations that work together to advance citizen service policy.   

After college, AnnMaura served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Southern California where she helped to create and lead a counseling program for refugees.  After returning to Washington D.C., she directed a national grants program at Very Special Arts, an international organization dedicated to increasing opportunities in the arts for people with disabilities.  In 1989, AnnMaura joined Youth Service America, where she organized the first National Youth Service Day, launched the New Generation Training Program and led a policy working group of leaders from the national service field to draft a set of recommendations that informed the design of AmeriCorps.  In 1995, AnnMaura joined the newly created Corporation for National and Community Service as Deputy Director, Independent Sector and served as liaison to the foundation and national nonprofit community.  After leaving CNCS, AnnMaura served as director of the AmeriCorps Anniversary Committee and as a policy consultant to the Grantmaker Forum on Community and National Service.

AnnMaura holds a B.A. in political science from the College of the Holy Cross.  She serves on The Franklin Project Leadership Council, the Advisory Board for the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program at Brandeis University, the Federal Advisory Council of the Presidio Institute, and the Boards of Directors of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, My Good Deed, City Year South Africa and City Year UK. She also serves as a principal of the newly created Service Year Alliance.  In January 2015, AnnMaura was selected for the first class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program, a joint initiative of the Bush, Clinton, Bush and Johnson Presidential Libraries.

Check out a Q&A with AnnMaura Connolly 

Welles C. Hatch

Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer


Welles Hatch, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, leads City Year's IT Services Department and technology strategy, providing planning and analysis, operations leadership, and applications and system architecture support to City Year's national network. Welles has a wealth of experience in developing, implementing and managing information systems as a senior executive of a number of New England technology and software companies. His previous positions include roles with software services firms and a consulting startup offering technology platform and web-based curricula to public K-12 schools across the US. In addition, Welles is an active member of Boston-area civic organizations. He is a member of the Boston Chapter of the Society for Information Management and a trustee of the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund. Welles received his undergraduate degree from University of Massachusetts/Amherst and his master’s in business administration from the George Washington University.

Jeff Jablow

Senior Vice President, Strategy & Operations

As City Year’s Senior Vice President of Strategy & Operations, Jeff leads City Year’s national growth and impact planning. Jeff directs City Year’s school district relations, strategic analysis and Diplomas Now school turnaround collaboration work. Jeff has been with City Year since 2005 when he joined the organization to lead the creation of City Year’s five year strategic plan. Since then, Jeff has played a lead role in evolving City Year’s focus to strategically deploy to low performing schools to address the nation’s dropout crisis. Jeff has lead the growth and development of Diplomas Now since its founding in 2007 and helped to direct the effort to win an Investing in Innovations (i3) grant from the US Department of Education. Prior to joining City Year, Jeff worked as a strategy consultant with Cambridge Strategic Management Group, Ernst and Young Consulting, and The Bridgespan Group. Jeff also worked at Ma Afrika Tikkun, a community and youth development nonprofit in Cape Town, South Africa. Jeff has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a Bachelors in Business Administration and Masters in Accounting from the University of Michigan. Jeff serves on the board of City on a Hill Charter School in Roxbury, MA.

Hubie Jones

Senior Adviser and Social Justice Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Hubie Jones is a vital member of the social justice movement in Boston where he has held numerous positions in academia, served on multiple boards and played a leadership role in the social development of the city and its people. Mr. Jones is Dean Emeritus of the Boston University School of Social Work, where he served as Professor and Dean from 1977 to 1993. He was Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Urban Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston from 1995 to 2003 and for eight months in 1992, he was acting President of Roxbury Community College. From 1972 to 1977, he was Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Jones has played a key role in the formation, rebuilding and leadership of at least thirty community organizations within the black community and across the city. In twenty of these organizations, he served as chairman of the board or executive director. Some of these leadership roles include: executive director of the Roxbury Multi-Service Center, board chairman of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children, board president of Roxbury Youthworks, Roxbury Community College Foundation and the Citywide Educational Coalition. He founded Higher Ground, Inc., modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone. Since 2002, he has been founder and president of the Boston Children’s Chorus. He has served as a trustee at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute for 10 years and a trustee of the Foley Hoag Foundation for 25 years. For 20 years, Hubie Jones appeared weekly as a panelist on “Five on Five”, a public affairs program on WCVB-TV.

He earned his B.A. degree from the City College of New York and master’s degree in social work from Boston University School of Social Work. Mr. Jones has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Northeastern University, University of Maryland, Lesley University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

Allison Graff-Weisner

Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer

In this role Allison advances the organization’s fundraising portfolio by deepening City Year’s current partnerships, building dynamic new investments and enhancing the ways in which City Year stakeholders across the country collaborate to further advance the organization to achieve its impact goals. In addition, Allison oversees the organization’s engagement of over 20,000 + alumni by mobilizing their talents, skills and resources to benefit the students served by City Year. 

A Southern California native, Allison previously served as the Executive Director of City Year Los Angeles (CYLA). In 2007 returned to her home state to launch CYLA, leading the organization’s eighteenth site. Starting with 75 corps members in its founding year, CYLA has quickly grown to meet the needs of the region, expanding to 275 corps members in its seventh year. Prior to launching CYLA, Allison served as City Year’s national Alumni Director. In addition, Allison has worked at several community development and education organizations in the U.S. Allison held leadership positions with Learning Leaders, an organization that engages 10,000 volunteers in New York City schools, including oversight of parent involvement programs at 20 schools in the Bronx. Prior to Learning Leaders, Allison taught and ran an after-school program in Washington, D.C. during a year of national service with Public Allies. 

Allison serves on the Senior Fellow Society at the USC Marshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab and was recognized by LA magazine in 2013 as one of LA’s ten “Most Inspiring Women” for her great work as City Year Los Angeles’ Executive Director. She is a graduate of University of California at Berkeley and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is the proud mother of Maya and Gil.

Sandra Lopez Burke

Vice President & Executive Director of City Year Boston

Sandra Lopez Burke joined City Year as the Director of Individual Giving in 2001, subsequently served four years as Vice President and Chief of Staff to the CEO, and most recently, was promoted to Vice President and Executive Director of the Founding Site of City Year – Boston. Sandra brought to City Year more than 10 years of management and event planning experience in the nonprofit sector, including working with Boston 2000 and the San Antonio Sports Foundation, and directing the 1998 NCAA Men’s Final Four. She also worked closely to establish the Dreams for Youth program, aimed at introducing San Antonio’s disadvantaged youth to Olympic sports. Sandra is the parent of two City Year alumna.

Christine Morin

Chief Growth & External Affairs Officer


Christine is Chief Growth and External Affairs Officer at City Year where she leads the enterprise-wide integration of City Year’s growth, scaled revenue strategies and communications. In this role, she is focused on ensuring that City Year is resourced and positioned to scale its impact to significantly increase the number of students on track to high school graduation, prepared for college and career.

As part of her work leading City Year’s national expansion since 2007, Christine has launched 10 new locations, securing multi-year private sector growth capital and strategic partnerships with school districts. She also served as the founding Executive Director of City Year Miami, leading the organization’s largest founding corps. Christine joined City Year in 2005 as the Fireman Public Service Fellow and has held various leadership positions including National Director of the Team Sponsor Program, City Year's premier corporate partnership program, increasing revenue by over 40% and securing two National Leadership Sponsors.

Prior to City Year, Christine served as the founding Director of the International House of Blues Foundation- Orlando, an arts education program for middle and high school students, and she was the Art Administrator for House of Blues. Christine earned her Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and Bachelors in Sociology from Florida State University.


Mithra Irani Ramaley

Senior Vice President, Regional and Site Operations

Mithra currently serves as Senior Vice President of Regional & Site Operations at City Year, Inc. and is responsible for overseeing operations for all US locations. She joined City Year in 1993 as part of the start-up team for City Year Rhode Island, the organization's first expansion location. Mithra led the site as Team Leader, then Program Director, and then moved to City Year, Inc. where she created the organization's first national convention program and developed the organization's strategic planning capacity. After serving with City Year for four years, she attended New York University’s Stern School of Business, where she majored in finance and founded the school’s first service organization. After graduation, Mithra worked at A.T. Kearney, a management consulting firm in Manhattan. Like many New Yorkers, Mithra was deeply affected by the events of September 11, 2001. Within months, Mithra left her position at A.T. Kearney to found City Year New York. She subsequently served as co-Executive Director and then Regional Director for City Year Philadelphia, New York, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. Mithra earned her bachelor's degree from Brown University.

Charlie Rose

Senior Vice President & Dean

Charlie Rose has been a youth worker, organizer and entrepreneur in Boston for nearly 30 years. As a founding board member of City Year and then staff member who has played myriad roles, Charlie has helped build the organization into a national model for youth community service organizations. In addition, Charlie has also been a founding board member for seven other organizations including YouthBuild Boston and has served the community through his work with organizations such as Youth Outreach Program, Citizens for Safety, National Toxics Campaign, United Labor Unions Local, Urban Edge and as a VISTA volunteer. Prior to joining City Year’s staff, he was the Director of Youth Services for the City of Boston’s Community Centers.


Gillian Smith

Chief Marketing Officer


Gillian Smith joined City Year in July of 2011 as Chief Marketing Officer, and is responsible for leading all of the organization’s marketing efforts. Prior to her work at City Year, Gillian was Chief Marketing Officer at Teach For America, where the recruitment marketing work contributed to more than a 150% increase in applications over the course of four years. Before Teach For America, Smith held several marketing roles at Burger King Corporation (BKC). Under her leadership, BKC marketing campaigns received a number of honors, including Cannes Golden Lions and Best Viral Advertising of 2004 (The Wall Street Journal). Smith has been recognized as a Woman to Watch by Advertising Age (May 2006) and an Online All-Star by MediaPost (September 2006). Prior to her work at BKC, Smith was a brand manager for the Coca-Cola Company in Germany. Smith is a graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany.

Stephanie Wu

Senior Vice President & Chief Program Design and Evaluation Officer

Stephanie leads the design of City Year’s youth programs which are delivered by more than 1500 full-time corps members in 20 locations and hundreds of schools across the country. Stephanie came to City Year from the private sector in 1988 as a founding team leader in City Year's summer pilot program. During City Year’s first decade she developed and led projects serving Boston youth in school and out of school programs as well as founded City Year’s Academy, putting in place foundational programs on City Year’s culture, ideals, history, programs and leadership techniques. She has held a number of management positions, including Co-Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President of U.S. Site Operations, and Senior Vice President for Human Resources. Stephanie served for one year in England and Wales with the American Field Service. She was also selected to be a national trainer in President Clinton's demonstration national service program, Summer of Service. Stephanie is a graduate of Boston University.