NYEC Staff Biographies
MALA B. THAKUR
Mala B. Thakur leads the National Youth Employment Coalitionâ??s national membership network in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Mala oversees NYECâ??s efforts focused on policy, quality standards, professional development, education, member services, and research.
Mala has worked extensively in the areas of education and workforce development practice and policy for youth and adult populations. Mala spearheaded the creation of NYECâ??s education portfolio and has led national capacity building efforts for workforce development, education, and juvenile justice initiatives. Mala frequently delivers presentations and workshops at national conferences on workforce development, education and youth development policy and practice.
Before joining NYEC in 1999, Mala served as Director of Workforce Development at the New York Citywide School to Work Alliance where she provided technical assistance to School to Work partnerships and analyzed federal and state legislation on education and workforce development. Before working at the School to Work Alliance, Mala directed policy, research, and advocacy efforts at the National Puerto Rican Forum pertaining to education, employment, and training issues for Latinos and other underserved populations in New York City. Mala has also worked in dropout prevention programs in the New York City public school system and taught English as a Second Language at the New York Association for New Americans.
Today, Mala serves on the Board of Directors of the Latin American Youth Center Career Academy and the Coalition on Human Needs and the Steering Committees of the Campaign For Youth and the National Collaboration For Youth. She holds an M.A. in Education from New York University and a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in French from the University of California, Berkeley.
Director, Quality Standards and Practice
Stefanie joined NYEC in February 2012 as the Director of Quality Standards and Practices. She plays a critical role in the development, support and implementation of NYEC's efforts to scale quality practices that enable organizations to provide youth with interventions and opportunities that promote successful transitions to adulthood.
Yelena Nemoy joined NYEC in May 2011. In her role as Project Manager, Yelena is primarily responsible for supporting the work of the Postsecondary Success Initiative.
Yelena joined NYEC with several years of experience in direct youth work with specific expertise in positive youth development, dropout prevention, and workforce development for youth. In her prior positions, Yelena provided crisis intervention support and transitional living case management to homeless and marginally housed youth in the shelter and transitional housing programs at Urban Peak Denver and coordinated a youth internship program and provided job readiness and future planning support to students at risk of dropping out of high school at Goodwill Industries of Denver. While at Goodwill Industries of Denver, Yelena has also worked with volunteers and mentors and conducted outreach to educate the community about the value of youth in the workforce and to form new partnerships with other CBOs, businesses, and local government agencies in order to increase employment and other resources available to youth in Goodwill programs.
Yelena holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Pace University and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado Denver.
Member Services Associate
Shani Provost joined NYEC in August 2011. In her role as Member Services Associate, she coordinates all aspects of membership retention, new membership recruitment and the provision of services to NYEC members. She also manages NYEC's electronic newsletter and its marketing publications.
Shani has several years of marketing and public relations experience. Prior to joining NYEC, she worked as the Marketing Communications Specialist for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). She was primarily responsible for managing both CHCI's website and its online social media networks. Shani also managed its online monthly electronic newsletters and its electronic event updates. Providing additional support to various departments as needed, Shani often served as CHCI's Executive Board and sponsor liaison assisting with event logistics and fundraising initiatives.
Shani holds a B.A. in Communications from Johnson C. Smith University and a M.A. in Journalism & Public Affairs from American University.
James Huettig joined NYEC in February 2012. In his role as Policy Analyst, James supports the Coalition's public policy and advocacy efforts at both the state and federal levels.
Prior to joining NYEC, James served as a Policy Analyst for the Urban Peace program at the Advancement Project in Los Angeles. During this time he focused on promoting comprehensive solutions to urban and particularly gang crime, which included initiatives in education and youth development. In addition, James aided in reviewing current studies and reports on youth-oriented programming through IssueLab, an online library for non-profit research.
James holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and International Studies from Northwestern University. He has also conducted multiple research projects on racial/ethnic issues, for which he has served as a guest lecturer for undergraduate courses and has presented at numerous conferences around the country.