Our Board of Directors
Ms. Bell is a longtime resident of Edgewood Terrace and parent of three Beacon House children, the oldest of which is now training to be a paramedic. She currently works for Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative as a Sr. Family Support Worker. She serves on the Edgewood Terrace Residents Association, and is on the Parent Advisory Council of the Seed School, a D.C. Charter School.
Jeremy Best (Secretary)
Mr. Best is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland. He also teaches courses at the University. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Mr. Best was an elementary school teacher in the Baltimore City Public School system. He came to Baltimore as a Teach for America corps member and subsequently spent three years working to empower his students to access education and maximize their potential. Mr. Best has a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from John Hopkins University.
Ms. Burnett is a long time resident of the Edgewood Terrace community and has been an aggressive community activist for the betterment of this and surrounding communities since 1994. She has held offices in civil rights and civil liberties groups with several pioneers. In addition to her activism, Ms. Burnett has served as a teacher as well as worked in telecommunications and human services. She has been involved with organizations Harlem Business and Professional Club, Harlem YWCA, the Philadelphia General Hospital, and is a charter member of the National Organization of Women.
Mr. D’Angelo is a Director of D. E. Shaw Direct Capital, L.L.C. He is one of the founders of the Capital for Children investor group. He holds dual masters degrees in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University and in Finance (MBA) from Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. He served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine, and has served on boards of various businesses and non profit organizations.
Ms. Gavins-Evans resides in DC with her husband and two children. She currently works for Mental Health & Promotion, Danya International as a senior research associate. She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, and has focused her work on family involvement in children’s development and education. She has also worked as a school psychologist as well as served as clinical faculty in the graduate level School Psychology program at Indiana University.
David “Ty” Johnson (Chair)
Mr. Johnson is a long time Beacon House volunteer and parent. He currently works at the Central Intelligence Agency as an Information Systems Security Manager. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration as well as a Master’s Certificate in Project Management and has had a long career in information technology. David has worked closely with Beacon House as a mentor and football coach. He currently lives in D.C. with his wife and children.
Ms. Leader is a resident of Washington, D.C. and a Managing Director with The Advisory Board Company, a global consulting firm that serves the technology needs of the health care industry. In her capacity as Managing Director she oversees a team that manages over $100M in revenue. She is a graduate of Brown University where she collaborated with seven other Ivy League colleges to create Ivy Corps, an Ivy League day of service.
Mr. Liberman is a long time resident of Washington, D.C., having raised two daughters here who are both now well into their careers, one as a lawyer and one as a social worker. Mr. Liberman is a senior partner with the law firm of Drinker Biddle. His practice is in the telecommunications and mass media fields, and he has a wealth of experience with day-to-day legal business issues.
Ms. Lyons is a native Washingtonian. She currently serves as Vice President and Director of Community Development Programs for Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC), the owners of the Edgewood property where Beacon House resides. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from American University and taught for a time, before going into organizational/administrative work. She is an active participant in the communities where CPDC owns property.
Reverend Susan Newman
Reverend Newman is a long time resident of the District of Columbia and the Associate Minister of Congregational Life and Social Justice at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at 16th and Harvard Streets, NW in Washington, D.C. Rev. Newman continues a multi-decade career as a pastor, community advocate, teacher and author. She is an HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy prevention educator and trainer, and has worked with several community and faith-based groups, including the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Planned Parenthood and AIDS Action Foundation. Her several publications include With Heart and Hand:the Black Church Working to Save Black Children. Dr. Newman received a BA in journalism from George Washington University, a Master of Divinity from Howard University, and a Doctor of Ministry from the United Theological Seminary.
Ravi Ohri (Vice-Chair)
Mr. Ohri is a Financial Analysis Director –Performance and Risk Reporting at Freddie Mac in McLean, VA. He received a Masters in Business Administration-Finance from George Washington University, is a long time resident of the greater DC area and brings much-needed accounting expertise to the Beacon House Board. Mr. Ohri joined the Beacon House Board in 2010.
Reverend Donald Robinson (President and Founder)
Rev. Robinson is the President and Founder of Beacon House. Prior to starting Beacon House, Rev. Robinson was a case worker for D.C. Human Services. After retiring from the government and attending Howard University Divinity School, Rev. turned his attention to Edgewood Terrace, where he saw a need to help families and children in the neighborhood. He rallied volunteers, started helping with homework, and served snacks. Through the years, Rev. Robinson presided over the growth of Beacon House, which today serves over 400 children per year.
Steven Schneebaum (Treasurer)
Mr. Schneebaum is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild. He has more than three decades of experience handling a range of international and domestic dispute resolution and complex litigation matters. He is heavily involved in pro bono activities, representing needy individuals and handling numerous matters involving international human rights, protection of the elderly poor, civil rights and the death penalty. Mr. Schneebuam is a regular author and speaker at conferences and seminars on public international law, international human rights, U.S. litigation strategies, international trade, European Law and other international legal topics. He has taught numerous courses on related topics at the George Washington University School of Law, Cornell, Catholic and American Universities, and Oxford University. Since 1990, he has been an adjunct professor of international law at the School of Advanced International Studies, The John Hopkins University.
Mr. Thalji is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Financial Analyst with over 20 years of experience in the mortgage banking business. He is currently a Vice-President of Risk and Performance Analysis with Freddie Mac, where he leads a 25 person team. Mr. Thalji joined the Board of Beacon House in 2011.
Ms. Williams is one of the founders and currently the Executive Director of Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative (E/BFSC), which is located in Ward 5 of Washington D.C. She has played a major role in the development of the city’s Healthy Families, Thriving Communities Collaborative initiative. She has a Master's Degree in Social Work and more than 30 years of experience in family and children's services, criminal justice, program planning and development, mental health, community organizing and the education of social work students. Ms. Williams is also a native Washingtonian, having grown up in the Kenilworth Courts Public Housing Project in Northeast, D.C. Ms. Williams sees her experience of growing up in a DC public housing complex as a major factor in her work in neighborhoods and communities.
Jeff Leonard (Chair Emeritus)
Dr. Leonard is the President and founding shareholder of Global Environment Fund, a fund that invests worldwide in emerging markets, including technology, energy, the environment, intelligent systems engineering, biotechnology and healthcare. Dr. Leonard has a BA from Harvard, an MSC from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Ex Officio: Gerry Kittner, Interim Executive Director