Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Message from the new Executive Director of AmeriCorps Alums

Welcome from the new Executive Director of AmeriCorps Alums

The answer is 1998, March 2005, and 28 days

If you guessed, "When did you: hear about AmeriCorps, engage with AmeriCorps Alums, and start serving as the new AmeriCorps Alums Executive Director," you'd be right! Hearing Harris Wofford speak about AmeriCorps for the first time as an undergrad in 1998 profoundly and significantly impacted my personal and professional trajectory. I arrived at DC Village in the fall of 1999 as a new NCCC Corps Member, next serving as a Team Leader at the San Diego NCCC campus. Adding a third year at Citizen Schools as part of their two-year Teaching Fellowship in Boston, my early career was defined by AmeriCorps and five years of direct service experience in communities in need. I went to graduate school in Baltimore to learn more about the policies and programs that impacted the neighborhoods, schools, and citizens I had been working with. While at Johns Hopkins, I was able to spend a summer and a semester as a Mayoral Fellow in the O'Malley Administration, and see innovative urban government up close in the Baltimore Planning Department. Most recently I've spend the last five years working at KaBoom!, first as the Manager of Special Projects to the CEO and then as a Senior Program Manager, supporting the organization's mission and scaling their municipal engagement strategy.

Attending the March 2005 HandsOn Network Conference in Portland was another seminal moment, because this was where AmeriCorps Alums was re-launched in the form you find it today. Serving on the AmeriCorps Alums Advisory Council in those first few years has certainly helped prepare me for my role as Executive Director, which I assumed on April 4. It's an exciting time to be at the center of a national debate on the value of AmeriCorps and national service, particularly when over seven hundred thousand Americans can identify as an AmeriCorps Alums.

In the coming weeks and months, we'll be working hard to deepen our collaborations and elevate our organizational profile to provide greater impact and connectivity to the entire field of AmeriCorps alumni. We'll also be looking for input from our robust chapter network of volunteer leaders, our partner organizations, and most importantly from YOU, the Alums in our national network. Please don't hesitate to email me at or leave a comment on our blog.

I am excited to serve as the new Executive Director of AmeriCorps Alums because I believe that there are hundreds of thousands of Americans that look to their AmeriCorps experience as their most important, most impactful, most life-altering achievement. It is our collective voice and leadership potential that will be the 21st century transformational force for change in America's communities.

I look forward to working with you towards this vision, please be sure and tell your friends and fellow Alums to get connected at

Proudly an AmeriCorps Alum,

Ben Duda

600 Means Street, Ste. 210 | Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 202.729.8186 | Fax:202.729.8100

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