JSAF Staff

Ken White

Chief Executive Officer

(650) 393-7640


Ken White has devoted much of his career to enhancing opportunities for people and communities, with an emphasis on the rising generation. A graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s mid-career program, he has worked for nonprofits in a variety of management capacities over the last two decades. Immediately prior to joining the Junior State of America Foundation, Ken served as Associate Director of the Post Carbon Institute, a leading-edge think tank focused on energy, the environment, the economy, and equity.

Previously, Ken was the Coordinating Director of the Chaordic Commons, Inc., a group created by Dee Hock, the founding director of VISA, to develop new forms of organizations in pursuit of a healthier world. From 1998-2002, Ken served as Executive Director of Common Cause Massachusetts, a citizen-led organization working for representative and inclusive government. One of his significant achievements at Common Cause was co-leading a broad coalition of organizations that successfully passed a Clean Elections Law via ballot initiative, and then mounted an equally effective legislative and legal strategy to uphold and implement that law.
Ken spent the mid-1990s as the Director of Communications for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and the Coalition of Essential Schools. Immediately prior to his work for Annenberg, he held similar posts with Oxfam America and the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies. He has also been a consultant to numerous nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
Ken began his career as a journalist—reporting for a local daily newspaper, writing feature stories and commentary for national publications, and serving as Editor and other roles for several magazines. Ken has served as a spokesperson for several organizations and coalitions, making numerous appearances on television and radio. He has led discussions and workshops on a variety of topics, including democracy, adult development, intergenerational collaboration, communications, and faith and politics.
Ken lives in Richmond, CA, with his wife, Brooke Deterline. His avocations include community building, coaching high school mountain bike riders, trail running, and meditating.

School Year

Elizabeth Ventura

School Year Programs Administrator

(650) 393-7734


Elizabeth Ventura is currently the School Year Program Administrator and Program Director for the Mid-Atlantic States at the Junior State of America. In 2004 Elizabeth started her career in Civic Education as a Title 1 teacher in the Hawaii public school system. She transferred to the Rhode Island school system in 2006 and continued to work in public education until accepting a full time position with the Junior State of America.

Elizabeth is no stranger to JSA having attended Stanford Summer School in 1996. She started working for JSA as a Resident Advisor at the Georgetown Summer School campus in 2003 and in the last 22 sessions has held every summer position there including 8 years as Director. Elizabeth started working for JSA full time in 2008 holding the job title as Program Director for various JSA States including the Mid-Atlantic, Texas, Northeast, Midwest, Ohio River, Valley, and the Southeast from 2008 – 2012, Senior Program Director 2012 – 2013, Chief Program Officer 2013 – 2015.
A native Hoosier, Elizabeth attended Old Dominion University where she received a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology graduating magna cum laude. Her hobbies include outdoor running, yoga, hiking and travel. She is an avid supporter of Navy football and is a 16 year proud Navy Wife. Elizabeth resides in Annapolis, MD with her husband Matthew.

Stephen Bayne

Senior Program Director

(650) 393-7638


Stephen Bayne – Senior Program Administrator, Texas and Pacific Northwest

Stephen Bayne joined The Junior Statesmen Foundation in 2007 as a Residence Advisor at the JSF Stanford Summer School. He joined the Foundation as a full time employee in February of 2008 as the Summer Programs Manager, administering the Presidential Nominating Convention Symposia and Summer School Programs, as well as other special projects. Currently, he is the California Senior Program Director, superiving all West Coast, Arizona and Texas Programs.  He is also the Program Director for the Pacific Northwest and Texas Junior States.

Stephen received a Masters Degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in International Relations, from San Diego State University. He also has a BA in Political Science from SDSU and studied Comparative Politics at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. While at SDSU he made the Dean’s List four consecutive semesters and was a member of the nationally ranked San Diego State Ultimate Frisbee team.  Before joining JSA he worked as a Campaign Organizer for the California Democratic Party in Oakland, California.

Stephen grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and went to Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, CA.  He currently lives in San Jose and enjoys reading, writing, solving Rubik’s cube, and hiking with his family.

Ed Banayat

Senior Program Director, Territories

(650) 393-7668


Ed Banayat is the Program Director for the US Territories and Freely Associated States. This is Ed’s second tour with the Junior State of America Foundation. He previously served as the Registrar for the Northern California Territory and Admissions Director for the Stanford Summer School and also assisted with the California Symposia.
Originally from Elk Grove, California, he was the President of the Elk Grove High School JSA Chapter. He has worn many hats in his professional career, from matching funds auditing for presidential campaigns, working as a Marketing Director for Kaplan, Inc. to small business consulting. Prior to returning to JSA, he was the President/CEO of the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce.

Ed received his B.A. in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara and an MBA from Notre Dame de Namur University. He likes to spend his spare time boxing, biking, surfing, snowboarding, playing rugby and the stereo. You may find him outdoors hiking with his dog Elko. Ed currently resides in Palo Alto, CA.

Dan Hess

Program Director, Northern California

(650) 393-7644


Dan Hess joined The Junior State of America Foundation at the beginning of 2015 and brings years of experience in politics, campaigns, event planning, and policy advocacy to the organization . Dan has been a political fundraiser, political consultant and pollster, an event planner for a Fortune 100 company, and an ocean conservation advocate and Policy Fellow at Oceana. Right before he came to JSA, Dan was the lead author and data analyst of a publicly-released report detailing Global Fishing Watch, a tool he collaborated with Google and SkyTruth to create that maps and measures all fishing activity worldwide in an effort to eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

Passionately dedicated to Northern California JSA, Dan has focused his efforts on ensuring existing chapters become stronger, creating a robust expansion program, implementing a vigorous development strategy, and improving communication throughout the State through building strong connections with not only the student leaders he works with, but also the teachers and parents that create the backbone of JSA’s first state. A very accessible program director, he encourages parents and teachers to reach out if they ever have questions and tries to make it so his students see him not only as their program director, but as a resource both inside and outside JSA. Dan is also the Director of the JSA Summer School at Georgetown. Dan previously served as the Deputy Director at JSA’s Stanford Summer School in 2016 and Georgetown Summer School in 2015.
Originally from San Lorenzo, California, Dan has been involved in JSA since he was a freshman in high school. A member of Bishop O’Dowd’s JSA Chapter all four years, Dan served as an East Bay Region Senator as a sophomore before becoming chapter president and resurrecting the Northern California Public Relations Department and serving as the Public Relations Director as a junior and senior. Dan attended the Stanford Summer School, Davis Symposium, and Montezuma Leadership Summit in 2004 and remained close to JSA while in college, serving as a Resident Assistant at the 2006 Stanford Summer School and Davis Symposium, as well as the Georgetown Summer School programs in both 2007 and 2009.
Dan has a M.A. in American Government from Georgetown University and holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from Gonzaga University. His Master’s thesis focused on how partisanship, party bases, and third-party organizations affect senate primary candidates and campaigns. His Bachelor’s thesis focused on the forgotten presidency of Chester A. Arthur. When Dan’s not in the office, you can probably find him scuba diving, hiking, camping, cooking, or at a coffee shop with a crossword puzzle.

Yvonne England

Program Director, Southern California

(650) 393-7650


Yvonne England joined The Junior State of America Foundation in 2016 as the Southern California Program Director. Before joining JSA she worked with President Obama’s reelection campaign as a Staging Location Director for the Riverside office. She also worked for three years in the nonprofit world in fundraising, community development, and youth engagement.
Yvonne received her Master’s Degree from California State University, Fullerton in American Studies and wrote her thesis, titled A Punk Practice: The Development of Punk Political Activism from 1979 – 2004, on the rise of youth political activism in the punk rock scene. She also has two BAs from the University of California, Riverside in History and English.
Yvonne grew up in the Southern California area as a punk rock kid going to punk rock shows. She has two awesome cats, a dog, and a loving partner who is kinda famous on the internet.

Tracy Getselman

Program Director, Northeast and Southeast

(650) 393-7722


Tracy Getselman joined the Junior State of America (JSA) Foundation in 2016 with a diverse background in volunteer management and leadership development. As JSA’s Northeast and Southeast Program Director, Tracy is incredibly excited to be part of an organization that assists in strengthening student passions.

Tracy grew up outside of Boston, MA and loves the Patriots. She received her B.S. in Psychology at The University of Tampa where she was involved asa leader in the Educating Leaders in Today’s Environment (ELITE) for her full four years. She also served on the student advisory board and worked at the volunteer center where she engaged college students in meaningful service opportunities in the Tampa Bay Area. After graduation, Tracy participated in a year of service in Israel where she assisted students in high schools, engaged with the elderly and interned at a local nonprofit in Jerusalem.

In her free time Tracy loves to tell silly jokes, knit scarves (only thing she can knit) and go on adventures.

Jennifer Senna

Program Director, Midwest and Ohio River Valley

(650) 393-7724


Jen Senna joins JSA in 2018 as the Program Director of the Midwest and Ohio River Valley. Prior to JSA, Jen has worked in variety of academic settings in Boston, MA and Washington, D.C. She began her career with supporting student achievement as a Corps Member and Senior Corps Member at City Year, Washington D.C. at a Southeast elementary school. She transitioned to Boston as a Volunteer Coordinator with the Steppingstone Foundation, and continued to a Administrative position with the Advent School. Returning to Washington for her work with JSA, she will continue her education with a Masters degree from American University.

Passionate about education equality, social activism and youth development, Jen is thrilled to join the team and support the amazing work our students do!

Operations

Derek Dettorre

Director of Operations and Administration

(650) 393-7658


Derek joined the Junior State of America Foundation in June 2013 as an Accounting Assistant in the California office. Since that time, Derek has held multiple roles and assisted with program initiatives across the school year, summer, and development departments. In his current role as Director of Operations and Administration, Derek is focused on improving JSA’s operational capacity to expand the reach and impact of its programs, as well as developing strategies to engage alumni and attract potential partners.

Prior to JSA, Derek worked as an Assistant Baseball Coach for his alma mater, Wesleyan University (CT), where he was also a four-year infielder, Captain, and was chosen for the conference All-Sportsmanship Team in his senior season. Derek received his BA  in Economics from Wesleyan and was nominated to join The International Economics Honor Society – Omicron Delta Epsilon. He also spent a semester abroad in the UK at the University of Kent, where he studied Comparative Political and Economic Theory.
Originally from the great state of Massachusetts, Derek attributes much of his desire and inspiration for furthering the JSA mission to his parents, who have dedicated their lives, as educators and coaches, to preparing and cultivating our youth for a better future.

Fernando Fernandez

Technology Assistant

(650) 393-7666


Fernando Fernandez is the Technology Assistant for the Junior States of America Foundation. Working out of the Burlingame office, Fernando provides support for the Burlingame office physically and the Washington DC office remotely.

Fernando joined the JSA in late August of 2012 on a part-time basis, which soon evolved into a full-time position with the foundation. Fernando studied in Information Sciences with an emphasis on Network Systems Administration while at the Heald College – Hayward campus, finishing with an Applied Associates degree. He brings with him the knowledge and skill acquired from his time in school and past employment, which includes working both from a front-end tech position with Branders and a back-end tech position working for Yahoo at one of their data centers. With the knowledge he brings to the table, Fernando looks to provide a helping hand to the JSA in all of their technology needs and assist JSAers in their technology-related queries that come along the way.

Fernando was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and has resided on the Peninsula his entire life. In his spare time, Fernando is a bit of an avid swimmer and gamer, enjoys drawing, a fan of Japanese animation, and participating in cosplay.

Simon Muturi

Director of Finance

(650) 393-7660


As the JSA Finance Director, Simon Muturi is responsible for the accurate and timely maintenance and reporting of financial information which reflects the current financial position and operating performance of the Foundation. He works closely with the student governors, Program Directors and Campus Directors in reviewing and analyzing the Foundation’s budget at various stages of completion and preparation of financial projections for major school year and summer events. As a graduate of California State University, Simon holds bachelor degrees in Accounting, Corporate Management and Taxation. Before JSA, Simon worked with a number of internationally recognized non-profit organizations, oversees and locally.
In his spare time, Simon enjoys crafting, biking, reading, word games, and volunteering in organizations that serve the community.

Zhuai Wu

Accounting Assistant


Zhuai Wu joined JSA in 2017 as an Accounting Assistant.  She was born in China and lived in
Hong Kong for several years. Therefore, she brings an International perspective and passion for diversity in politics. As a graduate of San Jose State University, Zhuai has a Bachelor degree in Accounting. She also holds Associate degrees in Business Administration and Social Science.

Zhuai is very passionate about giving back to the community, and she loves volunteering in
helping elderly with their daily cooking/ grocery shopping. In her free time, she likes going to movies, watching Netflix and doing yoga/ aerobic exercise.

Communications

Melissa Williams

Director of Engagement & Communications

650-393-7728


Melissa joined JSA in February 2017 as its new director of engagement and communications. She brings more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit communications, working previously on issues like immigration, public administration and women’s history. In her new role with JSA, Melissa is focused on expanding awareness about JSA’s transformational work with young people, mentoring its student leaders, and developing strong communications practices. She leads JSA’s revived efforts on alumni engagement, works with student leaders to enhance their communications strategies, and developing an organization-wide communications plan.
Born and raised on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, Melissa also brings an international perspective and a passion for diversity in politics. Melissa previously worked as a journalist for almost six years, covering education, local politics, crime and youth. She holds bachelor degrees in Political Science and Journalism from Cameron University and a Masters in Public Administration and Certificate in Women’s Studies from Howard University. In her off time she enjoys reading, binging on Netflix and visiting museums with her three adorable nieces. Melissa lives in Maryland and is active in her church, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church.

Development

Tom Silverman

Chief Development Officer

650-393-7656


Tom Silverman is a global citizen committed to community service, youth empowerment and democracy as a system of governance. He is eternally curious about the world around him and is particularly interested in social entrepreneurship, philosophy, politics, movement building, and leadership. Before coming on board as Chief Development Officer at JSA, Tom served as Vice President of Development; Community Engagement at buildOn–an international non-profit organization that contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty and illiteracy by building primary schools in rural villages around the world and running service-learning programs for high school students in urban areas throughout the United States. He has worked on many national and local political campaigns–most recently as an adviser to the Aaron Anthony For Congress Campaign in PA. Tom holds an MA in Public Affairs and Practical Politics from the University of San Francisco and and BA in Political philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.

Sergio Lopez

Director of Development, Community Engagement


Sergio Lopez is a nonprofit leader and political strategist who believes in the importance of empowering young people and citizens from all walks of life. As Director of Development and Community Engagement, Lopez works to organize JSA alumni around the country and help lead the organization’s development efforts. A lifelong Bay Area resident, he is the son of two immigrants and was the first in his family to go to college. He has worked at all levels of government, from local politics to the White House. Previously, he worked as Political Director for a gubernatorial race and drafted policy for a presidential campaign. Prior to that, Sergio was National Organizing Director for Rise. Under his leadership, Rise became the most successful legislative advocacy organization in modern history. His work reforming his college’s sexual assault policies was covered by the New York Times and Huffington Post. His writing has been published in the Sacramento Bee and he has been profiled by USA Today and NBC Bay Area. Sergio Lopez graduated from Yale University with degrees in History and English.

Summer Programs

Djibril Anthony

Director of Summer Programs

(650) 393-7726


Djibril Anthony joined the JSA staff as Summer Programs Manager after having spent six years working to improve equitable access to and participation in educational opportunities for youth and young adults. His passion for advancing youth leadership development and civic engagement led him to Junior State of America’s Summer Program.
Djibril began his career in youth development as a Program Coordinator with Playworks, a national nonprofit focused on promoting respect, inclusion, healthy play and community in urban schools. From there Djibril served as the Director of Athletics for the Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County where he managed the recruitment and retention of all program participants and designed and implemented a comprehensive youth recreational sports program.
In July 2013, Djibril co-founded a youth development organization with the goal of using athletic programming to support students in recognizing and developing connections across five key areas— Academics, Attitude, Accountability, Athletics, and Achievement. As Chief Operating Officer, he has worked to foster life skills attainment and pathways to higher education for youth. Given Djibril’s commitment to youth development, he was recognized as a community leader through the My Brothers Keeper Presidential Initiative.
Growing up in Santa Cruz, CA, Djibril experienced a unique and diverse cultural atmosphere that allowed him to explore a great diversity of thought, upbringing, and lifestyle. Djibril is a graduate of Bethany University, where he studied social science and played collegiate baseball.

Felice Judkins

Enrollment & Admissions Coordinator

(650) 393-7730


Felice Judkins joined JSA as the Admissions and Enrollment Coordinator for Summer Programs in 2016. Felice has spent the last 12 years in Admissions and has served as a National Admissions Officer recruiting prospective students nationally to post-secondary colleges and universities.
Felice is a big proponent of making higher learning and education accessible to students from all diverse backgrounds to help them pursue their educational and career goals. She is a fierce advocate for students to achieve their academic pursuits and tap into their full potential. She has impacted the lives of students and their families as they build a foundation to their futures.
Felice studied Political Science at Howard University in Washington, DC and has a passion for our youth, government and politics. She believes that cultivating , developing and educating our youth about civic responsibility and understanding the role of our government on a state, local and federal level is critically important and paramount to the strength of our democracy as we prepare them as our future leaders in this nation.
Felice has also previously worked in sales and managed sales teams but her love of working with students and young adults led her to JSA to continue making a difference.
Felice is a Air Force “military brat” growing up in various states across the country. Although originally from Maine, she is a diehard Los Angeles Lakers fan and an Oakland Raiders fan. She enjoys writing poems and short stories. She is a political junkie and proud mom.

Abe Kruger

Student Services Coordinator (DC Office)

(650) 393-7733


Abe Kruger joined JSA as the Student Services Coordinator in late 2017. In high school Abe was an active JSA member, later becoming the president of the Easton High School chapter in Maryland. In 2012 Abe attended the JSA Diplomat Program at Capital Normal in Beijing and has since returned to China many times. After the program, Abe continued his Chinese studies at George Washington University, while also working as JSA’s DC Fellow. In 2014 Abe transferred to William & Mary where he graduated with a BA in Anthropology and Chinese. Abe is very excited to be working as part of the JSA team to make the great experiences he had with the organization a reality for future students.