Meet Our Experts

United Way of Metro Chicago staff members are available to provide expert opinion, comment and analysis on trends across our six-county footprint. To arrange an interview or speaking engagement with a United Way expert, please contact Kiara Goodwin at 312.906.2291 or Kiara.Goodwin@uw-mc.org.

Human Services

  • Wendy DuBoe

    Wendy DuBoe

    Wendy DuBoe is the President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. DuBoe has a background in economics and psychology. DuBoe is an expert in human service delivery, public policy, women in leadership and corporate philanthropy.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Public policy
    • Philanthropy
    • Collective impact
    • Innovation in social service delivery
  • Jose Rico

    Jose Rico

    Jose Rico serves as United Way of Metropolitan Chicago’s Senior Vice President of Community Investment. Rico oversees engagement with community partners, directs United Way’s granting process and manages measurement and evaluation. Rico has an extensive background in education policy, collective impact and human service delivery.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Public Policy
    • Education
    • Community Investments
    • Collective Impact

Education

  • Missy Carpenter

    Missy Carpenter

    Missy Carpenter serves as United Way’s Senior Manager of Education. Carpenter leads the organization’s education work, including the strategic direction and evaluation of programmatic investments, partnerships and initiatives in youth development and education.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Community schools
    • Out-of-School Time Advocacy
    • Family and community engagement
    • Program Development
  • Mandee Polonsky

    Mandee Polonsky

    Mandee Polonsky serves as United Way’s Senior Director of Community Impact. Polonsky oversees United Way’s issue area portfolio work as well as the grant operations team. Polonsky has a background in education and is responsible for convening partners across sectors to work on advancing educational outcomes across the city and suburbs.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Education Policy
    • Education Reform
    • Out-of-School Time Advocacy
    • Program Development

Financial Stability

  • Ayom Siengo

    Ayom Siengo

    Ayom Siengo serves as United Way’s Senior Manager of Financial Stability. Siengo manages a portfolio of agencies dedicated to job training and placement, access to tax assistance and financial education and asset building. Siengo oversees the investment in United Way’s volunteer tax assistance program, resulting in more than $98 million in tax refunds for low-income families.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Affordable housing
    • Job training and financial support
    • Economic development
    • Earned Income Tax Credit and Volunteer Tax Assistance

Health

  • Alexandrea Murphy

    Alexandrea Murphy

    Alexandrea Murphy serves as United Way’s Senior Manager of Health. Murphy manages a portfolio of agencies dedicated to primary, behavioral and mental health care and childhood obesity prevention. She maintains relationships with funded partners, leads initiatives such as the Federal Navigator grant and In-Person Counselor grant programs and is active in local and regional groups focused on public health issues.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Public health and health policies
    • Affordable Care Act and health care enrollment
    • Childhood obesity
    • Preventive and mental health care
    • Health interventions

Basic Needs/Safety Net

  • Jenny Hansen

    Jenny Hansen

    Jenny Hansen serves as United Way’s Senior Manager of Safety Net. Hansen manages a portfolio of agencies dedicated to helping stabilize families and individuals who are encountering some of the most critical challenges they will ever face. Hansen maintains relationships with funded partners including homeless shelters, transitional housing facilities, disaster recovery agencies, food pantries, meal programs, and domestic violence assistance and legal aid organizations.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Housing first
    • Homelessness prevention
    • Domestic violence/sexual assault prevention and intervention
    • Child nutrition programs

Advocacy/Public Policy

  • Jack Kaplan

    Jack Kaplan

    Jack Kaplan serves as the Director of Public Policy for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and United Way of Illinois. Kaplan leads United Way’s policy and advocacy work in education, income and health.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Health policy
    • Common Core standards
    • Earned Income Tax Credit and Volunteer Tax Assistance

Philanthropy

  • Risa Davis

    Risa Davis

    Risa Davis serves as United Way’s Vice President of Corporate Development. She is responsible for a team of Relationship Managers and other professionals who specialize in creating opportunities for corporations to engage in strategic community building, philanthropy and volunteerism. Under her leadership, United Way’s traditional workplace giving campaign is being strengthened with year round engagement and mutually beneficial community initiatives.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Corporate giving
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Strategic volunteerism