Our Team

Meet our team

We have a small but mighty core team of staff at the Afterschool Alliance who focus on supporting and increasing opportunities for young people to have their voices heard on STEM and Society issues. We are also fortunate to receive advice and support from two external CYESS Field Experts who bring their deep experience with running out-of-school-time STEM programs that tap into youth voice and community engagement. Finally, our external Advisory Board brings their varied expertise in civic engagement, environment, AI, and business to guide our work. Learn more about all of us on this page!

Anita Krishnamurthi (she/hers)

Anita is the President of the Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society (CYESS), our newest STEM initiative at the Afterschool Alliance. She also serves as the Senior Vice President for STEM & Youth Engagement at the Alliance. Anita is deeply committed to promoting equitable access and engagement with science and supporting young people on this journey. She has a PhD in Astrophysics from The Ohio State University and moved to a career focused on informal STEM learning, recognizing its intersection with social justice and social mobility. Anita has previously worked at the US National Academies, NASA, and the Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest philanthropy.

Leah Silverberg (they/them)

Leah Silverberg joined the Afterschool Alliance team in 2017 and assumed the role of Senior Project Manager for the CYESS initiative in 2023. In this capacity, they lead initiatives focused on amplifying youth voices across the Afterschool Alliance while providing dedicated support for CYESS. Leah has worked to develop the Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador Program and the Million Girls Moonshot Flight Crew and supports the CYESS Community of Practice. Leah holds a B.A. in Biology and Studio Art from Bard College.

Elizabeth Bannan (she/hers)

Elizabeth Bannan joined the Afterschool Alliance in January of 2023. She is the Project Associate on the STEM team, focusing on youth voice development and programmatic support. Before joining the Alliance, she worked as a leadership and staff director at Camp Stella Maris for five years and was an Equity Strategy and Programming intern at DC Public Schools. Elizabeth graduated from Wesleyan University in 2021 with a B.A. in Education Studies, Psychology, and Science in Society.

Joseph (Joey) Adamji

A mixed kid from Chicago with cultural roots in Africa, Ireland, India and Poland, Joseph Adamji grew up a “bridge builder” of sorts. He is the Senior Director for The Center for Equity and Systems Change at the Science Museum of Minnesota, creating bridges between families, community efforts/organizations, educators, institutions, and opportunity. His team is working to build a cross-sector and intergenerational “STEM Justice Ecosystem”, bringing inclusion and the experiences of women, youth of color, and youth from low-income communities to the center of conversations on workforce development, career pathways, education, and leadership in the 21st century.

Laura Lerman

Laura Lerman is Director of Expanded Learning and Youth Engagement at the California Academy of Sciences, where she leads the design and expansion of youth programs that advance ecoliteracy, social justice, and civic action. Working at the intersection of education and equity, her teams train students and educators to think like scientists and act like changemakers. Laura studied ecology and international relations at Tufts University and earned a master’s in museum education from Bank Street College.

Deidra Parrish Williams

Deidra Parrish Williams leads Corporate Citizenship for global climate solutions and sustainability leader, Trane Technologies. By 2030, she will oversee the investment of $100M in STEM education and career pathing for populations around the world currently underrepresented in the industry. She has led community impact programs that have generated millions of dollars of incremental revenue, as well as charitable support, social capital, and allyship for marginalized communities. Deidra has enjoyed meaningful board engagements including with Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Project GRAD, the Energeia Partnership, and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Foundation.

Kelly Siegel-Stechler

Kelly Siegel-Stechler is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University. She is primarily focused on projects that advance civic learning and development in K-12 education, as well as questions related to youth political and electoral engagement. Before joining CIRCLE, Kelly received her doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education and worked in educational programming and youth outreach and engagement at the Interfaith Center of New York, the Louis August Jonas Foundation, and the United Nations Foundation.

Lauren Gibson

Dr. Lauren Gibson specializes in empowering young people to take environmental action for societal change. She currently serves as the first special advisor on youth engagement at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), working to bring more youth voices into agency decision-making. In previous roles, Dr. Gibson has consulted on youth-adult partnerships, researched the factors that drive young people to engage in large-scale environmental advocacy behaviors, and communicated the importance of environmental education efforts to Congress. Her experiences growing up as a youth environmental activist continue to inform her work.

Neha Shukla

Neha Shukla (she/her) is 18 years old and an inventor, social entrepreneur, activist, and AI ethicist. She develops tech to solve problems in her community, tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and homelessness with support from Microsoft, NASA, and NVIDIA. She serves as the Chair and US Representative at the World Economic Forum’s Generation AI Youth Council, advocating for ethical and child-safe AI in collaboration with corporations and policymakers. Her innovations and activism are recognized in the New York Times, Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar, and commended by President Biden and the Royal Family.