Julie has dedicated her career to opening doors of opportunity for children, youth, and families, having more than 25 years of experience working at the local and national levels in the nonprofit sector and in government. Prior to joining CHNY in September 2022, Julie served as Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), where she oversaw the foster care system from 2015 to 2022. Under Julie’s leadership, ACS reduced the number of children in foster care, reduced length of stay in care, increased kinship care and foster home recruitment, significantly expanded education and employment services for youth, increased supports for parents and families and implemented key strategies to improve race equity outcomes. Previously, Julie held senior leadership positions at two large, multi-site direct service nonprofits providing a range of services for children, youth, adults and families. Julie also brings significant experience in advocacy, having served as the Director of Policy at the national child welfare advocacy organization Children’s Rights, and through work early in her career at the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Julie is a graduate of Duke University, and holds an M.S.W. from Howard University in Washington, D.C.. She has also completed the Coro New York mid-career fellowship program.
Cathy Batista, LCSW
Senior Vice President of Residential and Support Services
Cathy Batista has over 10 years of experience in direct delivery of social services as well as program administration. Currently, Cathy oversees our residential and support services, which includes our Youth Shelter, Rights of Passage Transitional Independent Living Programs, Permanent Supportive Housing Programs, CovWorks Employment Program, and our Youth Development programming. Prior to joining Covenant House New York, Cathy oversaw residential programming at Lantern Community Services, one of the largest supportive housing agencies in New York City. Cathy received her Bachelor’s Degree from Le Moyne College, and her Master of Social Work from Fordham University. In 2016, she completed the Post-Graduate Executive Leadership Program at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work.
Maria (Rannie) Morota
Vice President of Operational Controllership
Maria “Rannie” Morota joined Covenant House New York in September 2019 as a Controller and assumed the position of VP Operational Controllership in January 2021. She brings over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting in non-profit organizations such as Teach for America, Turnaround for Children and Environmental Defense Fund. She also had IT experience as a Consultant for IBM projects . Rannie is most proud to be involved in organizations that promote children and youth education and well-being.
Rev. Dr. Shakeema North
Vice President of Youth Development, Equity & Inclusion
Shakeema North is a Youth Development professional with an exceptional ability to develop holistic and inclusive youth development initiatives that are strength-based, trauma-informed, and geared towards serving inner-city youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. Shakeema is skilled at designing strategic programs, preparing thought-provoking workshops and seminars, facilitating community-based campaigns, and improving overall organizational productivity. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University and also holds a Certificate in Internet Technologies from New York University and a Certificate in Christian Ministry from New York Theological Seminary; where she also received the Master of Divinity degree. She is a 2014 Fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary; a 2016 Fellow of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies’ Faith and Justice Initiative; and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. In May 2020, Shakeema received the Doctor of Ministry degree in Leadership in the Christian Tradition at Duke Divinity School.
Vice President of Program Compliance and Performance Measurement
Vesna Selmanovic has 15 years of progressive leadership experience with data, compliance, and quality improvement for at-risk youth programs, and she is responsible for ensuring high-quality services and client outcomes for all programs at CHNNY. Prior to her work here, she was the Director of Quality Improvement and Compliance at New Alternatives for Children.
Camden McDaris Black, Esq.
Vice President of Development & Communications
Camden McDaris Black oversees all of CHNY’s fundraising efforts, including foundation, government, and local corporate grant-seeking, as well as fundraising collaborations with CHI. She is also responsible for oversight of all internal and external communications, as well as CHNY’s volunteer program. Camden brings a decade of fundraising experience to her role, as well as an extensive prior professional writing background.
Jayne Bigelsen, Esq.
Vice President of Advocacy
Jayne Bigelsen’s background is a mixture of law, psychology, communications, non-profit management and public policy. She is a dedicated advocate committed to assisting vulnerable populations, including young people experiencing homelessness and survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence, as they find their way to freedom.
Vice President of Real Estate & Facilities Administration at Covenant House New York
Sean manages all of CHNY’s facilities, which includes our Public Safety and Facilities departments across multiple buildings. He has also overseen the demolition of CHNY’s old shelter and the construction of the new facility in its place. He has overseen the renovation and opening of our longer term, transitional living facilities in the Bronx and also manages the operations for Covenant House’s iconic Sleep Outs. Sean is also an alumni and graduate of JustLeadershipUSA Leading with Conviction leadership training.
Eileen S. King
Vice President of Procurement & Leasing
Eileen King began at Covenant House New York in February 2021. She oversees the Procurement department that supports the organization’s purchasing needs and contract approvals. In addition, Eileen manages the housing portion of the FAMCOV, NEWCOV and RRH programs. Prior to joining Covenant House New York, Eileen oversaw the finances of the entrepreneurial profit centers of another nonprofit organization. She was the Controller of a Real Estate Development company as well as the owner and operator of a landscaping business. She is a CPA, Real Estate Professional, and holds a DEEP horticultural license. Aside from her professional work, Eileen has volunteered and supported youth organizations for more than 20 years. Through this diverse background, Eileen brings organizational and financial skills as well as compassion to support the programs that assist our youth.
Board of Directors
Covenant House New York is governed by a Board of Directors, to whom our Executive Director reports. The Board of Directors plays a critical role in helping transform the lives of runaway and homeless youth. The Board of Directors is Covenant House New York’s governing body, caring for the fiduciary aspects of our organization, and ensuring fulfillment of our mission.
Managing Director, Head of Public Policy
Vice President, Current Production
Executive Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer & Corporate Controller
|Virginia (Ginny) Elliot
Vice President, Airport Operations
|William (Bill) Dacunto
Executive Vice President
|Maureen A. Henegan
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
Henegan Construction Co., Inc.
Ernst & Young
Founder and Executive Director
|Sandy Logan Mullman
Chief Revenue Officer
General Auditor/Member of the Operating Committee
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Covenant House New York Board Chair
Senior Executive Vice President
Kensington Vanguard National Land Services
Global Head of Communications
|Rick Van Benschoten
Executive Vice President
Director, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine
NYU Langone Health
HR Director, GMS