Celebrating 20 years of breaking the cycle of poverty
Recognizing 20 years of leadershiP
Kirsten E. Lodal
In January 2019, after serving as LIFT’s CEO for 20 years, Kirsten Lodal moved into a new role of Founder and Senior Advisor. LIFT began as an idea during her sophomore year of college in 1998 and has become one of the foremost anti-poverty organizations in the country. Under Kirsten’s leadership, LIFT has created positive outcomes for more than 100,000 families and established itself as a national model for more effective and human-centered social services. Along the way, Kirsten has become a leading advocate for re-thinking and modernizing the design of America’s anti-poverty programs, spreading LIFT’s message from the White House and Capitol Hill to the NBC Nightly News, the PBS Newshour, CNN and The New York Times.
Kirsten has received numerous honors for her work on behalf of families, including the National Jefferson Award for Public Service, established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as our nation’s “Nobel Prize for community and public service” and the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award for young Americans committed to public service. She is an Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, a Kresge Foundation NextGen Human Services Fellow, and a member of the New America/Bloomberg Shift Commission on the Future of Work. She serves on numerous boards, including the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, a program working to restore childhood to children living in shelters and DC Greens, a non-profit focused on advancing food justice in our nation’s capital.
Kirsten is a graduate of Yale University and the Executive Management Program at the Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Jeff Himmelman, a writer and musician, and their three young daughters, Billie, Joni and Celia.
Welcoming LIFT’s new ceo
LIFT is proud to welcome our new CEO, Michelle Rhone-Collins. Michelle joined LIFT in 2012 as the Founding LIFT-Los Angeles Executive Director. Under her leadership, LIFT-LA has become the organization’s largest and most financially successful operation. Michelle also seeded many of the program innovations that are now core to LIFT’s nationwide program model, most notably the focus on an intergenerational approach to breaking the cycle of poverty that targets parents and children in the formative early childhood years. In 2017, Michelle was promoted to Chief Cities Officer, overseeing all of LIFT’s regional operations and serving on the national Executive Team. In this capacity, Michelle was instrumental in developing LIFT’s current strategic plan, which offers a bold vision to extend LIFT’s direct services to 25,000 more parents and children and to launch a systems change strategy to reach the nearly 6 million families with young children living in poverty in the US. In January 2019, Michelle was promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer.
Michelle’s career has been defined by standing up for equity and access for disenfranchised individuals and communities. Prior to joining LIFT, Michelle spent nearly 20 years leading youth and community development efforts in New York and Los Angeles. She began her career working with homeless and runaway teens as part of the University Settlement House in NYC’s Lower East Side. From there, she served in senior leadership roles at the Citizens Committee for New York City and the Beacon Community Center. She then moved to Los Angeles and led the New Vision Partners Youth Institute and, later, The Children’s Nature Institute.
Michelle is a sought after public speaker and thought leader. Recent features and appearances include Variety magazine, LA Magazine, NPR’s Marketplace and the 2018 United State of Women Summit. She is a Senior Fellow at both the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at the USC Marshall School of Business. Michelle also serves as an Expert Advisor to the Gross Domestic Potential (GDP2) collaboration between UCLA, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the RAND Corporation.
Michelle received her BA in Psychology from Duke University and Masters of Education in Psychological Counseling from Teacher’s College/Columbia University with a focus on racism, racial identity and mental health. She lives in Los Angeles, CA, with her husband, Joseph Collins, the Executive Director of C5LA, and she is the proud mother of two beautiful children, Jeilani and Mikel, her ultimate source of motivation and inspiration.
Musical Performance by Three-Time Grammy Award Winner Ben Harper
Honoring our upLIFTing Legacy Award Recipients
Jonathan & Jeannie Lavine
Honoring our upLIFTing Founders Recipients
Susannah & Jon Budington
Gina & Brooke Coburn
Heather & Chris Cox
Susan & Larry Hirsch
Will Darman & Lizzie Holt
Ali & Brian Kreiter
Ellen & Patrick Pinschmidt
Arlene Ford & Christopher Reynolds
Esther & Steve Rotella
Marne Levine & Philip Deutch
Brendan & Claudine Hanley
Michael Gilligan and Anne Helgen
Jan & Elizabeth Lodal
David McCormick and Dina Powell
Cassie & Billy Rahm
John and Rachel Rodin
Sheila & Willy Walker
Molly Day & Will Yu
JOIN US AT THE ANTHEM
Located in Washington, DC, The Anthem is the city’s premiere entertainment venue and 2018’s number one club in the world, rated by Pollstar.