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The LLC Team
Deborah Meehan, Executive Director
Deborah Meehan is the founder and Executive Director of the Leadership Learning Community (LLC). In 1991 Deborah received a Kellogg National Leadership fellowship. She was also a 1991 Salzburg Fellow and returned to Salzburg in 2007 as a member of the Global Youth Leadership faculty. Deborah also conducts an annual Women’s Leadership Seminar for women law fellows. She has served as a consultant for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to build an alumni association for the 700 leadership alumni of the Kellogg program. She serves as a board member for the International Leadership Association and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of MN. Deborah has created a consulting services arm of LLC and conducted evaluations for national and international leadership programs and produced leadership scans, literature reviews and made program recommendations on behalf of 30 foundations that include a broad range of small, large, regional, state and prominent national foundations.
Natalia Castañeda Chaux, Managing Director
Natalia joined the Leadership Learning Community in 2009 to help the organization activate its network of more than 3,000 leadership stakeholders around the nation. She conducted research to identify the needs of leadership development practitioners and developed a communications and engagement plan around those needs, including: a monthly electronic newsletter that covers current issues in leadership development and offers practical advice; a thought-provoking webinar series that has engaged more than 1,500 participants; a community blog featuring field experts; and various regional events. As a member of the LLC consulting team, Natalia has conducted communications assessments and developed strategies for various organizations as part of social network analysis projects, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Switzer Foundation, the Kellogg Fellowship Leadership Alliance, and the Synergos Institute. Natalia received her B.S. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Journalism, Advertising track. She is co-author of the LLC publications Leadership and Networks and How to Cultivate and Activate Your Network. Prior to joining LLC, Natalia was the Marketing Manager at Consorte Media, a Hispanic-focused advertising company.
Elizabeth Lanyon, Philanthropy and Partnerships Manager
Elizabeth is a development professional with a passion for writing and connecting communities with resources to create change. She has six years of experience in fundraising including grant writing, program development, events coordination and public relations. She joined Leadership Learning Community in October 2013 in alignment with her professional values of providing opportunity for individuals to realize their potential as leaders and movement builders. Prior to joining LLC, Elizabeth served as the Senior Grant Writer at the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, cultivating relationships and securing funds to support the national growth of the organization. She was instrumental in developing institutional structures to create consistency and promote sustainability. Elizabeth’s interpersonal skills and her finesse with the written word have been the driving force for her success as a development professional. Elizabeth’s previous experience also includes working with a youth-serving nonprofit in the Fruitvale District of Oakland. As the Resource Development Officer, she secured Workforce Investment Act / American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to support a green workforce development program. She organized and implemented several fundraising events and oversaw marketing for the organization. She regularly attended city meetings to advocate for equal resource allocation and access for Oakland diverse youth communities. She is a Co-Chair and longtime member of the Multicultural Alliance – Association of Fundraising Professionals, Golden Gate Chapter and serves as Chair of the organizing committee for the San Francisco Dyke March.
Lauren Rodriguez, Research Associate
Lauren comes to LLC with a commitment to transformative change, a bilingual/bicultural perspective and international experience working with diverse communities in the United States, Mexico, Chile, and Spain. She brings her background in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, data analysis and report writing to redesigning the way leadership development is conducted and evaluated. Over the last few years, she has worked on research projects for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Center for Latino Policy Research at UC Berkeley. Lauren received her B.A. from UC Berkeley in Political Science and her MSc from The London School of Economics, where she studied Sociology and Race Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies.
Miriam Persley, Operations Manager
Miriam has a strong background in administrative processes gained both in the public and private sectors. Her work focuses on fostering the academic growth and success of underprivileged students at all levels. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Spanish and Portuguese: Foreign Languages and Literature. At Cal, she also studied architecture, visual arts, sociology, ethnic studies, public policy, and education, among other subjects. Her passion for creating communities and educating people motivates her work at LLC and her interpersonal exchanges.
Eleanor Cooney, Communications Coordinator
Eleanor has provided Administrative and Communications Consulting support for LLC since early 2012, and in 2013, she joined the team as our Communications Coordinator. Eleanor received a BA degree in Industrial Art from San Francisco State University in 2001, and in the past decade has worked primarily for youth services nonprofits that place emphasis on youth leadership development, including EdventureMore, Aspiranet, and Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth. Eleanor brings her experience in visual communication and curriculum design to her role at LLC, where graphic design and marketing metrics are her primary domain.