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Ben Duda

Executive Director

Ben’s career began with AmeriCorps service, having served three years with NCCC and Citizen Schools. Under his leadership, AmeriCorps Alums has developed purpose-driven leadership development opportunities for alumni, expanded it partnerships with universities and employers, and launched a Talent Equity Initiative to expand opportunity for all in the nonprofit sector. Previously, Ben held leadership roles at KaBOOM!, served as a Mayoral Fellow in Baltimore, and was an emergency responder with the American Red Cross following 9-11. He recently completed Results-Based Leadership training with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Ben holds an M.P.P. from The Johns Hopkins University, a B.S. from Cornell University, and sits on the National Advisory Council of Fund the People and Equity in the Center.


Mary Bruce

Co-Executive Director

Mary is an AmeriCorps alumna (The Latin American Youth Center, 1999-2000) and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Morocco, 2004-2006). She has spent her career supporting the scale and impact of the nonprofit sector, including through work with America’s Promise Alliance, the College Board, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Grad Nation campaign, and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. She sits on the national advisory council of New Politics, an organization that gives Americans who have served the tools and guidance to win elections and become the transformational leaders America needs. Mary earned her MPA in Domestic Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a B.A. in Poverty Studies from the University of Virginia.


Maria Caruso
Communications Coordinator

Maria transitioned from a teaching career to the national service sector when she joined AmeriCorps. Before serving, Maria taught English at Brown Mackie College. Maria's AmeriCorps service began at Youth Villages Inner Harbour campus where she developed life skills tutoring plans for high school youth at a residential psychiatric facility and led service learning projects. In her second term as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, she developed an information technology certification training program at Year Up for urban youth seeking entry-level IT and business roles. She has six years of experience in teaching, youth development, and communications. Maria holds an MFA in English from The Ohio State University and a B.A. in English from the College of Charleston.

Vanecia Thompson
Development Coordinator

Vanecia served as an elementary math and science teacher with Teach For America from 2013-2015 in Jacksonville, FL. She is a creative communicator with a passion for service, youth and non-profits. Prior to joining the Alums team, Vanecia was a freelance writer and program coordinator for Usher’s New Look, a youth based non-profit. She also enjoys art, photography, basketball and college football and brings a philosophy to “make something work, then make it work better” to everything she does. Vanecia graduated from The University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a New Media Certificate.


Allisha Tull
Programs Coordinator

Allisha is a three-time AmeriCorps VISTA alum. In 2012, she served as a VISTA in Grand Junction, Colorado with the Colorado Youth Corps Association. She then spent another year in Portland, Oregon as a VISTA Leader with Oregon Campus Compact, and in 2016, she finished her second year as a VISTA Leader co-managing a partnership with George Washington University and District of Columbia Public Schools. Allisha graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a B.A. in History and has worked with several nonprofit organizations helping underserved populations.

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