Staff

Our incredible team of full-time staff members commits their time, talents, and energy toward building a DC where everyone has a safe, decent place to live. Learn more about our staff below or click here to contact us.


DC Habitat Staff Member Susanne Slater
Susanne Slater
President & CEO

Susanne has over 25 years of experience in government, academia, and the nonprofit sector. As Associate Dean for Executive Programs at the University of Maryland, College Park, she created an award-winning program for employees of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with over 2,000 employees completing a four-course certificate program in low- and moderate-income housing development. As a founding board member and vice president of a nonprofit development corporation, Susanne oversaw the conversion of a troubled public housing complex into a successful, mixed-income neighborhood in D.C.’s Ward 7. Over an 18-year career at the University of Maryland, Susanne taught courses that dealt with every aspect of moderate and low-income housing policy, environmental policy, and management control in nonprofits. She was the recipient of a $1 million research grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation, the largest ever awarded. Susanne also worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and at White House Office of Management and Budget. Susanne holds an MBA in public and private finance from Cornell University and a BA from Smith College.

DC Habitat Staff Member Rick Bowers
Rick Bowers
Senior Vice President

Rick provides over twenty-five years of leadership, management, and executive expertise in residential and multi-family homebuilding, land acquisition, sales and marketing, and site development. As a Vice President at Fortune 500 firms as well as regional homebuilders/developers, Rick has extensive insight, knowledge, and diverse experience in the industry.

DC Habitat Staff Member Jeff Brallier
Jeff Brallier
Senior Project Manager

Jeff is a lifelong resident of the DMV and joined DC Habitat in 2011. He has worked in the construction industry for over 25 years and has specialized in field operations, purchasing, customer relations and HOA management. Jeff has extensive residential construction and new home warranty management experience.

DC Habitat Staff Member Whitney Canon
Whitney Canon
Volunteer Services & Corporate Partnerships Manager

Whitney was welcomed to the DC Habitat team as Volunteer Services & Corporate Partnerships Manager after serving as an AmeriCorps Volunteer Services Coordinator. She is an Auburn University graduate with a B.S. in Marketing. Her personal interests include fitness, food, travel, and photography.

DC Habitat Staff Member Eddie Cervantes
Eddie Cervantes
Assistant Construction Supervisor

Eddie comes to Habitat for Humanity with extensive experience in business, banking, and construction in addition to active involvement with various service projects and sustainable design in food, energy, water, comfort, and waste systems. Also, Eddie’s Spanish language skills make him an indispensable member of the construction team.

DC Habitat Staff Member PK Drago
Paula Katrina Drago
Senior Development Manager

A native New Yorker, PK first became involved with Habitat in high school. She served three terms with AmeriCorps: two with AmeriCorps NCCC working with nonprofit and disaster response organizations and one with DC Habitat. She also worked for Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) before returning to DC Habitat as staff in 2013. PK has a BA in International Affairs from the George Washington University.

DC Habitat Staff Member Dan Hines
Dan Hines
Production Manager

Dan graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University. After college, he worked as an engineer for Lockheed Martin, served 2 years as a Construction Americorp Volunteer, and then worked as a Construction Supervisor for Wake County HFH and HFH of Washington DC before serving as the Production Manager for DC HFH.

DC Habitat Staff Member Mandy Jansen
Mandy Jansen
Officer Manager & Housing Programs Associate

Mandy joined the staff at Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. in 2012 and brought with her experience working and volunteering with many different affiliates of Habitat for Humanity in the U.S. and abroad. She loves working with families in DC to achieve their goal of homeownership.

DC Habitat Staff Member Peter Kiburi
Peter Kiburi
Director of Finance & Mortgage Services

Peter has over 18 years of experience in customer relationship management for 501(c)(3)nonprofit organizations in the D.C. area, with a focus on controllership and management accounting. He has extensive experience in grants management, statutory reporting and compliance monitoring for federally and locally-funded projects targeting affordable housing, community development, and emergency preparedness. His recent focus has been on leveraging private and public-sector community development funding through financing and equity investments for affordable housing programs. Peter is a National Development Council Certified Housing Development Finance Professional and has a Master’s Degree in Public (Government) Administration from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.

DC Habitat Staff Member Andrew Modley
Andrew Modley
Project Manager

Andrew is a graduate of McDaniel College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and IR. He started with the organization as a volunteer right after college and has worked for DC Habitat since 2006. Andrew is especially interested in energy-efficient design and construction.

DC Habitat Staff Member Dennis Monaghan
Dennis Monaghan
Assistant Construction Supervisor

Dennis is from South Jersey but has spent a lot of time in Philadelphia as well. He is a graduate of Villanova University and came to Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. through the AmeriCorps program, where he served before he was hired on at Assistant Construction Supervisor. Dennis has been involved with Habitat since high school and served as president of the Habitat for Humanity Villanova Campus Chapter in college, participating in and leading several service trips.

DC Habitat Staff Member Cristina Nilakanta
Cristina Nilakanta
Senior Grants Manager

Cristina first got involved with Habitat as a volunteer for the Palm Beach County affiliate. She has worked in development for the National MS Society and The Washington Ballet. She holds a BA in history and a Master of Nonprofit Management degree. Cristina joined DC Habitat in 2014.

DC Habitat Staff Member Kat Shaub
Kat Shaub
Database & Development Operations Manager

Kat first got involved with Habitat as a volunteer with her hometown Lancaster Lebanon affiliate. She joined the DC Habitat team in 2018 after serving as the William and Mary Community Housing Fellow in the Virginia peninsula area. She holds a BA in International Relations from The College of William and Mary.

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DC Habitat Staff Member Aaron Somawang
Aaron Somawang
Home Repair Program Manager

Moving to DC from the Central Coast of California, Aaron has worked in construction since 2002. He has a love of the outdoors and nature, and that has inspired him to integrate sustainable construction practices into all of his projects. Aaron approaches home building with an eye for innovation and sustainability and believes in serving the community around him with his passions.

DC Habitat Staff Member Tawana Stevens
Tawana Stevens
Mortgage Lending & Servicing Manager

With 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry, Tawana brought her knowledge, skills, and talent to the nonprofit world 3 years ago to live her passion: serving those in need. She manages the Loan Origination & Mortgage Servicing Departments and launched the Post-Purchase Education program after quickly realizing that education was key to successful homeownership.

Laura Zylstra
Director of Development & Marketing

Laura brings over 25 years of fundraising expertise to DC Habitat. Her intro to Habitat started when she met and married her husband, a HFHI staffer who served for 20 years. Other prior Habitat experience includes living in Americus, GA, at Koinonia Farm (HFHI’s “birthplace”), volunteering for DC Habitat in the early 1990’s, serving as staff for four years as Regional Resource Development Manager for HFHI South Asia, based in New Delhi, India, and an additional year for HFHI headquarters. She is a proud Southwest DC resident.

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Carole Andre
Controller

Carole is an accomplished and experienced finance professional, having variously worked for notable nonprofits such as the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Plan International USA. Her accomplishments include work in financial and risk management, accounting, process and systems improvements, budget. and taxes. Carole holds a BS in Administration and Finance from American Business Institutes.