Building Homes and Hope Together

Providing decent, affordable housing in the District takes the work of many partners — corporations, foundations, local government, and individuals – including the members of DC Habitat’s Board and staff. You can learn a bit more about our office and site staff here.

Learn about our Board Members.

Our Staff

Susanne Slater — President & CEO
Susanne has over 25 years of increasingly responsible experience in government, academia and the nonprofit sector, including a long and varied association with housing policy from many vantage points. 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 Ward 7 of the District of Columbia.

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 nonprofit organizations. She was the recipient of a $1 million research grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation, the largest ever awarded. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Susanne worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan on his work in the Senate Budget and Senate Finance committees; and previously, at the White House Office of Management and Budget as a financial economist dealing with loan guarantees and government sponsored enterprises, especially Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Prior to becoming Interim President & CEO of DC Habitat, she served on the organization’s board as the Treasurer and development liaison with DC Habitat staff. Susanne holds an MBA in public and private finance from Cornell University and a BA from Smith College.

Rick Bowers — Senior Vice President
Rick provides over twenty-five years of leadership, management, and executive expertise in the construction, residential, multi-family, and development industry. As a VP/Director at Fortune 500 firms as well as private regional homebuilders/developers, Rick has in-depth insight, knowledge, and diverse experience.

His credentials include multi-family, condominium, and Active Adult experience; P&L and operations management, purchasing and contracting management; managing homebuilding divisions that exceeded 400 settlements per year; and managing land development, sales, and marketing. Rick’s portfolio includes most every product type from stacked multi-family elevator condominiums with structured parking, basic townhomes, award-winning single-family luxury homes, and large Active Adult communities.

Whitney Canon — Volunteer Services and Corporate Partnerships Manager
Whitney is a recent Washington, D.C. transplant, having relocated from Memphis, TN in May 2015. She is an Auburn University graduate with a B.S. in Marketing. Her personal interests include fitness, food, travel and photography.

Jeff Brallier — Senior Project Manager
Jeff is a lifelong resident of the DC metro area 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 experience and has managed many large-scale communities to include the construction of single-family homes, townhomes, and multi-family housing. New Home Warranty Management was been his most recent focus, having managed customer relations for a national homebuilder with communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

Jeff’s primary goals here at DC Habitat are to manage construction purchasing and budgets, reduce operating expenses and maintain warehouse inventory.

Whitney Canon — Volunteer Services and 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.

Paula Katrina Drago – Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications
A native New Yorker, PK first became involved with Habitat in high school, when she started volunteering for her local affiliate in Albany. She served two terms with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps working with nonprofit and disaster response organizations throughout the West Coast and the New Orleans area. In the fall of 2011, PK joined DC Habitat as an AmeriCorps member and later spent time working for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)—the federal agency that administers national service programs—before returning to DC Habitat as staff in 2013.

PK has a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University and loves helping volunteers get their hands dirty on our construction sites.

Daniel Hines — Production Manager
Dan is a graduate of Villanova University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. It was at Villanova that he first volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.

After college, Dan continued volunteering with various Habitat affiliates while he worked as an electrical engineer for Lockheed Martin and received his master’s degree in electrical engineering. After a few years of working in engineering, Dan decided to leave his desk job to serve with Habitat full-time as an AmeriCorps member. Following two years of AmeriCorps service in Orange County, CA and then Sea Island, SC, Dan took a site superintendent position with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County in Raleigh, NC.

In January of 2012, Dan accepted his position with DC Habitat. He enjoys serving the DC community and is excited to be a part of the advances in energy-efficient building that DC Habitat is taking on in their buildings.

Luke Hupp – Construction Supervisor
Luke has worked as Assistant Construction Supervisor for DC Habitat since July of 2013. Prior to that, he was an AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader at Sea Island Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. Luke studied management at George Mason University and also has a degree in Culinary Arts from Stratford University.

Mandy Jansen — Office Manager & Housing Programs Associate
Mandy grew up in Wisconsin and studied Spanish language, International Studies, and business at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Her passion for service and nonprofit work came the year after graduation, which was spent volunteering as a camp counselor in Japan, a Spanish-English interpreter at a community health center in Wisconsin, and doing disaster relief work in Florida.

The following year she fell in love with the work and mission of Habitat for Humanity while serving a year as a Fund Development Specialist VISTA member with Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii. She followed her service year up with a 5-year stint as the Operations/Grants Manager of the Hawaii Habitat for Humanity Association in Honolulu.

Mandy joined the staff at Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. in late 2012 and brings with her experience working and volunteering with many different affiliates of Habitat for Humanity in the U.S. and abroad.

Peter Kiburi — Director of Finance & Mortgage Services
Peter has over 15 years of progressive international and local experience in customer relationship management and business development for several nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

His focus has been on controllership and management accounting for 501c (3) nonprofit organizations. 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.

Peter has a Masters Degree in Public (Government) Administration from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.

Andrew Modley — Project Manager
Andrew has worked for DC Habitat as a construction site superintendent since 2006. He started with the organization as a volunteer right after college and jumped on the opportunity to join our staff the moment an opening was available.

Born and raised in the DC metro area, Andrew is committed to serving the local community. He attended McDaniel College in western Maryland where he studied political science. Andrew helps lead new construction efforts for DC Habitat and is especially interested in the green building practices being integrated into our projects.

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.

Cristina Pardo Nilakanta — Senior Grants Manager

Cristina grew up in South Florida, where she first volunteered with Habitat as an AmeriCorps member for the Urban League of Palm Beach County. Completing team builds with Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County was one of her favorite service projects during her AmeriCorps year.

Cristina has worked in development for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Capital Chapter and The Washington Ballet.  She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and holds a Master of Nonprofit Management degree from Florida Atlantic University. Cristina joined DC Habitat in early 2014.

Maria Mastorakos — Director of Marketing & Development
As Director for Development and Marketing, Maria brings over 20 years of experience in national fundraising and marketing, including large-scale event planning.  Her experience covers a wide range of challenging assignments, working with corporate, government, political and non-profit organizations.

In her most recent assignments with The Webster Group and Booz Allen Hamilton, she provided consulting services for a number of high-profile projects, such as DC Habitat’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and a collaborative effort to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for the USO Board of Directors.

Maria has worked on Key Donor Programs at the Republican National Committee and provided guidance for fundraising events for dignitaries such as Presidents Nixon and Ford, Secretary R. James Nicholson, Governor Haley Barbour, Senator Robert Dole, Steve Forbes and Michele Bachmann, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007-2015 for the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota in her 2012 Presidential campaign.

At the Department of Veterans Affairs, she served as Director of Protocol. Prior to her government service, she worked at US Airways as Manager, Special Events and Promotions/Sales and Marketing, launching a new organization with a number of responsibilities: strategic planning, staffing, national event planning/management, national promotional programs/strategy and public relations, including facilitation of large external/internal event teams designed to enhance brand awareness in a very competitive marketplace.

Maria is a California native, a graduate of California State University, and now resides in Arlington, Virginia.

Andy Slettebak — Director of Housing Programs and Community Advocacy
Andy has worked in housing for over 30 years, holding positions in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Most recently he served as Director for the Institute for Community Economics (ICE), an affiliate of the National Housing Trust. ICE is a national CDFI that lends to community land trusts, limited equity cooperatives and other forms of homeownership.
Prior to joining ICE, Andy was the Economic Development Coordinator for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), a national grant and loan program that supports job creation and asset development in low-income communities. Earlier housing work includes experience as the Senior Architect for the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department, a Development Consultant and Construction Manager in Baltimore, a licensed home improvement contractor in Washington, DC and Maryland, and a carpenter in his home town of Columbus, Ohio. Andy holds a Masters in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in Architecture from the Ohio State University

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.