HumanitiesDC is staffed by a dedicated team who commit their talents to preserving DC’s unique and valuable cultural history. Our team members work together to bring engaging and enlightening humanities programming to the people of Washington, DC.

Rebecca Lemos Otero is a native Washingtonian who has served her community as an executive leader in the non-profit sector for more than two decades. Rebecca grounds her work in social justice and community driven programming. Formerly, Rebecca co-founded and served as Executive Director for City Blooms. Born out of her love of nature, she was led by her strong desire to foster community well-being through providing safe, accessible kid-driven green spaces throughout the city. Ms. Lemos Otero is a graduate of Fordham University, received an M.F.A from the Maryland Institute College of Arts and holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University.

240-266-8453 ext. 803

Jasper Collier manages all aspects of the DC Oral History Collaborative program. Jasper has previously worked in curatorial and collections management at the Dittrick Medical History Center and President Lincoln’s Cottage. He has also held positions with the National Building Museum and the Western Reserve Historical Society and has worked as an independent consultant in historical research. Jasper holds a Master of Arts in Public History from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Case Western Reserve University.

240-266-8453 ext. 804

Lois Nembhard brings twenty+ years of experience in the nonprofit and government sectors including management positions with AmeriCorps and the Social Innovation Fund. Her expertise includes program design and implementation, program operations, nonprofit capacity building and all phases of grantmaking. Most recently she has been a nonprofit consultant, providing capacity building support. She looks forward to being part of HumanitiesDC’s efforts to document, strengthen and amplify DC’s history, culture and arts through its residents.

240-266-8453 ext. 807

Karen Oliver believes that numbers help tell stories and that solid systems can allow HumanitiesDC’s community to thrive and grow. As Director of Operations her responsibilities include finance and accounting, human resources, operations and administration, and supporting a strategy to build a stable internal structure to support the growth of our programs. Karen’s diverse experience includes more than 10 years in nonprofit management, as well as a short stints in local politics, education board service, management consulting, and technical marketing. She holds a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from UCLA and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Swarthmore College.

240-266-8453 ext. 805

Eli Yussuf oversees HumanitiesDC’s grants portfolio supporting cultural and educational programming and projects. Eli has previously served as the lead of grantmaking for United Way of the Bluegrass in Lexington, KY, annually managing a $1.2 million portfolio and supporting a total of over 100 social service agencies for nearly four years. Eli has significant experience with grants management, grant writing, partner relations, program development and implementation. Eli holds a Master in Public Administration from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Medicine, Health, & Society from Vanderbilt University.

240-266-8453 ext. 809

Jimmy was born and raised in Southeast Washington D.C.’s Ward 8 and has spent the past eight years working for and supporting local nonprofits. A graduate of Bates College, Jimmy obtained his bachelor’s degree in English before completing a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University. Most recently, Jimmy served on the Board of Directors for Words Beats & Life, taught playwriting at the Young Playwright’s Theater, and joined the Black Swan Academy as their administrative assistant. In his spare time, Jimmy enjoys writing music, exercising, and raising his cat, Ghost, who he secretly thinks is his direwolf.

240-266-8453 ext. 806

Michael Yarnell has been a resident of Washington, DC for more than twenty years. Formerly, he worked as the Director of Marketing for a prominent DC Real Estate Sales firm. Throughout his career, Michael has worked alongside local non-profit organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and “Beats for Boobs”, a breast cancer awareness organization developed in San Francisco. Michael is a native Kentuckian with a degree in Marketing and Communications from the University of Kentucky. He also holds a certificate in Marketing and Finance from Georgetown University and is a founding member of the Student Advisory Board of Real Estate (SABRE).

240-266-8453 ext. 808

Dana is an early career journalist and a Washington, DC native. She studied history at the Claremont Colleges in California where she developed a lasting interest in oral history while interviewing members of her own family as part of her honors thesis. Her oral history experience sparked an interest in investigative journalism, a field in which she earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Dana was part of a team in 2021 that was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for an investigative series on the misuse of police dogs. Now that she has returned to her hometown, she’s eager to learn and preserve the stories of DC residents and the history of the city.