Staff and Board

Staff

Nathan Darity, Executive Director of The Global Switchboard

Nathan Darity completed his graduate studies in public health and international development before beginning his work with Amizade Global Service Learning in 2009 as their site director in Brazil.  In this role as Project Director, Nathan designed health science programs, oversaw Brazil site development, and led a variety of Pittsburgh-based initiatives. In 2014, Nathan served as Project Manager of The Global Switchboard, before becoming the Executive Director in 2016. Nathan is active with the Office of the Mayor for the City of Pittsburgh as a member of the Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council, and in 2015 was selected to help plan the Pittsburgh 200th Anniversary Celebration. In addition to his work with civic and global engagement, Nathan is the host and organizer of CreativeMornings Pittsburgh, a breakfast lecture series for the creative community.

Laura Amster, Operations Manager of The Global Switchboard

Laura Amster is the Program Manager for The Global Switchboard where she spends her day working with students and teachers to foster global awareness. She aids teachers in planning activities on global issues for students throughout Western Pennsylvania, engages community members in discussions on globalization, and prepares students for experiential learning simulations. A graduate of University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of the Arts in Economics, Laura understands the impact of globalization for Pittsburgh’s next generation. When not serving the community at TGS, Laura enjoys exploring Pittsburgh’s many diverse neighborhoods and spending time with her cat.

 


Alaa Mohamed
Program Coordinator of The Global Switchboard

Alaa Mohamed is the Program Coordinator during her year of service at Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE). In 2012 Alaa came to Pittsburgh by way of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania as a student at the University of Pittsburgh. Alaa received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Global Studies in 2016. While completing her courses, she established both her love of Pittsburgh and service when she co-founded Project Potter, a philanthropic service organization that uses youth passion for the Harry Potter series to encourage college students’ investment in their local community via fundraising and volunteering. Alaa developed her global interests when she had the opportunity to travel to Egypt and interview Egyptian women for her thesis on female genital mutilation. Her passion for Pittsburgh, service, and global engagement led to her placement at The Global Switchboard. In her downtime Alaa enjoys reading, binge-watching TV, and sleeping.

 

Board of Directors

President

Felix Yerace, Social Studies Teacher, South Fayette School District

 

Felix Yerace is a social studies teacher at South Fayette High School. Yerace has been a board member of Global Solutions Pittsburgh since 2005. Prior to his joining of the board, Yerace participated in Model UN programs as both a high school and college student that were administered by WFAP. Felix is also on the Executive Board of PASCD, which is the Pennsylvania affiliate of ASCD, an international educators association. As an executive board member of PASCD, Felix oversees social media and also coordinate the annual educator scholarship program our organization sponsors. Felix is also on the executive board of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (PASC) where he serves as a District Director and helps to coordinate student council programs for middle and high school students on a statewide basis. Felix is also currently on the Student Leadership Advisory Committee for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), where he works with other adults and students on national student leadership initiatives. Felix is also an adjunct faculty member in the Jesuit Commons – Higher Education at the Margins program, which provides college level instruction to individuals living in refugee camps in such locations as Malawi, Kenya, Jordan, and Thailand.

Yerace has a Masters in Public Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon, and during his courses he had the opportunity to work directly with several nonprofits in the area. During his education and career, Felix has had many opportunities to travel and work in numerous different countries all around the world.

Vice-presidents

Carolyn Ban, Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh
 

Carolyn Ban is a current professor and former dean of Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a member of the board for two years, and is currently serving as Vice- President. Ban is currently a board member of the local ACLU, is a former member of the board of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, past president of NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration), and member of several other professional organizations. Kerry Ban is active in advocacy organizations, which includes service as Vice President of New York Chapter of NARAL (Now NARAL pro-choice America), and member of national NARAL board.

Ban has an extensive educational background and personal experience, which includes study abroad. She has also traveled abroad extensively; during these travels Kerry has spoke at numerous universities and international conferences. As a result of travel, Kerry speaks several languages and is now studying Polish.

 
Michael Goodhart, Professor of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
 
Michael Goodhart is an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Goodhart has been a member of the board of directors of Global Solutions Pittsburgh since January 2007. Michael was president of the board in 2012 and has been on the executive committee since 2010. Michael was, and again will be, the director of the Global Studies Center at Pitt. He has been a guest professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin from 2008-2009; Goodhart has also lead a semester abroad program (Pittmap), that visited Brazil, India, and China for five weeks each in 2013. He has visited over 30 countries and has been on every continent. Goodhart has worked mostly as an activist.
 
 

Treasurer

Sara Noel, Assistant Director, Amizade Global Service-Learning

 

Secretary

Rachel Schneider, Advocacy Coordinator, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Directors

Jess Brubach, Interconception Care Project Coordinator, UPMC
 
Joshua Siebert, Deputy Judicial Law Clerk, Chambers of the Honorable David Wecht, Pennsylvania Superior Court   
 
Brandon Blache-Cohen, Executive Director, Amizade Global Service-Learning
 
Liam Carstens, Vice President of Medical Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Brother’s Brother Foundation