About The Civic Circle

The Civic Circle is a Silver Spring, Maryland-based nonprofit that brings civics alive for very young children with music and drama shared in assembly and after-school programs. For more information, please contact Eliza Newlin Carney at ecarney@theciviccircle.org.



Eliza Newlin Carney

Eliza Newlin Carney is a longtime Washington writer, editor and columnist specializing in democracy issues. She is a columnist and former senior editor for The American Prospect, and previously held senior positions at CQ Roll Call and National Journal. The Civic Circle grows out of Carney's passion for democracy, and for cultural and civic life in Silver Spring, where she has lived for more than two decades. She is the Civic Circle's Founder and President.

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Rick Cohen

Rick Cohen is Chief Communications Officer and Chief Operating Officer for the National Council of Nonprofits (NCN), the nation’s largest network of charitable nonprofits. His focus includes media relations, finance, and human resources. He previously served at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers (now United Philanthropy Forum). A graduate of American University, Rick also holds a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University.


Manuela Ekowo

Manuela Ekowo is policy manager at The Impact Project, a nonprofit that advances progressive economic and democracy policies in 10 states. Her previous posts include media associate at ReThink Media, where she provided strategic communications for organizations working to strengthen our democracy, and policy analyst at New America, where she focused on the use of technology to improve student academic achievement. She is The Civic Circle's Secretary.

Ann Levin

Ann Levin

Ann Levin is an international health economist and president of Levin and Morgan, LLC, which provides expert public health technical assistance to such clients as the Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization, among others. She has served on the boards of the Capital Interfaith Hospitality Network, Friends of Families with Children from China, and the D.C. Rape Crisis Center. She is The Civic Circle’s Treasurer.

Vanesa Pinto

Vanesa Pinto

Vanesa Pinto is Empowerment and Leadership Development Program Director at CHEER (Community Health and Empowerment through Education and Research), where she oversees advocacy and community organizing in Long Branch. Previously an accountant in La Paz, Bolivia, she is a 20-year Long Branch resident, organizer and volunteer. She previously taught Spanish and computer literacy to New Hampshire Estates Elementary School parents, through the county’s Linkages to Learning program.

Trevor Schmutz copy

Trevor Schmutz

Trevor Schmutz is a Grants Management Specialist at ServeDC, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office on Volunteerism and Partnerships. He previously worked in donor services and event production at the Art Institute of Chicago, and also provided operational support to one of Chicago's larger restaurant groups. He was The Civic Circle’s AmeriCorps VISTA team member in 2021-22, and is a Master's degree candidate at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration.

Catherine Sheehy

Catherine Sheehy

Catherine Sheehy is an associate director of sustainability disclosures at United Therapeutics, the Silver Spring-based biopharma public benefit corporation. For more than three decades, she has worked at the intersections of business, economics and society to advance corporate responsibility efforts and LGBTQ+ workplace policies. She previously held posts at UL, Accenture, The Human Rights Campaign, and the Investor Responsibility Research Center. She chairs The Civic Circle’s Strategic Planning Committee.


Ericka N. Stevens

Ericka Stevens is a native Washingtonian with more than 15 years of experience supporting nonprofits and grassroots groups in grants management and capacity building. As Director of Contracts & Operations at Employ Prince George’s, she leads contractual and operational processes and policies that govern the administration for workforce and economic development throughout Prince George’s County and the D.C. region. She is The Civic Circle's Vice President and its Fundraising Chair.

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Michael L. Amilcar

Michael Leslie Amilcar is the owner and CEO of Cook Ross Inc., a certified woman-owned diversity and inclusion consulting firm based in downtown Silver Spring. She has more than two decades of experience helping mission-driven organizations plan strategically, adhere to diversity best practices, and expand their profitability, performance and value.


Mady Chalk

Mady Chalk is a senior consultant at The Chalk Group with extensive experience in strategic planning and leadership development, including civic education, for nonprofit organizations. She is a well-known behavioral health expert focusing on quality and improvement in the organization, financing, and delivery of mental health and addiction treatment services. In her current post, she consults to Medicaid agencies as well as private and public health plans.


Theodore Goldstock

Theodore Goldstock is a business attorney with Lerch, Early, & Brewer Chtd. in Bethesda, practicing in the areas of corporate law, commercial transactions and commercial litigation. He also has extensive experience advising nonprofit entities on all aspects of their governance, including mergers, joint ventures, and obtaining exemptions from income tax.


Carson Henry

Carson Henry is the Chief of Operations for the Silver Spring Urban District. He is President of the Downtown Silver Spring Rotary Club, and previously was District Executive and Association Executive, Social Responsibility for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.


Margo Reid

Margo Reid brings decades of experience as a writer and producer in documentary film to her current consulting work with Capacity Partners in nonprofit governance, strategic planning, and consensus facilitation. Her clients include arts, social service, and educational organizations. Volunteer work includes board positions with Glen Echo Park Partnership, Bethesda Cares, and Community Bridges. Her work to advance social action through film included the Oscar-nominated documentaries BULLY, and How to Survive a Plague.


Jeffrey Walker

Jeffrey Walker is an educational program manager and youth advocate. He is a consultant to Maryland MENTOR, and is director of operations at Drugnet Enterprises, which employs "edutainment" to keep kids drug free. He previously was Silver Spring-based program manager for the Latin American Youth Center, and has led multiple grant-funded projects in Montgomery County.



Will Fermaglich

Will Fermaglich is a sophomore at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School (B-CC). At B-CC, he is involved in cross country, track, and basketball. Away from school, he is the State Chair of Maryland High School Democrats and Chair of his local chapter. Will is very excited to join the Civic Circle Youth Board and promote civic values.

Ach'sah Gubena

Ach’Sah Gubena

Ach’sah Gubena is a high school student at Montgomery Blair High School. She is passionate about civic engagement and the performing arts, and chairs her school’s Student Government Association’s County Affairs Committee. She also serves as an assistant director for the student-run Playset Theatre, and performs for Montgomery Blair’s theater program. She’s a longtime volunteer with Extended Learning Opportunities Summer Adventures in Learning (ELO SAIL), Montgomery County’s Title I summer learning program.

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Angelle Mbongwo

Angelle Mbongwo is a junior at Albert Einstein high school and she is very excited to be a part of The Civic Circle's Youth Council! She is very passionate about civic engagement through the arts. Angelle is also a part of her school's Poms and dance team.


Savannah Thompson-Jones

Savannah Thompson-Jones is a current junior at Thomas S. Wootton High School. She is excited to be a youth council member of the board. She is passionate about the importance of civic engagement and learning how to run a non-profit. Savannah is a member of her school's Model UN and her Amnesty International Club.