WHC Welcomes Director of Development, Two Social Impact Coordinators and Announces a Staff Promotion

The innovative nonprofit Washington Housing Conservancy (WHC) welcomes a director of development and two social impact coordinators, reflecting the organization’s growth as it continues its mission to advance economic mobility through the acquisition, preservation, and management of affordable rental homes for individuals and families in inclusive mixed-income communities. In addition, program associate Divya Khandke has been promoted to senior program manager.

“In just three years, WHC’s portfolio of apartment communities has grown considerably. It is now time to add to our bench to further implement our social impact strategies to engage residents and build both social and economic connections that support wealth building and opportunity,” said Kimberly Driggins, WHC’s Executive Director.

Director of Development/Fundraising Kathy Smith

Kathy Smith joins the WHC leadership team to direct the planning, management, and coordination of philanthropic activities. She will support the organization’s rapid expansion and impact by identifying funding needs, engaging with a growing universe of WHC supporters, and, as with other members of the leadership team, inspiring colleagues and external partners with values rooted in WHC’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging principles. Kathy comes to WHC from the National Skills Coalition, where she was chief development officer. Previously, she served as the director of foundation relations at PAI. She also worked at the Urban Institute and Center for American Progress (CAPS).

Social Impact Coordinators Sawa Kamara and Juanita Perilla

As Social Impact Coordinators, Sawa Kamara and Juanita Perilla will be integral to helping residents achieve housing stability and economic mobility. Coordinators serve as strategists, coaches, problem-solvers, and facilitators of programs aligned with the four core WHC strategies: inclusive property management, placemaking, community building, and human capacity and wealth building. Through the development of relationships and connections with residents, staff, and resource partners, the coordinators support residents of WHC properties so they can achieve personal goals and thrive.

Sawa comes to WHC from the Institute for Public Health Innovation, where she served as a case manager and advocate for patients with chronic heart failure at George Washington University Hospital.

Juanita was a co-founder of Golf Queens, an organization established by four women players to spread and empower women’s golf in Latin America and beyond and is fluent in Spanish.

Senior Program Manager Divya Khandke

Divya Khandke helps implement WHC’s social impact strategy, analyzes data and public policy, promotes community engagement, and supports strategic planning. She joined WHC in 2020 as the Graduate Associate intern and became a Program Associate in 2021, before being promoted to Senior Program Manager. She previously worked as a program coordinator with the Washington think tank German Marshall Fund’s (GMF) Cities Program, the Boston-based environmental justice nonprofit Alternatives for Community & Environment and the offices of sustainability at Furman University and Davidson College.

Preserving housing affordability and promoting economic mobility in the DC-region

The Washington Housing Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your investment helps us expand our work. Your gift is 100% tax-deductible. EIN 83-1866109

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