Marta Urquilla is the founding president of Centri Tech Foundation. She brings over twenty-five years of experience leading solutions to strengthen the lives of low-income people and communities of color. Previously, she was chief program officer at Education Design Lab, directing new models to connect education to the future of work. As deputy director at the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University, she co-led the center’s establishment as a vehicle for driving impact at scale. Marta served in the administration of President Barack Obama as Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and as Senior Advisor for Innovation at AmeriCorps. She launched the first Social Innovation Fund in the U.S. government, a model adopted across federal agencies, as well as initiatives on Pay for Success and Opportunity Youth.
An Echoing Green Fellow, Marta is a social entrepreneur who has worked nationally and locally to design human-centered solutions. She created One Economy’s Digital Connectors, a national program to connect low-income youth and communities to the digital economy, and founded Sister to Sister/Hermana a Hermana, an organization to build the leadership capacity of girls and young women of color in Washington, DC. Other community development models have focused on improving public health outcomes through community organizing and policy change, facilitating youth-led solutions to neighborhood safety, and advocating for equity in housing and education on behalf of children, youth and families. She serves on the board of Urban Alliance and is a founding member of nFormation, a professional membership community created by women of color for women of color.
Board of Directors
Program Director, Social Innovation Initiatives
Kat has spent her career designing and leading collaborative solutions that support strong, equitable, and diverse communities. She brings over a decade of experience creating programs and promoting policies in education, digital inclusion, and community development. As deputy director and director of education at Libraries Without Borders, Kat launched and scaled over 20 projects across ten states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, including the organization’s first broadband deployment and adoption program. She has launched and directed leadership programs, including the Humanity in Action summer fellowship for emerging social justice leaders and the inaugural Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship. Kat served in the Obama White House, where she helped organize the first-ever National Convening on Immigrant and Refugee Integration. At the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the National Head Start Association, Kat advanced early childhood and higher education policy at the local, state, and federal levels.
Kat holds a Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley, a Master of Arts from The Fletcher School, and an LL.M. degree from the Transitional Justice Institute, where she studied as a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow and George Mitchell Scholar. She was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles.
Program Director, Digital Advancement Initiatives
Kendra Hills, a Louisiana native with a passion for urbanism, specializes in exploring the intersection of technology and cities for equitable innovation. Previously, Kendra was a Future of Cities Fellow at the ESI Center for Future Cities in Philadelphia, where she focused on smart city projects, conducted market research, and authored articles on topics such as electric vehicles, infrastructure funding, and big data in city government.
Kendra served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ecuador, where she helped launch the community-led project Laboratorio de Innovación to promote economic autonomy for young women in partnership with Plan Internacional. Prior to her Peace Corps role, Kendra worked as a Housing and Client Support Specialist at The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless in Texas, where she leveraged client data to inform better resource allocation and case management services.
She holds a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning with a concentration in Smart Cities from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a full tuition merit scholarship.
Join Our Team
Start: August 15 2023 | End: December 2023 | Fully-Remote
Compensation: $18/hour, undergrad or equivalent, 12 weeks
Graduate Data Analyst
Start: August 28 2023 | End: December 1 2023 | Fully-Remote
Compensation: $20-25/hour, graduate or equivalent, based on experience 12 weeks
Director of Development
Tyrell Holcomb brings over twenty years of experience in nonprofit and government service, dedicated to improving the lives of underserved and marginalized communities. Previously, he has held nonprofit leadership roles as Director of Community Engagement and Organizing at Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE), Program Manager at the Capital Area Food Bank, and founding director of advocacy at Don’t Mute My Health, a community-led health equity initiative in Washington, DC. A strategic relationship builder, Tyrell has raised financial support for organizations and initiatives, including negotiating community impact agreements ranging from $500,000 to $5Million.
Tyrell’s public service career began when he was elected as the District of Columbia’s Youth Mayor in 2004 and 2005. In 2016, Tyrell was elected to the Ward 7 Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which he currently chairs. He is a member of national public service organizations including the Young Elected Officials Network, National Black Elected Officials Caucus, and Local Progress.
Tyrell has been recognized as a DMV Top 30 under 30 by Urban One Radio and Community Leader of the Year by KIPP DC Public Schools. Tyrell graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a major in Political Science.
Steven Teplitz serves as General Counsel to the Centri Tech Foundation, and Chief Operating Officer of Centri Tech, CTF’s affiliated for-profit. He has a wide range of professional experience, including work as a law firm associate, as Senior Counsel in AOL’s legal department, as Associate General counsel at Time Warner Inc., and Senior Vice President at Time Warner Cable. In the public sector, Steven served as a legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate, and as an attorney-advisor at the Federal Communications Commission.
Steven holds a JD from the George Washington University Law School and a BA in Government from Colby College.
Head of Finance and HR
Michael Staples oversees the treasury, corporate governance, compliance, and administrative functions of the Centri Tech Foundation. He is a Certified Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis Professional and a graduate of Liberty University. In addition to impact investing and affordable housing related private equity, his professional experience comprises a variety of industries including technology consulting and telecom products manufacturing, primarily in executive management level positions within start-up and growth stage companies. He has a passion for impact and mission-oriented ventures and specializes in enterprise systems, financial modeling and optimizing organizational infrastructure for scalability and operational efficiency.
Graduate Data Analyst, Fall 2023
Analyst, Fall 2023