Leadership Team

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Leadership Team

Our leadership team includes people with career-long experience in organizational strategy and transformation, grant making and fundraising, policy analysis and innovation, and engagement with community-based organizations in diverse communities.

Board of Directors and Officers

Marietta Baba

Marietta Baba
Executive Director, President, and Treasurer

Marietta Baba, is a leader and scholar who has transformed large organizations, founded new research and professional organizations at the national level, led fundraising campaigns, and consulted to a wide range of public and private sector agencies and corporations. 

She was Dean of the College of Social Science at Michigan State University for 14 years (2001-2015) where she led a large and diverse college of 12 disciplinary departments and professional schools, and over 330 tenure stream faculty members, with a focus on data-driven improvements in research, teaching, and the service/outreach missions. 

As Dean, she exceeded the goals of a major capital campaign for her college. 

Previously, Baba was Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan (1996-2001) where she founded the first business anthropology education program. 

At the National Science Foundation (1994-1996) she co-led NSF’s first industry-funded grant program — Transformations to Quality Organizations (now called Science of Organizations). 

Baba also was a co-founder of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology, a section of the American Anthropological Association. 

She is the author or co-author of about 100 scholarly and technical publications. 

Baba holds an MBA from the Advanced Management Program, Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University, and a PhD in Anthropology from Wayne State University. 

The mission of WCEW is inspired by her family’s history as Christian cultural minorities and war refugees from Persia (now Iran) during World War I.


Charlie Lehman

Charlie Lehman
Vice President for Communications

With extensive experience in journalism, public relations and communications, Charlie Lehman co-founded and managed a marketing communications agency that served organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for more than 20 years. 

He has worked closely with nonprofit organizations, providing pro bono services and volunteer time. 

Over the course of his career, he has served as board member and chairman for Habitat for Humanity, president of Rotary Club, chair of the marketing committee for an arts council, PTA president, and board member for Boys and Girls Clubs, Piedmont Environmental Center, Kids Korp USA, Communities in Schools, and Center for Independent Living. 

As a member of these boards, Charlie inspired others to re-imagine fundraising activities and events and cultivate and engage existing and new donors to grow support for the mission of these organizations. 

He has worked with several executive directors to create and execute comprehensive marketing and business plans and has counseled nonprofit boards and senior management on effective communications strategies. 

Charlie earned a B.A. in English and History and attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Dawn Lehman

Dawn Lehman
Vice President and Secretary

Dawn Lehman, combines corporate communications, research, and evaluation experience to help organizations in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors identify and address workplace issues associated with employee development; cross-cultural communications; generational differences; caregiver support; diversity and inclusion; and most recently, organizational changes related to COVID-19.

Dawn has delivered grant writing training to university faculty and staff and non-profit leadership, supporting their efforts to increase organizational capacity to serve community. 

As Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Dr. Lehman focused on increasing public awareness of the school’s mission.

She currently works with leadership to develop resources for companies seeking ways to effectively support their workforce while navigating change.

Throughout her career, Lehman has worked with diverse populations, including youth with disabilities, older adults in senior living communities, and Boys & Girls Club members.

With foundation funding, she developed Chicago’s first intergenerational, inclusive volunteer program that provided opportunities for young adults with disabilities and older adults to volunteer together in three Illinois counties.

Dawn is the co-founder of Kids Korps USA (kidskorps.org), an award-winning 501(c)(3) youth volunteer organization that has engaged 100,000+ young people in service to more than 350 community organizations in California, North Carolina, and Illinois.

She has received awards from the Michigan House of Representatives, the Governor’s Office of the State of California, the Washington Association for the Practice of Anthropology, and the news media for her service work.

Lehman holds a B.A. degree in communications from St. Mary’s College and an M.A. in organizational anthropology and Ph.D. in medical anthropology from Wayne State University.

Alexia Smokler

Alexia Smokler
Vice President for Policy

Alexia Smokler, is a public policy professional and licensed attorney with over a decade of experience in policy research, analysis, communications, and project leadership.

She is currently Director of Fair Housing at the National Association of REALTORS®, America’s largest trade association, where she provides leadership on civil rights-related federal regulatory and legislative matters and provides subject-matter expertise to training, research, and publications.

Smokler previously served as Presidential Management Fellow and Program Analyst at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (HUD), where she supported career executives and political appointees with policy analysis, speechwriting, and strategic communications, and led high-level projects.

Before serving at HUD, Smokler was a Legislative Assistant to Congressman John Conyers, Jr.

Smokler holds a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and a bachelor’s degree in government from Smith College. 

Christina Tipton

Christina Tipton
Vice President for Community Collaboration

Rev. Christina Tipton is an accomplished human trafficking specialist who has been instrumental in the recovery and redemption of survivors of human trafficking. She works closely with law enforcement and is a victim advocate for federal cases.

Christina has been a forerunner for the Genesee County Human Trafficking Task Force containing resources, counseling, funding, education, expungement, advocacy and transportation for those exiting sexual exploitation and labor trafficking.

Pastor Christina has been on the streets, in the shelters and jails and reached into every strip club and brothel in the greater Flint area to offer real hope and safe options for anyone who is ready to move forward with getting their lives back.

She is the only State of Michigan Human Trafficking Specialist in Genesee County that holds a CCAR Recovery certificate. Christina has been instrumental in educating her community about the intersection of substance abuse and trafficking for nearly 10 years.

She has used her time and energy to bring awareness to the next generation of youths about the secrets of social media and how predators are luring the vulnerable from behind the screens through sexstortion and blackmail.

Christina is giving back in the same community she was born and raised in.

She and her husband, Rev. Doug Tipton founded Tipton Ministries in 2012.

They realized the value of a faith-based response utilizing the corporate body of the local churches.

They raised 5 children and have 9 grandchildren.

They also serve in their local church and continue to use their marriage as ministry.

Grant Development Program

WCEW’s Grant Development Program includes professionals experienced in grant writing for non-profit organizations and grant-making at federal agencies.

Stacey Bellomo
Grant Development Consultant

Stacey Bellomo, has extensive experience in non-profits, grant-writing, and developing collaborative relationships.

With a passion for human services, she has researched, written, and evaluated grants; developed and evaluated program and project outcomes;  facilitated accreditation and licensure compliance; and, written agency and program policies and procedures.

Her academic background reflects her desire to expand her knowledge of underserved and minority populations as evidenced by attending Grambling University, Grambling, LA, a historically black university and Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX, a public historically black land grant university.

Her professional career has a strong background in research, development, implementation, evaluation, training and support related to grantwriting, and the development of collaboratives toward the achievement of grant funded outcomes. She has supported organizational missions through the development of policies and procedures, providing oversight for accreditation and licensure requirements, and, the development of quality assurance and risk management tools, customer service programs, and outcome measures systems.

Her support to organizations includes the role of Human Rights Officer and an internal investigator of allegations of rights violations.

She possesses a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and post Master’s education in administration from Prairie View A&M University.

Syliva Edgerton

Sylvia Edgerton
Grant Committee Principal

Sylvia Edgerton, has shown an ability to build, lead, and manage scientific research programs that advance the state of knowledge, enhance scientific awareness, promote collaboration, and build consensus between government, academia, private enterprise, and local communities to apply scientific knowledge to societal issues.

She currently works at the National Science Foundation where she develops and manages a diverse portfolio of cutting-edge research projects in atmospheric science. 

She also has worked as a Senior Scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy laboratories, both Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, on issues related to atmospheric chemistry and climate change. 

Early in her career, she served as a Research Fellow at the East West Center where she participated in energy, air pollution, and development programs for Asia.

Diya Radhakrishma

Diya Radhakrishma
Grant Development Consultant

Diya Radhakrishna, is a researcher and cultural sector professional with a strong interest in issues of gender-based violence, gender equity, and intercultural exchange.

A former Research Analyst at The Harris Poll, she worked on the company’s decade-long survey with the American Psychological Association, Stress in America, reporting on how women and minorities are disproportionately impacted by major stressors such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her past work on issues of gender includes organizing Masterclass entrepreneurship programs for women trafficked in Eastern Europe and conducting workshops on sexual violence awareness and response in Bangalore, India.

She is currently a Program Officer at Asia Society in New York, as well as a graduate of Columbia University’s M.A. in Global Thought program, where her research focused on the global beauty industry’s impact on South Asian women.