Board of Directors
Kristen Powers - President
Kristen first volunteered for Hands on DC with her DC Kickball team in 2011. She enjoyed working with the organization and was impressed with the mission, and got more involved, serving as a Site Coordinator and Volunteer Management Co-Chair. After hearing powerful stories from the founders during the 20th anniversary celebration, Kristen was inspired to lead the organization as Co-Director in 2015 and 2016; and now as the President. She is a native Northern Virginian and enjoys staying active by running, hiking and traveling as much as possible. During the day, Kristen supports the FAA's Corporate Communication office.
Royce Bassarab - Vice President
Royce's involvement in Hands on DC began shortly after relocating to DC from Cincinnati in 2006. Within an hour of sending an introductory email offering his assistance, Royce was tapped as a Regional Coordinator, and oversaw volunteer efforts in four schools. His interest and belief in the organization cemented, and his following roles included Special Projects Coordinator, Sites Co-Chair, and Co-Director in 2009. By day, Royce works as an Environmental Project Manager focused on the environmental analysis of transportation projects throughout the country. In Royce's words, Hands on DC allows him to give back to his local community, help foster a spirit of civic engagement, and encourage volunteerism. Royce is currently the Vice President of the Board, which allows him to remain involved in nearly every aspect of the organization.
Nate Higgins - Treasurer
Nate began volunteering with Hands on DC way back in 2006 as a site coordinator at the annual Work-a-thon. Since then, he has had many leadership roles within the organization and is a key contributor to the Sites/Logistics teams every year. He now serves as the treasurer for the organization, while being the resident “do it all” member of the board. During the day, Nate is a research economist with the Economic Research Service (USDA). He also teaches econometrics at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and Game Theory and Market Design at the University of Maryland. He has a B.A. in mathematics and economics from Ithaca College and a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland.
PC Zai - Secretary
Zai has been involved with Hands on DC since 2008, working on everything from fundraising to special events, and currently is Secretary of the Board of Directors. Before joining the Board, she was the Co-Director for the FY 2012 events. Zai’s deep-seated desire to be involved in her local community stems from her background as a social justice community organizer in Los Angeles and studies in city management at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. Additionally, she is also the outreach coordinator for the UCLA Alumni Network of Washington DC and is a skater for the DC Rollergirls. For fun, Zai enjoys travelling, yoga, and exploring various cuisines of the world. In everyday life, she works as an analyst at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in civil rights enforcement.