Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board

Members  Biography



Member Biographies


Katherine Lucas McKay, Board Chair

Katherine Lucas McKay is a Program Manager at the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program (FSP), leading research initiatives on household finances and identifying strategies to increase financial security for millions of households. Katherine is an experienced policy researcher and advocate in the fields of economic inequality and financial inclusion, and has worked on issues including consumer debt, credit reporting, access to safe and affordable financial products and services, mortgage lending, retirement savings, and safety net policies. Prior to joining FSP, Katherine was the Associate Director of Government Affairs at Prosperity Now; she has also held positions at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Georgetown University. Katherine holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Information Systems and a BA from Wellesley College. She lives with her family in downtown Silver Spring, one of her favorite places on Earth.

Melanie Fonder Kaye, Board Vice Chair

Melanie Fonder Kaye has lived in the South Four Corners area of Silver Spring since 2008. She currently lives there with her husband, three children, and rescue dog Riley. Fonder Kaye is a communications strategist with more than 20 years of experience in communications, media, and journalism. Before founding her communications firm MFK Strategies, she served as Director of Communications to Dr. Jill Biden in the White House. Currently, she serves as Communications Director for the Biden Foundation, and provides strategic communications services to several other clients. She has also worked at GMMB, an agency dedicated to creating real and lasting change in the world, as press secretary for former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, and as a reporter for The Hill, among other publications.

Daniel Moijueh, Co-Chair, Commercial Economic Development Committee

Daniel Moijueh, Jr. is the founder of Moijey Fine Jewelry & Diamonds, a United Stated based company. Born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Mr. Moijueh’s, family comes from the diamond land of Kenema Province in Sierra Leone. After witnessing firsthand the heavy damage that his home-country endured during Sierra Leone Blood Diamond Civil War, Moijueh launched a conflict-free diamond vertical integrated business in 2002 at the age of 17.

His academic credentials include a Bachelor Science in Business from Bowie State University and a double masters from University of Maryland in Supply Chain Management and Acquisition, and a Masters In Business Administration with a concentration in Global Management. Mr. Moijueh is also a decorated

U.S. Army Iraq War veteran, serving in the U.S. Army for 14 years before becoming the first American/ Sierra Leonean-born diamond jeweler in America.

Mr. Moijueh is also the founder of the Beyond The Carat Foundation (, an organization guided by his foresight to rebuild countries affected by illegal gold and diamond mining. Through fundraising and community awareness events, he pledges to make noticeable and positive impact, one step at a time.

Debra D. Wylie, Board Parliamentarian, Representative to the Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee

Since June 2004, Debra has worked for Holy Cross Health in Silver Spring, MD. Debra's current position is Program Coordinator of Health Equity, focusing on the needs of community members who face persistent barriers to health care and targeting clear solutions that enable them to live healthier lives.

Debra worked for Southern Management Corporation from June 1989 to June 2004, where she acquired her knowledge of the need and the importance of affordable housing and environmentally safe homes in Montgomery County. Debra has held many numerous appointed and volunteer positions in Montgomery County, Maryland throughout the years.

Don Slater, Board Secretary, Co-Chair, Transportation, Energy and Environment Committee

Don Slater and his wife, Tina, have lived in Silver Spring since 1983. They moved from Indian Spring to Park Hills in 2005, in part to be closer to downtown Silver Spring. Don studied technical theatre at the University of Pittsburgh and computer science and math at the University of Maryland. He works as a Systems Engineer for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (one of the Alaska Native Companies) on a satellite weather data distribution system project for NOAA. Theatre remains an important part of his life. He is a board member and the resident lighting designer for Quotidian Theatre Company in Bethesda. He is a past board member and occasional lighting designer at Silver Spring Stage. As a civic activist, most of his efforts have been toward improving transit and land use in the county. He is a two-term member of Ride-On’s Transit Advisory Group and is an active supporter of Action Committee for Transit and Purple Line NOW. He is active with the Park Hills Civic Association (unsuccessfully running for president) and with local politics. Other interests include mental health advocacy (board member and 1st VP of NAMI Maryland) and gardening (Chair, Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018-2019).

Michelle Foster, Co-Chair, Transportation, Energy and Environment Committee

Michelle moved to Silver Spring in 1994 from New York City in search of a walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood with a strong sense of community. Having found what she was looking for, she never moved again. As planner and environmental policy analyst, Michelle has sought to develop market solutions to solve environmental issues without compromising housing affordability. Michelle developed Fannie Mae’s Smart Commute Mortgage, revamped the Energy Efficient Mortgage, and developed a methodology to calculate the carbon reduction from efficient homes so that they could be sold on the emerging greenhouse gas market. She is also a proud co-founder of the Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills.

Sofia Bushen, Co-Chair, Commercial Economic Development Committee

Sofia Bushen is Ethiopian born, she spent most of her adult life in the United States. She lived in Tenessee for eight years before moving to Maryland in 2014. Currently, she is working at Medstar Health as an Inpatient Medical Coding Team Lead, in the Rates and Reimbursement Department. She has both a Master’s degree in Healthcare Law, and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management. While pursuing her Master’s in Healthcare Law, she worked on various projects that dealt with both healthcare regulatory and statutory analysis, and policy recommendations. These projects include: Healthcare Reform for undocumented immigrants under the Affordable Care and Medicaid Acts, the Racial Impact of Unconscious Bias on Mental Healthcare Access and Treatment Disparities Among African American Women.

In addition, she was crowned Miss Ethiopia USA 2010 during the Miss Africa USA pageant. The Pageant provided her with a platform committed to promoting self-esteem and leadership skills in women’s lives. She also collaborated and organized fundraising events with the YWCA Domestic Violence Center, to have items donated for women, and their children, who are escaping domestic violence.

She is empathetic to societal adversities, and has a vast compassion for resolving these problems. Her commitment to community matters and services are evident throughout her active community services and work experience in the areas of Silver Spring; including Ethiopian communities. She is proud to continually deliver services with integrity, authenticity and compassion.

Jay Elvove

Since retiring from the Division of Information Technology at the University of Maryland in July of 2014, Jay Elvove has taken on the self-appointed task of getting better acquainted with the Silver Spring community, where he has lived since 1975. On November 13, 2015, he shared some of what he had learned as the lead-off speaker at PechaKucha Night with a presentation titled “Why I Like Silver Spring.” He is President of the North Hills of Sligo Creek Civic Association, an appointee to the Bicycle Master Plan Community Advisory Group, a member of the Board of Directors of Docs in Progress, and a volunteer at the AFI Silver’ Educational Screening Program. He is also a participant in the 2016 Senior Leadership Montgomery program. He has a Master’s degree in Computer Systems Management and various undergraduate degrees, including English, Film, Computer & Information Science, and Psychology, all from the University of Maryland.

Kenneth Lemberg

Ken Lemberg has been a member of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board since early 2021.  He has been actively engaged in the DC Metro community for many years now, since arriving to Silver Spring in 2002.  Ken has been engaged in the workforce development and public policy arenas for many years, which has included stints with the federal government (U.S. Department of Labor) and Maryland State Government (Governor's Workforce Development Board).  He has served on a variety of other boards as well, including currently the DC Chapters of the Federal Bar Association and of the Society for Human Resource Management.  Ken's interests extend into cultural activities, music, civic engagement, economic development, energy, and sustainable development.  He also previously served as a Tenant Representative/Commissioner on the Montgomery County Landlord-Tenant Affairs Commission (seven years).

Lene Tsegaye

Lene co-owns Kefa Café in Downtown Silver Spring and represents the Fenton Village area.

Lysette House

Lysette House has been working with Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC) since June 2016, currently serving as Deputy Director. In this role, Lysette ensures the successful production of a multitude of events to support Montgomery County Public Libraries, including the kickoff to Library Lovers Month in February, Literary Lunches at Twinbrook Library, the Seasoned Spellers Senior Spelling Bee, and the Mosaic Creative Writing Program held in conjunction with Montgomery County Public Schools, among others. She also liaises with FOLMC’s 17 Chapters located throughout Montgomery County, including in Silver Spring. Ms. House has also served as the Secretary for the Friends of the Library, Silver Spring Chapter since 2014 and, in 2018, was elected to her current role as Vice-President. Lysette has rented in the Downtown Silver Spring area with her husband and two excitable puppies since 2011, making her not only an avid advocate for the library, but renters rights as well.

Patricia Germann

Patricia Germann has lived in downtown Silver Spring since 2012 and works in the public sector. She holds a Master’s degree in Arts Management and worked for nearly a decade in the non-profit arts sector. A trained dancer and choreographer, she is active in the local arts community and enjoys attending Silver Spring's many festivals and international events.

Vanesa Pinto

Vanesa Pinto organizes and oversees CHEER’s programming involving community building, community leadership, and networks of support in the Long Branch area in Silver Spring, MD. Constantly working to identify opportunities of participation and engagement of adults and youth and create unique valuable connections between groups of people where the focus lies on collaboration, learning, and supporting each other.  Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, Vanesa, a team of community members and youth, lead and provide food to 400 families/individuals at their weekly food distribution site since June 2020. For over 20 years as a Long Branch resident as well, she participated as a volunteer with different organizations (YMCA Linkages to Learning teaching Spanish literacy and basic computer classes to adults, PTA advocator, Impact Silver Spring, as a community organizer and participating in advisory boards for organizations throughout the area).