Meet our Executive Team.
President & CEO
Dixon Slingerland is the President & CEO of Youth Policy Institute. He leads more than 1,600 staff serving over 115,000 youth and adults each year at 137 program sites in LA. YPI has been awarded multiple White House designations including the Los Angeles Promise Zone and the Promise Neighborhood, which targets 18 schools—traditional, charter, pilot, and partnership—in Pacoima and East Hollywood.
Executive Vice President
Iris Zuñiga is the Executive Vice President of Youth Policy Institute, a leading non-profit organization in the region with an annual budget of $57 million and more than 1,000 staff operating out of 125 program sites across Los Angeles. Since joining YPI in 2006, Iris has led efforts to reinforce YPI’s commitment to the communities it serves through a results-based framework.
Chief Operating Officer
Ruth Dineros is Chief Operating Officer for Youth Policy Institute. Ruth leads the strategic direction for YPI’s internal operations and provides focused oversight in the areas of Information Technology, Facilities, Human Resources, Learning and Development, Performance and Talent management, and Compensation and Benefits administration. In addition, Ruth leads and oversees day-to-day operations including Policy and Procedures development, Compliance, and Risk Management.
Chief Financial Officer
Steve has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit management. At YPI, he is responsible for the financial stewardship of the Organization, including capital and operating budgets, financial affairs and reporting, procurement and fiscal compliance, and information technology.
Chief Grants Officer
Stan Saunders has served as the Director of Development for the Youth Policy Institute since 2002. During this time, YPI has raised funding to develop and support education, technology, and training services for youth and families in Los Angeles.
Jesse Noonan, Ed.D
Chief Academic Officer
Jesse Noonan, Ed.D., is Chief of Academic Officer, providing a broad range of support to schools to dramatically accelerate student outcomes. She also leads the Gear Up and Promise Corps initiatives for YPI.
Chief Community Development Officer
Angelica Solis-Montero is the Chief Community Development Officer for Youth Policy Institute. The Community Development Division houses signature initiatives including the Los Angeles Promise Zone and key programs under the Workforce, YouthSource, Health & Wellness, and Financial Empowerment departments. Angelica works to align and coordinate the community development departments to address education, housing, and public safety issues comprehensively.
Tara Watford, PhD
Director of Research & Evaluation
Dr. Tara Watford is the Director of Research & Evaluation at Youth Policy Institute. Tara directs evaluative efforts to ensure that YPI programs and services meet their goals of increasing academic achievement for youth and empowering high-poverty neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area.