Engage Welcomes New Executive Director

July 23, 2018

As we enter our 3rd year, Engage Miami is excited to announce that we’re bringing on a new Executive Director, Rebecca Pelham, to guide our organization and shape our vision. Ms. Pelham was formerly the Campus Director at the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy at Miami Dade College North Campus where she served for over four years, developing engaging programing collaboratively with students and faculty—including the Sustainapalooza festival celebrating community engagement and care for the natural world and human well-being. Her belief in community involvement and empowering young people has been evident throughout her time in Miami where she’s been a resident since 2012. She served as Steering Committee Chair of the Miami Climate Alliance from fall of 2017 until Spring of this year and currently serves as Vice Chair on the North MIami Downtown Action Plan Advisory Committee,. In reflecting on her new role Ms. Pelham says she is “a longtime admirer of Engage’s work” and that she “looks forward to carrying that legacy forward. The urgency of engaging young people in rebuilding our democracy has never been greater. I am honored to be part of a team tackling one of the central issues of our time.”

We are also saying goodbye to Rob Biskupic-Knight, who has led our organization since its early days. He is departing for graduate school in Chicago where he plans to learn how to better understand and build organizations and teams. Mr. Biskupic-Knight shares that “my years as ED of Engage have been incredibly fulfilling and firmly cemented my belief in the power of young people to organize and engage in the political process. I’m thrilled to be able to step down knowing someone as capable and thoughtful as Rebecca is taking over.” Our board Chair, Sara Yousuf, shared her admiration for Rob’s leadership as well as her excitement in welcoming Rebecca as our new ED. Ms. Yousuf says that “under Rob’s leadership, Engage has registered and educated thousands of young voters, while connecting them to the issues that impact their future.” She goes on to say that “it is with tremendous optimism and gratitude that Engage welcomes Rebecca Pelham to its helm. Rebecca’s talent for inspiring action among young people will support Engage in its mission to speak youth to power.”

We are eager to continue maturing and expanding our understanding of how to best serve young people in Miami under Ms. Pelham’s leadership. She believes we can “reshape the civic story of Miami by bringing a fresh generation of value-driven, energized young people to the election booth and beyond. We’ll move forward with conviction, courage, and creativity, and continue activating the pipeline to power for young people in South Florida. I couldn’t be more excited to work with this dynamic team and to grow our work together in the coming years.”

Engage “started as friends concerned with where Miami seemed to be headed. We advocate for equality and prosperity and hope to empower youth to create a version of Miami that they are proud of and will want to continue to live in and support,” reflects Engage founder and current board member Justin Wales. Mr. Wales says that “I hope Rebecca continues Rob’s good work and uses Engage as a platform to connect to young voters and advocates in ways that are both unconventional and inspiring.”