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Dr. Cecilia m. cardesa-lusardi, Executive Director

Whether working with Catholic nuns and women religious in sub-Saharan Africa or social impact organizations here at home, Dr. Lusardi uniquely bridges her international experience into the strategic alignment and direction of local organizations through her profound commitment to public interest law and the social impact sector. 

In 2011, Dress for Success Worldwide hired Cecilia to create and execute the strategic turn-around management of its local Philadelphia affiliate along with creating a sustainable growth strategy, sound financial forecasting and organizational positioning. Prior to serving as CEO of Dress for Success Philadelphia, she spearheaded the change management and holistic turn-around of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as a senior member of leadership team at its U.S. Headquarters. Before that, Cecilia served as the Executive Director of Voices without Borders, Inc. Dr. Lusardi began her career working for an affiliate of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS).

She has served as Delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women and Hong Kong’s Social Enterprise Summit. Dr. Lusardi has received numerous awards and recognition for her commitment to community development, and has served on local, national and international boards. Most recently, she received the 2016 VERA MOMEMTUM Award based on her work with start-ups in El Salvador through Business Council for Peace (BPeace). Dr. Lusardi serves as Guest Lecturer and Start-up Judge for the Haub School of Business Veterans Entrepreneurship Jumpstart at St. Joseph's University.