PHILADELPHIA, PA - United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) is proud to announce the promotion of Sarah Hutton as Managing Director, Career Pathways, and the addition of Paula Umaña as Managing Director, Community Resiliency and Mai Miksic as Managing Director, Early Learning. With a deep understanding and unwavering dedication to our poverty-fighting mission, Hutton, Miksic, and Umaña will amplify our organizational position, growth, and impact within the community.
Hutton is responsible for UWGPSNJ’s career pathways pillar which includes programming in areas such as workforce development, re-entry, and entrepreneurship, as well as the jobs and opportunities pillar of The Promise.
Prior to joining UWGPSNJ, Hutton worked for a wide variety of nonprofits and institutions of higher education. She first entered the nonprofit and workforce development fields by teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESL). Over the next decade, she oversaw programming in youth development, college attainment and persistence, and workforce development. She is currently an adjunct professor at Delaware Technical and Community College, where she teaches courses in the social sciences department.
Hutton earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdD) from Delaware State University, a master’s degree in Global and International Education with a concentration in Education Policy from Drexel University, and a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications with a minor in Public Health from Temple University.
In this role, Miksic is responsible for UWGPSNJ’s strategic initiatives and investments in the early learning community within Greater Philadelphia. Through collaboration and innovation, UWGSPSNJ is leading the charge to expand early learning opportunities for young children throughout our nine-county footprint.
Prior to joining UWGPSNJ, Miksic was the Early Childhood Education Policy Director at Children First, leading their advocacy efforts to increase funding for early care and education, expand access to early learning for all Pennsylvanian children, and embed greater racial equity into early learning systems. She started her career in academia, where her research focused on understanding the Black-White achievement gap, the impacts of No Child Left Behind on immigrant children, and two-generation approaches to ending poverty. She lived and worked in New York City for 10 years before moving to the Philadelphia area, bringing with her a decade of expertise in public policy and advocacy.
Miksic earned a Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in social welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In this role, Umaña is responsible for providing leadership, direction, and support for the strategies and partnerships that respond to urgent and fundamental needs of communities including access to resources to secure their basic needs.
Before joining UWGPSNJ, Umaña devoted her career to driving growth and opportunity using strategic and innovative frameworks to close the cycles of poverty and promote equity. By leveraging partnerships, resources, and data, her advising, leadership, advocacy, and work across sectors have created a positive impact and contributed to increased capacity and efficiency within a wide range of systems and organizations.
Umaña previously served as the Director of Institutional Engagement and Community Impact at Temple University’s Hope Center, where she led coalition-building efforts and established the foundation of the center’s technical assistance and training services transforming how hundreds of institutional leaders and ecosystem stakeholders across the country promote basic needs security to propel college student success. She also launched and led the Single Stop program at Community College of Philadelphia, a national anti-poverty model that connects students with financial supports and social services that was demonstrably successful at boosting students’ retention, according to rigorous evaluation. She steered the state programming for the Center for Progressive Leadership in Pennsylvania, launched the first Hispanic Capacity Building Institute in Philadelphia, and served on the leadership team at Transitional Work Corporation.
Umaña holds a master's degree in education from Temple University and is a native of Bogotá, Colombia where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.