National Urban League Washington Bureau Announces Staff Additions and Changes

April 13 2016

WASHINGTON, DC (April 13, 2016) – Don Cravins, Executive Director of the National Urban League Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President of Policy, today announced two new additions to the staff.  Kezmiché “Kim” Atterbury has been selected as Senior Director of Media and External Relations and Ebony Baylor as Special Assistant to the Executive Director.  In addition, three staff members have been promoted.  Cara McKinley now serves as Vice President of Advocacy and Content Management.  Susie Saavedra has been promoted to Senior Director for Policy and Legislative Affairs.  And, Courtney O’Neal has moved into the role of Communications Manager.

“As the new Executive Director of the Washington Bureau, I am happy to welcome both Kim and Ebony to the team,” said Don Cravins.  “Kim brings a wealth of communications and people management experience to our organization, which I am confident will prove beneficial as the Washington Bureau seeks to heighten its visibility and expand our relationships in and around Washington.  Similarly, Ebony will also be integral to our operations by managing much of the administrative affairs and special projects in our office. 

“In addition, I am pleased to see the promotions of Cara, Susie and Courtney to more senior positions.  All have been a vital part of the National Urban League family for many years and will undoubtedly continue to contribute to the Movement’s success.”

K. Kim Atterbury joins the National Urban League as Senior Director of Media and External Relations.  In this role, Kim will develop and lead all communications strategy for the Washington Bureau and serve as an advisor to Senior Vice President for Policy Don Cravins, the legislative team and to National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial.  In addition, Kim will help manage external affairs and partnership opportunities for the organization and the Washington Bureau.

Previously, Kim worked as a senior consultant at West End Strategy Team, where she provided strategic communications counsel to a range of clients.  Prior to WEST, Kim served as the Communications Director to Rep. G. K. Butterfield, the current chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton.  Kim began her career on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Assistant to Rep. Alcee Hastings.  Following Hastings’ office, she served both the Florida and Georgia state legislatures before returning to Capitol Hill in 2010.  Kim is a part-time instructor for and a graduate of Georgetown University’s Master of Public Relations and Corporate Communications program.  She is also an alumna of Florida A&M University.

Ebony Baylor joins the National Urban League as Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President of Policy.  As Special Assistant, Ebony will manage the administrative affairs of the National Urban League Washington Bureau’s Executive Director, as well as other legislative and advocacy projects.  Ebony, a native of Shreveport, LA is currently attending Howard University where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science with a concentration in American Government and Black Politics.

Cara McKinley has been promoted to Vice President of Advocacy and Content Management.  As the Vice President of Advocacy and Content Management, Cara serves as a liaison between the Urban League’s affiliate movement and advocacy partners focused on advancing the National Urban League’s Empowerment Goals in areas of education, health, housing and jobs.  Cara will also lead grass-tops and grassroots advocacy efforts through engagement with members of the Congress.  In addition, Cara will concurrently establish and direct the strategic long-term goals, policies and procedures for Urban League’s online presence under the direction of the SVP for Strategy, Innovation and Technology.

Before joining the National Urban League, Cara served as Office Manager and Legislative Aide to former U.S. Representative Artur Davis.  Prior to this, she worked in the External Relations and Energy/National Security divisions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Cara holds degrees in both Sociology and Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Susie Saavedra now serves as the Senior Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs.  In this newly created role, Susie is responsible for directing and overseeing the Washington Bureau’s policy team in the development of public policy priorities and advocacy strategies that advance the National Urban League’s economic empowerment and civil rights agenda.  As such, Susie and her team promote the Urban League’s policy objectives through strategic advocacy before Congress and the Administration, as well as through targeted education and outreach to business leaders, partner organizations and other key stakeholders.

Prior to joining the National Urban League in 2013, Susie spent a decade working in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  Susie served as a Legislative Aide to former Senator Hillary Clinton and as a Legislative Director to Representatives Karen Bass, Al Green and Joe Baca.  She earned a Master of Public Administration from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Denver.

Courtney R. O’Neal has also been promoted to Manager of Communications.  As Communications Manager, Courtney helps to elevate the Urban League’s legislative agenda and to position the Washington Bureau as a thought leader in policy through digital strategy, brand management, and media outreach.  Courtney also manages the Washington Bureau’s social media channels and the production of NUL’s biweekly e-newsletter, The Washington Update.  Courtney graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.  She also earned a Master of Communications from Trinity Washington University.



Contact: Courtney O’Neal | 202.629.5754 |