Who We Are2019-06-12T13:17:37+00:00


UPO’s Washington: A city of thriving communities and self-sufficient residents.


Uniting People with Opportunities


Since 1962, the United Planning Organization (UPO) has focused on changing lives — supporting and inspiring Washington, DC’s low-income residents on their journey to self-sufficiency and success.
We currently offer more than 30 programs and services in such areas as early childhood education, youth development, job training and placement, health and wellness, housing, and volunteering.
UPO is a family, and we understand the importance of supporting both individuals and the loved ones who surround them. Working in and with the community, we will continue helping people get where they want and need to be.

UPO is celebrating 55 years of service and accomplishments! That’s more than five decades of helping create happier, healthier children, adults, and community. Whether you’re looking to improve your own life or support and encourage others, UPO is here to help start the journey.

Take your first step now, click on the video to learn more…

As we celebrate and reflect on 55 years of milestones and accomplishments, we take great pride in helping the members of our shared community thrive in creating futures filled with promise, potential, and possibility.
UPO’s journey began on December 10, 1962. Come take a look through highlights and notable achievements from over the years.

James G. Banks, UPO’s first director, addresses a group. Photo by Northrup and courtesy of The Washington Post.

Executive Team

Dana M. Jones

CEO and President

Andrea Thomas

Executive Vice President

Edgar Lugo

Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Dianna Guinyard

Vice President Operations - Chief Operating Officer

Rosalind Pinkney

Vice President Human Resources

Gail Govoni

Vice President Early Learning

Deborah McArthur

Vice President General Counsel

Wendell Smith

Director of Business Operations

Vanessa Rawls

Director of Strategic Planning

Board of Directors

Jacqueline Kinlow (Chair)
Representative of Low Income Residents
Ward 8B

Rev. Ruth Hamilton (Secretary)
Representative of Low-Income Wards 2 & 6

Kaye Savage (Vice Chair)
Representative of Low Income Residents
Wards 4 & 5

Juan Jara (Treasurer)
Representative of Major Groups & Interest

Dr. Lydia Kearney Carlis
Designated by D.C. Congressional Representative

Kevin B. Chavous ESQ.
Representative of Low-Income Residents
Elected by Ward 7

Elayne Chow
Representative of Low-Income Residents
Elected by Wards 1 & 3

Charlene Golphin
Parent Policy Council Representative

Donna Grigsby
Representative of Major Groups & Interest

Scott Kratz
Representative of Major Groups & Interest

Christopher L. McLeod
Designated by Mayor of the District of Columbia

Gabriela Mossi
Representative of Major Groups & Interest

Jeffrey Page, ESQ
Designated by Mayor of the District of Columbia

Ruthven Phillip, ESQ
Representative of Major Groups & Interest

Tara Plochoki, ESQ
Representative of Major Groups & Interest

Didier Sinisterra
Designated by Mayor of the District of Columbia

Oliver Spurgeon
Representative of Low Income Residents Ward 8A

Joseph Vaughan
Designated by Mayor of the District of Columbia

Robert Warren
Elected by UPO Board

Shantelle Wright, ESQ
Designated by Mayor of the District of Columbia

Network of Service Providers

The United Planning Organization works with an array of agencies, organizations, and other partners throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area to help our customers on their journey to opportunity and self-sufficiency.

Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO
District Alliance for Safe Housing, Inc. (DASH)
Thrive DC
Vida Senior Centers
Collaborative Solutions for Communities
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, Inc.
DC Central Kitchen
Wanda Alston Foundation
Edgewood Brookland Family Support Collaborative
Unity Health Care

Annual Reports & Financials

The United Planning Organization’s annual reports provide a snapshot of our impact and accomplishments in local DC communities. We share this information to keep UPO stakeholders, supporters, and other interested parties informed about our ongoing achievements and milestones.

UPO Impact Statement and Service Centers

FY17 Impact Statement
UPO Service Centers


Seeking a spot to host a community event or activity?

The United Planning Organization has facility space available at two of our community service centers in Southeast DC.

Facility Use Application
It takes a village to get those in need on the path to self-sufficiency and opportunity, and UPO could not offer our life changing programs without the contributions and assistance of our dedicated supporters. Please consider giving today to help keep transforming lives.

Donate Today

Donate Today

The UPO Inspire Foundation helps improve the impact of UPO by supporting the development of innovative new programs, offering services beyond the DC metropolitan area, and creating career opportunities for those who do not qualify for free support from UPO but still require financial assistance.

For more information, please contact UPO Executive Vice President Andrea Thomas at 202-238-4694.

Visit UPO Inspire

The UPO Community Development Corporation (CDC) helps families in need to access new housing, promotes job creation by providing financial assistance to small businesses, and offers management support services to other nonprofit organizations that serve low-income residents.

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