Our Team


Lauren Wright – Executive Director

Lauren is driven to create a more equitable future for all Illinoisans. Her vision and experience with building global coalitions, cultivating relationships with diverse stakeholders and creating new opportunities for growth and sustainability are at the core of the Illinois Partners mission. Lauren previously served as the Director of Programs at Mama Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to partnering with grassroots organizations around the world and investing in programs that support education, climate justice, health, gender equality and financial security. Lauren holds a Master of Arts in Sustainable Development from SIT Graduate Institute and a master’s degree in International Policy and Practice from George Washington University.  Lauren represents Illinois Partners as a member of the State Health Improvement Plan Committee, the Responsible Budget Coalition, Vote Yes for Fair Tax Ballot Committee, Westside ConnectED, and the Illinois Count Me in 2020 Steering Committee.

Adela Carlin – Director of Grassroots Partnerships

Adela has more than 20 years of experience working with individuals, families and community groups in the Chicago area. Adela enjoys working collaboratively to build and sustain partnerships that meet the needs of individuals and communities impacted by poverty. Prior to joining Illinois Partners for Human Service, Adela served as the Director of Community Engagement Unit at the Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF) and as the Director of Legal Services Program at Catholic Charities Legal Assistance.  Adela is a community lawyer. She has a passion for and a commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, racial justice and social justice. Adela grew up in Little Village, a neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago.  She is bilingual in English and Spanish. Adela obtained a law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law at Urbana Champaign.

Evan Finamore – Outreach and Development Manager

Evan is committed to serving the greater good. For over 20 years, as a consummate community volunteer and leader, she has dedicated much of her time and energy to building bridges to bolster the success of agencies devoted to human services, the arts, education, and community engagement in Evanston. She serves on the executive committee of Foundation 65, a grantmaking entity that provides arts, and literacy enrichment to the public schools and serves on the board of Young Evanston Artists. Prior professional pursuits include exhibit development, strategic planning and museum evaluation. Evan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania and has completed a certification in Arts Management through UMass Amherst.

Jasmine Steele – Communications and Operations Coordinator

Jasmine has been in the Human Services field since 2015 beginning her service in direct service. After graduating from St. Xavier University with their BA, Jasmine has worked with several populations including, elders, youth, infants, pregnant persons, domestic violence survivors, individuals battling addiction, and individuals battling homelessness. Jasmine found a passion in organizational and community development so, pursued a Master degree with a macro focus to expand their reach in the Human Service sector. Jasmine completed their Master of Social Work at University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams College of Social Work in May 2020 and was honored to become a part of the Illinois Partners of Human Service team as the Communications and Operations Coordinator.

Kate Fakhoury – Southern Illinois Community Organizer and Data Manager

Kate believes in getting things done from the ground up. She has experience in leadership and community service and is actively involved in volunteer work, including service as a Board Member for both Giant City School and Saluki Swim Club in Carbondale, Illinois. Kate previously served as the President of Giant City School Progress Association. She is an alumna of Purdue University with both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science.

Holly Ambuehl – Central Illinois Community Organizer and Policy Advocate

Holly has the heart of a social worker and the mind of a social entrepreneur. She’s worked in the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors in several states, with an emphasis on budget, health, and human services policy and advocacy. She is actively engaged in many community efforts in the Bloomington Normal area, including the board of the YWCA of McLean County and Normal First United Methodist Church Social Justice committee. Holly achieved her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Boston College where she concentrated on community organizing, policy, planning and administration, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Anderson University in Family Counseling. In addition, Holly lived in Romania while working for a community development startup and has traveled extensively around the world and U.S.

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Human services matter to ALL of us.

Our sector ensures that we have the essential elements to build and maintain our physical, emotional, and economic well-being at every phase of life.