Mariya Khandros serves as a Project Manager for the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, focusing on formalizing WPSI’s consulting operation as we consider models for replication and expanded impact. Before joining UCD, Mariya was the Director of Shared Solutions at the Economy League. Her primary responsibility was to oversee the development and implementation of Philadelphia Anchors for Growth and Equity, a project focused on increasing local purchasing by Philadelphia’s hospitals and universities with the goal of creating jobs and reducing poverty. She previously served as an Economic Policy Analyst at the Office of the Philadelphia City Controller and held positions with the Urban Affairs Committee at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, NorthEast Treatment Centers, the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), and A.T. Kearney (a management consulting firm). Mariya serves as the Campaign Chair for Councilmember Jamie Gauthier's City Council Campaign and volunteers with Reclaim Philadelphia to make the Philadelphia Police Department accountable to voters. Mariya holds a Master of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government, a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Businesses, and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts and Sciences. Mariya is an avid science fiction reader and aspiring writer, proud dog owner and failed (but persistent) gardener. She needs tea, coffee and muay thai to be happy. Mariya has traveled to many countries, but remains unshaken in her belief that West Philadelphia is the best place to live!