Dirrane Cove

Executive Director

Dirrane Cove joined the Work First Foundation as Executive Director in January 2016.  In her role she oversees all programs operated by the organization.

Prior to joining WFF, Dirrane served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), working closely with FIT Leadership and faculty to retain and increase corporate and foundation support. Before working at FIT, Dirrane served as Director of Institutional Giving at The Cooper Union, managing all foundation, corporate and government grants for the college. Dirrane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Connecticut College and a Master of Science in Fundraising Management from Columbia University. She is also a native New Yorker, a classically trained singer and an equestrian.

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Capt. Peter I Wikul, USN (Ret.)


Peter Wikul is the longest serving U.S. Navy Seal earning him the honor of Bullfrog 13.  Capt. Wikul retired from the Seals in 2009 after more than 30 years. He now leads as the chair of the Work First Foundation with the focus of connecting people in need with work. 



Mario Mangiameli


Mario Mangiameli served in the U.S. Marine Corps leaving with the rank of Captain. After completing his military service, Mario received a fellowship with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He served as policy advisor in the office of Counterterrorism and Law Enforcement policy. As a policy advisor Mario represented DHS at interagency and White House meetings. His portfolio included various terrorist groups, weapons capabilities, the Middle East, and North Africa regions.

Mario continues his work in foreign policy as the Chairman of the Foreign Policy Initiative’s New York Leadership Network. Mario spent two years working in finance before his current position in the New York real estate industry, where he works while also pursuing other entrepreneurial endeavors.

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Professor Lawrence Mead holds a doctorate in Political Science from Harvard University and has studied in some of the worlds top institutions. As a professor at NYU, Dr. Meade researches poverty and welfare in America. He recently wrote about how to extend work requirements for Welfare recipients. 


Kathy Mone


Kathy Mone has worked in public education financing for over three decades in the New York City area. She is the current Finance Manager of Academic and Student Affairs at CUNY. Prior to her time with CUNY Kathy worked with the New York City Department of Education in the Division of Special Education for more than 22 years.  She later worked as Special Education coordinator and business administrator at two New Jersey charter schools. 




Henry Saltzman is a career fundraiser for major non-profits in the New York City area. Recently retired Henry joined the Work First Foundation with an interest in research and development in the field. Henry uses his expertise in Non-profit development and fundraising to guide the foundation's growth. 




Fred Siegel is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a City Journal contributing editor. Fred joined the board to provide an expertise in Urban Governance. He is a professor emeritus of history at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and a scholar in residence at Saint Francis College. Fred also spent years as a visiting professor of modern American history at the University of Paris. Other experience includes a senior advisory role to Rudy Giuliani during his mayoral campaign.