As Chief Executive Officer of Urban Resource Institute (URI), Nathaniel Fields is responsible for leading the organization’s long-and short-term strategy and the implementation of its vision and mission.
Informed by two decades of practical work and achievement in social and human services, Nathaniel has spearheaded the transformation of URI in size, scope and services for vulnerable populations in New York City, particularly victims of domestic violence. Since taking the helm of the organization in 2012, he has transformed it into a dynamic, multi-service agency, nearly tripling the budget and building it into the largest provider of domestic violence shelter services in the country.
Under his leadership, URI has focused on innovation, exemplified by groundbreaking programs focused on prevention as well as services, such as People and Animals Living Safely (PALS), Legal Education Advocacy Program (LEAP), Career Exploration Program, Abusive Partner Intervention Program (APIP), and Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP) targeting youth and teens. To further his vision, Nathaniel is committed to a Culture of Excellence and an environment with data-driven, measurable outcomes.
Nathaniel serves in leadership roles for numerous organizations and councils, including: the Human Services Committee of the transition team for NYC Mayor-Elect Eric Adams; the Board of the Human Services Council; NYC Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services 2020 Nonprofits and Social Services Advisory Council on “reopening” New York City; the special COVID-19 domestic violence task force of the New York State Council on Women and Girls; the COVID-19 Response Work Group of the New York City Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV); the Fatality Review Committee of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence; and the New York City Mayor’s Nonprofits and Social Services Advisory Council. He has led the New York City Coalition of Domestic Violence Residential Providers as co-chair for over ten years. Since 2019 Nathaniel has been named to the annual New York City and State “Nonprofit Power 100” list, landing in the top 20 in 2021. Also in 2021 ,City and State included Nathaniel in the “Responsible 100” leaders of New York, and Crain’s New York Business named him to the list of “Notable Black Leaders and Executives” in 2021 and 2022.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in history with a focus on black and Hispanic studies and a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University, and completed an executive leadership and certificate program in the not-for-profit sector at New York University. Born and raised in New York, Nathaniel has firsthand knowledge of the challenges affecting New York’s most vulnerable communities, as well as the positive work being done to effect structural changes. Working directly with marginalized groups, Nathaniel has seen that when investments are made in communities, they can thrive. At URI, Nathaniel enjoys being part of a community of people committed to improving the lives of others. When asked to identify his vision for URI, he states, “Hope is at the cornerstone of everything we do.”
Amanda Eckhardt, Ph.D. is Chief Program Officer for Urban Resource Institute, leading the Programs Division, setting the strategy and overseeing implementation of the comprehensive portfolio of trauma-informed, client-centered services for those impacted by domestic violence and homelessness. She will direct the full range of prevention, intervention, education and direct services programs.
Dr. Eckhardt is deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and ensuring that staff deliver culturally sensitive, trauma-informed services. She is also committed to the professional development, growth and training of staff members. A researcher by trade, she is impact driven and leverages data analytics as a key tool of programmatic operations and excellence.
Dr. Eckhardt brings a wealth of experience and expertise to URI. She was most recently Executive Director for Restore NYC, Inc., an agency that provides client services, housing (emergency, transitional, and independent living), and economic empowerment to individuals who have experienced human trafficking, which overlaps with the issues of domestic and intimate partner violence and homelessness. She previously served as Chief Program Officer and Director of Programs for the agency.
In addition to her professional experience, Dr. Eckhardt is an adjunct faculty member of the Counseling Psychology Program of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and has frequently presented research and papers in academic and professional settings on issues related to trafficking, family violence and crime victims. She holds a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology and a Masters of Education in Counseling and Human Services, both from Lehigh University, and is a licensed Psychologist.
Anthony B. Edwards is Chief Financial Officer at Urban Resource Institute, where he has overall financial management responsibility for the organization, including developing and implementing strategies that promote the continued financial health of URI. He is also responsible for assisting in the management of organizational risk, including but not limited to the development, implementation and monitoring of financial controls, safeguarding against loss and ensuring that financials are executed in accordance with management’s authorizations and U.S. GAAP. As CFO, Anthony is also accountable for the overall management of the Finance and Accounting Division.
Anthony is a dedicated executive with over 25 years of experience and a record of achievement by improving the financial processes and performance of several nonprofits. Anthony most recently served as CFO and Senior Vice President at Sheltering Arms, which for 190 years has provided services for children, youth and families. Prior to joining Sheltering Arms, he was CFO at Brooklyn Community Services for a decade, and previously served as the Director of Research Administration and Operations at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where he played a pivotal role in improving research administration and grant management. Anthony has also worked at 1199/Employment Training & Job Security Program, and Beth Israel Medical Center in an accounting and financial management capacity.
Anthony received his MBA from Dowling College and a BS in Accounting at Brooklyn College. He is a member of the Global Academy of Finance and Management, certified as a Master Financial Planner, Accredited Management Accountant, and Accredited Financial Analyst. He is also a member of the American Academy of Financial Management, certified in Corporate Finance and is a Master Financial Manager.
Heidi L. Hamilton is General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Urban Resource Institute, overseeing legal and in-house corporate affairs, policy initiatives and real estate projects. The legal division team designs, implements and manages agency-wide risk management systems supporting URI’s legal, financial, programmatic, strategic and operational integrity. Heidi strives to create systems that are accessible and client driven.
She previously served as the Chief Operating Officer and then Chief Real Estate, Facilities & Legal Officer for Amber Charter Schools, overseeing school-based operation systems and capital improvement projects. As a commercial law attorney admitted in New York and Connecticut, she has negotiated real estate transactions and litigated cases in state and federal courts. An avid believer in not-for-profit capacity building, Heidi serves on the board of Calvin Hill Day Care, Boundless Literacy, Inc. and TruFund Financial Services. She also advises Barbershop Books, Inc, an organization fostering reading for fun among Black boys.
Heidi holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a BA in Political Science from Wellesley College.
Elyse Barbell, SHRMP-CP brings a wealth of experience in human resource operations to Urban Resource Institute, she is responsible for building best-in-class talent acquisition, employee retention, and engagement strategies.
Barbell has always had a passion for workforce and leadership development in service to poverty remediation. Barbell most recently spent seven years developing recruitment and retention strategies for Women in Need as the organization’s Vice President of Human Capital. Barbell began her career in the field of education, serving as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instructor and Refugee Services Coordinator at Brooklyn College before expanding into workforce and leadership development. In her previous role as Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center, she oversaw the development of the Adult Literacy Information and Evaluation System (ALIES) data collection system for NYC adult education programs, and the creation of the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC) Academy.
A native New Yorker, Barbell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hofstra University, and a certificate in nonprofit leadership from Columbia University.