CUP Welcomes New Director of Development, Samantha Erskine

“I am excited to have joined such an innovative and progressive organization. CUP’s 21st century model of building leadership falls completely in line with my values and ‘Theory of Change.’ I’m looking forward to utilizing my development and strategic communications skills as vehicles for social change!" ~Samantha


Samantha's Bio

As the Director of Development of The Council of Urban Professionals, Samantha is responsible for CUP's fundraising initiatives as well as creating and implementing new strategies to both maximize and diversify CUP's revenues.

Prior to joining CUP, Samantha was the Manager of Development at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, where she helped build the Development Department’s infrastructure, grew and diversified the organization’s revenues, and expanded its visibility. Samantha has also worked at the Applied Research Center and at Legal Momentum, where she used various technologies, media sources, and fundraising tools to solicit donations, cultivate supporters, and engage communities and stakeholders.  In addition, Samantha has had a lifelong commitment to, and passion for, the performing arts.  She has trained in ballet, jazz, Latin and Afro-Diasporic dances, and has taught and performed in Russia, England, Spain, France, Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, all over the U.S., and on a salsa cruise to the Bahamas with a Bronx-based dance company, opening for El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico.

Samantha holds a Master of Arts degree in Women's History from Sarah Lawrence College, where she received the Gerda Lerner Award. Her Master’s Thesis is titled, "Slavery's Echo on the Lives of Erotic Laborers: Racism, Stigma, and the Politics of Respectability." Samantha also holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, in Psychology and Women's Studies, as well as a certificate in Spanish from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals; Women in Development, New York; and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Samantha attended the prestigious Brooklyn Tech High School and is an Afro-Latina of Costa Rican and Panamanian descent.

Get to know more about the CUP staff background on our Staff page.