Michael Cesar - Co-Founder and CEO

Founding Team Member - London, UK

Michael's strong interest in coaching and helping small teams come together to create social change led to his co-founding of and consistency in leading Duet.

Michael graduated from USC in 2019 with a degree in Business and International Relations. On campus, he was President of his Fraternity, Captain of the USC Men’s Rugby Team, Cochair of the USC Sexual and Personal Misconduct Committee, and a Warren Bennis Scholar. He also represented USC at the Association of Pacific Rim Universities program on world challenges in Vladivostok, Russia. Professionally, he gained experience as the head of sales for a small tech startup, interning at UBS in private wealth management, and as Interim Director of Fellows at Helena, a non-profit in downtown LA. Michael is from London, England.

His favorite song is Drift Away by Dobie Gray or Don’t Stop The Music by Rihanna

Rhys Richmond - Co-Founder and COO

Founding Team Member - Portland, OR

Rhys brings her passion for bringing multiple disciplines and fields to the right tables to create innovation and change to lead operations and growth at Duet.

From Portland, Oregon, Rhys is in her senior year at USC majoring in Biomedical Engineering and minoring in Health Policy. She works with LA nonprofits as Director of Projects for the student-run pro-bono consulting group Los Angeles Community Impact (LACI). As part of the Armani Research Group at USC Viterbi, Rhys researches optical and chemical methods for detecting malaria and building low-cost disinfection systems. In her free time, she loves dancing with USC Xpressions Dance Company, volunteering at local nonprofits, and spending time exploring the vibrant neighborhoods of LA.

Her favorite flavor of ice cream is Salt N Straw's Olive Oil... we agree, we think she's pretty strange.

Lucas Hu - CTO

Founding Team Member - Palo Alto, CA

Lucas champions his interest in using technology to make the world a more equitable place at Duet.

Lucas graduated USC in 2020 with a B.S. in Computer Science and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering. While at USC, he founded the nation's first undergraduate student organization dedicated to using AI for social good, and now co-leads engineering at Duet. He currently works as a Data Scientist at Palo Alto Networks and also calls Palo Alto home.

His alternative dream career is being a private chef for a famous basketball player - we can attest, his cooking is quite excellent.

Stephanie Van Sickel - Head of Business Development

Founding Team Member - Mexico City, MX

Stephanie's focus on creating authentic connections between causes, individuals, and organizations helps Duet to exponentially increase our ability to positively impact the world.

Along with being the Head of Business Development for Duet, Stephanie is the Director of Development at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism where she raises and manages funds to support high-priority strategic funding needs. Before coming to USC, Stephanie had built a career in development for both non-profit health organizations and political campaigns, where she developed expertise in leading capital campaigns, building and transforming fundraising operations, strategic planning, resource development, board management, public relations, donor identification, stewardship and solicitation of major gifts. She is a recent USC Marshall MBA graduate, specialized in Social Impact and Sustainability in Business, a Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab MBA Society and Business Fellow, a former Keck Digital Health Fellow, and a former Vice President of Philanthropy for the Marshall Graduate Student Association. She attended UC Santa Barbara where she majored in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations and a minor in Italian.

In addition to her other accolades, she is both a classically-trained violinist and a game-show winner. She truly can do it all.

Jaden Young - Head of Design

Oakland, CA

Bio coming soon!

The Team

Our permanent staff volunteers donate their time to furthering Duet's mission of doing good, better.

Charles Liu - Business Development

Cebu, Phillipines

Charles is a USC Junior studying Business Administration. He calls Palos Verdes, CA and Cebu in the Phillippines home. He currently works as a Supply Chain Intern at Tesla, has interned at Visa, and is an incoming Management Consulting Intern at PwC. Other than helping Duet grow to serve more populations across the world and minimizing donation waste, his professional goals include opening restaurants all over the world.

He'll make sure that all of those restaurants serve Matcha Green Tea ice-cream - his favorite flavor!

Ibrahim Mokhtar - Operations and Beneficiary Communication

Chicago, IL

Ibrahim is a current USC Junior studying Health and Human Sciences. On campus he is involved with Troy Camp mentoring local LA youth, Los Angeles Community Impact advising local LA non-profits, Black Student Assembly, and Muslim Student Assembly. At Duet, Ibrahim leverages his fluency in Arabic to communicate with refugee families and ensure beneficiary satisfaction. He also works with our local store owners to ensure that every item donated is smoothly handed off to families.

His future career goal is to become a pediatrician and his favorite food is a Sudanese staple called Gorasa - a bread bowl dish!

Our interns are instrumental in helping us do good, better. Read all about our current interns here and view open positions here.