x

Our Team

Laura & John Arnold

Co-chairs

Laura and John established the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in 2008. They believe philanthropy should be transformational and should seek through innovation to solve persistent problems in society. As co-founders, Laura and John actively engage in the organization’s overall direction and daily execution. Laura is an attorney and a former oil company executive. John is an investor. They have three children and reside in Houston, Texas.

Stephanie Akhter

Criminal Justice Chief of Staff

Stephanie provides project management and strategic support to the Foundation’s Criminal Justice team. She also helps to identify and manage philanthropic opportunities for the Criminal Justice portfolio. Prior to joining the team, Stephanie worked as a program director for The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, a national nonprofit organization that provides practical, nonpartisan, research-driven strategies and tools to increase public safety and strengthen communities.

Read More

David Anderson

Director of Evidence-based Policy

David joined the Foundation after a decade with the nonprofit, nonpartisan Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, where he served as vice president from 2009 to 2015. In this role, he oversaw staff-level evidence reviews conducted for the Coalition’s Top Tier Evidence initiative—a widely cited resource used by policymakers, philanthropic officials, and practitioners to identify social programs shown in rigorous evaluations to produce sizable, sustained benefits to participants.

Read More

Renice Armelin

Director of Operations

Renice is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Foundation. She previously worked for an international corporate law firm, where she assisted with attorney recruitment and helped to coordinate events for new and prospective employees.

Read More

Elizabeth Banks

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Beth is a certified public accountant with experience in budgeting, general accounting, and internal auditing in the private sector. Prior to joining the Foundation, Beth worked as a financial analyst at an energy company, where she was responsible for a wide range of financial management matters with a national organizational scope.

Read More

Jon Baron, J.D.

VICE PRESIDENT OF EVIDENCE-BASED POLICY

Jon leads the Foundation’s strategic investments in rigorous research aimed at growing the body of evidence-based social programs and scaling those shown to produce meaningful improvements in people’s lives. He is the founder and former president of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that worked with federal policy officials from 2001 to 2015 to advance important evidence-based reforms, many of which were enacted into law and policy.

Read More

Marissa Bazan

Executive Assistant

Marissa provides administrative support and assistance to team members in the Foundation’s Houston office. Before joining the Foundation, she worked for a city government in the Houston area. During her time with the city, Marissa served in key positions at both the regional airport and in the assistant city manager’s office. She oversaw advertising and customer service initiatives, coordinated a public service program for youth, conducted research for the public safety department, and helped prepare reports about the city’s response to critical issues and events.

Read More

Kristin Bechtel, Ph.D.

Director of Criminal Justice Research

Kristin is responsible for developing and managing the execution of a rigorous research agenda focused on advancing effective criminal justice reforms. She identifies promising opportunities to design and evaluate criminal justice policies, programs, and risk assessment tools as well as to test both theoretical and innovative concepts aimed at improving outcomes for people involved in the justice system.

Read More

Virginia Bersch

Director of Criminal Justice

Virginia helps manage the nationwide rollout of the Foundation’s pretrial risk assessment, the PSA, as well as other tools and reforms developed by the Criminal Justice team. Prior to joining the Foundation, she spent nine years developing innovative, data-driven approaches to improving government systems.

Read More

Catie Bialick

Criminal Justice Manager

Catie helps to identify and manage philanthropic opportunities for the Foundation’s Criminal Justice team. She previously provided project management and strategic support to the Foundation’s Results-Driven Government team. Prior to joining the Foundation, Catie worked as a research analyst for the Community Advancement Network (CAN), a partnership of government, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations that seeks to improve health, education, and economic opportunities for residents of Central Texas.

Read More

Lesley Briones, J.D.

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and General Counsel

Lesley is responsible for overseeing the Foundation’s operational and legal matters. Before joining the Foundation, she was an attorney at Vinson & Elkins, LLP, where her practice primarily focused on tax-exempt organizations. Lesley holds degrees from Yale Law School and Harvard University.

Read More

Erica Brown

Director of Public Health

Erica helps develop and manage the Foundation’s strategic investments in public health. She leads the Foundation’s contraception initiative, which promotes reproductive health, planning, choice, and access. Erica has extensive experience working with governments and nonprofit organizations to improve the efficacy of social programs by focusing on evidence, outcomes, and rigorous evaluation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was a Government Innovation Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Government Performance Lab, where she led the development of the first project in South Carolina to use Pay for Success financing and helped expand family planning services through a Medicaid waiver.

Read More

Stuart Buck, J.D., Ph.D.

Vice President of Research

Stuart advises the Board of Directors and programmatic teams on the Foundation’s overall research agenda as well as specific external research investments. He works to help ensure that studies funded by the Foundation are rigorous, and that major research investments are evaluated by independent experts. Prior to his current role, Stuart led the Foundation’s efforts to advance a number of important initiatives aimed at improving the transparency and reliability of scientific research.

Read More

James Cadogan

Vice President of Criminal Justice

James leads the Foundation’s pretrial justice portfolio, which focuses on bail reform, court diversion, prosecution, and jails. He joined the Foundation after serving as the inaugural director of the Thurgood Marshall Institute at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where he led a team of civil rights lawyers, researchers, policy experts, organizers, and archivists.

Read More

Kim Cassel

Director of Evidence-Based Policy

Kim has extensive experience conducting rigorous research and applying its findings to improve the effectiveness of social policy. Before joining the Foundation, she worked for the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy. While at the Coalition, Kim helped to develop policy proposals aimed at increasing the effectiveness of social spending and performed evidence reviews for a wide range of audiences, including federal officials, foundation leaders, and social service providers.

Read More

Jeff Cohen

Executive Vice President of Communications

Jeff helps drive policy change through the use of media relations, digital messaging, and national outreach, working with the Foundation’s team leaders in order to “share the LJAF story.” That effort utilizes a number of different media platforms, including the LJAF website, social media and news media outreach.  He also oversees our efforts in building brand consistency.

Read More

Matthew Cook

Retirement Policy Manager

Matthew helps manage the Foundation’s retirement policy portfolio. Before LJAF, he worked for The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he wrote about fiscal policy issues, co-authoring a report on state strategies to assess local governments’ fiscal conditions. He also provided technical assistance to state and local governments to improve their fiscal health.

Read More

Harrison Crist

Criminal Justice Analyst

Harrison provides analytical and strategic support for the Foundation’s Criminal Justice team, which works to help governments use data and technology to better serve individuals who are frequently involved with criminal justice and health care systems. He is also responsible for managing the team’s grant portfolio, assisting with stakeholder outreach, and overseeing day-to-day operations.

Read More

Michael Deich, Ph.D.

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF POLICY AND ADVOCACY

Michael leads the Foundation’s Policy and Advocacy team, which aims to strengthen the Foundation’s partnerships with federal and state governments and help the Foundation’s programmatic teams bring the findings of new research into the policy-making process. Prior to joining the Foundation, Michael was a senior official at the Office of Management and Budget, a Special Assistant to the President for economic policy, and a Senior Director at the National Economic Council.

Read More

Paulina S. Diaz Aguirre

Results-Driven Government Analyst

Paulina performs policy research and data analysis for the Foundation’s sustainable public finance initiatives. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked for a government organization in Mexico, where she helped to oversee the use of data in tax collection and administration. She also previously served as the director of fiscal policy in Mexico City, where she designed new policies and implemented corrective actions to encourage local revenue growth.

Read More

Rhiannon Euhus

Health Care Analyst

Rhiannon provides analytical and strategic support for the Foundation’s Health Care team. Before joining LJAF, Rhiannon interned with the Food Safety and Inspection Service at the United States Department of Agriculture, where she assisted in foodborne illness surveillance. She also worked as a statistics tutor at the University of Georgia.

Read More

Thomas Flack

Evidence-Based Policy Analyst

Thomas provides analytical and operational support for the Foundation’s Evidence-Based Policy team. He conducts research on potential funding opportunities and helps to review social programs and policies as part of the team’s effort to identify highly promising interventions that produce sizable, sustained benefits to participants and society as a whole.

Read More

Annie Frazier

Executive Assistant

Annie provides administrative support and assistance to team members in the Foundation’s Houston office. She previously worked as a midstream analyst for a multinational oil and gas company. In that role, she managed competitor research and joint-owner marketing agreements. She also coordinated new well connections. Prior to working in the oil and gas industry, Annie held administrative positions at various publication firms in New York, where she provided support for high-level executives and assistance with multiple marketing events. Annie holds a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences from Texas State University.

Vanessa Goodwin, J.D.

Grants Manager and Legal Counsel

Vanessa helps manage grants and other contracts for the Foundation’s Venture Development portfolio. Prior to joining the Foundation, Vanessa served as an assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia. In that capacity, she investigated and prosecuted violent crime and weapons offenses. She also volunteered as a community prosecutor, where she worked with law enforcement to develop programming designed to enhance public safety and improve the quality of life in the District of Columbia.

Read More

Jillian Green, CPA

Accounting Manager

Jillian is a certified public accountant who provides support in accounting and human resources. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked at a preschool for underserved children in inner-city Houston, where she was responsible for overseeing the school’s budgeting process, annual external audit, and other accounting tasks. Jillian began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). While at PwC, she worked with private sector clients  to solve complex business and management challenges. She holds a master’s in marketing and bachelor’s in accounting from Texas A&M University.

Dina Grove, J.D.

Grants Manager and Legal Counsel

Dina helps manage grants and other contracts for the Foundation’s Criminal Justice initiative. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dina worked for a boutique law firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and clerked for two federal judges. Her experience includes representing small businesses, large corporations, and individual clients in diverse commercial litigation matters and providing pro bono representation to clients in partnership with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

Read More

Danielle Hale

Human Resources Manager

Danielle manages the day-to-day operations of the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office. She also supports human resources matters involving talent acquisition and professional development. Prior to joining the Foundation, Danielle served as an executive assistant at one of the top public affairs firms in Washington, D.C. While serving in that role, she managed day-to-day operations, coordinated events, and filed reports for the firm’s 120 clients. Before that, she worked in sales and marketing in retail. Danielle graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in history.

Basil Hameed

 Human Resources Manager

Basil manages general human resource initiatives for the Foundation’s Houston office. Prior to joining the team Basil worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star and the Houston Food Bank where he was responsible for overseeing employee benefits, maintaining organizational policies and procedures, and providing training for organizational development. He has also led efforts to create more efficient recruiting processes, worked to educate employees on various leadership tools, and steered employee development and engagement across the organizations he served.

Read More

David Hebert

Director of Communications

David is a communications professional with extensive experience working as a media spokesperson and broadcast journalist. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as the director of communications and public relations for the Houston Airport System, where he managed media relations, web and social media platforms, executive messaging, and a host of other communications initiatives.

Read More

Juliene James, J.D.

Director of Criminal Justice

Julie develops and manages investments that advance criminal justice policy reforms. Before joining the Foundation, she served as senior policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. In that role, Julie oversaw federal investments to safely reduce the use of solitary confinement; reform sentencing, corrections, community supervision, and pretrial policies and practices; and improve the implementation of risk assessment, among other projects.

Read More

Sebastian Johnson

Criminal Justice Manager

Sebastian helps to oversee the Foundation’s corrections and reentry portfolio on the Criminal Justice team. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a senior associate at Freedman Consulting, where he managed strategic planning and research for major philanthropies pursuing criminal justice reform. During his time as a State Policy Fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, he oversaw research focused on the use of fines and fees at the state and local level.

Read More

Mary Catherine Jones, J.D.

Grants Manager and Legal Counsel

Mary Catherine helps manage grants and other contracts for the Foundation’s Education and Results-Driven Government portfolios.  Prior to joining the Foundation, Mary Catherine served as an attorney with law firms in Houston and New York City.  Her experience includes representing clients in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, sovereign matters, international arbitrations, and a variety of litigation matters including complex securities, enforcement, and regulatory actions.

Read More

Nadege Joseph

New York Office Manager

Nadege manages the day-to-day operations of the Foundation’s New York office. Prior to joining LJAF, she worked as an office manager at an advisory firm that specializes in philanthropic giving. Nadege also served as an office manager at a nonprofit organization and as a new business coordinator for an advertising firm. In these roles, she managed office operations and facilities, coordinated team-building events, and oversaw special projects. Nadege graduated from State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in legal science.

Sofia Kaufman

Receptionist & Executive Assistant

Sofia provides administrative support and assistance to team members in the Foundation’s New York office. Before joining the Foundation, she worked at a consulting firm focused on helping nonprofit organizations develop impactful fundraising initiatives. In that role, she provided administrative support to the CEO; conducted research and drafted materials for clients; and assisted with meetings, communications, and scheduling.  In addition, Sofia served as a community liaison for a member of the New York State Assembly, where she managed essential casework and community outreach.

Read More

Yasmin Kazzaz

Vice President of Human Resources

Yasmin leads the Foundation’s Human Resources team and is responsible for talent acquisition, management, and development; performance management; organizational development and effectiveness; and ensuring diversity and inclusion.

Read More

Jessi LaChance

Criminal Justice Manager

Jessi is responsible for developing and managing high-impact projects for the criminal justice team. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was a research associate for the Vera Institute of Justice, where she focused on issues of solitary confinement, aging in prison, women’s issues in prison, and prison visitation policies. In that role, she provided qualitative research expertise to inform policy recommendations for agencies across the country.

Read More

Josh B. McGee, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President of Results-Driven Government

Josh leads the Foundation’s Results-Driven Government team, which is aimed at helping governments make public services more effective and efficient. The team pursues philanthropic opportunities to support evidence-based decision making and sustainable public finance. Josh, who currently serves as chairman of the Texas State Pension Review Board, is also a leading retirement policy expert and has written extensively about retirement plan design, benefit security, and sustainability.

Read More

Meredith McPhail

Science and Technology Manager

Meredith helps manage the Foundation’s Science and Technology portfolio. Before joining the Foundation, she served as a decision science analyst at a major financial service provider. In that role, she helped departments use analytical methods to solve internal problems, mitigate risks, and achieve their objectives. She also previously worked as an analyst for a global economic consulting firm in Washington, D.C., where she researched the potential impacts of proposed energy and environmental regulations for clients.

Read More

Mark E. Miller, Ph.D.

Vice President of Health Care

Mark leads the Foundation’s work to lower the cost and improve the value of health care. He joins the team with more than 30 years of experience developing and implementing health policy, including prior positions as the executive director of Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; assistant director of Health and Human Resources at the Congressional Budget Office; deputy director of health plans at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; health financing branch chief at the Office of Management and Budget; and senior research associate at the Urban Institute.

Read More

Amanda Moderson-Kox

Evidence-Based Policy Manager

Amanda works with the Evidence-Based Policy team to evaluate newly released research studies and manage the Foundation’s investments to grow the body of evidence on effective social programs. Prior to joining the Foundation, Amanda worked for the nonprofit Family League of Baltimore, which funds and provides technical assistance to community‐based organizations that deliver programs and services to children and families in Baltimore. As director of data and evaluation, she was responsible for overseeing all data reporting, program quality, and evaluation efforts across Family League’s portfolio.

Read More

Jennifer Nelsen

Chief of Staff to the President and Chief Executive Officer

In her role as chief of staff, Jennifer provides strategic and operational support to the Foundation’s president and chief executive officer to further advance the Foundation’s mission to employ strategic entrepreneurial philanthropy to address some of society’s most persistent and complex problems.

Read More

Megan O’Flaherty

Executive Assistant

Megan provides administrative support for the Foundation’s co-chairs. She previously worked as a business development coordinator at an international corporate law firm, where she prepared proposals, coordinated events, and helped manage marketing initiatives. She has held a variety of positions in the legal field over the past five years and has served as the project manager for a number of high-profile conferences.

Read More

Jennifer Olmos

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Jennifer provides administrative support and assistance with special projects to the senior management of the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as a community outreach coordinator and development project specialist in the nonprofit sector. Jennifer has 25 years of administrative experience, primarily as a legal secretary and paralegal. She attended Ashford University and studied public administration.

Lynn Overmann

Vice President of Criminal Justice

Lynn leads the Foundation’s data-driven justice project, a continuation of work that she started as senior advisor to the U.S. chief technology officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The effort helps governments use data to identify those who are frequently involved with local criminal justice and health care systems, and assists jurisdictions in finding ways to better serve this population while reducing taxpayer costs.

Read More

Justine Palacios, J.D.

Director of Grants Management and Legal Counsel

Justine serves as the team lead for the Foundation’s grants management department and works directly with the Foundation’s Results-Driven Government team to manage grants and other contracts for the team’s growing portfolio. She received her J.D. from Tulane University Law School, where she specialized in international and comparative law.

Read More

Amy Phillips

Health Care Analyst

Amy provides analytical and strategic support for the Foundation’s Health Care team. Prior to joining the Foundation, Amy was a research assistant with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), where she focused on implementing telehealth into the Medicare program and evaluating payments from device and pharmaceutical manufacturers to physicians.

Read More

Jennifer Reyes

Executive Assistant

Jennifer provides administrative support and assistance to team members in the Foundation’s Houston office. Prior to joining LJAF, she worked as a writer and manager for a marketing company, where she created marketing collateral, conducted research, and managed client sales initiatives. Jennifer’s previous experience also includes her work as a community liaison for a home health agency and as a marketing coordinator for a media delivery corporation.  In these roles, she led advertising efforts, monitored marketing projects, and oversaw a variety of special events.

Read More

Kelli Rhee

President and Chief Executive Officer

Kelli is the president and chief executive officer of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. She leads the Foundation in its mission to employ strategic entrepreneurial philanthropy to address some of society’s most complex and urgent challenges. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kelli served in numerous strategic and entrepreneurial roles in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She began her career as a management consultant with Bain & Company and The Bridgespan Group.

Read More

Lauren Roach

Accounting Analyst

Lauren coordinates the Foundation’s accounts payable process and assists with grants management. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as the assistant treasurer of a private educational institution, where she was responsible for a wide range of duties including accounts payable and payroll management, human resources, and benefits administration. Lauren’s professional experience also includes her role in product development for a leading technology provider in Washington, D.C., where she coordinated quality testing, special projects, and database management.

Read More

Chase Sackett, J.D.

Policy and Advocacy Manager

Chase helps develop and manage the Foundation’s higher education portfolio as part of the Policy and Advocacy team. He also supports the Foundation’s efforts to bring research into the policymaking process across policy domains. Before joining the Foundation, he promoted evidence-based policymaking and support for college students as a policy analyst and advisor at the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Domestic Policy Council, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Read More

Karla Sainz

Chief of Staff

Karla serves as a liaison between the board of directors and the staff. She provides project management and strategic support to the board and leadership team. Karla also manages the Foundation’s Innovation Labs program, an initiative that is focused on engaging leading academics and practitioners to brainstorm how to solve some of society’s most pressing issues. In addition, she helps to identify and manage philanthropic opportunities for the Foundation’s Pay for Success portfolio.

Read More

Hannah Sawyer

Communications Manager

Hannah manages strategic communications initiatives related to the Foundation’s work in Sustainable Public Finance and Evidence-Based Policymaking. She also coordinates the development of websites and the production of solution papers, policy briefs, and other materials. Previously, Hannah worked as a journalist in Pennsylvania, where she covered complex municipal issues, including local government budgeting and urban redevelopment planning.

Read More

John Scianimanico

Results-Driven Government Policy Lab Manager

John helps lead the policy lab initiative for the Foundation’s Results-Driven Government team. Prior to joining the Foundation, he taught high school math and statistics with Teach For America in Huntsville, Alabama. John’s professional experience also includes working with various mayors’ offices across the country, where he focused on issues related to public finance and education.

Read More

Raquel Segundo

Grants Manager

Raquel provides grant development and management support for the Foundation’s Criminal Justice initiative. Prior to joining the Foundation, Raquel worked at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she managed the Immigrant Affairs Program. In that role, Raquel organized public outreach initiatives, conducted crime screening and victim interviews, and worked to build anti-crime coalitions in underserved immigrant communities.

Read More

Rebecca Silber

Criminal Justice Manager

Rebecca helps identify and manage philanthropic opportunities for the Criminal Justice Initiative, focusing on its pretrial justice portfolio. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as a program manager for special initiatives at the Vera Institute of Justice. While there, Rebecca designed and led state-level sentencing reform, pretrial reform, and policy implementation. She also authored publications on topics relating to sentencing and corrections reform and compassionate release.

Read More

Kirby Smith

Director of Foundation Strategy

Kirby partners with the Foundation’s president and executive leadership team on a range of important strategic projects. She has expertise helping organizations in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors address their most critical strategic challenges. Before joining the Foundation, Kirby worked as a management consultant in Bain & Company’s Chicago and Johannesburg offices, served as a fellow at the Civic Consulting Alliance in Chicago, and was an analyst focused on higher education and technology issues at Ithaka Strategy and Research.

Read More

Nicola Smith-Kea

Criminal Justice Manager

Nicola is responsible for analyzing, designing, and executing high-leverage philanthropic investments in the Foundation’s policing portfolio.

Read More

Erica Socker, Ph.D.

Director of Health Care

Erica helps develop and manage the Foundation’s strategic investments in health care. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget, where she directed the Health Division’s quantitative work to advance policies for the president’s budget, federal regulations, and legislative proposals. In this role, she analyzed proposals related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), worked to improve ACA-related guidance, and developed strategic plans to expand the division’s analytical capacity.

Read More

Amy Solomon

Vice President of Criminal Justice

Amy leads the Foundation’s emerging corrections portfolio, with a focus on community supervision, prison reform, reintegration and fines and fees.  Amy joined the Foundation after seven years in the Obama Administration, where she served as executive director of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council. Comprised of more than 20 federal agencies, the Council spearheaded substantial policy reforms including the federal Ban the Box rule, fair housing guidance, the Second Chance Pell initiative, Medicaid guidance for the justice-involved population, and a critical modification related to child support.

Read More

Helen Spencer

Vice President of Communications

Helen helps to design and execute the Foundation’s communications strategy, utilizing multimedia story-telling, media outreach, and a blend of traditional and digital platforms to build awareness of LJAF’s mission and brand.

Read More

Rosemary Townsend

Washington, D.C. Office Manager

Rosemary provides administrative support and assistance to team members in the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office. Before joining the Foundation, she worked as a contractor in the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. There, she helped to maintain the office’s large database of information about past members of Congress, conducted research on historic legislation, and provided administrative support. Rosemary’s previous experience also includes her role as an intern with Volkshilfe Wien, where she worked to serve refugee communities at a center in Vienna, Austria.

Read More

Jeremy Travis, J.D.

Executive Vice President of Criminal Justice

Jeremy joined the Foundation after serving for 13 years as president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York (CUNY). Under Jeremy’s leadership, John Jay became a senior liberal arts college at CUNY, significantly increased the number of baccalaureate students, created the CUNY Justice Academy to serve community college students, and joined the prestigious Macaulay Honors College.  During his tenure, John Jay also significantly expanded the number of faculty; tripled outside funding for research; and launched research centers on topics such violence, prisoner reentry, juvenile justice, policing, race, cybercrime, terrorism, and the role of prosecutors.

Read More

Alex Trouteaud, Ph.D.

Director of Criminal Justice Research

Alex joins the Criminal Justice team where he will work to direct research efforts and manage their policing grants. Prior to joining the Foundation, Alex served as Director of Research and Policy for Hunt Alternative Fund and was an Executive Director for youthSpark where he partnered with a range of criminal justice professionals to test strategies and tactics to reduce sexual violence and improve outcomes for victimized and at-risk youth. Alex has published on a diverse range of research topics, including runaway and homeless youth prevalence, child welfare program evaluation, and strategies to reduce gender-based violence offending. He has worked extensively with state and federal policymakers to help them understand and act on research findings.

Read More

Sarah Twardock

Public Health Manager

Sarah helps manage a number of the Foundation’s public health portfolios, including its work in opioids and nutrition. Prior to joining the Foundation, Sarah worked at a variety of nonprofit organizations as part of the AlumniCorps Project 55 program through Princeton University. As a Project 55 Fellow, Sarah oversaw a number of strategic projects, including education industry landscape analyses and the implementation of early childhood mental health programs in Medicaid clinics across New York City.

Read More

Adaeze Ugwu, J.D.

Grants Manager and Legal Counsel

Adaeze helps manage grants and other contracts for the Foundation’s Education, Research Integrity, Evidence-Based Policy, Data-Driven Justice, and Science and Technology portfolios.  Prior to joining the Foundation, Adaeze worked for a boutique law firm. In that role, she represented accounting firms during litigation, advised clients on federal and state compliance matters, and drafted professional engagement, nondisclosure, consulting, and settlement agreements.

Read More

Tabitha Valdez

Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

Tabitha provides administrative support and assistance to team members in the Foundation’s Houston office. Before joining the Foundation, she supported the development of the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI) in Los Angeles, which served over 5,000 low-income participants each year. During her time at HMI, Tabitha oversaw the compliance of more than 30 nonprofit grantees that provided assistance to families in need. Prior to that, Tabitha interned with The London Chamber of Commerce as part of its events team.

Read More

Asheley Van Ness

Director of Criminal Justice

Asheley helps to identify and manage philanthropic opportunities for the Foundation’s Criminal Justice team. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served in multiple criminal justice and public safety leadership roles. Most recently, Asheley was the executive director of research operations at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, where she developed and advanced research and evaluation strategies to inform city-wide criminal justice reform.

Read More

Michelle Welch

Director of Results-Driven Government

Michelle is a research and policy expert who leads the Foundation’s Policy Lab initiative. She has extensive experience working with governments conducting rigorous research and policy analysis. Prior to joining the Foundation, Michelle was an analyst at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she was one of the first members of the Office of Financial Stability and Policy, a newly created department with the purpose of implementing Dodd-Frank regulations. She was part of the team that modeled and evaluated bank stress tests and developed the framework for designation of systemically important non-bank financial institutions.

Read More

Julie Williams

Public Health Manager

Julie helps to oversee the Foundation’s opioids portfolio. Before joining the Foundation, she worked for Communities in Schools, the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization, where she conducted research focused on adverse childhood experiences, low parent engagement, and other poverty-related education issues.

Read More

Bridget Williamson

Finance Manager

Bridget is responsible for reviewing and monitoring all grant budgets. She also analyzes financial information and trends related to the Foundation’s overall grantmaking. Prior to joining the Foundation, Bridget worked for Amegy Bank, where she most recently served as vice president of syndicated finance. In that role, she developed term sheets and fee structures; monitored compliance reporting; managed closing processes; and led a variety of related projects.

Read More

Ashley Winstead, Ph.D.

Writer

Ashley works with the Communications team to prepare written materials related to the Foundation’s activities and initiatives. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Southern Methodist University (SMU), where she specialized in twentieth and twenty-first century American literature and philosophy of language. During her time at SMU, Ashley served as a Fellow for a University seminar that brought together faculty from multiple disciplines to theorize contemporary philosophies of mind.

Read More