James D. Weill, President
Jennifer Adach, Communications Manager
Mike Ambrose, Online Communications Specialist
Signe Anderson, Senior Child Nutrition Policy Analyst
Alexandra Ashbrook, Director, D.C. Hunger Solutions
Susan Beaudoin, Development Associate – State Initiatives
Catherine Benvie, Anti-Hunger Program Associate (SNAP/Food Stamps)
Michael Burke, Research and Policy Analyst
Chris Collins, Chief of Staff
Rashan A. Datcher, Human Resources Associate
Betsy Edwards, Field Organizer
Crystal FitzSimons, Director of School and Out-of-School Time Programs
Eyang Garrison, School Breakfast Associate
Heather Hartline-Grafton, Senior Nutrition Policy and Research Analyst
Geraldine Henchy, Director of Nutrition Policy and Early Childhood Programs
Jessie Hewins, School Breakfast Associate
Jacqui Kobily, Staff Assistant
Madeleine Levin, Senior Policy Analyst, School Breakfast and Lunch Program
Brooke McCauley, Senior Manager, Anti-Hunger Programs, Maryland Hunger Solutions
Sara McGovern, Communications Associate
Etienne Melcher, Senior Legislative and Public Affairs Associate
Denise Odell, Executive Assistant
Richard Ryans, CPA, Controller
Alan Sharpe, Technology Coordinator
Kate Sims, Outreach and Policy Associate
Alyia Smith-Parker, Anti-Hunger Program and Policy Associate, D.C. Hunger Solutions
Marko Stankovic, Development Assistant
Ellen Teller, Director of Government Affairs
Polly Thibodeau, Manager of Foundation Relations
Rachel Tucker, Anti-Hunger Program Associate, Maryland Hunger Solutions
Ellen Vollinger, Legal/Food Stamp Director
Barbara Western, Director of Human Resources and Operations
Michael J. Wilson, Director, Maryland Hunger Solutions
Patrick Youngblood, Director of Development
Jim Weill has been President of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) since February 1998. Jim has devoted his entire professional career to reducing hunger and poverty, protecting the legal rights of children and poor people, and expanding economic security, income and nutrition support programs and health insurance coverage.
Prior to joining FRAC, he was at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) as Program Director and General Counsel. He led CDF’s efforts in 1985 that produced the first major expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, oversaw CDF’s Medicaid expansion, child care, and child support enforcement reform efforts, and was a key leader of the campaign to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997.
Before CDF, Mr. Weill was Deputy Director and Director of Federal Litigation at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. He litigated major law reform and class action cases in the federal court of appeals and Supreme Court on Social Security, Medicaid, AFDC, SNAP/Food Stamps and other public benefits issues, and the rights of children born out of wedlock.
Mr. Weill is chair of the board of directors of the Alliance for Justice Action Council and is a member of the boards of OMB Watch and the National Center for Youth Law. He serves on the advisory council to the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families. He has served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the UNICEF Executive Board.
Jennifer joined FRAC in July 2006 and is communications manager. She is charged with developing FRAC’s communications strategy, from managing press outreach to disseminating publications and materials. Jennifer has had extensive experience in translating government regulations and programs into easily-understood materials for a variety of audiences. Her previous experience includes working at Save-A-Lot as its community relations and government programs project manager, where she developed SNAP/Food Stamp outreach events to raise local awareness of the program and help individuals apply for the program, and The Welfare to Work Partnership as its media relations manager. She holds a BA in English from Catholic University.
Mike joined FRAC in January 2008 as the online communications specialist. In this role, he is responsible for maintaining and updating the FRAC Web site, and the sites for D.C. Hunger Solutions and Maryland Hunger Solutions. He also writes and distributes the weekly FRAC News Digest.
Mike has over twenty years of national nonprofit communications, program management, development and conference planning experience. His background includes extensive education and public health program work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He received the “Optimal Oral Health for All” award from the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and writing awards from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation.
Mike has a BA in Arts and Humanities from the University of Maryland, and an MS in Telecommunications from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Signe joined FRAC in 2010 and is the senior child nutrition policy analyst. She works with local, state and national governments as well as with anti-hunger organizations to expand the use of child nutrition programs. Her focus is to increase participation in afterschool and summer nutrition programs.
Before joining FRAC, Signe was program coordinator at Visions in Action, an international development organization in Washington, D.C. that advocates for human rights, education, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
Signe earned a Masters of Science in Food Policy and Nutrition from Tufts University and a Bachelors of Arts in French and Russian Literature from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Alex serves as the director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, an anti-hunger, anti-poverty nonprofit in the District and an initiative of FRAC. She works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income families in the nation’s capital. She leads and participates in many city-wide coalitions and most recently, was appointed as chair of the D.C.’s Mayor’s Commission on Food and Nutrition in September 2009.
Alex, who joined FRAC in January 2007 as the director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, brings extensive advocacy experience to her role, much of which has focused on the needs of vulnerable youth. While at Georgetown Law School’s D.C. Street Law Project, Alex supervised law students teaching at D.C. public high schools. She spent the last ten years working at Street Law, the national nonprofit dedicated to transforming democratic ideals into citizen action. Alex received her JD and LLM from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Susan joined FRAC in September 2012 as the Development Associate – State Initiatives. She is responsible for fundraising activities to support FRAC’s state-based initiatives, D.C. Hunger Solutions and Maryland Hunger Solutions.
Prior to joining FRAC, Susan served as coordinator of the Food and Health Network of South Central New York, program assistant with the Washington Youth Garden, and administrative assistant with the Rural Health Network of South Central New York. Susan holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in African and African Diaspora Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Catherine joined DC Hunger Solutions in June 2013 as an anti-hunger program associate. Her work focuses on increasing participation in SNAP through advocacy and outreach.
Prior to joining DC Hunger Solutions, Catherine completed a field practicum with the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Child Nutrition Division. She has previous experience working in child welfare at the DC Child and Family Services Agency and in issues of housing and homelessness at several Washington area organizations. Catherine holds an AB from Georgetown University and an MSW from Catholic University.
Michael joined FRAC in April 2013 as a research and policy analyst. Michael’s work focuses on household food security in the U.S., with an emphasis on households with children. Specifically, Michael examines how household food insecurity shapes household contexts and the consequences of household food insecurity on child and adult health over time. In addition, he examines how federal nutrition programs are related to household food insecurity. Michael has authored and co-authored several manuscripts related to household food insecurity and child health; he also has received funding from USDA to conduct surveys and interviews with caregivers and their children living in food-insecure households.
Michael has a B.A. in sociology and a M.P.H. in community health from the University of South Florida and is completing his Ph.D. in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina.
Chris joined FRAC in March 2010 as chief of staff with responsibility for supporting daily operations as well as FRAC’s longer term direction.
Chris brings over twenty-five years of experience in both non-profit and corporate organizations. Most recently she was chief of staff for the Institute for America’s Future, a research and education organization focused on issues relating to economic security. Prior to that she provided strategic planning, financial and operational management consulting services for a variety of non-profit and corporate organizations. Chris spent much of her career at Xerox Corporation where she held significant positions in operations, program management, marketing and sales. She was a founding member of the Xerox Women’s Network and has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including two child development centers. She is currently active with a transitional housing program for women in the District of Columbia.
Chris holds a BA in linguistics and an MBA in International Finance, both from the University of Michigan.
Rashan joined FRAC in May 2011 and is FRAC’s human resource associate. In this role, Rashan works closely with the director of human resources and operations on a variety of office procedural, HR-related and administrative fronts. She also coordinates processes related to position openings and coordinates the internship program.
Rashan has a BA in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta Georgia and an MA in Human Resource Management from The Catholic University of America in Washington DC.
Betsy began with the FRAC in April 2010 as the field organizer. Her role at FRAC is to garner public support for the President’s end childhood hunger by 2015 goal by working with local and statewide organizations.
Before Betsy came to FRAC she worked as the advocacy manager for the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, CA. In that role she worked to address the issues of hunger and its root causes with community members, food bank agencies, staff, and elected officials. She also recognizes the invaluable experience and connections that she gained while interning for the Society of St. Andrew, Big Island, VA and St. Mary’s Center, Oakland, CA.
Betsy has a BA in English from Mary Washington College.
As director of school and out-of-school time programs, Crystal directs FRAC’s work on the child nutrition programs that serve school-age children. She analyzes policy to advocate for legislative and regulatory improvements to increase low-income children’s access to the nutrition programs. She helps develop strategy and direct field efforts to achieve program improvements. She provides technical assistance, conducts training, and develops materials for national, state, and local organizations. She frequently speaks at national afterschool conferences and meetings. Crystal is the author or co-author of numerous publications, including Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report (2009). Her previous work experience includes the Center for Community Change as a policy analyst on transportation issues and Housing Comes First, Missouri’s statewide low-income housing coalition, as director of tenant organizing. She holds a BA in Philosophy and Sociology from Carroll College and a MSW from Washington University.
Eyang joined FRAC in January 2012 as school breakfast associate. She works in targeted states, school districts, and schools in collaboration with national and local anti-hunger organizations to increase the number of children participating in school breakfast and the number of schools offering breakfast in the classroom free to all students.
Before joining FRAC, she worked as a legislative assistant for Congresswoman Gwen Moore where she focused on issues related to alleviating and addressing child and adult poverty and hunger. During her work on Capitol Hill, she worked to expand the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and to provide low-income families with greater access to federal assistance programs including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. In 2012, she received the “Friend of WIC Award” from the National WIC Association for her contributions in support of the WIC program.
She earned a BS in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma.
Heather is a senior nutrition policy and research analyst at FRAC. Heather’s work primarily focuses on obesity, dietary quality, and health among low-income and food insecure children and families, with emphasis on the federal nutrition programs. She also is actively involved in FRAC’s ongoing research on food hardship and food access.
Heather, who joined FRAC in January 2009, has a rich background in nutrition policy research, obesity prevention, and healthy eating strategies, including her prior work at the American Cancer Society, Mathematica Policy Research, and Tulane University. Heather is a Registered Dietitian and holds honors bachelors’ degrees in nutritional sciences and dietetics from the University of Delaware, a MPH in nutrition from the University of North Carolina, and a DrPH in community health sciences from Tulane University.
Geri is the director of nutrition policy at FRAC. Geri’s work focuses on the nutrition policies, such as increasing the healthfulness of nutrition programs, necessary to reach the goals of eradicating domestic hunger and improving the nutrition and health of low-income individuals and families.
Geri is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee to Review the Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Requirements which has the task of creating nutrition standards to bring the meals served into compliance with the Dietary Guidelines. Geri is the current chair of the policy committee of the American Public Health Association’s Food and Nutrition Section. She currently serves on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Management Improvement Task Force.
She has been honored to receive awards for her work on the Child Nutrition Programs from the Sponsors Association, the National Sponsors Forum and the California Roundtable. Most recently, the National Association of Family Child Care honored Ms. Henchy with their Advocate of the Year Award.
Geri is the author of numerous policy briefs on the federal Child Nutrition programs. She has co-authored a number of publications including Making WIC Work for Multicultural Communities: Best Practices for Outreach and Nutrition Education, Time for a Change: WIC Food Package Guide, WIC In Native American Communities: Building a Healthier America, and WIC Partnerships and the Nurturing Parent. Ms. Henchy is also the author of a number of web-based tools including most recently the Child Care Wellness Tool Kit: Child and Adult Care Food Program.
She is a registered dietitian and has an MPH in nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jessie joined FRAC in May 2012 as a school breakfast associate. She works in target states, school districts, and schools to increase access to school breakfast programs and increase the number of schools offering breakfast in the classroom free to all students.
Before joining FRAC, Jessie was a fellow at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, where she helped to facilitate a national collaborative of medical associations, insurers and employers to offer health benefits to prevent and treat childhood obesity. While in law school, Jessie worked with a number of government agencies and non-profit organizations including the Los Angeles City Attorney, the California Department of Justice, and the Disability Rights Legal Center.
She has a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in History from the University of California, San Diego, and a J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.
Jacqui joined FRAC in 2012. As Staff Assistant she serves as the office receptionist and also supports all departments with various administrative tasks. Jacqui has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Madeleine is a senior policy analyst in the Child Nutrition Unit, working on school nutrition issues. She focuses on the National School Lunch Program, the National School Breakfast Program and local school wellness policies. Madeleine has a rich background in maternal and child health policy and programs. After serving as health and nutrition coordinator for a large Head Start program in Chicago, she was a member of the National Technical Assistance Network for Head Start programs, working primarily with programs in the mid-Atlantic region. In addition to a strong background in child nutrition, she also has expertise in special nutrition concerns of children with disabilities. Madeleine earned her bachelors’ degree from the University of Chicago and her Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois.
Brooke is Maryland Hunger Solutions’ senior manager, anti-hunger programs, and supports the director and staff in their efforts to end hunger, promote health and improve the well-being of low-income Marylanders. She takes a leadership role in policy development, advocacy and coalition building as well as providing team leadership, staff development, communications and project management support. Brooke ensures that the policies and practices of Maryland state and local agencies and school districts are designed to allow low-income families and individuals maximum access to nutrition programs; and that the state, counties, school districts and community-based providers take advantage of options in federal law to maximize access and benefits.
Brooke’s career spans 20 years and includes political and community organizing, PR, advocacy and non-profit leadership with extensive experience with the NAACP, American Red Cross and in county government. She founded McCauley & Associates public relations and campaign consulting firm in Detroit, MI. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Public Relations from Wayne State University.
Bio to come.
Etienne joined FRAC in November 2007 as a legislative assistant. In her current role as FRAC’s senior legislative and public affairs associate, she works with FRAC’s state and local network, national organizations, and Congress, advocating for improved access to and participation in domestic anti-hunger programs for low-income people. She also coordinates FRAC’s Annual National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference.
Prior to joining FRAC, Etienne worked with RESULTS’ domestic policy campaign on early childhood development issues. She began her anti-hunger advocacy work by co-organizing Saint Mary’s College’s first annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
She has a BA in Political Science and Religious Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN.
Denise has worked for the last 10 years as executive assistant at FRAC. In this role, she has helped manage the details, logistics and support for the activities that promote FRAC’s mission. Denise’s experience in development, combined with her attention to detail, collaborative work style, and her commitment have helped FRAC, its Board and its President to achieve their goals. In addition to her FRAC responsibilities, Denise—a native Washingtonian and University of Maryland alum—is a professional photographer with numerous exhibits at fine arts galleries throughout the region.
Richard joined FRAC in May 2011 as controller. In this role, he is responsible for performing all accounting, financial processing and payroll activities. Duties include general accounting, internal auditing, cost accounting, financial analysis and forecasting, budget planning, cash flow monitoring, and development of monthly status reports.
Richard has over 30 years of financial, accounting, budgeting and analytical experience. His background includes controllerships at WellPoint, Washington Gas, SAP America, Lucent, AT&T Paradyne and Honeywell. In addition, his expertise includes performing competitive analysis and developing strategic and financial plans.
Richard earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame with a concentration in accounting. He has his CPA certification from the states of Maryland and Virginia.
Alan is FRAC’s technology coordinator. For nearly 27 years, Alan has served in various support capacities as a member of FRAC’s administrative staff. Initially secretarial, his duties have expanded with technology and the onset of computerized office functions. In his current position as senior administrative assistant/information systems coordinator, he oversees FRAC information technology needs, provides in-house computer “help desk” and administrative support for program staff, and serves as liaison between FRAC and its various IT consultants and vendors.
Kate joined FRAC in May 2012 as outreach and policy associate to support the expansion of the at-risk afterschool component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program. Kate works with states and cities to increase participation in their afterschool and summer nutrition programs. She also develops online resources for advocates and program providers to increase participation in their afterschool and summer meals programs.
While earning her MSW from The Catholic University of America, Kate completed her advanced year field placement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Child Nutrition Division. Kate had previously interned with USDA’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, Partnerships and Outreach at the Food and Nutrition Service and completed her foundation year field placement for graduate school with the local anti-hunger organization Bread for the City.
Kate has a BA in Women’s Studies and Globalization from Gettysburg College and a MSW from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Alyia joined D.C. Hunger Solutions in June 2012 as an anti-hunger program and policy associate. She works to increase participation in the child nutrition programs including school breakfast, lunch, and after school meal programs. Alyia also partners with schools and District agencies to implement the D.C. Healthy Schools Act.
Before joining D.C. Hunger Solutions, Alyia interned with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, evaluating the performance of the state’s community health centers. She also taught nutrition education to children in Head Start as a volunteer for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Alyia earned her Bachelors of Arts from Vanderbilt University and her Masters of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.
Marko joined FRAC in April 2012 as development assistant. His job duties include processing all donations and grants, maintaining communication with donors and grantmakers, and assisting senior staff members in writing grant proposals. Prior to joining our organization, he had fundraising internships at the International Student House and Education USA. Marko holds an MA degree in International Affairs from George Washington University.
As director of government affairs, Ellen Teller directs the development and implementation of FRAC’s legislative agenda. Working with Congress, national organizations, and FRAC’s diverse state and local grassroots field network, Ellen advocates for improved access and participation to domestic anti-hunger programs for low-income individuals and families.
Ellen joined FRAC in 1986 as a staff attorney and had previously worked at the American Bar Association’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Consumer Federation of America.
Ellen has a BA in Political Science and English Literature (1978) from the State University of New York, College at Oneonta, and a JD from Western New England College School of Law (1983). She is a Member of the DC Bar and serves on a the Boards of the Coalition on Human Needs (Chair); Manna Food Center, Rockville, Maryland; ActionAid USA; and the Bill Emerson Hunger Fellows Advisory Committee, Congressional Hunger Center. Honors include: National WIC Association Leadership Award, 2006; Commodity Supplemental Food Program Association Award, 2003 & 2010; and the Congressional Hunger Center Emerson Fellows’ Fairy Godmother Award, 2008.
Polly joined FRAC in February 2013 as its grant writer and foundation relations manager. In this role, she crafts funding proposals and reports for institutional funders in support of FRAC’s breadth of work.
Polly has fifteen years of experience writing and managing grants. She previously served as the Director of Development at Joy of Motion Dance Center, where she was responsible for planning and implementing all of its contributed income activities. Prior to that, Polly provided comprehensive research and grants administration for a portfolio of externally funded projects, including a $3 million Cooperative Agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency, at the Center for Risk Science and Public Health at The George Washington University. She has also written grants for the local modern dance company Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co. and Rebuilding Together Montgomery County.
She has a B.A. in Sociology from Hood College and a B.A. in Dance from The George Washington University.
Bio to come.
Ellen Vollinger is legal director for FRAC. She has responsibility for directing FRAC’s advocacy on behalf of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps). Ellen has led FRAC’s efforts to bolster SNAP/Food Stamps, particularly to serve working families, legal immigrants and victims of disasters. She has worked with administrators, elected officials, industry representatives, and non-profit partners on strategies to provide a more accessible and effective nutrition assistance safety net. She serves on the eGovernment Payments Council.
Her prior positions include serving as director of the nonprofit National Committee for Full Employment as well as a practicing attorney with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Ross, Dixon and Masback.
Ellen has a BA in American Studies from Smith College, an MASS in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University and a JD magna cum laude from the American University’s Washington College of Law.
Barb joined FRAC in March 2012 as the director of human resources and operations. In this role she is responsible for overseeing overall organizational operations, including the technology infrastructure, and is directly responsible for human resources policies and employee benefits and relations.
Barb has over twenty years of experience working with national nonprofit organizations in a variety of areas that include: human resources, operations, finance, board development and support, fundraising, events management, strategic planning and advocacy. Most of her skills were acquired through her many years of work at OMB Watch where she played a variety of roles, most recently the Director of Operations. Prior to her work at OMB Watch she worked for Legal Times.
Barbara has a BS in Journalism from Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University and a Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University.
Michael joined Maryland Hunger Solutions in July 2013 as Director. In this role, he is helping to lead Maryland’s premier hunger advocacy, education and outreach organization as it works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income families in Maryland. Michael serves in a leadership role in many statewide coalitions and is a core advisor in the Governor’s Partnership to End Childhood Hunger.
For more than three decades, Michael has been a leading advocate for economic and social justice. He worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative and press assistant for the late U.S. Representative Charles Hayes (IL). He also served in numerous positions at the U.S. Department of Labor, culminating as Chief of Staff in the Employment Standards Administration where he coordinated legislative, regulatory, communications, and policy development. Michael also was an international officer and director at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union where he headed the legislative and political department and led the union’s efforts in food policy and worker advocacy. Michael served as a FRAC Board Member for more than a decade, as well as a Board Member for the Consumer Federation of America and Americans for Democratic Action, where he also served as National Director. He received the Community Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association of the National Capitol Area in 2009, the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award in 1997 and 1999, and a Special Commendation from the Wage and Hour Division in 1997.
Michael has a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences from Michigan State University.
Patrick joined FRAC in January 2004 as director of development. In this role, he is responsible for managing all aspects of FRAC’s fundraising activities.
He has over fourteen years of experience in non-profit fundraising. Before coming to FRAC, he served as assistant manager of major gifts at the Kennedy Center, associate director of development for major gifts at the Washington National Opera, and director of development at American Rivers.
He holds an MA from Vanderbilt University and a PhD from the University of London.