Meet the Families USA staff Skip to Main Content

Meet the Families USA staff

Ben Anderson (he/him)

Deputy Senior Director, Health Policy

Ben Anderson leads Families USA’s efforts to improve maternal and child health. Anderson comes to Families USA from the Children’s Defense Fund in New York. While there, he developed and managed the organization’s economic mobility and health policy portfolios, including leading coalitions and maintaining relationships with policymakers. Before that, he worked as policy analyst with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, where he managed their rule-making process. Anderson holds a BA in Economics from Colgate University and a JD from Boston University School of Law.

Susan Axleroad (she/her)

Director, Grants Management

Susan Axleroad has been with Families USA for 20 years. After beginning her career in health policy at the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation and the National Health Policy Forum, she changed her focus to performing arts, working with arts organizations in New York, London, and eventually Washington DC, where she joined Arena Stage in 1993. At Arena Stage she worked in development, managing – at various times – Arena’s foundation, government grants, corporate giving and major gifts programs, and later directed the theater’s audience engagement programsAxelroad has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and an MA in Urban Studies from Temple University. 

Alicia Camaliche (She/Her)

Policy Analyst

Alicia Camaliche is responsible for providing policy analysis across a wide swath of issues, including payment and delivery reform, health equity, and maternal and child health. Before joining Families USA, Camaliche was an Master of Social Work Intern with Year Up, researching and compiling data on various social welfare programs, and connecting students with public resources. Earlier in her career Camaliche worked as a policy analyst at The Children’s Campaign, where she advised on a range of child welfare policy issues, monitored existing child welfare programs for gaps in service, and evaluated policy solutions. Camaliche holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Fordham Graduate School of Social Services and a BS in History with a minor in Social Work from Florida State University.  

Nicholas Chang (he/him)

Policy Analyst

Nicholas Chang develops timely research and reports on behalf of the policy team. Before joining Families USA, Chang was a research intern for The Task Force for Global Health at Emory University. There, he explored grant research in the area of global health and identified potential international health case study partners. Chang has also previously worked as a mental health and housing intern for CAPN Clinics (Community Advanced Practice Nurses, inc.). While interning with CAPN Clinics, Chang organized outreach programs for the homeless population, referring clients to which health service they needed. He holds a BA in Sociology from Wake Forest University and a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University.

Justin Charles (he/him)

Digital Media Associate

With over a decade of experience in communications, video production, broadcasting, and social/digital media strategy, Justin Charles serves Families USA’s website manager. In this role, he leads site development, directs social media strategies and digital ad campaigns, and executes inbound marketing plans. Justin’s skills also encompass planning and creating impactful blog posts. Leveraging a strategic approach and analytics insights, he elevates Families USA’s online presence, ensuring continual growth and meaningful engagement. Justin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Howard University.

Tasha Dawson (she/her)

Deputy Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships

Tasha Dawson works with the Strategic Partnerships team to identify and engage critical community stakeholders that will advance advocacy efforts at the state and national level. Tasha established her career working in outreach and volunteer engagement across many nonprofit, government and academic organizations, and held a particular focus and interest for local communities and DE&I initiatives. At the Office of Minority Health, Tasha built strong, meaningful, bipartisan relationships across sectors and collaborated on the development and implementation of strategic outreach in the science, research, and healthcare spaces. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in health science from Howard University as well as a Masters in nonprofit and association management from the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Nichole Edralin (she/her)

Associate Director, Design and Publications

Nichole Edralin is responsible for the visual brand of Families USA. She art directs, designs, and project manages the production of Families USA’s marketing, policy, and event collateral (for both print and digital). Edralin has a BFA in Visual Communications: Digital Design from American InterContinental University and a Bachelor of Arts in Art Studio: Drawing concentration; Psychology minor from the University of Kentucky. 

Paula Edelen (she/her)

Office Manager

Paula M. Edelen is the Office Manager at Families USA, ensuring efficient office operations and managing supplies, vendor relationships, and security systems. With extensive administrative experience, Paula previously worked at the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and George Washington University Office of the Provost, where she excelled in front desk management, expense reporting, and travel coordination. Paula holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from George Washington University and a Secretarial Skills Curriculum Certificate from General Communications, Inc.

Naomi Fener (She/Her)

Director, Population Health

Naomi Fener is Families USA’s Director of Population Health, providing support to the Health Policy team with a focus on population health outcomes and the social drivers of health. Naomi develops strategies for Families USA proposals, research studies, issue briefs and more, providing thought leadership in the broader health policy community. Through both clinical and policy experience, Naomi has spent her career improving the well-being of underrepresented and underresourced communities. She previously worked for MassHealth, Massachusetts’ Medicaid agency, and served as a nurse practitioner at Massachusetts General Hospital. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Vermont, a BS in Nursing from Johns Hopkins, a MS in Adult Gerontologic-Acute Care from Vanderbilt University and an MPH in Health Policy from Harvard.

Cheryl Fish-Parcham (she/her)

Director, Private Coverage

Cheryl Fish-Parcham focuses on policies that would improve access to coverage and care, including those related to oral health and behavioral health services. Fish-Parcham serves on advisory committees to the DC Department of Insurance and the DC Health Care Ombudsman. She has previously served as Families USA’s Associate Director of Health Policy and helped establish the Health Assistance Partnership (HAP), a national support center for consumer health assistance programs. Earlier in her career, Fish-Parcham worked as an advocate at AARP’s Legal Counsel for the Elderly and served as an advocate, administrator, and social worker for several community organizations. Fish-Parcham holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an MSW from Howard University. 

Krista Gon (She/Her)

Senior Policy Analyst

Krista Gon, Families USA’s Senior Policy Analyst, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in health care policy and management from her time serving as an Associate Program Manager at MassHealth Executive Office of Health and Human Services and as a Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst at the House Committee of Ways & Means. Krista also obtained significant experience working on various community-based health care initiatives. Her dedication to social justice makes her well-equipped to contribute to Families USA’s policy agenda and thought leadership in the health policy field. In Boston, Krista earned both her Master’s of Public Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and her BS in Public Health at Simmons College.

Emma Green (she/her)

Organizing & Mobilization Manager

As Families USA’s first Organizing & Mobilization Manager, Emma Green uses her deep understanding of impacted communities, their stakeholders, and other partners to support projects that advance equitable state and national level policy changes. On the Health Equity team, Emma develops and implements advocacy strategies that bring together community leaders, policy makers, residents, businesses and more to advance policies that center health equity and promote health. With a background in advocacy and volunteer experiences spanning across the private and non-profit sectors, she has worked to support environmental, labor, housing, and community health issues in her local communities. Emma earned her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Ohio Northern University with a minor in Public Policy.

Sweta Haldar

Senior Policy Analyst

Sweta Haldar works as a Senior Policy Analyst on Families USA’s Health Policy team. In this role, she primarily focuses on research and analysis to support the many priorities of the policy department including Medicare and Medicaid payment, population health and more, to further inform organizational policy recommendations and identify opportunities for affecting change. Sweta joins Families USA from the Kaiser Family Foundation where she worked as a policy analyst focusing on projects that addressed racism, discrimination, social and economic inequities, and social determinants of health. Previously, she worked in policy and research for the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Urban Institute. Sweta holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Princeton University and a MS in Public Health from Johns Hopkins.

Kasey Hampton (she/her)

Senior Manager, Storytelling and Engagement Communications

Kasey Hampton joined Families USA after serving as Press Secretary to Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), one of the Senate’s leading health care champions. Previously, Hampton worked on Protect Our Care’s 2017 campaign to defend against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including by highlighting the stories of millions of Americans who rely on the ACA for quality health insurance coverage. She also worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and for organizations in the private sector, specializing in health care. At HHS, she supported the Office of Public Affairs on various Department initiatives ranging from the 2016 Zika outbreak to ACA Open Enrollment. Hampton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Bucknell University. 

Maya Holcomb (She/Her)

Partner and Community Engagement Associate

Maya Holcomb provides administrative and logistical support for partner engagement activities, and strengthens partner-based relationships that lead to cross-collaborative opportunities within the organization.   She also works to develop, advance, and execute on Families USA’s core health equity portfolio.  Before joining Families, Maya worked as a team lead with Partners in Health Engage, coordinating meetings for a grassroots network of volunteers and local Members of Congress to strengthen global health systems. Holcomb was also a research assistant, where she conducted literature reviews and organized data on bipartisan negotiations. Holcomb holds a BS in Health Society and Policy with a minor in Political Science, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with an emphasis in global health and a minor in Spanish.

Lisa Holland (she/her)

Senior Communications Manager

Lisa Holland is responsible for helping to shape the organization’s strategic media and communications strategy and working across departments to raise its profile among the media and key stakeholders. Prior to joining Families USA, Holland served for 12 years as the Director of Communications for the Community Action Partnership, a national nonprofit association whose member agencies help vulnerable individuals and families achieve economic independence. She has also been a marketing and public relations consultant for a number of associations and businesses focused on health, science and the environment. Holland’s expertise includes writing, media relations, digital marketing and social media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware, a public relations certificate from the George Washington University School of Professional Development and digital marketing certificates from the American Marketing Association. 

Jewel Jones (she/her)

Senior Manager of Information Technology

Jewel Jones brings over 20 years’ of diverse experience to Families USA. Jones dedication and talent led her to excel in progressively responsible roles, including Administrative Assistant, Office Manager, Operations Manager, Senior Operations Manager, and now Senior Manager of Information Technology.

Prior to joining Families USA, Jones worked as a licensed practical nurse for 10 years at Kings Park Psychiatric Center in New York. This background, combined with her accounting certifications, and ongoing pursuit of Google IT Support Professional and Microsoft 365 Administrator certifications, reflects Jones’ continuous learning and dedication to excellence.

Nate Keller (he/him)

Partner Mobilization Associate

Nathan Keller works across the organization’s departmental and project teams to ensure partner engagement and activation aligns with Families USA’s health policy advocacy goals. Prior to joining Families USA, Keller worked for Mission for Arizona as its regional organizing director. There, he managed and trained a team of seven field organizers who recruited and trained more than one hundred volunteers. He also expanded existing Democratic infrastructure by developing strong relationships with local organizations and cultivating trust within the community. Keller also served as field organizer for Kamala Harris for the People, where he collaborated with local organizations to host candidate events and engage local caucus-goers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Alvernia University.

Colethea Kornegay

Staff Accountant

Colethea Kornegay works closely with the Senior Director of Finance and Operations and the Accounting Manager to assist with the day-to-day accounting operations, including GL accounting, journal entry preparation, and regular financial statement preparation. She is chiefly responsible for monitoring and financial reporting on the various grants received by Families USA. Kornegay holds a BS in Accounting and an MS in Accounting and Financial Management, both from the University of Maryland.

Barbara Klose (she/her)

Senior Accounting Manager

Barbara Klose helps manage the day-to-day accounting operations, including the development and maintenance of internal accounting policies and monitoring emerging technologies to promote efficiencies in the department. She manages the accounts payable/payroll/cash management processes and is the staff liaison for all finance systems. Klose started her career at Families USA in 1993, initially working in the Development department. She was responsible for researching funders and day-to-day management of the in-house direct mail program, including list selection, development of mail plan, production and analysis. Prior to joining Families USA, Klose worked for a local real estate developer, overseeing all aspects of accounting for various real estate projects, including monthly financial reports to partners and payroll for over 50 employees. Klose received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, MD. 

Hazel Law (she/her)

Policy Analyst

Hazel Law performs policy research and analysis on issues across Families USA’s focus areas. Prior to joining Families USA. Law was a research and communications intern with Applied Policy. There, she assisted with research, editing, proofreading and formatting reports, and attended federal hearings for her team. She previously served as a contact tracer during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with Partners in Health, connecting patients with resources and supporting those experiencing mental and physical hardships. Law holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Mackenzie Marshall (she/her)

Manager, Government Relations

Mackenzie “Kenzie” Marshall helps implement the organization’s work with federal policymakers and key national partners on all of Families USA’s program areas. Prior to joining Families USA, Marshall served as a Legislative Correspondent on Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)’s health policy team. Previously, she worked in Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)’s personal office, and interned for the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. Before she started working on Capitol Hill, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines. Marshall holds an MPH in global health policy from the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in international political economy from the University of Puget Sound. 

Christine Nguyen

Manager, Health Equity Strategies

Christine Nguyen, serves as project lead of the Health Equity Center, managing the health equity portfolio, which includes various initiatives that facilitate policy and system changes to promote equitable access to health as well as quality health and affordable health care. Prior to joining Families USA, Nguyen was a Policy Manager with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. There, she worked to elevate Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) women and girls to impact policy and drive systemic change in the United States, particularly surrounding health care access, economic inequality and reproductive rights. Nguyen holds an MPH in health policy from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from University of Michigan. 

Telethia R. Owens (She/her/hers)

Human Resources Manager

Telethia R. Owens is Families USA’s Human Resources (HR) Manager who works to develop and implement organizational strategies that create an efficient and positive work environment. Telethia supports various departments within the organization by providing personnel policy and procedure guidance to employees and management. With an educational background in Accounting and Business Management and over five years’ work experience in Human Resources, Telethia is an asset to the HR team and staff and reinforces the mission of the organization and its management philosophy.

Mike Persley (he/him)

Strategic Partnerships Campaign Manager

Mike Persley is a dedicated organizer and advocate on the Strategic Partnerships team at Families USA. Prior to joining Families USA, Persley was a Redistricting Organizer with the League of Women Voters, where he assisted with volunteer recruitment, mobilization, and campaign and leadership development. He also served as an organizer for SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, where he helped union membership grow at five different facilities, and helped the second-largest bargaining unit in the state earn better wages and benefits. Persley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MA in Journalism from the University of Maryland.

Aaron Plotke (He/Him)

Senior Policy Analyst

Aaron Plotke helps implement and lead the organizations’ work related to hospital pricing, prescription drugs, and Medicare Advantage. Prior to joining Families USA, Plotke worked as a social science research analyst at the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services in New York. While there, he conducted national evaluations of Medicare, Medicaid and public health and human service programs. Before that, he was a public health advisor with the Columbia Law School Health Justice Advocacy Clinic, researching lead poisoning in public and publicly assisted housing and creating content to effectively advocate for public health policy change in Congress. Plotke holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut in nutritional sciences and health policy, and a MPH from Columbia University in sociomedical science and health policy.

Pamela Pugh

Executive Assistant

Pamela Pugh provides executive administrative support to the Executive Director and Chief of Staff at Families USA. She uses her exceptional organizational skills as well as her keen eye for detail to foster a professional environment among all staff and external stakeholders.  With over 24 years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector, Pam is passionate about accelerating change in people’s lives. She is a proactive problem-solver with exceptional organization and communication skills, as well as a keen attention to detail. Pam holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University in St. Davids, PA.    

Bailey Reavis (she/her)

Manager, Government Relations

Bailey Reavis helps implement the organization’s work with federal policymakers and key national partners on all of Families USA’s program areas. Prior to joining Families USA, Reavis worked at Voices for Progress, an organization focused on protecting our climate, strengthening our democracy, and ensuring economic and social justice for all. There she worked with members to advocate on a diverse portfolio of issues, including protecting and expanding the Affordable Care Act. Reavis holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from University of Colorado at Boulder. 

Megan Rossiter (she/her)

Government Relations Associate

Megan ‘Meg’ Rossiter plays a key role in supporting the Government Relations team’s work to help advance federal policies that help ensure quality health care is affordable and accessible to all. Prior to joining Families USA, Megan worked at the Congressional Hunger Center, where she collaborated with various anti-hunger coalitions, identifying legislative priorities and spearheading strategic political outreach with the aim of ending hunger in the United States and around the world. She also previously volunteered as a Field Fellow for Representative Hillary Scholten (D-MI-3)’s 2022 Congressional campaign. Megan holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Political Science as well as a minor in Biological Anthropology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health in health policy at the George Washington University.

Lauren Rubenstein (she/her)

Communications Associate

Lauren Rubenstein is responsible for creating and planning content to uplift Families USA’s messaging campaigns across all digital media platforms. Lauren obtained seven years of extensive marketing experience working with entertainment companies such as Fox Entertainment and NBC Studios E! Network. She also brings along ten years of experience as a professional photographer & social media manager supporting various nonprofit organizations such as ALS Therapy Development Insitute, Friends of Chimps and more. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a Studio Art concentration from Indiana University.

Deborah Sartin

Deputy Senior Director of PMO and IT

Deborah Sartin builds and maintains information technology infrastructure and services to ensure digital transformation and innovation. She also manages the organizational structure of Families USA’s project work to ensure maximum impact. Prior to Families USA, Sartin worked in various senior technology and project management roles, including becoming founder of Tadabe Technology, a consulting firm that provided organizations with expert project portfolio management services. Sartin also served as director of the project management office for higher education institutions as well as corporate and non-profit organizations. In those positions she created and managed Project Management Office (PMO) Centers of Excellence and an Office of Business Excellence. She improved team structures, policies, and communications focusing on IT modernization and operational excellence. Sartin holds an MS in Management Information Systems from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Howard University.

Lisa Shapiro (she/her)

Senior Advisor for Strategy and Children's Policy

Lisa Shapiro oversees strategy, policy, partner relationships and organizational issues for Families USA. She also applies her experience as a child advocate and policy expert to bolster Families’ engagement on maternal and child health issues, with a focus on efforts to improve health care quality, coverage, and outcomes for children and families. Before Families USA, Shapiro spent more than a decade as Vice President for Health Policy and was a founding member of the leadership team at First Focus, a bipartisan advocacy organization focused on improving public policy for low-income children. Shapiro also served as a congressional fellow for Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), where she worked on the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee on a broad range of health issues. 

Jane Sheehan (she/her)

Deputy Senior Director, Government Relations

Jane Sheehan helps implement the organization’s work with federal policymakers and key national partners on all of Families USA’s program areas. She leads the organization’s work to enact consumer protections from surprise medical bills, manages several national stakeholder coalitions, and directs legislative and administrative strategies on health care value issues. Prior to joining Families USA, Sheehan worked on the legislative staff of then-Representative Ed Pastor (D-AZ), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, advising him on a variety of domestic policy issues. Sheehan holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Marist College. 

Jamie Stevenson (He/Him)

Strategic Partnerships Campaign Manager

Jamie Stevenson is responsible for leading projects that advance state and national level policy changes aimed at achieving good health and quality health care for everyone in the country. Stevenson utilizes innovative methods to build momentum and partnerships that advance issue campaigns and grow Families USA’s partnership base. Before joining Families USA, Stevenson served as regional organizing manager for Climate Action Campaign. While there, he managed relations with state tables and climate coalitions. He also worked for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party where he operated as regional organizing director for President Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. There, Stevenson authored and implemented a region-specific field plan that fit into the larger statewide organizing program. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in integrated strategic communication from the University of Kentucky.

Kiersten Zinyengere (She/Her)

Communications Manager

Kiersten Zinyengere plans, implements and manages integrated communications campaigns for Families USA’s health advocacy projects, as well as assists with general media outreach and media relations. She also supports the organization’s storytelling program. Kiersten joins the Communications Team from the American Academy of Audiology, where she oversaw multiple public health awareness campaigns and managed the strategic implementation of relevant advocacy and legislative content initiatives. Kiersten holds a BS in Political Science as well as Philosophy & Religious Studies from Radford University and an MPH in Health Policy from The George Washington University.