As Chief Operating Officer, Kristin manages the Congressional Hunger Center’s technology, human resource, and administrative functions, and contributes to the organization’s finance and fundraising infrastructure. Kristin has more than 15 years of experience working with small nonprofits addressing poverty, hunger, homelessness, and addiction and recovery, at the local, state, and national level. She joined CHC in 2001.
Kristin holds a BA in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Binghamton, a Masters in Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center, and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University. Her formal education was substantially enhanced by two years serving as a VISTA Volunteer.
Emily Byers is Co-Director for Policy and Special Initiatives of the Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program. As Co-Director, she shares responsibility for the day-to-day management of the program and bears primary responsibility for training and advising the Leland Fellows on policy-related matters. She also helps to define and advocate CHC’s international food security policy positions.
Prior to joining CHC, Emily served as Director of Policy for Initiative for Global Development (IGD), a network of business leaders that champions effective solutions to global poverty. She established IGD’s Washington office and led the organization’s advocacy work on foreign assistance and development-related trade issues. Before IGD, she worked in the Government Relations department of Bread for the World, a grassroots advocacy organization that seeks to combat hunger in the United States and around the world through policy change. As Senior Policy Analyst, she led the organization’s policy and legislative advocacy work on international trade and agriculture. Emily holds an MSc in international political economy from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from Providence College.
Aileen Carr has served the Congressional Hunger Center since 2001 and has been directing the Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program since 2006. Aileen has recruited, trained, and mentored more than 200 Hunger Fellows, supporting an effective cadre of young leaders with critical experience and knowledge needed to make positive change. Those fellows have completed over 300 vital projects for organizations working to meet the basic human needs of all, bring justice to the food system, and end poverty.
Early in her tenure at CHC, she focused on root causes of hunger and poverty and systemic solutions, including federal nutrition and anti-poverty programs. Later, she redesigned the Emerson Program training curriculum and developed a new recruitment plan that resulted in a substantial increase in applications and enrollment of people of color and people who have personal experience with poverty. She is currently working to strengthen the alumni network and integrate an anti-racist framework into all aspects of the Emerson Program, including field and policy site selection.
Aileen received the 2008 Public Interest Rising Star Award from OMB Watch for outstanding public interest work. She earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University in 2009 and holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University.
Prior to joining the Hunger Center, Aileen created the International Community Alumni Project at Tufts University in her home state of Massachusetts and worked as a paralegal. She also co-developed a geography and world history lesson series for fifth grade students. Aileen earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Tufts University and has limited proficiency in Spanish.
Edward M. Cooney became the Congressional Hunger Center’s (CHC) Executive Director on February 5, 2001. Prior to joining CHC, Ed was an anti hunger advocate at the Food Research and Action Center and Connecticut Legal Services. From September 1997 to January 2001, Ed held two senior positions at the United States Department of Agriculture as Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs and Special Assistant for Nutrition to USDA Secretary Dan Glickman. Ed was a member of USDA’s Senior Executive Service, the government’s top management team.
As an advocate or nutrition program administrator, Ed has worked with allied groups on every major children nutrition and Food Stamp (SNAP) bill since 1977. His viewpoint on nutrition program and policy issues is sought by key Congressional staff, the Executive branch of government (Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and White House staff) and national anti-hunger organizations.
Ed is a founding member of the National Academies Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Obesity Solutions and a member of the Board of Advisors to the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Ed received the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition from the Global Child Nutrition Association and the School Nutrition Association in 2008.
Ed represents CHC as a member of the National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO). Ed is a consultant to the National Food Service Management Institute on the USDA funded project: History of School Lunch Programs in the United States. He is also currently a member of the Child Nutrition Forum Steering Committee as well as an ex officio member of the National CACFP Forum Board of Directors. Ed is a partner with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) on a major anti-hunger initiative. NCSL and its public and private sector partners wish to raise the visibility of hunger in America and improve the availability of healthy foods for hungry families. Ed also works with groups and private sector companies interested in preserving food choice in SNAP. Ed is also a member of the Tyson Animal Well-Being Advisory Panel. Ed was a member of the Community Food Security board from 2006 to 2011.
CHC is a leader in the movement to ensure access to food as a basic human right for all people. We create and nurture a community of innovative and inspiring leaders who act as change agents, bridging the gap between grassroots efforts and national and international public policy to provide vulnerable populations access to nutritious, affordable and culturally appropriate food. We facilitate this leadership development through two current programs, the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program and the Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program.
Ed received a BA degree in History from the College of the Holy Cross and a JD degree from the University of Connecticut Law School.
Mohamed Gurey joined the Congressional Hunger Center in January 2001 first as a contractor, and then as a full-time employee. Mohamed manages CHC audits and the accounting department and its procedures.
Mohamed has brought with him over 10 years of experience in Accounting. Prior to joining the Congressional Hunger Center, Mohamed worked as Chief Accountant and then Financial Controller for Uganda Paper Products, where he was charged with monthly ledger reconciliation, financial statement preparation, and cost analysis. Mohamed also worked as a Chief Accountant for Eagle Aviation, a leading East-African transportation company; as an auditor for Kassim Lakha and Abdulla Company, representing Arthur Anderson; and as an Accountant for Chemical Corporation.
Mohamed studied Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Economics from 1984-1987. He went on to study accounting at Asmara University, Ethiopia from 1988-1989.
In 2005, Mohamed graduated from Devry University with a BA in Information Systems. In 2006 he earned his Masters in Finance and Management Accounting (MFMA). Additionally, he has completed the full CPA classes with Becker—Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and is currently a CPA.
Twana Jemerson joined the Congressional Hunger Center in May 2008 as the Payroll and Benefits Coordinator.
Prior to joining the Congressional Hunger Center, Twana served as the Human Resource Generalist/ Manager for the Corporation for National and Community Service. In this role, she managed all aspects of Human Resource functions for their volunteer based programs and employees.
Twana has additional working experience with community based organizations. As an AmeriCorps member and Program Manager for Hands On Atlanta, she managed AmeriCorps teams in Middle Schools for the Atlanta Public School System to improve Math and Reading scores. She also coordinated an overnight retreat for approximately 30 High School and Middle School students focusing on self-esteem and academic related enrichment activities.
Twana graduated from Trinity University with a Masters in Organizational Development with a concentration in Human Resource Management, and holds a BA degree from Georgia State University in Communication.
Grace Jones is Co-Director for Program and Operations of the Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program. As Co-Director, she shares responsibility for day-to-day management of the program, including recruitment and selection of fellows and serving as a fellowship advisor. She bears primary responsibility for the development of field training programs, as well as oversees budgetary and contractual obligations.
As an alumna of the 2nd class of Leland International Hunger Fellows, Grace worked for Counterpart International in rural Guatemala during her first year and then at Counterpart’s headquarters office in Washington DC in her second year. While in Guatemala, Grace worked with indigenous Mayan communities to strengthen household food security. Following the end of the two year fellowship, Grace was hired as a Program Officer in Counterpart’s Food Security division and was promoted to Senior Program Officer two years later. Her primary role during this period was the management of USAID Multi-Year Activity Plans and USDA Food For Progress and Food For Education programs implemented by Counterpart in countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. Grace spent a significant amount of time traveling to project field sites in order to monitor program goals and objectives, liaise with partners and recruit staff.
Grace holds an MS in International Agriculture Development and an MS in Agronomy from the University of California Davis. After completing her BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University, Grace served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras where she worked with farmers on the implementation of soil conservation and soil improvement techniques and facilitated community garden collectives with women’s groups.
Shana McDavis-Conway is the Co-Director of Emerson National Fellows Program at Congressional Hunger Center and is an alumna of the 10th class of Emerson Fellows.
Shana has worked extensively with federal nutrition programs such as Food Stamps, Summer Food Service and the Afterschool Snack Program as well as initiatives on community gardening, health care, LGBT rights and healthy food access. She believes that providing for the health and well being of every citizen is the mark of a well-functioning society and that access to safe, healthy and affordable food and health care is a basic human right.
Shana is a former Interim Director and Nutrition Advocate of D.C. Hunger Solutions, an advocacy, public education and outreach project of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) in Washington, DC. Before joining FRAC, Shana worked with the Sacramento Hunger Commission in Sacramento, CA where she coordinated a local outreach and advocacy program. As an Emerson Fellow, she laid the groundwork for a youth-oriented urban agriculture venture in Hartford, CT, completed a media assessment for the Community Food Security Coalition and coordinated the trade policy efforts of the National Family Farm Coalition. She served an AmeriCorps*VISTA term at the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance in 2001 as a co-designer of a public health insurance outreach project. Shana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Women Studies from the University of Delaware. She founded and currently serves on several coalitions and boards, and currently chairs the board of the Center for Story-based Strategy, a media and grassroots strategy training organization.
As Director of Development, Victoria J. O’Reilly creates and implements strategies to develop and manage funding relationships with corporate, foundation, individual, and government partners that secure and sustain philanthropic support for the Congressional Hunger Center.
Victoria has worked with international, national, and regional policy-focused nonprofit organizations over the past three decades on a range of issues, including aging, arts, labor, consumer health, women, and international democracy and security concerns.
Before joining CHC, Victoria served as Director of Development at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for eight years, supporting the think tank’s growth to six centers in the U.S., Europe, Russia and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Asia and the establishment of new programs on International Economics and Energy and Climate Change. Prior to her work at Carnegie, she was Deputy Director and Acting Director of Development at the Economic Policy Institute, securing funding for research and technical assistance programs on issues affecting U.S. workers and for the Global Policy Network, an international think tank alliance. Previously, Victoria was Development Associate at FamiliesUSA and Development and Public Relations Assistant at the Older Women’s League (OWL). She has worked for regional and national arts organizations, and for the Service Employees International Union.
Victoria holds the Master of Arts degree from George Washington University in Public Policy with a concentration in Women’s Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in Mathematics.
Nico Quintana joined the Congressional Hunger Center as the Fellowship Advisor for the Emerson National Hunger Fellowship Program in January 2010. Nico provides mentoring, support, direction, and technical assistance for the Emerson Fellows as they carry out their work plans. As a former community organizer, Capitol Hill staffer, and 15th class Emerson Fellow, Nico has been actively working to fight poverty, hunger and institutional oppression on a local and national level.
Before joining the Congressional Hunger Center, Nico served as an Emerson Hunger Fellow with The Center for American Progress and at The Food Project in Boston working on community food security research and food justice initiatives. Nico also worked in the office of Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) as a staff assistant, and in the Office of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow. Prior to coming to the east coast, Nico was a community organizer in Oregon working on LGBT youth equality and school safety, racial justice, and farm worker rights initiatives. Nico is a graduate of Smith College with a degree in government and sociology.
Nico is the co-author of the on the July 2010 American Progress report “On The Street: The Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless Youth.”
As the Office/Database Coordinator, Matt coordinates the general office and organizational database needs, including coordinating basic operational needs of CHC, and selecting and interfacing miscellaneous vendors while managing day to day use of the organizational database. He joined CHC in December 2011.
Matt is from Indianapolis, Indiana, and previously worked for such nonprofits as the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Indiana Legal Services, the latter which provides free legal services to the low-income and elderly of Indiana. He also cherished his years as an activity leader with the West District Branch YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, impacting the lives of over 250 elementary school children at five different schools under the alias “Mr. Matt”.
Matt studied Informatics & Computing, Human-Computer Interaction, and French at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Joy Wiskin first joined the Congressional Hunger Center in 2006 as a program assistant for the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program. She began working on the Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program in October 2010 and now serves as its program manager. Joy oversees fellow recruitment, selections, program administration, and evaluation. She graduated in 2012 with her Master’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University where she focused her studies on international identity-based conflicts. She conducted primary research for her Master’s thesis on Tea Party group identity.
Prior to joining CHC, Joy was a Field and Outreach Fellow at Population Connection (formerly ZPG) for six months where she worked with organizers across the country to raise awareness about reproductive health and rights issues. Joy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College of William and Mary in 2004 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in French. She spent her year after graduation teaching English to elementary school children in France and working on an organic farm in the Pyrenees.
Jonathan Wogman joined the Congressional Hunger Center in February 2008. He is the Program Coordinator for the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship Program and he is responsible for logistical support, recruitment coordination, database management and file maintenance.
Jonathan is from Manchester, Connecticut and has had a history of working with non-profit and volunteer organizations. While growing up he volunteered to work with MANA (Manchester Area Network on AIDS) and the MACC (Manchester Area Conference of Churches) Food Pantry and Shelter. During college, he was also a member of Alphi Phi Omega (National Service Fraternity) the Phoenix Project (mentoring program for middle-school students) and Susquehanna Computer Consultants (volunteer IT help group).
Jonathan graduated from Susquehanna University in 2007 with a B.A. in political science. He also has a double-minor in international studies (with a focus in European studies) and film.
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