Diane is the President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a membership organization dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes. Diane is a veteran affordable housing policy expert with over two decades of work on affordable housing and community development. Before rejoining NLIHC (where she previously worked as a policy analyst), Diane was Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs at Enterprise Community Partners, where she led federal, state and local policy, research and advocacy programs. Prior to Enterprise, Diane was the director of the Public Housing Management and Occupancy Division at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where she managed a team overseeing the development and implementation of nationwide public housing policies, procedures, and guidelines. She also worked to advance affordable housing policies with Oxfam America and the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and served for 3 years as a community development Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia. Diane is frequently quoted in major media outlets, and has testified multiple time before Congress. Diane has a Masters in Social work from the University of Texas at Austin.
202-548-7969 (ext. 231)
Xavier will work with the policy team to identify, analyze, and advocate federal policy on housing and immigration, Native American housing, rural housing, fair housing, and COVID-19 as it relates to Tribal housing, immigration, and regulatory language.
Xavier recently completed a nine-month position as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow with the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee for Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. In this role, Xavier supported professional staff with passage of the 2020 appropriations bill and supplemental appropriations related to disaster relief for Puerto Rico and the COVID-19 pandemic. Xavier has previously worked in his hometown of Hartford, CT on the development of the Swift Factory, an economic and community development project spearheaded by the nonprofit organization Community Solutions. He also conducted state level data analysis on racial disparities in child and family welfare with the State of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families. Xavier is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he earned a Bachelor of Economics.
Andrew Aurand is Vice President for Research at NLIHC. Andrew leads NLIHC’s research team that annually documents the housing needs of low income renters (published in The Gap and Out of Reach) and conducts research that informs housing policy. Prior to joining NLIHC, Andrew was a faculty of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida State University where he taught housing policy and research methods, and completed research on the impact of comprehensive planning on the supply of affordable housing. He has a Masters in Social Work and PhD in Public Policy from University of Pittsburgh.
Sidney Betancourt is a housing advocacy organizer on the NLIHC field team. Sidney works with the field team to expand NLIHC membership and engage advocates on federal policy priorities to advance the Coalition’s mission.
Prior to joining NLIHC, Sidney was the 2020-2021 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) housing graduate fellow. During her time as a fellow, Sidney worked with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) on legislative research aimed at preparing the agency for a governance restructure. She spent the last half of her fellowship with the House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee for Housing, Community Development and Insurance. As a committee fellow, Sidney supported staff in drafting important legislation related to public housing, infrastructure, and homelessness.
Sidney is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree and Master of Social Work. During her field placement as a social work student, she worked at a homeless outreach agency in downtown Las Vegas collaborating with a legal aid agency to quash unjust warrants for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Victoria Bourret joined the NLIHC staff in January 2018. Prior to joining NLIHC, Tori served as a Communications and Project Manager at the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, a state partner of NLIHC. Tori provided management and outreach assistance for policy campaigns and specialized projects at the Housing Alliance. Victoria was also in charge of all communications at the Housing Alliance, including social media, the newsletter, and the website. Prior to her role at the Housing Alliance, Victoria served two terms in AmeriCorps, one with AmeriCorps NCCC in Denver, Colorado and one with Public Allies in Delaware. Tori earned her B.A. in Women Studies and Psychology from the University of Delaware and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania.
Senior Director of Media Relations and Communications
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Jen Butler is the Coalition’s Senior Director of Media Relations and Communications. Jen works with the NLIHC chief executive officer to ensure effective and efficient media and communications efforts, in support of the Coalition’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives.
Jen has worked in marketing and communications for over nine years and has managed a diverse portfolio of campaigns for both local and national brands. Jen’s experience includes work in entertainment, media, on-air, and the non-profit sector. In her previous roles, Jen has worked extensively in branding, programming, and marketing strategy. Jen is a graduate of Georgia State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with a concentration in public and political communications.
[email protected] | (202) 662-1530 x253
Alayna will work with the policy team to identify, analyze, and advocate for federal coronavirus relief policy that addresses the urgent needs facing low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness.
Alayna previously worked at NLIHC as a field intern while completing her graduate studies. As a case manager intern with Catholic Charities, Alayna witnessed the detrimental effects of housing instability on her clients’ well-being and became interested in the broader systems that impact access to safe and affordable housing. She is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, where she earned a Master of Social Work with a concentration in community action and social policy. Alayna has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame.
Senior Executive Assistant
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Josephine joined the NLIHC team as Executive Assistant in September 2015. Prior to joining the Coalition, she worked at Strayer University serving in an executive support role for more than eight years. Josephine also has 10 years of experience working in the program and budget areas at the United Nations Children’s Fund in Liberia. She received her AABA, BBA in Finance, and MBA in Information Systems Management from Strayer University.
Housing Advocacy Organizer
[email protected] | (202) 662-1530
Courtney is a housing advocacy organizer on the NLIHC field team. Prior to joining NLIHC, Courtney was an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), the social justice arm of the Reform Jewish Movement. With a policy portfolio that included housing, nutrition, labor, and other economic justice issues, Courtney spearheaded the RAC’s advocacy on COVID-19 relief and recovery legislation. She also wrote blog posts and social media content, created resources for advocates, supported grassroots lobbying, and launched virtual programming to teach high school students about social justice.
Courtney graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a minor in Spanish, and interdisciplinary honors in Ethics in Society. Her honors thesis, “Loss of Place, Loss of Voice: How Homelessness Impedes Political Equality,” explored homelessness as a source of political disenfranchisement. Courtney also served on the board of Heart and Home Collaborative, a seasonal shelter for women experiencing homelessness in the greater Palo Alto area.
[email protected] | 202-662-1530 x254
Bairy has worked with human rights organizations for over six years to help them function efficiently and fight for creating a more equitable and just world. He has managed offices in the U.S. and globally, coordinating administrative processes, overseeing internal and external facing events, and managing partnerships with corporations, vendors, and sponsors. He has supervised office relocations and construction projects, created remote-work policy, and worked to align organizations’ missions with their policies. Immediately prior to joining NLIHC, Bairy worked at Freedom House where he served as the head of the operations department, overseeing day-to-day operations for employees in Washington DC, New York, and around the world. Bairy is a graduate of Dickinson College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in sociology.
Dan Emmanuel joined the NLIHC staff in November 2013. He has worked in a range of housing and community development contexts since 2008 with a particular focus on program evaluation and community needs assessment. Dan earned his B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from the College of William & Mary and his MSW with a concentration in community and organization practice from Saint Louis University.
Emma received her Master of Public Policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy where she concentrated in Social Policy. While completing her graduate studies, Emma worked as a research intern at NLIHC, tracking and monitoring the rollout of COVID-19 emergency rental assistance programs. Emma became passionate about equitable housing policy following several years working with organizations that advocate for affordable, accessible, and fair housing in Charlotte, Poughkeepsie, and New Orleans. Prior to her graduate studies, Emma served as an AmeriCorps member at a disaster recovery organization and worked at a social science research firm evaluating the efficacy of social programs. Emma received her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Vassar College.
ERASE Senior Project Director
[email protected] | (202) 662-1530
Sarah Gallagher is the NLIHC ERASE (End Rental Arrears to Stop Evictions) senior project director. In this role, Sarah works with NLIHC staff and with state and local partners to support efforts to ensure that the emergency rental assistance reaches the lowest-income and most marginalized renters it is intended to help.
Sarah comes to NLIHC with more than 25 years of experience advancing innovative, equitable housing and social service policy and programs at the local, state and national level with expertise in health and housing collaborations, cross systems data matching, interagency collaboration, homeless programs and reentry.
Prior to joining NLIHC, Sarah was the CSH eastern region managing director overseeing CSH’s training, lending, technical assistance, and systems change work throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Sarah also served as the CSH director of strategic initiatives and the director of CSH’s Connecticut program.
Sarah served as the first executive director of Journey Home, the local planning body for the Capitol Region Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, as the executive director for discharge planning at the New York City Department of Correction, where she oversaw the discharge planning programs on Rikers Island and worked with City agencies to overcome barriers people face when leaving jail, and as a housing case manager in Boston. Sarah holds a master’s degree in urban policy and management from the New School and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Connecticut.
Ed Gramlich has been at NLIHC since October 2005. For his first two years, Mr. Gramlich staffed the RegWatch Project, an endeavor to expand the Coalition’s capacity to monitor federal regulatory and administrative actions, with a focus on preserving the affordable housing stock, both public and assisted. Between October 2007 and January 2010 he was the Director of Outreach. Prior to joining the staff of the Coalition, he worked for 26 years at the Center for Community Change (CCC) where his primary function was to provide technical assistance about CDBG to low-income community-based groups. While at CCC, Mr. Gramlich also devoted considerable time to provide technical assistance to groups concerned about the negative impacts of UDAGs in their community. Mr. Gramlich is currently NLIHC’s senior advisor to the CEO and leads NLIHC efforts related to affordable housing regulations and has been NLIHC’s expert on regulations related to the National Housing Trust Fund and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. Ed Gramlich has a BS and MBA from Washington University.
Housing Policy Analyst
[email protected] | (202) 662-1530 x243
Kim is responsible for identifying and analyzing federal policy and regulatory activities related to NLIHC’s priorities, and then advocating around those policies and activities on Capitol Hill while also working with the NLIHC Field Team to engage NLIHC’s membership and network in field advocacy. Kim will focus on housing protections in the Violence Against Women Act, criminal justice reform, and evictions.
Kim is a recent graduate of George Washington University, where she earned a master’s degree in public policy. During her graduate program, she interned with Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future and with the Senate Minority Health Committee. She also held a fellowship with the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Before graduate school, Kim resided in Harrisonburg, VA, working as an advocate for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. In 2014, she served on an advisory committee to the Obama Administration’s White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Kim received her B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Psychological Sciences from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.
Paul Kealey joined NLIHC as its Chief Operating Officer in June 2014, with more than twenty-five years of leadership and management experience. As COO, Mr. Kealey leads the Coalition’s financial and human resources management, program planning, resource development, field outreach and organizing, and communications. Mr. Kealey has a rich background of developing, directing, and evaluating large and complex operations, staff, and programs in international and domestic community development and affordable housing, human services, volunteer service, environmental conservation, and professional development and training. Paul served for twelve years as a Senior Vice President and Division Director for NeighborWorks America overseeing its affordable housing and community development training programs, the Achieving Excellence leadership program with Harvard University, the Success Measures enterprise, and many other programs and operations. He has also held leadership positions with the Corporation for National and Community Service/AmeriCorps VISTA, World Wildlife Fund, and Peace Corps. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer with his wife in Guatemala in the 1980s, Mr. Kealey later joined the Peace Corps staff as a Chief of Field Operations in Washington, Deputy Country Director in Costa Rica and Paraguay, and Country Director in Paraguay. Paul earned a Master of Arts in Geography at the University of California, Davis, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations at San Francisco State University. Paul is also a graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School/NeighborWorks America 18-month Achieving Excellence Program.
Mike comes to NLIHC from Dallas, TX where he most recently worked as the executive director of Opportunity Dallas, an organization focused on building local coalitions to promote greater economic mobility by tackling concentrated poverty and segregation through housing policy. Prior to Opportunity Dallas, Mike was the chief of transformation and innovation in the Dallas school system, where he led the development and execution of the district’s Public School Choice initiative focused on socioeconomic school integration. Prior to his career in education and housing, he served in the U.S. Air Force, where he was the chief of intelligence for an F-15E fighter squadron while it was deployed to Afghanistan. He holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame, Duke University, and Harvard University.
Joseph joined the NLIHC staff in February 2013, but he first worked with NLIHC in 2000 while organizing Wisconsin advocates in support of the National Housing Trust Fund campaign. He led campaigns in Madison, WI, on issues such as the local minimum wage, funding for homeless services, and eliminating housing discrimination against Housing Choice Voucher recipients. In addition to his advocacy and campaign work, Joseph has also worked in various direct service capacities including as a homeless outreach coordinator, tenant’s rights counselor, and workforce development professional. Joseph received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin with majors in political science and religious studies.
[email protected] | 202-662-1530 x201
Before joining NLIHC, Mayerline worked at DKC, a public relations agency, where she worked as a media relations coordinator, engaging with media and securing placements in local and national publications for an array of clients. Previously, she was a graduate intern at Edelman, where she assisted in digital communications for CEOs in the health tech and global corporate social responsibility sectors. A graduate of Howard University, Mayerline has a bachelor’s degree in strategic, legal, and management communication with a concentration in public relations and marketing.
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Neetu received her Master of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan, where she focused on housing justice and climate equity. Neetu has advocated for land rights, tenure security and housing stability for extremely low-income communities internationally. In Brazil, she assessed housing needs in favelas and informal settlements, and partnered with União dos Movimentos de Moradia, São Paulo (Union of Housing Movements, São Paulo) to advocate for a national legislation for self-managed housing. In the US, she supported third-sector organizations in accessing housing, healthcare and educational services for refugee and migrant communities. In previous roles, Neetu worked on housing and community development through co-designed spaces in India. Neetu earned a Bachelor of Architecture with a concentration in urban design from R.V. College of Architecture in Bangalore, India.
Senior Director of Administration
[email protected] | 202-662-1530 x242
Khara was with NLIHC from 1999 through 2005 as Executive Assistant to the President and returned in January 2009 as Development Associate. In the interim, Khara served as Development Coordinator at YWCA USA. In September 2009, she became Director of Administration where she assists the Administration team in their effort to sustain the coalition’s primary mission to end America’s affordable housing crisis.
Born and raised in the Washington, DC area, Noah comes to NLIHC from Baltimore, MD, where he worked at the Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc. (HPRP), helping to advocate for policies to expand public benefit programs and protecting Housing Choice Voucher holders. After working as a campaign and state house staffer in Maryland, Noah received a JD from the University of Baltimore School of Law. While in law school, Noah was heavily involved in coordinating Legal Observers of the National Lawyers Guild to protect the legal rights of Baltimore-area political protestors and served as a Kellogg’s Law Fellow at the NAACP Office of the General Counsel working on transit equity and educational policy. Noah received his B.A. in Political Science from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. He has been a member of the Maryland bar since 2018.
Creative Services Coordinator
[email protected] | 202-662-1530 x246
Ikra first worked at NLIHC as a graphic design intern during the 2015-2016 fall and spring semesters. Ikra completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts and Visual Technology from George Mason University in 2017. Her interest in social justice stems from her freelancing and internships at various nonprofits, including NLIHC. Ikra will be responsible for all NLIHC’s print and online graphic design efforts.
[email protected] | (202) 662-1530 ext. 202
Betty Ramirez joins the NHLIC research team to develop a qualitative research project that will capture the experience of tenants and property managers in LIHTC properties. Betty will use interviews and data resources to help us better understand the impact of housing markets and affordable housing policies on LIHTC tenants’ experiences. We hope the project will help formulate policies to preserve the housing stability of low-income tenants.
Betty Ramirez received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, San Diego with a focus on Latin American and U.S. ethnic minority literatures in the 20th century. Her graduate studies explored Latin American and Chicana/o authors’ political commitment to using literature as a vehicle for critiquing how socio-economic and political policies affected marginalized communities in major Latin American and U.S. southwest cities. Betty joined the NLIHC through the American Council of Learned Societies Leading Edge Fellowship that promotes how humanities’ Ph.D. graduates can translate their acquired skills in their doctoral program in non-profit settings to foster social justice initiatives in their communities.
Catherine joined NLIHC as a Development Coordinator in June 2018. Prior to joining NLIHC, Catherine served for four years at A Wider Circle, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families to rise out of poverty. At A Wider Circle, Catherine spent time as a Client Relations Coordinator, working directly with families transitioning out of homelessness or fleeing domestic abuse and helping them to receive furniture and other items necessary to find stability their new homes. She also worked as a Development Associate at A Wider Circle, telling these families’ stories to local and national foundations and corporations and securing the funds to expand programming. Catherine earned her Bachelor of Science in Business, Language and Culture Studies with a focus in Spanish from American University.
Vice President of Public Policy
[email protected] | 202-662-1530 x228
As Vice President of Public Policy, Sarah Saadian oversees NLIHC’s broad congressional portfolio. Sarah previously worked with Enterprise Community Partners as a Senior Analyst, where she focused on appropriations for federal housing and community development programs. Prior to Enterprise, Sarah served as Policy Counsel at Rapoza Associates, where she worked largely on rural development issues. While a Legislative and Policy Analyst at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Sarah’s portfolio included expanding access to mortgage and small business credit. Sarah graduated from the University of Connecticut, School of Law after receiving her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. She has also been a member of the Virginia State Bar since 2009.
Housing Advocacy Organizer
NLIHC is pleased to welcome Brooke Schipporeit to its field team as its newest housing advocacy organizer. Brooke comes to NLIHC from Nebraska by way of Philadelphia, PA, where she spent the last few years supporting state and local coalitions in their efforts to achieve solutions to housing poverty. Specifically, she worked as an MSW intern with the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, informing and mobilizing coalition members to advance equitable housing policy. Then she worked as Philadelphia’s regional housing coordinator for the Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania, focusing on expanding affordable and accessible housing options for people with disabilities and older adults. Prior to beginning her career in affordable housing, Brooke spent time working in direct services in Nebraska for both the Head Start program and a domestic violence shelter. Brooke earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Web/Graphic Design Specialist
[email protected] | (202) 662-1530
Lauren will work with the NLIHC communications team and be responsible for managing NLIHC websites and electric communications, designing print and electronic publications and materials, developing, and maintaining the NLIHC brand through all external materials and assisting with the development and execution of communications and marketing strategies.
Prior to joining NLIHC, Lauren was the freelance graphic designer. During her time as a freelancer, Lauren worked with small and large clients including Superbowl XLIV Miami, T3 Micro, The Agency and Gensler. She was also the in-house graphic designer for Stream Realty’s Washington D.C. office, creating over 30 custom brands for high end office buildings. Lauren used her talents in a wide variety of designs disciplines while at Stream including print, web, digital, packaging and environmental design, some of which can still be seen around the city.
Lauren is a graduate of Brigham Young University - Hawaii, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in art with an emphasis in graphic design. While at Brigham Young University – Hawaii she worked for over two years as a layout artist at Ke Alakai’, the universities award winning magazine publication.
Project Coordinator for ERASE
[email protected] | (202) 662-1530
NLIHC is pleased to welcome Jade Vasquez as project coordinator for the End Rental Arears to Stop Evictions (ERASE) project. Jade will work with NLIHC’s ERASE team to advance the Coalition’s mission and ensure that the historic emergency rental assistance appropriated by Congress reaches the lowest-income and most marginalized renters it is intended.
Prior to joining NLIHC, Jade was a policy manager for a New York City mayoral campaign, where she served as the lead for the candidate’s housing, immigration, and public safety platforms. In this role, Jade managed relationships with policy experts, local advocates, and community leaders to develop data-driven policies that reflect community voices. She previously served as a program and research associate for Internationals Network for Public Schools, a national nonprofit that supports public schools for recently arrived immigrants. Jade got her start in grassroots organizing and community development in the Peace Corps, where she developed educational, recreational, and vocational programs for youth in rural El Salvador.
Jade is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she received her master’s degree in Global Policy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. As a graduate student, Jade dedicated her research to U.S. immigration and global migration issues, international security, housing affordability, and voting rights. Jade received her bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Spanish from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Chantelle Wilkinson comes to NLIHC from New York where she worked as a budget analyst for the state legislature. There she assisted with enacting housing and transportation policies. In 2016, she worked on the Breathing Lights Campaign with the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society. The campaign highlighted the issues of dilapidated vacant housing in the capital region of New York State and spurred collaboration from many sectors including the arts, community organizations, neighborhood ambassadors, project administrators, and government officials. Chantelle received her BA in Political Science with minors in Latin American/ Caribbean Studies and Spanish, and her MA in Public Administration, both from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany.
Renee M. Willis
Renee M. Willis is NLIHC’s senior vice president for racial equity, diversity and inclusion. In this role, Renee works to ensure that NLIHC’s commitment to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion is woven through its culture, policies, programs, and practices. She also leads NLIHC’s intensified engagement of renters with low-incomes and people with lived-experience with homelessness and housing instability. From June 2015 to September 2021, Renee served as NLIHC’s vice president for field and communications. In 2020, she served as a fellow with the Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Institute and joined a network of advocates working on race equity issues across the country.
Renee brings more than twenty years of experience in affordable housing, including establishing and leading successful community and region-wide initiatives. Renee has extensive experience in strategic planning, financial management, marketing, organizational development, staff management, and program operations. Renee previously served as housing services chief with Arlington County, Virginia; administrator of the Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs for Montgomery County, Maryland; and as advocate and manager for the Public Justice Center’s Tenant Advocacy Project. Renee earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Spanish from the University of Maryland. She also holds a Certificate in Public Management from George Washington University.
Senior Research Analyst
[email protected] | (202) 662-1530
Rebecca will work with the research team to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of state and local emergency rental assistance programs and other housing-related responses to COVID-19.
Rebecca is a recent graduate of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Michigan. During her graduate program, she worked on issues related to housing, regional planning, governance, racial equity, and coastal resiliency. As part of her capstone project, Rebecca supported União dos Movimentos de Moradia, São Paulo (Union of Housing Movements, São Paulo), União Nacional por Moradia Popular (National Union for Popular Housing), and Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra Leste 1 (Movement of Landless Workers of East District 1) in advocating for and enhancing a national legal framework for self-managed housing and collective property in Brazil. Prior to graduate school, Rebecca supported communities in identifying and addressing significant community health needs and evaluating health-related initiatives. Her work in community health led her to focus on social determinants of health and the intersection of health, housing, and urban policy. Rebecca received her B.A. in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.