Louise Langheier (bio)
Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder
In 2003, Louise co-founded Peer Health Exchange, Inc. (PHE) in order to help fill a gap left by underfunded, understaffed health education programs in public high schools nationwide. As Chief Executive Officer, Louise is primarily responsible for leading PHE’s national growth plan, building and managing the PHE Staff and Boards, raising funds, and providing fiscal and organizational oversight. Louise graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History. While at Yale, she co-founded and directed Community Health Educators, the student volunteer program out of which PHE grew. Louise was selected as a member of the 2011 class of Aspen Entrepreneurial Education Fellows, and was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2012. Louise sits on the Board of Directors of Generation Citizen and America Achieves, and is actively involved with Dwight Hall at Yale-Yale’s Center for Public Service and Social Justice.
Mia Arakaki (bio)
Senior Training Development Manager
As the Senior Training Development Manager, Mia’s primary responsibility is to oversee the development and support of PHE’s volunteer training model. Mia returned to the Bay Area, where she was born and raised, after committing the last decade to improving educational outcomes for youth in New Orleans. Most recently, Mia worked as the Dean of Curriculum & Instruction at KIPP Central City Primary. Prior to joining KIPP, Mia taught kindergarten and Algebra I and served as a Corps Member Advisor, Manager of Teacher Leadership Development and School Director with Teach For America, where she supported 1st and 2nd year teachers across the Greater New Orleans region. Mia graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Political Science and East Asian Studies and then earned her Master’s in Public School Administration from Columbia University.
Eve Bostick (bio)
Eve joined Peer Health Exchange in January 2014. As PHE’s Systems Analyst, Eve is responsible for managing and improving the usability and effectiveness of PHE’s program and revenue data management systems. Prior to joining PHE, Eve completed fellowships with Mission Graduates and Taproot Foundation focused on streamlining internal data and knowledge management systems. She first became interested in using data to drive decision-making in nonprofit environments while teaching in charter schools as a Teach For America corps member. In addition to teaching high school math, she served on the data team and as math department chair. Eve graduated from UCLA’s College Honors Program with a B.A. in Business Economics and Accounting.
Louisa Brown (bio)
Director of Communications
Louisa joined Peer Health Exchange in November 2011. As Director of Communications, Louisa is primarily responsible for leading PHE’s communication strategies and brand management. Prior to joining the PHE team, Louisa served as Manager of Corporate Affairs at BELL, a national nonprofit that operates high-quality summer and after school learning programs in urban schools. In this role, Louisa was responsible for developing and managing partnerships with BELL’s corporate donors and volunteers. Louisa spent her first year at BELL as a New Sector Alliance Resident in Social Enterprise, a residency program that places and supports early career professionals in capacity-building roles at nonprofit organizations. Louisa graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE).
Gia Coelho (bio)
Gia Coelho joined Peer Health Exchange in October of 2014. As the Development Manager, she supports the Senior External Affairs Staff in the implementation of fundraising strategy, researching and engaging individual and institutional prospects, strengthening data and knowledge management practices, and assisting with communications and event planning. Gia earned a BA in Business Administration from Pune University, and spent many years working for the Times of India program, Newspaper in Education, where she taught students a variety of social and behavioral subjects through art and creative learning workshops. She also volunteered with organizations that provided support to children afflicted with Polio and young women rescued from human trafficking, by raising awareness and funds for their missions.
After earning a degree in Design in Canada, Gia moved to Washington DC where she completed her MBA in Marketing. Prior to joining PHE, she worked for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the Government of the District of Columbia, serving the people of DC and multiple District agencies. She brings her passion for public health and development, and her knowledge of public service to the PHE External Affairs Team.
Katie Davis (bio)
Individual Giving Manager
Katie joined Peer Health Exchange in December 2014. As the Individual Giving Associate, she is responsible for managing PHE’s Individual Giving portfolio at the National level, crafting individual giving best practices and strategies across the organization, and supporting senior External Affairs staff in reaching key fundraising deliverables. Prior to joining PHE, Katie served as the Operations & Communications Manager at Health Connected, a sexual health education nonprofit based in San Mateo County. In this role, Katie oversaw Health Connected’s institutional and individual development operations, as well as managed the organization’s marketing communications and office operations. Katie was raised in the Boston suburbs and holds a B.A. in Gender & Sexuality Studies from Brown University, where she served as a volunteer sex educator in local public high schools.
Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare (bio)
Senior Director of Talent
Tina joined PHE in November 2014. As the Sr. Director of Talent, she is responsible for overseeing all aspects of PHE talent, including talent acquisition, retention, development, management of core HR processes and policies, and partnering in the development and implementation of PHE’s human capital strategy. Tina has over 8 years of human resources experience in corporate, consulting, and non-profit industries. A native of Oakland, CA (by way of Philadelphia) she earned a B.B.A from Temple University’s Fox School of Business & Management with a double concentration in International Business Administration and Human Resources Management. Prior to joining PHE, she returned to Oakland from Chicago to serve as the Director, Human Assets for Education Pioneers, a national non-profit that develops leaders and managers to transform the education sector, where she supported the organization through a high-growth period by coaching and consulting managers and senior leaders on talent-focused areas including workforce & succession planning, employee relations, staffing, leave administration and performance management. Tina is a passionate community philanthropist with leadership experience with several professional & non-profit organizations. Her passion for youth development and education was ignited during her time as an Instructor for Temple Youth VOICES, a youth civic engagement program focused on education, leadership development, and collaborative research. Prior to her post-graduate roles, Tina completed international internships in South Africa and Italy focused on human resources strategy, international marketing, and cross-cultural interaction.
Courtney Garcia (bio)
Chief Operating Officer
Courtney joined Peer Health Exchange in July 2011. As Chief Operating Officer, Courtney is primarily responsible for overseeing all PHE operations by supervising PHE sites and programs, overseeing the implementation of PHE’s strategic plan, managing human resources, designing and managing internal systems, and working closely with the PHE VP of Finance to track budgets to organizational goals. Prior to joining PHE, Courtney Schroeder served as National Director of Program for BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), a national nonprofit that partners with schools to create high-quality summer and after school programs for students most in need of academic support. In this role, she led program strategy, curriculum, staff training, program evaluation, and innovation. Prior to BELL, Courtney worked with Aspire Public Schools, a nonprofit charter school management organization in California. At Aspire, she focused on expanding after school and academic intervention programs. She also worked with PUC Schools in Los Angeles, implementing early infrastructure and systems. Courtney began her work in public education with NewSchools Venture Fund. As a Senior Analyst for the fund, she focused on investment strategy, due diligence, and supporting portfolio organizations. Courtney started her career in strategy consulting with Swander Pace & Company (now Kurt Salmon), working with consumer products clients to evaluate corporate growth strategy. Courtney graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Public Policy. She also earned an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and an M.A. from Stanford University School of Education.
Dr. Angela Glymph (bio)
Managing Director of Evaluation and Organizational Learning
Angela joined Peer Health Exchange in February of 2014. As the Managing Director of Evaluation and Organizational Learning, she is responsible for leading the evaluation of PHE’s program and strategic programmatic investments, and facilitating organizational learning and program improvements based on the results. Angela has 10 years of combined experience in the fields of program evaluation, psychological and educational research, educational assessment, statistics, and psychometrics. Prior to joining PHE, Angela worked for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which is the statistical arm of the US Department of Education. At NCES, Angela worked on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), where she was responsible for the design, analysis, reporting, and dissemination of NAEP assessment data, as well as managing quality assurance activities and program evaluation work in NAEP. She is published, and frequently asked to make presentations and sit on professional panels based on her expertise in her field. Angela has a doctorate and Master’s degree in psychology from Howard University and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Molly Greene (bio)
Vice President of Programs
Molly joined Peer Health Exchange in June 2007. As the VP of Programs, she is responsible for the development, management, growth, and evaluation of PHE’s program, as well as the oversight of the strategic programmatic investments that will deepen the organization’s impact. Prior to this role, Molly held two other roles on PHE’s National Program Team: Managing Director of Teaching and Learning (2011-2013) and National Director of Program Development (2010-2011). Before joining the National staff in July 2010, she was PHE’s Boston Executive Director for three years. Molly graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a M.Ed. in Higher Education, where she was a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship, and Amherst College with a B.A. in American Studies. Prior to joining PHE, Molly spent five years working with WorldTeach; first as a volunteer teacher in Ecuador, next as the Marketing, Admissions and Alumni Director at the headquarters in Cambridge, MA, and finally as the National Field Director in Ecuador in charge of training and supporting one hundred volunteer teachers.
Lorin Heller (bio)
Lorin Heller joined Peer Health Exchange in December of 2014. As the Senior Accountant, he supports PHE by paying our bills, recording donations, properly classifying expenses, reconciling accounts, producing monthly reports, filing financial documents, supporting the audit, and ensuring compliance with PHE’s policies and procedures. He earned a BA in History and Psychology from UC Davis and a MS in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from CSU: Sacramento, completed a certificate program in Advanced Accounting at Santa Clara University, and has passed all four CPA exam sections. He has worked at Goodwill and Rubicon Programs in quality assurance roles and, most recently, at Marin City Community Development Corp. as a Fiscal Manager. He also currently serves on the School Site Council at Henry Haight Elementary in Alameda. He brings his passion for providing strong background support to agencies with powerful social impact to PHE.
Morgan Holland (bio)
Morgan joined Peer Health Exchange in March 2015. As the Communications Associate, Morgan is primarily responsible for supporting PHE communication strategies and brand management. Prior to joining the PHE team, Morgan provided direct social services to youth within schools in San Francisco and Los Angeles. As a school social worker, Morgan supported individuals, groups, and families while providing mental health services focused on educational outcomes. Morgan has also provided mental health and health education services to U.S. Veterans. Prior to receiving her MSW, Morgan held roles in communications within the health and wellness field at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Healthygirl.org. Morgan graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Public Health and Psychology, and has a Masters in Social Work from UCLA.
James Lin (bio)
Talent and Sites Manager
James joined Peer Health Exchange in July 2013. As the Talent and Sites manager, he is responsible for providing leadership and support on talent acquisition and retention efforts, planning and executing internal communications and staff events, and local site research and sustainability work. Before joining the National staff in February 2015, he was a Boston Program Manager for one and a half years. James graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in International Relations and Psychology. Prior to joining PHE, James was part of AmeriCorps National Direct where he served as a computer literacy instructor in Chicago working with low-income, adult, immigrant populations for two years.
Emily Gasner Medress (bio)
Vice President of External Affairs
Emily joined Peer Health Exchange in August 2009. As the Vice President of External Affairs, Emily is primarily responsible for leading PHE’s external affairs strategy and team, raising funds, generating revenue, and overseeing communications. Before joining the External Affairs team, Emily was PHE’s Bay Area Executive Director for four years and PHE’s founding Los Angeles Executive Director for two years. Emily graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Political Science. Prior to PHE, Emily interned at NARAL Pro-Choice California, the ACLU of Northern California, and Human Rights Watch. She was honored by Planned Parenthood in June of 2009 for her work as a student activist.
Babak Motie (bio)
Vice President of Finance and Administration
Babak joined Peer Health Exchange in June 2015. Prior to joining Peer Health Exchange, Babak was the Chief Financial Officer for Roots of Peace, a nongovernmental organization with a mission to restore economic vitality by creating livelihood opportunities in post-conflict regions. Prior to that, Babak was the Director of Finance and Operations at the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, where he facilitated a multi-year, multi-million dollar capital campaign. Babak started his career in public accounting assisting local, national, and international for-profit and nonprofit organizations with accounting and tax planning, as well as management consulting and mergers and acquisitions. Babak is a certified Public Accountant, and holds a Master’s in Taxation.
Kai Paine (bio)
Kai joined Peer Health Exchange in March 2015. As the Executive Assistant, Kai provides high-level executive support to the CEO, COO, and CEA, as well as to the External Affairs team, PHE’s National Board, and the National Office. Prior to joining PHE, Kai has worked at several startups in the Bay Area that focus on the intersection of food and health. Kai volunteers with Slow Food SF both as a member of the planning committee of the annual Childhood Obesity Bay Area conference, and as the co-chair of the organization’s new School Garden Initiative. She also volunteers with Girls on the Run as a running coach for elementary school girls, and as a member of the 5K planning committee. Kai received her B.A. in Modern Languages from Trinity College, where she wrote her thesis on the organic food movements in Italy and Germany.
Ann Peralta (bio)
Director of Program Planning and Support
As the Director of Program Planning and Support, Ann is responsible for ensuring program leaders in all PHE city sites have the training, coaching, and support they need to provide the highest quality programming possible. Ann stepped into this role after serving as the Boston Program Director at Peer Health Exchange for three years. Prior to her work at Peer Health Exchange, Ann ran a school-based obesity prevention program called Fitness Forward, taught health education to adolescent and adult women as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia, and worked with a number of other non-profits in the public health and poverty alleviation fields. Ann has a BA in Economics from The George Washington University and an MPH in Maternal and Child Health from Boston University. In addition to working at Peer Health Exchange, Ann is an active member of the American Public Health Association and is pursuing a DrPH in Management, Leadership, and Policy at the Boston University School of Public Health part-time.
Robin Rich (bio)
Managing Director of Talent
Robin joined Peer Health Exchange in January 2011. As the Vice President of Talent and Sites, Robin is primarily responsible for overseeing all PHE City Sites by managing City Executive Directors against their programmatic, external affairs, and management responsibilities, lead growth to new City Sites in support of PHE’s strategic plan, serve as the key organizational thought leader on talent, and oversee the talent and HR team. Before joining the National staff in November 2013, she was PHE’s Boston Executive Director for three years. Robin has an M.S. in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and was awarded the Dean’s Emerging Leader Award upon graduation. She also holds a B.A. from Macalester College. Prior to joining PHE, Robin worked as the Director of Development at Crittenton Women’s Union in Boston and as a Development Manager at Philadelphia-based Fairmount Ventures, a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in resource and organizational development. Before her work in consulting, Robin worked as the Assistant Executive Director for the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts.
Leah Tarran (bio)
Curriculum Development Manager
Leah Tarran joined in July 2014. As the Curriculum Development Manager, she will manage all of PHE’s development work on our new 9th grade curriculum, curriculum pilots and possible future curricula. Prior to Peer Health Exchange, Leah worked as a Program Manager at Brighter Beginnings where she led curriculum development on topics including financial literacy and health, specializing in working with pregnant and parenting teens in low-income communities. She has also worked in rural Kenya as a Program Intern for the Carr Education Foundation, researching and developing a comprehensive leadership curriculum for girls. Following her master’s program, Leah served as an AmeriCorps volunteer as an advocate for refugee populations in Oakland, CA. Leah graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Family Studies & Human Development, and from University of Sydney (Australia) with a Master of Public Health concentrating on Project Management.
Chris Vargas (bio)
Operations and IT Coordinator
Chris joined Peer Health Exchange in July 2015. As the Operation and IT Coordinator, Chris is responsible for supporting operations and IT projects at PHE across all cities. Chris is a recent graduate of the Year Up program, and completed his internship with Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA. Chris is looking forward to starting college later this year.
Lisa Walker (bio)
Managing Director of Program Development and Support
Lisa joined PHE in October of 2011. As the Managing Director of Program Development and Support at Peer Health Exchange (PHE), Lisa manages the development and continual improvement of PHE’s direct service program model, both the standard program and innovations designed to deepen our impact in the future. Lisa previously worked for Teach For America (TFA), first coaching new teachers and then leading recruitment campaigns. Prior to joining TFA staff, she taught at a bilingual school in the Bronx, New York, as a TFA corps member. Lisa graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Government, and from Pace University with a M.S. in Teaching.
Hannah Wilson (bio)
Institutional Giving Manager
Hannah joined Peer Health Exchange in April 2014. As a Chicago Program Assistant, she is primarily responsible for supporting the PHE Chicago program staff by managing program operations, data and evaluation, and assisting on other special projects. Hannah graduated from Middlebury college with a B.A. In Literary Studies. During her time there, she spent a semester studying Gender, Health, and Development in Bamako, Mali. Prior to joining PHE, Hannah completed a year of AmeriCorps through Coach Across America at Chicago Run where she managed programming in CPS elementary schools and helped develop a “Family Fit Kit”. Additionally, she worked with MGR Youth Development to integrate the principals of Sports-Based Youth Development into their existing Active Health programming. A firm believer in the power of youth to change communities, Hannah is excited to continue empowering Chicago’s youth to make healthy decisions with PHE.
Liam Day (bio)
Bay Area Executive Director
Liam joined Peer Health Exchange as the Bay Area Executive Director in December 2015. Before joining PHE, he served as Partnership Director for an initiative in Boston that integrates the services of a community health center and a charter public school. Prior to that, he served in multiple capacities with the Boston Public Health Commission, including Director of Child and Adolescent Health and Director of Youth Development and Health Promotion. He graduated from Harvard College with B.A. in American History and from Middlebury College with an M.A. in English.
Shayna Asher-Schapiro (bio)
Bay Area Program Manager
Shayna joined Peer Health Exchange in July of 2015. As a Bay Area Program Manager, Shayna is primarily responsible for assisting with the development, management, growth, and evaluation of the Bay Area program. Shayna was first introduced to PHE as an undergraduate at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where she volunteered as both a Health Educator and a two-time Leadership Councilmember. Shayna has also worked extensively in the criminal justice field through internships at the ACLU of Southern California, Incarcerated Voices, and Gemma, a reentry program in Santa Cruz County. At Gemma, Shayna designed a program model and policy proposal for the county’s first male-centered reentry program, which was successfully implemented in the summer of 2012. Most recently, Shayna spent two years working as a Case Manager for the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, providing support services to formerly homeless adults in San Francisco. Shayna holds a B.A. in Sociology from Occidental College.
Narmin Nuru (bio)
Bay Area Program Manager
Narmin joined Peer Health Exchange in July 2014. As a Bay Area Program Manager, Narmin is primarily responsible for assisting with the development, management, growth, and evaluation of the Bay Area program. She works primarily with volunteers at St. Mary’s College and San Francisco State. Prior to joining PHE, Narmin spent two years working as a Program Manager at the Alameda County Food Bank where she was responsible for managing 250 partner agencies, building their capacity to implement the food bank’s programming. Narmin has previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Youth Leadership Institute in SF, Youth Community Organizer at People’s Community Services in Detroit, and a Program and Health Coordinator at Red Sea Social Services in Anaheim. Narmin’s commitment to social justice, health and youth empowerment is inspired by her own identities and upbringing, having been the daughter of East African refugees, playing key roles in civic engagement and advocacy efforts from her teenage years with the immigrant and refugee communities throughout California. She is also passionate about the Bay Area, and is committed to the well-being of its’ youth and communities in both her professional and personal time. Narmin has a BA in International Development and Mass Communications from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan, where she was also a National Community Scholar.
Kristopher Stevens (bio)
Bay Area Program Associate
Kristopher joined Peer Health Exchange in July of 2015 and currently serves as the Bay Area Program Associate. Kristopher is responsible for providing support to other members of the program team, managing key program operations and materials, supporting region-specific strategic investments, and supporting External Affairs efforts in the Bay Area. Kristopher graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Legal Studies. Before joining Peer Health Exchange, Kristopher was an intern with East Oakland Building Healthy Communities and Kaiser Permanente. Kristopher is passionate about community health, and closing the healthcare gap within Bay Area neighborhoods.
Rachel Wyley (bio)
Bay Area Program Director
Rachel joined Peer Health Exchange in July of 2014 and serves as the Bay Area Program Director. Rachel is primarily responsible for leading the development, management, growth, and evaluation of the Bay Area program. Prior to joining PHE, Rachel worked for four years in Oakland, California as a Teaching Fellow and later, Campus Direct for Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization. Rachel has committed over a decade to working to improve educational access for youth in various low income communities throughout Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Atlanta. Rachel received her B.A. in English and African American Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Genevieve Mack (bio)
Boston Executive Director
Genevieve joined Peer Health Exchange in November of 2013. Genevieve spent the first seven years of her professional career as a classroom teacher at both the elementary and secondary levels. Throughout her time in the classroom, she became passionate about urban educational issues and saw, first-hand, the immense challenges facing and the lack of resources available to teens in low-income communities. In 2008, Genevieve left the classroom and joined the Boston staff of Summer Search- a national leadership development program for low-income teenagers. During her five and a half years at Summer Search, Genevieve held a variety of program, fundraising and management roles, including mentoring over 50 high school students in Boston area high schools. As the Boston Executive Director, Genevieve’s primary responsibilities include managing, evaluating and growing the PHE Boston program, fundraising, providing fiscal and organizational oversight for the PHE Boston site, managing the Boston Program Director, and working with and growing the Boston Board of Overseers. Genevieve holds a BA in Education Studies and American Studies from Skidmore College and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education from Brown University.
Kassie Eberle Bettinelli (bio)
Boston Program Director
Kassie joined Peer Health Exchange in June 2012 and served as a Boston Program Manager for two years. Kassie currently serves as the Boston Program Director and is responsible for leading the PHE program in Boston by developing, managing, growing, and evaluating the PHE Boston Program. Kassie has a B.A in Music Performance from Butler University and a Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining PHE, Kassie worked as the Community Program Manager at From the Top in Boston and as a Girls’ Education and Empowerment Extension Agent with the Peace Corps in Togo. Before her work with the Peace Corps, Kassie worked as a K-8 Music/Arts Teacher.
Bridget Copes (bio)
Bridget joined Peer Health Exchange in January 2015. As Boston’s Development Manager, Bridget supports the Boston Executive Director in managing individual and institutional prospect research, engagement, and securing of funds; strengthening data and knowledge management practices; assisting with communications and event planning; and implementing the alumni engagement strategy. Bridget earned her BA in English from Georgetown University and her Master of Social Work in Health and Organizational Development from Washington University in St. Louis. While at Georgetown, she coordinated an orientation program focused on social justice issues and community service in DC. After graduation, she completed a year of national service through Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest at a daytime drop-in shelter for adults experiencing homelessness in Tacoma, WA. She then moved to DC to work on the development team at Women’s Campaign Fund, a non-profit and affiliated political action committee committed to increasing women’s political representation. Most recently, she taught sexuality education and worked on gender equity initiatives at Vanderbilt University.
Sara Mruz (bio)
Boston Program Manager
Sara joined Peer Health Exchange in January 2014. As the Boston Program Manager, Sara is primarily responsible for supporting the development, management, growth, and evaluation of the Boston program. Sara graduated from Georgia College and State University with a B.A. in Sociology. Prior to joining Peer Health Exchange, Sara interned in New Zealand for Educa, an organization that creates online portfolios that track the growth and development of students at an early childhood center. Most recently, Sara served as a marketing intern at The Venetian. Sara brings her passion for being active to her work at PHE and is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Boston.
Danya Rosen (bio)
Chicago Executive Director
Danya has nearly a decade of experience in non-profit management across both the direct service and advocacy sectors. She joined Peer Health Exchange in November 2010. As the Chicago Executive Director, Danya is primarily responsible for the development, management, growth, and evaluation of the PHE Chicago program, raising funds, managing and growing the Chicago Board of Overseers, and providing fiscal and organizational oversight for PHE Chicago. Danya previously served as PHE’s Senior Director of Development in San Francisco, California. Prior to joining PHE, Danya spent over four years at Peace Action West as the Deputy Outreach Director, where she was responsible for overseeing California-based programming. While at PAW, she lobbied for disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability’s DC Days, and managed the GOTV efforts for the 2006 CA-11 race through Peace Action West’s political action committee.
Danya graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology. She is a member of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs’ JCore, the Chicago Foundation for Women’s LBTQ Giving Council, the Chicago Department of Public Health’s Adolescent Health Access Committee, and is a 2016 YNPN Chicago Leadership Institute Mentor.
Clare Austen-Smith (bio)
Chicago Senior Program Manager
Clare joined the Peer Health Exchange in October 2013. As a Senior Chicago Program Manager, Clare is primarily responsible for assisting with the development, management, growth, and evaluation of the Chicago program, focusing specifically on University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago. Clare graduated from Tulane University with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Studio Art. During her time in New Orleans, she launched a successful grassroots anti-violence campaign that worked to improve the safety conditions in the Uptown area of New Orleans. Prior to joining PHE, Clare was a field organizer for the 2012 Obama Campaign in Ohio and worked with the Admissions Department at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University to introduce transgender inclusive language to their application as well as designate gender neutral bathrooms on campus. Clare is thrilled to be working for PHE in her hometown of Chicago.
Elizabeth Finlayson (bio)
Chicago External Affairs Associate
Elizabeth Finlayson joined Peer Health Exchange in March of 2014. As the Chicago External Affairs Associate, she supports the Chicago Executive Director in the implementation of the site’s local fundraising strategy, including researching and engaging individual and institutional prospects, strengthening data and knowledge management practices, and assisting with communications and event planning. Elizabeth brings with her 13 years’ worth of experience as a fundraiser as well as a consultant and non-profit professional coach. With experience at small and mid-sized non-profits, she has a passion for helping organizations develop new fundraising programs and professionals navigate the rocky waters of non-profit life. Elizabeth has worked in every area of development culminating in running a department. She is excited to be developing organizational relationships for PHE Chicago.
Brittany Merritt (bio)
Chicago Program Director
Brittany joined Peer Health Exchange in September 2013. As the Chicago Program Director, Brittany is responsible for leading the PHE program in Chicago by developing, managing, growing and evaluating the PHE Chicago Program, managing the PHE Chicago Program team and assisting with the development and execution of strategic plans. Prior to joining PHE, Brittany was a Senior Program & Event Coordinator in Community Recreation at the Chicago Park District. She was tasked with researching, planning, and leading the execution of community recreations new initiatives such as emerging program offerings and integrating youth program quality and performance measurement into management. Her experience includes positions at CBS Radio (Chicago Bears Radio Network), Comcast SportsNet, Intersport and with Northwestern University Athletics focusing on sports marketing and sports management. An advocate and enthusiast for non-traditional sports as well, she is a former director and coach for the Illinois Girls Lacrosse Association as well as an assistant director of operations for Chicago Youth Lacrosse. She is passionate about increased health, self-esteem, academic performance, responsible social behaviors and leadership skills for youth, especially girls. Brittany has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Howard University where she played lacrosse and a Master of Arts in Sports Administration from Northwestern University.
Michael Sugihara (bio)
Chicago Program Manager
Michael joined Peer Health Exchange in July 2014. As a Chicago Program Manager, Michael is primarily responsible for assisting with the development, management, growth, and evaluation of the Chicago program and assisting the Chicago Executive Director and Program Director. Michael graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Policy Analysis and Management. While at Cornell and abroad, he developed a heart for serving low-income, high-risk communities through the lens of public health, operating in the intersection of economic and social factors of health. Serving as an intern with The Global Orphan Project further expanded his view of healthy communities, families, and children, and allowed him to experience rural America and fundraising with fresh perspective. Prior to joining the PHE team, Michael served as a Corps Member with City Year Chicago. As a mentor and Biology instructor for high school students on Chicago’s West Side, he worked to provide opportunities and space for students to engage in academic and leadership development, multiple approaches to learning, and social and emotional growth. Michael brings a passion for understanding of holistic approaches to health and how strong organization and evaluation methods enhance the effectiveness of public health programs and interventions.
Choya Webb (bio)
Chicago Program Fellow
Choya joined Peer Health Exchange in September of 2015 and currently serves as a Chicago Program Fellow through New Sector, an AmeriCorps program. He is responsible for strengthening the Chicago program by managing key program operations and materials, assisting with volunteer recruitment and training, managing program data and evaluation, and working on other special projects. Choya received his B.A. in Africana Studies and International Studies with a focus on Global Health and the Environment from the University of Michigan. During his time there he worked as a Research Assistant at the School of Public Health on a project examining African-American teenage fathers’ relationships with their children, assisting with community outreach and literature reviews. Prior to that, Choya had been involved in civic engagement activism by hosting open political forums at his local community college. He is passionate about informing underrepresented communities about healthy lifestyles and how to make their wellbeing a daily priority.
Amita Swadhin (bio)
Los Angeles Executive Director
Prior to joining Peer Health Exchange in May 2012, Amita served as the Coordinator and a cast member of Secret Survivors, a theater project she conceived of in 2009 for the NYC-based off-off Broadway Ping Chong & Co. featuring survivors of child sexual abuse telling their stories. She previously held positions in New York City nonprofits and public institutions, including Kingsborough Community College (CUNY), Make the Road NY, Global Kids and Legal Momentum, served as the Board Chair of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, and served as a consultant to a number of foundations, nonprofits and schools. Amita is the co-host of Flip the Script, a weekly radio show on KPFK-LA, a member of the Peace Over Violence Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Advisory Council, a member of the Liberty Hill Foundation’s OUT Fund, and enjoys writing poetry and essays in her spare time. She holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an M.P.A. from the NYU Wagner School, where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.
LaDawn Best (bio)
Los Angeles Program Director
LaDawn Best joined Peer Health Exchange in June 2013. As the Los Angeles Program Director, she is responsible for leading strategic investments, effectively implementing the PHE program, and supporting the Los Angeles Executive Director in executing the local strategic plan. Prior to her work at PHE, LaDawn worked at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project, where she assisted LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking and was responsible for training thousands of service providers on the barriers faced by LGBTQ survivors. Her prior experience includes serving as the Girls Leadership Coordinator for REACH L.A., where she worked with youth of color in Los Angeles to develop their leadership, knowledge and communication skills in the area of reproductive justice and public policy, and serving on boards for a number of national, statewide and community-based organizations, including Q-TEAM, an LGBTQ youth of color multi-issue organizing collective, the National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC), the Los Angeles HIV Youth Coalition, and the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. LaDawn was also Co-Chair of the Multicultural and Underserved Communities Committee of the Los Angeles City Domestic Violence Task Force, and is a former Fellow of the California Women’s Policy Institute. She has a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Antioch University Los Angeles and a Master of Arts in Education, with an emphasis on Leadership and Change.
New York Executive Director
Rachael joined Peer Health Exchange in December of 2012. As the New York City Executive Director, Rachael is primarily responsible for developing, managing, growing, and evaluating the PHE New York City program as well as managing the New York City Program team, raising funds, managing and growing the New York City Board Overseers, and providing fiscal and organizational oversight for PHE New York City . Prior to joining PHE, Rachael worked for the HEAT Program at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where she led a new program focused on engaging women of color who are HIV positive in their medical care using peer outreach workers. Before working for HEAT, she managed a peer program at Project Reach Youth (PRY) providing sexual health education to youth in Brooklyn. Rachael started her career in public health when she spent a year volunteering in South Africa as a peer educator on sexual health issues with Restless Development. Rachael serves on the board of directors of Sadie Nash Leadership Project. She holds Masters degrees in Public Health and Social Work from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.
Sarah Cocuzzo (bio)
New York Community Liaison and Innovation Manager
Sarah joined PHE in August 2012. As the Community Liaison and Innovation Manager, Sarah is responsible for expanding the New York City program and deepening our partnership with the communities we serve. Sarah graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Prior to joining the PHE team, Sarah served as a Community HealthCorps member in NYC with the Institute for Family Health, where she developed and taught comprehensive health education workshops at the four public high schools served by IFH’s school-based health center.
Benjamin Delikat (bio)
New York Program Director
Ben joined Peer Health Exchange in May 2013. As the New York City Program Director, Ben is responsible for leading the development, management, growth, and evaluation of the PHE program in New York. Ben graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in English and Urban Studies. While a student, he served as a Health Educator, Leadership Council Member, and Co-Coordinator for the Fordham PHE Chapter. As part of a research project for the Urban Studies department at Fordham, Ben scrutinized small school reform in New York City and the community effects of current urban education reform trends. Ben brings a passion for athletics and healthy living to his work at PHE, and remains committed to connecting all teens with the resources they need to live healthy lives.
Morayo Faleyimu (bio)
New York Senior Program Manager
Morayo joined Peer Health Exchange in July 2015. As a New York Senior Program Manager, Morayo is primarily responsible for assisting with the development, management, growth and evaluation of the New York Program. Morayo graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Anthropology and Linguistics and holds a M.A. in Social Change and Education from the University of Miami. As a 2009 Teach for America Miami-Dade alumna, Morayo taught lower elementary in Homestead, Florida and Newark, New Jersey. Most recently, she served as a Campus Director for the expanded learning time (ELT) nonprofit Citizen Schools. In her role, she directed the afterschool program at the Bronx Writing Academy middle school, the organization’s largest ELT site in the New York region.
Xaelah Jarrett (bio)
New York Program Manager
Xaelah joined Peer Health Exchange in July 2015. As a New York Program Manager, Xaelah is primarily responsible for assisting with the development, management, growth and evaluation of the New York program. Having graduated with a B.A. from Columbia University in the City of New York in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Psychology, Xaelah developed an early interest in and dedication to understanding modes of social difference and the resulting inequities tied to these various social positions. During her time as an undergraduate, she volunteered with Columbia’s PHE chapter as both a Health Educator and a two-year Leadership Council member, wherein she paid close attention to the use of language and its impacts on both her volunteers and the ninth graders in PHE’s program. In her roles as a facilitator for Columbia’s first-year identity awareness program, Under1Roof, and an executive board member for Proud Colors, a group for queer and trans students of color, she brought both a critical engagement to dialogue and a commitment to peer accountability to these spaces through centering notions of privilege, power, and oppression. She hopes to generate a similar commitment to these discussions of social difference within her New York program peers and college volunteers.
Tamara Joseph (bio)
New York Program Coordinator
Tamara joined PHE in August 2014. In her role as Program Coordinator she is responsible for providing support to the NYC program staff by managing program operations and materials, assisting with the recruitment, training, and assessment of volunteers, and working on other special projects. Tamara received her B.A. in Black Studies and completed a Pre-Health Post-Bac Program, both at Amherst College. During her time there she studied abroad in Brazil, South Africa and Vietnam through the International Honors Program: Health and Community track. She has worked as a Health Access Coordinator in NYC’s Human Resources Administration, conducting outreach to Bronx teens about free reproductive health insurance and gathering research for a reproductive health pamphlet. Tamara has also worked as a Research Assistant for the AIDS Project Los Angeles where she aided in the recruitment and screening of participants for a treatment adherence study.
Britta Seifert (bio)
New York Program Manager
Britta joined Peer Health Exchange in July 2015. As a New York Program Manager, Britta is primarily responsible for assisting with the development, management, growth and evaluation of the New York program. Britta graduated from Kalamazoo College with a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology, concentrating on public health and gender studies. As an undergraduate, she was a co-founder of the Sexual Safety and Support Alliance, and a leader for the LandSea wilderness orientation program. Her interest in health inequities culminated in a senior thesis on racial disparities in infant mortality rates in southern Michigan. Prior to joining Peer Health Exchange, Britta served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Kyrgyz Republic, where she created a youth health educator program in her rural community.