The staff of The Opportunity Agenda is composed of a diverse group of professionals who, together, bring experience and expertise in the areas of communications, research, policy, advocacy, law, fundraising, and administration.


    Alan Jenkins

    President, Co-Founder

    Alan Jenkins is President and Co-Founder of The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice communication lab dedicated to the idea that our nation can and should be a place where everyone enjoys full and equal opportunity. Before joining The Opportunity Agenda, Alan was Director of Human Rights at the Ford Foundation, managing grantmaking in the United States and eleven overseas regions. His prior positions include Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he represented the United States government in constitutional and other litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, and Associate Counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where he defended the rights of low-income communities facing exploitation and discrimination.

    Get to know Alan

    Jamila Brown

    Digital Communications Strategist

    Jamila Brown is an experienced digital strategist and social entrepreneur who specializes in domestic and international advocacy campaigns. As The Opportunity Agenda’s Digital Communications Strategist, Jamila leads the development and implementation of all online platforms and social media outreach and engagement strategies. Working closely with the entire staff, Jamila builds a vibrant online presence that engages existing audiences, reaches new target audiences, and builds The Opportunity Agenda’s online profile and impact.

    Get to know Jamila

    Ellen Buchman

    Vice President, Strategy and Program Impact

    Ellen brings to The Opportunity Agenda a remarkable breadth of expertise, knowledge, experience, and relationships among leaders at the local, state, national and international levels. She comes to the organization from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, the nation's oldest and largest civil and human rights coalition, where she has served as Executive Vice President for Field and Communications and in other key positions since 2003. Ellen started the organization's field and organizing program, and has a range of expertise from serving previously in state and national institutions and campaigns.

    Get to know Ellen

    Will Coley

    Communications Coordinator

    Will comes to this work after many years of producing media, digital strategy, and outreach campaigns for organizations working on immigration reform and human rights. He has created digital storytelling for nonprofit organizations working for social change such as the CultureStrike, Women's Refugee Commission, Detention Watch Network, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

    Get to know Will

    Jennice Colón

    Operations Associate

    Jen brings over 28 years of experience in bookkeeping and office administration in the non-profit and private sectors to her new role as Operations Associate at The Opportunity Agenda. She spent 14 years as Office Manager/IT Administrator at Big Apple Greeter, Inc., before transitioning to serve as Finance and Operations Manager at Educational Video Center, Inc.

    Get to know Jen

    Julie Fisher-Rowe

    Acting Director of Narrative, Training, and Journalism

    Julie oversees the organization’s strategic framing work, translating communications research and theory into practical messaging strategies for advocates and activists. In this role, she works with groups across the country to identify opportunities to build public support for social justice issues and policies. Through a mix of trainings, workshops, tool development and individual discussions, Julie helps social justice groups hone in on the right messages for their goals, audiences, and other organizational needs.

    Get to know Julie

    Rachel Grow

    Executive Coordinator

    As the Executive Coordinator, Rachel plays a significant role in supporting smooth and efficient operations for the Executive Director, as well as working across departments with the Program Directors, serving as the primary contact for all internal and external requests. Aside from relationship management, she maintains oversight and organization of materials, while strategizing solutions and conducting research on relevant topics to present to the appropriate staff. Looking closely at existing organizational structures, she is developing and implementing improved systems and protocols.

    Get to know Rachel

    Michael Paul Jackson

    Media Strategist

    As Media Strategist, Michael is responsible for building and implementing traditional and online media outreach and placement systems at the local, state, and national levels, with a focus on pitching both The Opportunity Agenda staff and key partners. His work includes developing and implementing strategic communications plans for organization-wide programs and project-specific media outreach.

    Get to know Michael

    Elizabeth Johnsen

    Outreach and Editorial Manager

    As the Outreach and Editorial Manager, Elizabeth oversees The Opportunity Agenda's outward-facing platforms including webinars and public programs. She manages the review and distribution process for the organization's distinctive editorial and messaging material, while actively growing The Opportunity Agenda's national network of partners and stakeholders. Working closely with the Director of Creative Strategies and Public Programs, Elizabeth supports the integration of creative strategies across the organization through public programming and content development.

    Get to know Elizabeth

    Tad Kroll

    Development Coordinator

    As the Development Coordinator, Tad is responsible for researching and writing proposals, updates, reports, and other materials to funders. He works to help create and cultivate mutually satisfying relationships with foundation and individual funders through well-crafted and engaging materials and events. He also works with program staff to help improve tracking and evaluation systems to provide the best information to improve programming and demonstrate effectiveness to funders.

    Get to know Tad

    Eva-Marie Malone

    Acting Director for Research and Learning

    As the Acting Director for Research and Learning, Eva-Marie develops a comprehensive and strategically sequenced set of tools and resources to promote The Opportunity Agenda’s internal and external capacity building. Utilizing skills and expertise in organizational development, strategic communications, and technology, Eva-Marie creates innovative training programs.

    Get to know Eva-Marie

    Lucy Odigie-Turley

    Manager of Research and Evaluation

    As the Manager of Research and Evaluation, Lucy oversees the design, planning, and implementation of original public opinion, media, and social media research across our issues areas. In her role, Lucy works to identify new methodologies, content sources, and analytical techniques for tracking both news and entertainment media discourse, and public sentiment overtime. Working closely with our partners in the field, she also works to synthesize existing research, and identify gaps in the literature and field research needs. In her capacity as an evaluator, Lucy works closely with our Acting Director of Research and Evaluation to implement and maintain our organizational evaluation and tracking protocols.

    Get to know Lucy

    Betsy Theobald Richards

    Director of Creative Strategies and Public Programs

    Betsy Theobald Richards directs The Opportunity Agenda's Creative Strategies and Public Programs. She brings over two decades of experience in philanthropy, theater, museums, arts education, media, and community advocacy to her role. Before joining The Opportunity Agenda, Betsy spent over seven years as a Program Officer in Media, Arts, and Culture at the Ford Foundation, overseeing a national portfolio on indigenous and place-based arts organizations and cultural communities. Previously, she served as the inaugural Director of Public Programs for the Pequot Museum, the country's largest Native American museum and research center. In addition, she has run two theater companies and directed on stages in New York, Los Angeles and Canada.

    Get to know Betsy

    Sara Stuart

    Interim Chief of Staff

    Sara Stuart is Interim Chief of Staff at The Opportunity Agenda and a member of its Steering Committee. She has served as Director of Development and Communications at Equality Now, an organization advancing legal equality for women and girls around the world: at Union Settlement, the oldest and largest social service provider in East Harlem; at Citizens Union, a good government watchdog organization, and at Center for Community Alternatives, a leader for innovative criminal justice solutions and alternatives to incarceration.

    Get to know Sara

    Daria Tavana

    Development Associate

    Daria Tavana is a writer and nonprofit professional with a strong background in communications and event production. As the Development Associate with The Opportunity Agenda, she utilizes organizational storytelling to produce development-related events. Daria works with the Development Team to identify fundraising opportunities and support greater development outreach including managing the organization's major gift program.

    Get to know Daria

    Janelle Treibitz

    Creative Engagement Coordinator

    Janelle Treibitz is a political organizer, facilitator, and puppeteer who builds cultural strategies for social movements. In her role as Creative Engagement Coordinator, she helps coordinate events, convenings, and collaborations which build artist-activist networks and develop new strategic creative projects.

    Get to know Janelle

    Jessica Wells-Hasan

    Director of Development

    Jessica has over 13 years of experience in fundraising, management, external relations, and operations at leading New York City non-profits, with a focus on raising funds for underserved youth and other disadvantaged groups. She has secured millions of dollars of new and increased funding for effective organizations working in education, mentoring, youth development, the arts, and the environment, including at Barnard College, The Juilliard School, Theatre Development Fund, the National Audubon Society, and Girls Write Now.  

    Get to know Jess

    Bridget Whelan

    Training and Engagement Coordinator

    Bridget Whelan brings journalism, media relations, training, and nonprofit capacity-building experience to her role as training and engagement coordinator at The Opportunity Agenda. She previously worked as communications director for the North Carolina Conservation Network, coordinating messaging, strategy, and communications efforts for nearly 100 environmental groups in the state. She is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who worked on television and digital news platforms at Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh, NC before leaving news to advocate for a more equitable and just world. Bridget holds a degree in Journalism from Ohio University, and she volunteers at the Durham Literacy Center, teaching English to non-native speakers.

    Get to know Bridget


Spring 2018 McKenzie Pickett Annie Young

Communications Institute Fellows

As part of a six-month residency program, our 2017 Communications Institute Fellows are available to speak to local and national media about criminal justice and immigration reform.