Click on a name for bio.
To send a staff member an email, use this format: first name initial lastname@frac.org (example: jdoe@frac.org).

James D. Weill, President

Mike Ambrose, Web Communications Coordinator

Alexandra Ashbrook, Director of Special Projects and Initiatives

Lauren Badger, Government Relations Associate

Colleen Barton Sutton, Communications Director

Susan BeaudoinSpecial Projects and Initiatives Associate

Rashan A. Datcher, Human Resources Coordinator

Nadine Ferlazzo, Development Associate

Crystal FitzSimons, Director of School and Out-of-School Time Programs

Wendy Forbes, Content Writer/Technical Editor

Amirio Freeman, Digital Media Associate

Diane Girouard, Child Nutrition Policy Analyst

Michelle Griffin, Staff Associate

Julia Gross, Anti-Hunger Program Associate, Maryland Hunger Solutions

Heather Hartline-Grafton, Senior Nutrition Policy and Research Analyst

Clarissa Hayes, Senior Child Nutrition Policy Analyst

Geraldine Henchy, Director of Nutrition Policy and Early Childhood Programs

Melissa JensenAnti-Hunger Program Associate, D.C. Hunger Solutions

Alison Maurice, Child Nutrition Policy Analyst

Brooke McCauley, Senior Manager, Anti-Hunger Programs, Maryland Hunger Solutions

Denise OdellExecutive Assistant to the President

Etienne Melcher Philbin, Senior Child Nutrition Policy Analyst

Emily Pickren, Senior Manager, Communications

Paige Pokorney, Anti-Hunger Program Associate for Child Nutrition, D.C. Hunger Solutions

Randy Rosso, Data Architect

Alan Sharpe, Technology Coordinator

Marko Stankovic, Development Associate

Ellen Teller, Director of Government Affairs

Polly Thibodeau, Senior Manager of Foundation Relations

Ellen Vollinger, Legal/Food Stamp Director

Barbara Western, Director of Human Resources and Operations

Beverley Wheeler, Director, D.C. Hunger Solutions

Michael J. Wilson, Director, Maryland Hunger Solutions

Patrick Youngblood, Director of Development


Jim Weill

Jim Weill has been President of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) since February 1998. Jim has devoted his entire professional career to reducing hunger and poverty, protecting the legal rights of children and poor people, and expanding economic security, income and nutrition support programs, and health insurance coverage.

Prior to joining FRAC, he was at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) as Program Director and General Counsel. He led CDF’s efforts in 1985 that produced the first major expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, oversaw CDF’s Medicaid expansion, child care, and child support enforcement reform efforts, and was a key leader of the campaign to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997.

Before CDF, Mr. Weill was Deputy Director and Director of Federal Litigation at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. He litigated major law reform and class action cases in the federal court of appeals and Supreme Court on Social Security, Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, SNAP/Food Stamps and other public benefits issues, and the rights of children born out of wedlock.

Mr. Weill is chair of the board of directors of the Alliance for Justice Action Council and is a member of the boards of OMB Watch and the National Center for Youth Law. He serves on the advisory council to the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. He has served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the UNICEF Executive Board.

Back to top


Mike Ambrose

Mike joined FRAC in January 2008. As web communications coordinator, he is responsible for maintaining and updating FRAC’s website, and the sites for D.C. Hunger Solutions, Maryland Hunger Solutions, and the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference. He also writes and distributes FRAC’s Weekly News Digest.

Mike has more than 30 years of national nonprofit communications, program management, development and conference planning experience. His background includes extensive education and public health program work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He received the “Optimal Oral Health for All” award from the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and writing awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation.

Mike has an M.S. in telecommunications from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and a B.A. from the University of Maryland.

Back to top


Alexandra Ashbrook

Alex is the Director of Special Projects and Initiatives, where she works to implement cross-program projects and drive new nutrition and anti-hunger strategic initiatives at the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC).

From 2007–2015, Alex served as the director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative of FRAC. Through a combination of advocacy, outreach, policy, and public education, Alex led D.C. Hunger Solutions’ efforts to create a hunger-free community and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income residents of the nation’s capital. Under her leadership, D.C. Hunger Solutions succeeded in sharply reducing the number of people who would have otherwise lacked sufficient food by maximizing local use of federal nutrition programs. She participated in many citywide coalitions, chairing the Mayor’s Healthy Youth and Schools Commission (2010–2015) and the Mayor’s Commission on Food (2008–2010) and serving as the co-chair of the Obesity Plan’s Policy Committee (2009–2010) and on the steering committee of the Fair Budget Coalition (2008–2015).

Alex joined FRAC in January 2007, bringing extensive advocacy experience to her role, much of which focused on the needs of vulnerable youth. While at Georgetown Law School’s D.C. Street Law Project (1994–1996), Alex supervised law students teaching at DC public high schools. From 1996–2006, Alex served as a senior program director at Street Law, the national nonprofit dedicated to transforming democratic ideals into citizen action. Alex received her J.D. and LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. from Haverford College.

Back to top


Lauren Badger

Lauren joined FRAC in July 2017 as the government relations associate. She assists with the development and implementation of FRAC’s legislative agenda, working with Congress, national organizations, and FRAC’s network of state and local anti-hunger organizations to strengthen domestic anti-hunger programs for low-income individuals and families. She also manages planning of the annual National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference.

Before joining FRAC, Lauren was an anti-hunger program associate at D.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative of FRAC. In this role, she worked to improve Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation and policies, and help reduce senior hunger in D.C. She has also worked with SNAP and other federal nutrition programs in previous roles at the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services and the University of Georgia Department of Foods and Nutrition.

Lauren has a B.S. in both dietetics and consumer foods from the University of Georgia and an M.S. in foods and nutrition from the University of Georgia. Lauren also completed the dietetic internship at the University of Georgia to become a Registered Dietitian.

Back to top


Colleen Barton Sutton

Colleen joined FRAC in October 2014, as communications director. In this role, she spearheads the development and implementation of a multi-faceted strategic communications framework to help advance the organization’s mission to end hunger in America.

Prior to FRAC, Colleen was the founder and principal of Red Jacket Communications, LLC, a boutique public relations and event firm. Colleen designed and executed strategic communications plans for global and national policy and program initiatives, research reports, brand development, fundraising promotions, product launches, and major events. Her clients included government contractors, small businesses, and international and national nonprofits. In her previous work with nonprofits, including Catholic Charities USA, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Save the Children, Colleen created and implemented communications efforts that increased awareness, advocacy and greater investment in programs and services aimed at underserved populations. At Save the Children, she built a media program in a newly created public affairs department, and led the U.S. agency’s media response to major humanitarian crises, including post-9/11, the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Haiti Earthquake as well as the agency’s first advocacy-awareness campaign, Every Mother, Every Child and its signature research report, The State of the World’s Mothers.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Homestretch, a nonprofit in Northern Virginia that helps transition families out of homelessness.

Colleen received her B.A. in English, with a public relations concentration, from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Back to top


Susan Beaudoin

Susan joined FRAC in September 2012. In her current role as special projects and initiatives associate, she supports work to implement cross-program projects and drive new nutrition and anti-hunger strategic initiatives at FRAC. In her previous role as FRAC’s senior development associate for state initiatives, she was responsible for fundraising activities to support FRAC’s state-based efforts with D.C. Hunger Solutions and Maryland Hunger Solutions.

Prior to joining FRAC, Susan served as coordinator of the Food and Health Network of South Central New York and worked with the Washington Youth Garden and the Rural Health Network of South Central New York.

Susan holds a B.A. in political science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University.

Back to top


Rashan A. Datcher

Rashan joined FRAC in May 2011 and is FRAC’s human resource coordinator. In this role, Rashan works closely with the director of human resources and operations on a variety of office procedural, HR-related, and administrative fronts. She also coordinates processes related to position openings and coordinates the internship program.

Rashan has a B.A. in business administration from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta Georgia and an M.A. in human resource management from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Back to top


Nadine Ferlazzo

Nadine joined FRAC in 2018 as a development associate. In this role, she is responsible for fundraising activities to support FRAC’s state-based efforts with D.C. Hunger Solutions and Maryland Hunger Solutions.

Nadine has 15 years of development experience. Before joining FRAC she served as the Development Director for Operation Renewed Hope Foundation, an organization whose mission is to empower homeless veterans by providing quality housing and supportive services.

Nadine has a M.Ed. with an emphasis on policy and advocacy from the University of North Carolina. She also has a B.A. in Urban Education from the University of Chicago, and a B.S. from George Mason University in Global and Community Health.


Crystal Weedall FitzSimons

As director of school and out-of-school time programs, Crystal directs FRAC’s work on the child nutrition programs that serve school-age children. She analyzes policy to advocate for legislative and regulatory improvements to increase low-income children’s access to the nutrition programs. She helps develop strategy and direct field efforts to achieve program improvements. She provides technical assistance, conducts training, and develops materials for national, state, and local organizations. She frequently speaks at national afterschool conferences and meetings. Crystal is the author or co-author of numerous publications, including Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report (2009). Her previous work experience includes the Center for Community Change as a policy analyst on transportation issues and Housing Comes First, Missouri’s statewide low-income housing coalition, as director of tenant organizing. She holds a B.A. in philosophy and sociology from Carroll College and an M.S.W. from Washington University.

Back to top


Wendy Forbes

Wendy joined FRAC in September 2015 as content writer/technical editor. In this role, she is responsible for promoting FRAC’s mission, its brand, and its programs through media, publications, events, and online communications. She also edits and writes content across a range of platforms that compellingly convey FRAC’s mission, proposals, positions, work, and leadership.

Wendy has over 15 years of project management and federal government experience in both domestic and international arenas. She has also served as a writer, editor, teacher, and liaison to bridge professional and cross-cultural interests.

Wendy has a B.A. in English and political science from the University of Minnesota-Morris, and a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University.

Back to top


Amirio Freeman

Amirio joined FRAC in August 2018 as the digital media associate. In this role, he promotes FRAC’s mission and efforts through overseeing the maintenance of FRAC’s social media platforms, including the FRAC Chat blog.

Prior to joining FRAC, Amirio completed a term as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow. During his fellowship term, Amirio conducted anti-hunger and anti-poverty research for D.C.-based nonprofits Martha’s Table and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

He holds a B.A. in Public Policy (and minor in Africana Studies) from the College of William & Mary.

Back to top


Diane Girouard

Bio to come.

Back to top


Michelle Griffin

Michelle Griffin joined FRAC in May 2016 and is a staff associate. She works closely with the Director of Human Resources and Operations and the Director of Finance. Michelle has over 15 years of bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, and accounts payable experience and has worked in both the nonprofit sector and in banking.

Michelle has an Associate Degree in accounting, and she plans to return to complete her studies to acquire her bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Back to top


Julia Gross

Julia joined Maryland Hunger Solutions, an initiative of FRAC, in October 2018. In her role as anti-hunger program associate, she works to support and expand participation in child nutrition programs around the state of Maryland through advocacy, community engagement, and the promotion of best-practices.

Before coming to Maryland Hunger Solutions, Julia served in Peace Corps Albania from 2016-2018 as a Health Extension Specialist, where she taught health education and life-skills development in primary schools. Prior to Peace Corps, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA to support after-school and summer nutrition programs in Maryland, and again as a health educator at a center for low-income and homeless women in Spokane, WA.

She received her B.A. in Anthropology from San Diego State University, and holds a Master of Public Health from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Back to top

Back to top


Heather Hartline-Grafton

Heather is a senior nutrition policy and research analyst at FRAC. Heather’s work primarily focuses on obesity, dietary quality, and health outcomes among low-income and food-insecure children and families, with emphasis on how the federal nutrition programs improve health, nutrition, and well-being. She also is actively involved in FRAC’s work on screening for and addressing food insecurity in health care settings.

Heather, who joined FRAC in January 2009, has a rich background in nutrition policy research, obesity prevention, and healthy eating strategies, including her prior work at the American Cancer Society, Mathematica Policy Research, and Tulane University. She is a Registered Dietitian and holds honors bachelors’ degrees in nutritional sciences and dietetics from the University of Delaware, an M.P.H. in nutrition from the University of North Carolina, and a Dr.PH. in community health sciences from Tulane University.

Back to top


Clarissa Hayes

Clarissa Hayes joined FRAC in February 2015. As senior child nutrition policy analyst, she works with anti-hunger organizations as well as with local, state, and national governments to expand the use of afterschool and summer nutrition programs.

Before joining FRAC, Clarissa was an anti-hunger program associate at Maryland Hunger Solutions (an initiative of FRAC) and worked to increase participation in the child nutrition programs across the state. She has also completed two years of national community service through AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Clarissa earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology from the University of Wisconsin.

Back to top


Geraldine Henchy

Geri is the director of nutrition policy at FRAC. Geri’s work focuses on nutrition policies, such as increasing the healthfulness of nutrition programs, necessary to reach the goals of eradicating domestic hunger and improving the nutrition and health of low-income individuals and families.

Geri is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee to Review the Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Requirements, which has the task of creating nutrition standards to bring the meals served into compliance with the Dietary Guidelines. Geri is the current chair of the legislation and policy committee of the American Public Health Association’s Food and Nutrition section. She currently serves on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Management Improvement Task Force.

She has been honored to receive awards for her work on the Child Nutrition Programs from the Sponsors Association, the National Sponsors Forum and the California Roundtable. Most recently, the National Association of Family Child Care honored Ms. Henchy with their Advocate of the Year Award.

Geri is the author of numerous policy briefs on the federal child nutrition programs. She has co-authored a number of publications, including Making WIC Work for Multicultural Communities: Best Practices for Outreach and Nutrition Education, Time for a Change: WIC Food Package Guide, WIC In Native American Communities: Building a Healthier America, and WIC Partnerships and the Nurturing Parent. Ms. Henchy is also the author of a number of web-based tools, including most recently the Child Care Wellness Tool Kit: Child and Adult Care Food Program.

She is a Registered Dietitian and has an M.P.H. in nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley.

Back to top


Melissa Jensen

Melissa joined D.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative of FRAC, in August 2018 as the anti-hunger program associate – SNAP and senior hunger. In this role, she works to increase participation in the SNAP/Food Stamp Program in the District of Columbia, and on nutrition issues related to hunger among older residents. As a part of D.C. Hunger Solutions’ team, she also engages and educates the public and policymakers about the issue of hunger, and works to identify solutions to end hunger in our nation’s capital.

Before joining FRAC, Melissa worked at Utahns Against Hunger in Salt Lake City, Utah as the outreach manager. There, she managed the statewide SNAP Outreach Program with the Utah Department of Workforce Services. She also provided information about federal nutrition programs to the community, assisted community members with SNAP applications, and produced outreach materials, including the UAH newsletter. Melissa also piloted a series of Food Access Workshops with Salt Lake Community College to help combat food insecurity on Utah campuses.

Melissa received a Juris Doctor from William and Mary Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin.

Back to top


Alison Maurice

Alison joined FRAC in February 2017 as a child nutrition policy analyst. She works with anti-hunger organizations and state and national agencies to expand access to school breakfast programs for students across the country.

Before joining FRAC, Alison served through AmeriCorps as a case manager at a health clinic for homeless adults in Washington, DC, with a primary focus on connecting individuals with public benefits. During her master’s program, she interned at FRAC with the child nutrition division and after graduating she worked as a data contractor for FRAC collecting and analyzing Community Eligibility data.

Alison has a B.A. in psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University, and an M.S.W from The Catholic University of America.

Back to top


Brooke McCauley

Brooke is Maryland Hunger Solutions’ senior manager, anti-hunger programs, and supports the director and staff in their efforts to end hunger, promote health, and improve the well-being of low-income Maryland residents. She takes a leadership role in policy development, advocacy, and coalition building as well as providing team leadership, staff development, communications and project management support. Brooke ensures that the policies and practices of Maryland state and local agencies and school districts are designed to allow low-income families and individuals maximum access to nutrition programs; and that the state, counties, school districts, and community-based providers take advantage of options in federal law to maximize access and benefits.

Brooke’s career spans 20 years and includes political and community organizing, public relations, advocacy, and nonprofit leadership, with extensive experience with the NAACP, American Red Cross, and county government. She founded McCauley & Associates public relations and campaign consulting firm in Detroit, MI. She holds a B.A. in journalism, with a minor in public relations from Wayne State University.

Back to top


Denise Odell

Denise is the assistant to FRAC’s President, Jim Weill. At FRAC, she supports the activities that promote FRAC’s mission, its President and Board of Directors. She brought to the position her board relations, membership, fundraising and administrative experience.

Prior to joining FRAC, Denise was the membership director at Partnership for Caring, a nonprofit focusing on end-of-life issues.

Denise — a native Washingtonian and University of Maryland alum — is a professional photographer that exhibits her artwork at fine arts galleries throughout the United States.

Back to top


Etienne Melcher Philbin

Etienne joined FRAC in November 2007. In her current role as senior child nutrition policy analyst, she works with a diverse group of national and state partners to expand the use of the School Breakfast Program among low-income children and increase the number of schools offering breakfast in the classroom free to all students in target states, school districts and schools.

In her previous role as FRAC’s Senior Legislative and Public Affairs Associate, she worked with FRAC’s network and Congress, advocating for federal legislation to improve access and participation in domestic anti-hunger programs.

Prior to joining FRAC, Etienne worked with RESULTS’ domestic policy campaign on early childhood development issues.

She has a B.A. in political science and religious studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN.

Back to top


Emily Pickren

Emily joined FRAC in October 2016 as the senior manager, communications. In this role, she develops and implements media relations strategies and manages outreach to media, stakeholders, and the public. She provides strategic communications support to staff across all of FRAC’s program areas.

Emily brings a decade of experience to her role. Before joining FRAC, she served as communications manager at The Education Trust, where she developed and executed communications plans and strategies for the organization’s K–12 programs and initiatives. Previously, she worked at the National League of Cities and managed communications for their Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Emily has also served as a consultant for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working to tell the stories behind their work and shed light on how public programs and services can make a difference in the lives of Americans from all walks of life.

Emily holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, where she studied anthropology and English.

Back to top


Paige Pokorney

Paige joined D.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative of FRAC, in September 2018 as the anti-hunger program associate for child nutrition. In this role, she uses engagement, advocacy, and education to inform the public on childhood hunger and increase access to child nutrition programs in the District. Paige analyzes policies and practices, leverages data and reporting, and provides technical assistance to maximize participation in child nutrition programs.

Before joining D.C. Hunger Solutions, Paige worked on anti-hunger and food access issues with various local and national organizations, including the Capital Area Food Bank, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Share Our Strength. Paige received her B.S. in Biobehavioral Health from Penn State and her Masters of Public Health with a focus on nutrition from George Washington University.

Back to top


Randy Rosso

Randy rejoined FRAC in April 2016, after previously working for FRAC from 2003–2006. As data architect, he is responsible for managing and analyzing data on federal food and nutrition programs, poverty, food insecurity, and the economy. He provides data for all of FRAC’s statistical reports on program participation and hunger in America.

Randy has 17 years of policy research and data management experience, including over 10 years focused on food and nutrition policy. While with Mathematica Policy Research, he wrote or contributed programming for U.S. Department of Agriculture reports on the participation trends and household characteristics of SNAP participants, and also worked on national evaluations of SNAP demonstration pilots and the Summer Food Service Program. His experience also includes six years in the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, where Randy studied factors in neighborhood change and worked to analyze and democratize local indicators available in federal data. Randy is fluent in SAS and Stata programming, and well-versed in processing large data sets containing millions of records.

He has a B.A. in sociology and Master of Public Policy, both from the College of William and Mary.

Back to top


Alan Sharpe

Alan is FRAC’s technology coordinator. For nearly 27 years, Alan has served in various support capacities as a member of FRAC’s administrative staff. Initially secretarial, his duties have expanded with technology and the onset of computerized office functions. In his current position as senior administrative assistant/information systems coordinator, he oversees FRAC’s information technology needs, provides in-house computer “help desk” and administrative support for program staff, and serves as liaison between FRAC and its various IT consultants and vendors.

Back to top


Marko Stankovic

Marko joined FRAC in April 2012. As development associate, his job duties include doing research on prospective funders, maintaining communication with donors and grantmakers, submitting grant proposals and reports, processing all donations and grants, and event management. Prior to joining FRAC, he had fundraising internships at the International Student House and Education USA. Marko holds an M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

Back to top


Ellen Teller

As director of government affairs, Ellen Teller directs the development and implementation of FRAC’s legislative agenda. Working with Congress, national organizations, and FRAC’s diverse state and local grassroots field network, Ellen advocates for improved access and participation to domestic anti-hunger programs for low-income individuals and families.

Ellen joined FRAC in 1986 as a staff attorney and had previously worked at the American Bar Association’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and the Consumer Federation of America.

Ellen has a B.A. in political science and English literature (1978) from the State University of New York College at Oneonta, and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law (1983). She is a Member of the DC Bar and serves on a the Boards of the Coalition on Human Needs (Chair); Manna Food Center, Rockville, Maryland; ActionAid USA; and the Bill Emerson Hunger Fellows Advisory Committee, Congressional Hunger Center. Honors include: National WIC Association Leadership Award, 2006; Commodity Supplemental Food Program Association Award, 2003 & 2010; and the Congressional Hunger Center Emerson Fellows’ Fairy Godmother Award, 2008.

Back to top


Polly Thibodeau

Polly joined FRAC in February 2013 and is senior manager of foundation relations. In this role, she crafts funding proposals and reports for institutional funders in support of FRAC’s breadth of work.

Polly has 15 years of experience writing and managing grants. She previously served as the Director of Development at Joy of Motion Dance Center, where she was responsible for planning and implementing all of its contributed income activities. Prior to that, Polly provided comprehensive research and grants administration for a portfolio of externally funded projects, including a $3 million Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Center for Risk Science and Public Health at The George Washington University. She has also written grants for the local modern dance company Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co. and Rebuilding Together Montgomery County.

She has a B.A. in sociology from Hood College and a B.A. in dance from The George Washington University.

Back to top


Ellen Vollinger

Ellen Vollinger is legal director for FRAC. She has responsibility for directing FRAC’s advocacy on behalf of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps). Ellen has led FRAC’s efforts to bolster SNAP/Food Stamps, particularly to serve working families, legal immigrants and victims of disasters. She has worked with administrators, elected officials, industry representatives, and nonprofit partners on strategies to provide a more accessible and effective nutrition assistance safety net. She serves on the eGovernment Payments Council.

Her prior positions include serving as director of the nonprofit National Committee for Full Employment as well as a practicing attorney with the Washington, DC law firm of Ross, Dixon and Masback.

Ellen has a B.A. in American Studies from Smith College, master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University, and a J.D. magna cum laude from the American University’s Washington College of Law.

Back to top


Barbara Western

Barb joined FRAC in March 2012 as the director of human resources and operations. In this role she is responsible for overseeing overall organizational operations, including the technology infrastructure, and is directly responsible for human resources policies and employee benefits and relations.

Barb has over 20 years of experience working with national nonprofit organizations in a variety of areas that include: human resources, operations, finance, board development and support, fundraising, events management, strategic planning, and advocacy. Most of her skills were acquired through her many years of work at OMB Watch, where she played a variety of roles, most recently the Director of Operations. Prior to her work at OMB Watch she worked for Legal Times.

Barb has a B.S. in journalism from Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University and a Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University.

Back to top


Beverley Wheeler

Beverley joined FRAC in 2015 as the director of D.C. Hunger Solutions. In this role, she is responsible for leading the efforts to improve public policies to end hunger, reduce poverty, promote nutrition and increase the availability of healthy affordable food in low-income areas; maximize participation in all federal nutrition programs (SNAP, school meals, early childhood nutrition, WIC, and summer meals); and educate the public about both the stark reality of hunger’s existence in the nation’s capital and the real opportunities for effective solutions.

Dr. Wheeler has over 30 years of progressive experience in all phases of public and private sector policy development working in process development, crisis resolution, civic engagement, community/economic development, and planning as well as policy development and implementation. She has 20 years of experience working with the District of Columbia (DC) government and the DC Council at the executive level as Executive Director of the State Board of Education and Neighborhood Action; Chief of Staff to Phil Mendelson; and Special Assistant to three City Administrators. She is the former president and CEO of Center City Public Charter Schools.

She holds a B.S. in social and decision science, an M.S. in management and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Master’s and Doctorate in Education from Harvard University.

Back to top


Michael J. Wilson

Michael joined Maryland Hunger Solutions in July 2013 as Director. In this role, he is helping to lead Maryland’s premier hunger advocacy, education, and outreach organization as it works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income families in Maryland. Michael serves in a leadership role in many statewide coalitions and is a core advisor in the Governor’s Partnership to End Childhood Hunger.

For more than three decades, Michael has been a leading advocate for economic and social justice. He worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative and press assistant for the late U.S. Representative Charles Hayes (IL). He also served in numerous positions at the U.S. Department of Labor, culminating as Chief of Staff in the Employment Standards Administration where he coordinated legislative, regulatory, communications, and policy development. Michael also was an international officer and director at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union where he headed the legislative and political department and led the union’s efforts in food policy and worker advocacy. Michael served as a FRAC Board Member for more than a decade, as well as a Board Member for the Consumer Federation of America and Americans for Democratic Action, where he also served as National Director. He received the Community Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association of the National Capitol Area in 2009, the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award in 1997 and 1999, and a Special Commendation from the Wage and Hour Division in 1997.

Michael has a B.A. in communications arts and sciences from Michigan State University.

Back to top


Patrick Youngblood

Patrick joined FRAC in January 2004 as director of development. In this role, he is responsible for managing all aspects of FRAC’s fundraising activities.

He has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising. Before coming to FRAC, he served as assistant manager of major gifts at the Kennedy Center, associate director of development for major gifts at the Washington National Opera, and director of development at American Rivers.

He holds an M.A. from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. from the University of London.

Back to top