No Kid Hungry's Center for Best Practices is comprised of program, policy, and innovation experts committed to ending hunger in the US by providing information and resources to stakeholders, conducting programmatic and policy research and analysis, and testing promising ideas to identify emerging best practices.
To learn more about a team member, click their picture to view their bio.
Marie leads work making data and information more accessible across the organization, supporting the integration of data with programmatic strategy. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2022, Marie worked at Shelter Animals Count leading the development of The National Database, a hub for sheltered animal statistics. Her work there standardized and centralized data within the industry, giving partner organizations the opportunity to deepen their understanding of operational metrics and a consistent language for collaboration.
Katheryn oversees program data analysis at Share Our Strength. She leads two teams: Data Analytics and Measurement, Planning, and Analysis (MPA). The Data Analytics team is responsible for data transformation, tools, and technology. MPA analyzes data to inform No Kid Hungry strategies, best practices, and goals. Under Katheryn’s leadership, these teams enable Share Our Strength to make data-driven decisions about where invest No Kid Hungry resources to maximize impact while prioritizing equity. Katheryn came to Share Our from the for-profit sector. She has worked across industries including educational technology, financial services, and digital media. She has deep experience in business analysis, business project management, reporting, and data. Katheryn has a B.B.A. in Business Management from James Madison University. She enjoys problem solving and working with customers to develop end-to-end solutions to meet their needs.
Holly leads Share Our Strength's Program Innovation team. The Program Innovation team focuses on next horizon strategies that center participant experience. The Program Innovation team designs strategies that meet the needs of families facing economic insecurity and works to improve the user experience of federal nutrition programs. Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Holly conducted sociological research and taught at Boston University. She also taught middle school in the South Bronx as a Teach for America corps member and worked at a NYC nonprofit focused on ending homelessness. Holly has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston University and a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Chloe is responsible for supporting a growing body of work on SNAP and benefits integration. She identifies and shares best practices in expanding access to SNAP, develops tools and resources that facilitate program improvement and access, and fosters systems change efforts and cross-state learning. Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Chloe worked as a Policy Advocate with Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon ensuring SNAP access and leading policy and legislative initiatives addressing the root causes of hunger. Before her time with Hunger-Free Oregon, she was a community organizer in rural Oregon focused on local food systems efforts. Chloe has a B.A in International Political Economy from Fordham University and enjoys spending time with her son, Finley, and being outside.
Valeria serves as a thought leader within the Center for Best Practices, focusing on rural communities and communities of persistent poverty. Valeria has most recently worked within Save the Children’s Rural Education Division and prior to that, Valeria spent over a decade at the Alliance for Healthier Generation serving rural schools across MS and AR. Valeria has a B.A. in Communications from Mississippi Valley State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Arkansas State University. Valeria has also received her certification as a Certified Health Coach from Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Valeria is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Leader (first cohort) Valeria loves spending time entertaining her family, watching Ted Talks, trying new recipes and collecting cookbooks, especially those written by black authors. Last, but not the least of her accomplishments, she finished the 2015 New York City marathon!
Hannah supports the Center for Best Practices team by providing webinar assistance, resource sharing with partners, updating and maintaining the Center for Best Practices website and more. Prior to joining Share Our Strength, she worked at Second Harvest Heartland food bank in Minneapolis, MN as a Child Hunger Specialist. While in this role, she worked with a caseload of school district and community partners that were interested in increasing the access to and quality of federal nutrition programs. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala. While there, she worked in a similar capacity to her previous role at the food bank. Hannah received her B.S. in Public Health from St. Catherine University in St. Paul. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, coaching youth softball, and traveling.
Samantha identifies strategies that meet the needs of families facing economic insecurity. She focuses her work with innovation teams embedded in city government and working on a design toolkit for meal providers. Samantha previously worked for FSG -- a social impact consultancy -- where she designed evidence-based strategies and programs for improved health and wellbeing. She is active in global and local efforts to make food systems more equitable and sustainable, with experience working with philanthropies, corporations, governments, and nonprofits.
Marisa oversees the Center's research initiatives and the development of resources and analyses to support No Kid Hungry's advocacy work. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2015, Marisa worked for over five years in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Child Nutrition Division where she developed policy for the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. During that time, she was the project manager for the summer demonstration projects that tested innovative ways to feed low-income children during the summer. Marisa has a Master of Social Work from Columbia University and a bachelor degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Washington. Marisa is originally from Hawaii, but no longer eats spam.
Anne analyzes policy, identifies best practices, and supports advocacy for SNAP. Before joining Share Our Strength, she worked for county government focusing on administration of federal public benefits (SNAP, Medicaid, TANF), managing the internal policy life-cycle, and supporting compliance efforts. Previous to that role she focused on engagement in marginalized and underserved communities and offered technical assistance to non-profit partners, including voter registration efforts and supporting the Cuyahoga EITC Coalition. As a licensed attorney, Anne practiced primarily in child welfare, advocating for abused and neglected children, and as executive director of local Court Appointed Special Advocates programs throughout Ohio. She has a BA from The Ohio State University and a JD from Capital University Law School.
Elyse brings the voices of families and children facing food insecurity to the strategic work of Share Our Strength. Using the principles of human-centered design and qualitative research methodologies, she works closely with families and partner organizations to identify and test innovative models in key programmatic areas. Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Elyse conducted research with families facing housing insecurity and home foreclosure in California’s Central Valley, studying economic decision-making and the implications for parents and children. Throughout her career, she has researched and managed programs at the intersections of health, housing and economic insecurity. She has worked in various roles, including managing a quality improvement initiative for community health clinics in her work with the California Primary Care Association and advocating for stronger financial protections for American families with Americans for Financial Reform. Elyse has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University.
Summer joined Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry (NKH) campaign in 2016. Summer’s work within the Center for Best Practices team has focused on leading NKH’s school breakfast expansion efforts. Currently, Summer is working to support schools more holistically within the coronavirus pandemic framework. Before her tenure at NKH, Summer worked at AASA, the School Superintendents Association, where she provided expertise on Breakfast After the Bell programs and the Smart Snacks in Schools guidelines. Summer earned an MPH from George Washington University, a BA from Iowa State University, a chef certification from The Natural Gourmet Institute, and a holistic health counseling certification from the Academy of Healing Nutrition.
Chelsea supports the Center for Best Practices team through technical assistance focused on rural communities, Center for Best Practices communication strategies, and website management. Prior to this, she led volunteer programming in the Washington DC area for Casey Trees and complete two years of AmeriCorps focused on school gardens and Cooking Matters programming. She has a bachelor of science in Agriculture and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech, is a Certified Interpretative Guide, and an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow. In her spare time, she volunteers with various organizations, plays with her dogs and cats, and kayaks the rivers around Roanoke, VA.
Kelley leads our team of school and out-of-school time meals experts. She provides strategic direction around our work related to increasing access to and participation in school and community nutrition programs, like school breakfast and summer meals. Additionally, Kelley develops resources and provides technical assistance and training at the national, state, and local levels. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2017, she managed a statewide youth tobacco control initiative in Louisiana with a focus on youth engagement and policy change. Prior to that, Kelley provided support to New Orleans schools around the development and implementation of comprehensive, effective, and sustainable school wellness programs using the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model. Kelley has a Master of Public Health from the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine and a B.S. in Public Health from Tulane University.
Craig tracks and analyzes opportunities for federal, state, and local policy change and provides key policy expertise in support of our advocacy efforts. When he joined the Center in 2021, Craig brought a wealth of policy analysis and research experience related to child health and nutrition. His prior roles include the Public Health Law Center in Minnesota, Congressional Research Service, Global Health Council and Bread for the World. Craig holds a Bachelor of Science from Villanova University and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Global Health Policy from George Washington University.
Pam leads work and projects that inform program strategy for No Kid Hungry and enable data-driven decision-making. She works closely with No Kid Hungry leaders and partners to develop campaign strategies and identify opportunities to maximize impact. Prior to joining the Center for Best Practices, Pam held a variety of roles with Share Our Strength including program evaluation for Cooking Matters and grants administration work. Pam joined No Kid Hungry in 2013. She is a graduate of The George Washington University, from which she holds a BA in History. Pam enjoys traveling, reading, staying active, along with a budding gardening career.
Anthony Dominic (Tony) Panzera
Tony Panzera leads the planning and management of research and evaluation studies of federal nutrition assistance programs and other endeavors relevant NKH policy strategy, as well as provides CBP teams with support on study designs, instruments, metrics and data advocacy. Prior to Share Our Strength, Tony worked in the Office of Policy Support (the research arm of USDA Food and Nutrition Service). Tony is a subject matter expert of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), with more than 15 years of studying health, recruitment, participation, and retention aspects of the program. In prior roles, Tony provided analysis to healthcare provider groups on the Affordable Care Act as it was being drafted, led grant-funded research on the use of telehealth for WIC nutrition education in Washington, D.C., was the evaluator for the National WIC Association’s Catalyzing Recruitment Efforts in WIC project, and co-founded the Social Marketing Association of North America. Tony is trained in both epidemiology and social marketing and received his B.S. in Biology & Society from Cornell University, his M.P.H. from Brown University, and his Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of South Florida. Tony and his husband split their time between Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Paige leads the Center for Best Practice's summer and afterschool work. She develops resources, provides technical assistance, and supports No Kid Hungry campaigns in efforts to improve and increase utilization of summer and afterschool meal programs. Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Paige was a Program & Policy Analyst at D.C. Hunger Solutions where she worked to improve access to child nutrition programs in the District of Columbia. Paige has a Master’s of Public Health from George Washington University, and in her free time enjoys whipping up new creations in the kitchen.
Riya leads the youth engagement and empowerment work within the organization, working to increase equity and inclusion of youth voices within our No Kid Hungry strategy. With almost a decade of experience in the anti-hunger space at the national, state, and local levels, she has worked organizations and school districts across the country to advance child nutrition programs. Riya has a Master’s from Tufts University and a Bachelor’s from Baylor University.
Jeannine serves as one of the No Kid Hungry Senior Program Managers who develops resources and tools and provides technical assistance and training around expanding access to school meals. Prior to this she led the youth programs at the Cooper Institute in Dallas and managed the Healthy Schools Program for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Texas team. She also led the Graduate Student council at Texas Woman’s University while studying for her PhD in Health Studies. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University in California and an undergraduate degree in Nutrition & Clinical Dietetics from the University of California at Berkeley. In her spare time, she volunteers with various organizations where she can use her talents to serve others. She also enjoys spending time with her daughter Ayanna, playing with her dogs Howard and Buddy, and staying active.
Courtney oversees the No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices, which identifies and promotes adoption of effective strategies, policies, and programs that center the needs of families and communities facing food and economic insecurity. She has extensive experience working to improve government programs and social policies. Before joining Share Our Strength in 2008, Courtney held research, consulting and technical assistance positions at the National Governors Association, Berkeley Policy Associates, the Literacy Assistance Center of New York City, and the Program to Educate the Girl in Guatemala. Courtney has a master’s in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelor’s in English literature and women’s studies from Grinnell College.
Zach provides policy analysis and supports the development and implementation of state and federal policy priorities related to the Child Tax Credit and other anti-poverty programs. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2022, he worked on federal anti-poverty and housing policy at the Children's Defense Fund. Zach holds a JD from Georgetown Law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Iowa.
Carolyn Wait Vega
Carolyn leads the development of state and federal policy priorities, provides analysis of policy opportunities, and supports the overall work of the federal and state advocacy and government relations teams. She joined the Center in 2015, and for several years was part of the Education and Training team working to promote and expand access to the Afterschool Meals Program. Prior to that, she was a CACFP Specialist for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education and a National Nutrition Policy Fellow at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Carolyn, a Registered Dietitian, holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Ohio State University and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Briana oversees the Center’s initiatives related to training and technical assistance. She manages a team of child nutrition experts who serve as the organization’s “go-to” on the federal nutrition programs, such as school breakfast, summer meals and SNAP. Briana’s nearly two decade career has been spent working at mission-driven organizations that strive to make our country a more equitable and just place for all. Prior to joining No Kid Hungry in 2016, Briana worked on school health initiatives at HealthCorps and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Before that, she spearheaded a diabetes and obesity prevention program for African-American men at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA and she also served as the first Wellstone Fellow for Social Justice at Families USA. Briana received her B.S. in Public Health from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (home of the TarHeels). In her spare time, she serves as President of the Kenya Javon Webster Memorial Scholarship, volunteers in her local community and enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending quality time with her husband, two young sons and rescue dog, Polo. Briana’s commitment to social justice runs deep and drives her commitment to ensuring that no kid goes hungry.
Regis is responsible for identifying best practices and providing technical assistance to support our Student Eligibility work as well as overseeing projects related to our School Meals Modernization work. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2023, Regis worked for seven years at Three Square Food Bank, serving in numerous roles to build the organization's capacity to leverage data, technology, and policy to reduce hunger and food insecurity in Southern Nevada. He holds a B.A. in psychology and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is currently a Bloomberg Fellow completing his Doctor of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Karen leads key research initiatives to evaluate the impact of federal nutrition programs and inform No Kid Hungry strategy. She has more than a decade of experience leveraging research and policy analysis of national, state, and local significance to address economic and health inequities. Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Karen worked at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to analyze the impact of SNAP legislative and regulatory proposals. She also researched and analyzed Medicaid and S-CHIP policies, affordable housing policies, and school breakfast and lunch policies while working with Catholic Charities USA and the Congressional Hunger Center. Karen has a Master's from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Bachelor’s from Pomona College (Claremont Colleges consortium).
Adam leverages data from state agencies and No Kid Hungry campaigns to identify critical areas for program expansion; he then works with partners to recommend strategies and develop plans to increase access to meals. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2016, Adam worked on USAID-funded programs supporting education and food security in Nicaragua and Guatemala and also volunteered for two years in Honduras with Bilingual Education for Central America. Adam has a Master’s in Applied Economics from the University of Maryland and undergraduate degrees in International Economics and Spanish from the University of St. Thomas (MN).