No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 7 kids will face hunger this year.

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.

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MEET THE TEAM

Courtney Smith, Managing Director, Center for Best Practices

As the Managing Director of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices, Courtney oversees innovation, research, policy analysis and product development to support efforts to end childhood hunger across the country. She has extensive experience working on programs and policies to improve the well-being of low-income families and children. Before joining Share Our Strength in 2008, Courtney was a Senior Policy Analyst at the National Governors Association, where she provided technical assistance and consulting services to governors on a range of poverty and human services issues. She also led evaluations of welfare reform and workforce development programs at Berkeley Policy Associates, and worked at the Public Policy Institute of California, the Literacy Assistance Center of New York City and the Program to Educate the Girl in Guatemala. Courtney has a Master in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in English Literature and Women’s Studies from Grinnell College.

Briana Webster Campbell, Director, Education and Training

Briana oversees the Center’s initiatives related to training and technical assistance. Briana manages a team of child nutrition experts who serve as the organization’s “go-to” on school breakfast, afterschool and summer meals. Prior to joining No Kid Hungry in 2016, Briana worked on health and wellness initiatives at HealthCorps and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Prior to 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, a national health advocacy organization. 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 being near any body of water with her husband, two sons and rescue yorkie, Polo.

Holly Donovan, Associate Director, Program Innovation

Holly oversees Share Our Strength’s Program Innovation team.  The Program Innovation team focuses on alleviating hunger and poverty by designing and identifying strategies that meet the needs of low-income families.  They act as catalysts to support the ideas of experts and practitioners in the field, explore ways to improve the user experience of federal nutrition programs, and use qualitative and human-centered design methodologies to design pilots and inform organizational strategy.  Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Holly conducted sociological research and taught courses in sociology, gender and sexuality, educational inequalities, and writing 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.

Marisa Kirk-Epstein, Director, Research, Data and Policy Analysis

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.

Katheryn Adler, Associate Director of Measurement, Planning, and Analysis

Katheryn oversees planning and analysis for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Under her leadership, the Measurement, Planning, and Analysis Team identifies critical areas for program expansion and works with partners to recommend strategies and develop plans to increase school breakfast, afterschool, and summer meals. Katheryn has been with Share Our Strength since 2015 and comes to us from the for-profit sector. She has over 10 years of experience in business analysis, project management, and reporting, and has worked across industries including educational technology, financial services, and digital media. 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

Kirsten Craft, Senior Manager, Program Innovation

Kirsten designs and manages innovation pilots, ideation sessions and internal events focused on empowering others to use human-centered design to solve messy social problems. Most of her work is focused on ending summer hunger in rural areas. She has a track record in both designing and launching new programs and in implementing evaluation metrics across departments. Kirsten has an MBA in general management and Master of Public Policy in nonprofit management, both from the University of Maryland.

Esubalew Dadi, Senior Manager, Policy Analysis

Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Esubalew was a public policy analyst at the Florida Policy Institute in Lake Mary working on human services and health care issues, criminal justice reform, and state budget analysis for nearly two years. He has had an extensive and varied career including program manager for refugee services at Lutheran Services Florida, volunteer expert for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, research coordinator and consultant at Legal Atlas, and assistant lecturer and head of the Department of Law at Mizan-Tepi University in Ethiopia. Esubalew holds masters degrees in Rule of Law for Development (Loyola University Chicago) and Public International Law (University of Oslo).

Elyse Kovalsky, Senior Manager, Program Innovation

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 Kriegshauser, Senior Program Manager

Summer focuses on school breakfast expansion strategy and implementation at Share Our Strength. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2016, Summer worked at the School Superintendents Association, where she provided technical assistance and support to school districts that were seeking to improve their Breakfast After the Bell programs and support to districts implementing the Smart Snacks in Schools guidelines. Summer has a Master in Public Health from George Washington University, a B.A. in Speech Communications from Iowa State University, a chef certification from The Natural Gourmet Institute, and a holistic health counseling certification from the Academy of Healing Nutrition.

Derrick Lambert, Senior Program Manager

Derrick leads development of the No Kid Hungry campaign’s rural child hunger portfolio and provides oversight for No Kid Hungry’s summer meals portfolio. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2016, he worked as a Program Manager with Hunger Free Vermont, working closely with state agency staff, school districts and statewide partners to initiate and expand implementation of a range of federal child nutrition programs. Derrick is also a former educator, having spent four years in France teaching at public secondary and post-secondary institutions. Derrick has a Master’s Degree in International Political Economy from the University of Kent (England) and a B.A. in Political Science from Union University.

Kelley McDonough, Senior Program Manager

Kelley develops resources and tools and provides technical assistance and training around expanding access to school meals. Additionally, she offers strategic guidance to districts and campaign partners and often works closely with state agencies. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2017, Kelley 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.

Carolyn Wait Vega, Senior Program Manager

Carolyn leads the afterschool nutrition strategy within the Center for Best Practices and supports our advocacy efforts related to CACFP and out-of-school-time programs. She joined the Center in 2015 after working as a CACFP Specialist for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education. In that role, she provided training, technical assistance, and oversight to CACFP participants in the District. Carolyn first moved to DC to work at the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), where she was a National Nutrition Policy Fellow assisting with Child Nutrition Reauthorization and an Institute of Medicine committee charged with reviewing the CACFP nutrition requirements. 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.  

Karen Wong, Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation

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 Wozniak, Senior Manager of Measurement, Planning, and Analysis

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). In his free time, you can find him backpacking, snowshoeing and climbing in the mountains near his home office in Tacoma, WA.

Margaret Read, Senior Manager, Research and Policy Analysis

Margaret leads the Center’s research initiatives on federal and state nutrition programs. Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2020, Margaret worked for eight years at the UCONN (formerly Yale University) Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity where she lead the research on implementation on the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and the emergency food system and co-developed the WellSAT 3.0 and WellSAT-I, school wellness policy assessment tools. Margaret has a masters degree in Clinical and Healthy Psychology from Northern Arizona University and a bachelors degree in Health and Exercise Science from Centenary College of Louisiana. Margaret has served as an advisor on numerous boards and committees including Farm to Institution New England, Slow Food USA’s Policy Steering Committee, and the Rhode Island Food Policy Council.

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No Kid Hungry is a campaign by Share Our Strength