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Meet our Staff

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Lauren Appelbaum

Vice President, Communications and Entertainment & News Media

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Matan A. Koch

Vice President for Workforce, Leadership, and Faith Programs

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Philip Kahn-Pauli

Policy and Practices Director

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Franklin Anderson

Director of Inclusive Philanthropy and Development

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Nelly Nieblas

Manager of Policy, Advocacy and Engagement

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Tonya Koslo

Director of Finance and Administration

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Ben Spangenberg

National Leadership Program Director

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Vanni Le

Entertainment Outreach Program Manager

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Tatiana Lee

Senior Associate, Entertainment Media

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Lesley Hennen

Entertainment and News Media Associate

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Eric Ascher

Communications Associate

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Ian Cherutich

Development Associate

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Joshua Steinberg

Program Associate, RespectAbility California and Jewish Leadership

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Jake Stimell

Associate, Speakers Bureau & Jewish Inclusion

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Donjeta Sahiti

Special Assistant to the President

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Nasreen Alkhateeb

Senior Production Advisor

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Leah Romond

Senior Production Advisor

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Stan Goldman, PhD

Writing Coach

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Lupe Ramos-Silva

Senior Advisor

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Donna R. Walton

Senior Advisor

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Nicole Homerin

Education Consultant

Meet Our Fellows

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Alexandra Seddon, Entertainment Media and Communications Fellow

Alexandra Seddon received a Bachelor’s degree in Television Film and Media from California State University Los Angeles in the year 2020. Her passion for public service and creative expression has helped her discover her higher purpose. [click to continue…]

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Claudia Runk, Public Policy Fellow

Claudia Runk earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Sociolegal Studies from Loyola University Chicago. She hopes to pursue a career in public health policy with a specific interest in mental health advocacy. [click to continue…]

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Finn Bradley, Communications Fellow

Finn Bradley is the founder of the Therapy Access Project (TAP), a nonprofit that assists members of the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities in obtaining mental health services. They has a strong background in circus performance. [click to continue…]

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Gabriella Marquez, Public Policy Fellow

Gabriella Marquez earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Florida State University. She will be attending American University Washington College of Law in August where she plans to devote her studies to public interest law. [click to continue…]

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Jill Feder, Nonprofit Management Fellow

Jill Feder graduated from Wheaton College, MA magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Women and Gender Studies in May 2020. She is excited to help RespectAbility earn the grants and donations it needs to maintain its life-enhancing services. [click to continue…]

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John McSween, Nonprofit Management Fellow

John McSween is a rising senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is majoring in Community Health with a concentration in Health Planning and Administration. He currently competes in wheelchair basketball at the collegiate level. [click to continue…]

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Kelley Cape, Entertainment Media Fellow

Kelley Cape has spent her professional and academic career galvanizing inclusive cultures everywhere she goes. She previously joined USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative as a research assistant. [click to continue…]

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Kiah Amara, Entertainment Media Fellow

Kiah Amara (they/she) is a filmmaker, consultant, educator, producer, production accessibility coordinator, and media industry activist. Their work focuses on identity, fluidity, commonality, misconception, and all things “deviant from normal”. [click to continue…]

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Krista Ramirez-Villatoro, Entertainment Media Fellow

Krista Ramirez-Villatoro is pursuing a Masters’ degree in Design and Media Arts from UCLA. Her goal is to become a director of photography on projects that highlight the experiences of those with physical disabilities. [click to continue…]

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Mary Elizabeth Mellon, Nonprofit Management Fellow

Mary Elizabeth Mellon has previously interned at Mental Health America of Illinois and volunteered at numerous nonprofits including Sarah’s Circle, an organization that serves homeless women in Chicago. [click to continue…]

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Morgan A. Davis, Public Policy Fellow

Born with Cerebral Palsy, Morgan A. Davis has always felt a desire to help others impacted by disabilities. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2020. [click to continue…]

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Nakia Hillary Sims, Public Policy Fellow

Nakia Hillary Sims is a policy analyst, motivational speaker, advocate for affordable housing and a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. She has more than 20 years of experience in public policy and community organizing. [click to continue…]

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Nicole Olarsch, Jewish Inclusion Fellow

Nicole Olarsch graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in the Spring of 2021, with a BA in Sociology and Gender and Sexuality Studies. She was involved in the building of a new club on campus, The Deaf and Disabled Student Union. [click to continue…]

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Taylor Easley, Civic Engagement Fellow

Taylor Easley working on both her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and certification of nonprofit management at L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs school. She wants to promote employment for people with disabilities. [click to continue…]

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Taylor Ragano, Community Outreach & Impact Fellow

Ragano is currently a graduate student at Virginia Tech, earning her Master of Public Administration Degree. She hopes to work in the federal government to formulate policy initiatives as a lobbyist for the disability community. [click to continue…]

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