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Meet our Staff

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Lauren Appelbaum

Vice President, Communications

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Philip Kahn-Pauli

Policy and Practices Director

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Matan A. Koch

Director of RespectAbility California and Jewish Leadership

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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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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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Alex Howard, Entertainment Media Fellow

Alex Howard earned a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Television from California State University. He was recently a temp for Warner Brothers and a part-time film critic intern for mxdwn.com. [click to continue…]

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Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Entertainment Media Communications Fellow

Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt is a writer, actress, and advocate for disability and autism representation in the entertainment industry. She wants to write for TV or film, while also finding a way to continue acting. [click to continue…]

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Ben Rosloff, Communications Fellow

Ben Rosloff earned a BFA in Electronic Media from Long Island University. He has co-produced, edited and screened multiple films for the United Nations, including a film for World Autism Awareness Day, where Ben interviewed then-Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon. [click to continue…]

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Chinyere B. Azike, Policy Fellow

Chinyere Azike started an organization in Nigeria called Nechamah that is similar to RespectAbility. Her work has shown her that numerous possibilities exist for people with disabilities if they are provided with a nurturing environment. [click to continue…]

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Courtney Hyde, Nonprofit Management Fellow

Courtney Hyde’s interest in advocating and bringing awareness started when she was young and diagnosed with Juenvile Rheumatoid Arthritis. She will graduate this spring from Hood College. [click to continue…]

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Ian Malesiewski, Policy Fellow

Ian Malesiewski currently serves as the Accessibility Services Liaison in the University of Miami’s Student Government. After graduation, he plans to attend law school, where he will focus on disability law and policy. [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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Roque Renteria, Entertainment Media Fellow

Roque Renteria has performed stand-up comedy on Comedy Central and Amazon Prime. He graduated from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television with an MFA in Screenwriting. [click to continue…]

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Samantha Haas, Jewish Inclusion Fellow

Samantha Haas is a virtual substitute teacher, Hebrew school teacher and Intern for New Directions Early Head Start of Delaware. She has high hopes that she will be able to impact the lives of many children and families. [click to continue…]

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Stephanie Santo, Policy Fellow

Stephanie Santo has a Master’s Degree in counseling for mental health and wellness from NYU. She feels a responsibility to communicate with her clients and is saddened by the lack of health care access many people have in the Deaf community. [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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Tyler Hoog, Entertainment Media Fellow

Tyler Hoog earned a Masters Degree in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. His comedic perspective is shaped by his nine years in a wheelchair. [click to continue…]

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Zoltán Boka, Policy Fellow

Zoltán Boka has earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, taught in three continents and worked in municipal, state and federal government. His research and analysis has been published in over a dozen outlets. [click to continue…]

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