NRCDV Board of Directors

NRCDV receives solid leadership and support from a multi-disciplinary and diverse Board of Directors and staff. Organizational affiliations are included for identification purposes only.


Sanu Dieng

Transition Family Violence Services
Hampton, VA​​​

Interim Vice Chair/SECRETARY
Jenna Lodge Foster
Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Richmond, VA

Interim Treasurer
Katie Ray Jones
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Austin, TX


Etiony Aldaronda
The Melissa Institute for Violence     Prevention & Treatment
Coral Gables, FL







NRCDV’s diverse and multi-disciplinary staff includes highly experienced advocates and professionals, many of whom have been active in the movement to end domestic and sexual violence for a significant number of years.

NRCDV operates within a team structure, which has facilitated the development of core competencies as well as specialized expertise. The Programs & Prevention Team assumes the lead role to incoming technical assistance and training requests. The Policy & Research Team is also deeply engaged in technical assistance, training and resource development activities. The Communications Team is responsible for maintaining and advancing branding, marketing, messaging, and media efforts. NRCDV’s Operations Team provides comprehensive support for all programmatic activities. NRCDV’s key initiatives often involve cross-team collaborations as well as partnerships with outside experts.

NRCDV Team ˇ


Cassandra Aho

Cassandra Aho, Director of Health Equity

Cassandra (pronouns: she/her) is driven by her lived experiences as a survivor, midwife, and advocate, to draw attention to the intersectionality of gender-based violence during the perinatal period. she is passionate about investigating stakeholder responses and their impacts on sexual, reproductive, and overall health outcomes. Her work is informed by an inclusive and anti-oppressive lens to identify responder-inflicted harms, barriers, and facilitators to help-seeking and health equity.
She is passionate about initiating innovative strategies that narrow gaps in access to culturally sensitive responses to gender-based violence. Cassandra believes in survivor autonomy and seeks to decrease revictimization, morbidity, and mortality using survivor-centered approaches in tandem with trauma-informed practices that emphasize the complexities of gender-based violence. She is a blissfully happy military spouse and mother of 4 incredible children who inspire her daily. Cassandra has her Masters in Maternal-Child Health Systems from Bastyr University, is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and NACP Credentialled Advocate (CA).


Heidi Anderson - Grants and Contracts Manager


Heidi Anderson, Grants and Contract Manager

Heidi Anderson (pronouns: she/her) was born, raised, and continues to live in the Upstate of South Carolina, where she passionately supports social justice and anti-racism work in the American South. With a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and almost 30 years of experience as a nonprofit professional, Heidi has dedicated her career to working with underserved populations through fundraising and operations. Heidi excels in grant writing, program development, and strategic planning, driven by her belief in the power of community and evidence-based practices to drive social change. She has a strong background in data management, having implemented systems to track program performance and enhance service delivery. Her commitment to anti-racism and equity is central to her approach, ensuring that all efforts are inclusive and impactful. Outside of her professional life, Heidi is the proud mother of two young adult sons and three cats. She loves riding her electric tricycle all over downtown Greenville and enjoys fixing up her old house.


Husna Azizzada

Husna Azizzada, Office and Program Coordinator

Husna was born in Afghanistan. Upon graduating from school, Husna studied at a medical university to become a doctor for two years. She was working as a social activist, but due to the collapse of the republic government of Afghanistan, she left her homeland and migrated to the United States of America in November of 2021. Since April of 2022, Husna has worked at NRCDV. She loves everything about her job and she is passionate about defending the rights of vulnerable people. She is a servant of the people, proud of the society we are building together, and wants to make her family proud. She likes traveling.


Dr. Oyesola Oluwafunmilayo Ayeni

Dr. Oyesola Oluwafunmilayo Ayeni, Director of Research and Evaluation

Funmi is a community-engaged researcher and evaluation expert with several years of demonstrated experience developing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks in gender-based violence prevention and response and conducting process and outcome evaluations in diverse contexts. Funmi’s work focuses on mixed-methods evaluations of community interventions for survivors, improving the community response to domestic and other forms of gender-based violence, evaluating victim/survivor service programs, and policy advocacy. She has deep knowledge and use of participatory, empowerment, and equity evaluation/culturally responsive approaches, and is proficient in using data-driven, learning, and innovation-focused evaluation and assessment methods. She is also an experienced facilitator and trainer in strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and program management. She is passionate about improving the well-being of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities and focuses on elevating and centering the values and voices of those most impacted by research and program work. She brings her demonstrated commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion to her work at NRCDV. Funmi has a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from Michigan State University.


Patty Branco

Patty Branco, Director of Training and Technical Assistance

Patty (pronouns: she/her/hers) has been a social justice advocate for over 20 years. Drawing upon her lived experiences as an Afro-Latina immigrant, her work is informed by an anti-oppression and intersectional lens. With NRCDV since 2003, she currently provides expert leadership and oversight to NRCDV’s training and technical assistance efforts, with an emphasis on the intersection of gender-based violence and racial equity, ensuring that trainings and technical assistance are delivered effectively and are meeting the needs of the intended audiences. Patty has responded to 5,000+ requests for information and referrals on a full range of topics related to gender-based violence from a broad-based constituency, including advocates, survivors, students, policy makers, media representatives, faith leaders, social services, and health care providers, and more. She also engages in the identification and development of resources to support NRCDV’s capacity-building efforts and has been the lead staff in the development of several NRCDV publications. Her background includes anti-violence work in Brazil at the intersections of anti-Blackness, poverty, and police brutality. She has a Master’s in Community Psychology and Social Change from Pennsylvania State University. Her favorite titles, however, are Tia and Godmother.


LeNesha Brown

LeNesha Brown, Vice President of Human Resources

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, LeNesha’s upbringing in learning a valued compromise and standing up for oneself. Have shaped her into the strong leader she is today. With over 25 years of experience, LeNesha is an accomplished diverse business professional known for her exceptional results. She excels in designing effective systems that drive performance and growth. LeNesha Brown has been a successful business development and strategy professional of combined private, public, and nonprofit sector experience helping community-based organizations improve their operational performance and fulfill their mission. She was instrumental during the years of 2011-2017 in the Early Childhood Education of Bright Beginnings, Inc. (BBI), a community-based organizations (CBOs) location in the District of Columbia.  Which made her a fond supporter of the work of fostering partnerships with organizations that addressed the racial inequities within communities who are most marginalized and are also intentional about making sure their voices are heard. LeNesha was also a strong leader within her hometown community of Kansas City, MO. She was a former program manager for High School Diversity Roundtables while serving as a Community Builder for KC Harmony. Beyond her professional accomplishments, LeNesha actively engages in her community through board positions and volunteering. She values personal growth and explores untraditional subjects such as Human Design and Psychological Safety. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading and journal writing. But most importantly she loves to serve and give back all while providing a service level of excellence. Working with NRCDV will allow her to broaden her many years of human capital, program management and advocacy experience within the organization’s racial justice efforts and commitment to end domestic violence across the United States.


Carolyn Carson

Carolyn Carson, Vice President of Finance and Operations

Carolyn is a financial management professional with an extensive background in the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about contributing to mission-centered work and helping organizations build financial resiliency. Carolyn holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Accounting and will soon complete a Master's degree in Accounting in 2024. Additionally, she holds a Master's degree in Fine Arts, which contributes to her love of museums of all kinds. Carolyn lives in Arizona and takes pride in being the guardian of Goldie, a Sonoran desert tortoise. She appreciates the Sonoran desert and enjoys birding and astronomy.


Kara Cook Bio Image

Kara Cook, American Rescue Plan Coordinator

Kara is originally from Maryland but grew up mostly in Littlestown, Pennsylvania. She graduated college from Penn State Mont Alto with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies with minors in Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies. Kara has passion for work in the domestic violence movement which comes from personal experience seeing family members affected, but also wanting to break the stigma surrounding domestic violence. In addition, her passion for racial justice and gender equality has driven her to join NRCDV.


Lynne Dillard

Lynne E. Dillard, Administrative Specialist

Lynne joined NRCDV in June, 2020 as a part-time administrative specialist. She has over 30 years working in the non-profit arena in the areas of fundraising, special events coordination, and administering various non-profit programs. At NRCDV, Lynne provides administrative support to the Transformation Team and the Board of Directors. She also provides assistance to the Operations Team with Grants coordination and Fund Development. Lynne graduated from Kutztown University with a degree in Business Administration.


Brittany Eltringham

Brittany Eltringham Director of Safe Housing Initiatives

Brittany Eltringham (she/her) joined the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) after several years of working at the local level. She draws upon her experience as a feminist, Native Hawaiian woman and maintains a deep commitment to aloha ‘āina, transformation, and liberation. Brittany brings her experience with community engagement, facilitation, racial and reproductive justice, and shelter advocacy to her work at the intersection of gendered violence, housing, and homelessness with NRCDV’s Policy and Research Team and the Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium (DVHTAC). She has a BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Hawai’i and is currently based in Baltimore, Maryland.


Breckan Erdman Winters

Breckan Erdman Winters, Communications Manager

Breckan (pronouns: she/her) is proud to be an advocate, a cat lady, and a mother to one amazing kid. Breckan has served in various roles at NRCDV since 2017. In her current role as Communications Manager, she is responsible for the development and implementation of NRCDV’s communications and public awareness initiatives. Guided by her belief that connection and community building are vital to our collective liberation, Breckan is excited to grow relationships and expand the reach of NRCDV’s critical programmatic and policy work. Her background includes court and shelter-based domestic violence advocacy and community organizing, and she recently trained as a full-spectrum doula. Breckan has a BA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and French from Washington University in St. Louis.


Youstina George image

Youstina George, Fiscal Director

Youstina (Tina) George (she/her), Fiscal Director, is originally from Egypt, and is a wife and mother of two wonderful children who are junior advocates. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a MBA. She is passionate about the nonprofit accounting field, and has not only managed financial operations but also mentored and taught numerous young accountants, empowering them to take on leadership roles within the sector. Tina lives in Florida with her husband, kids, and their rescued Beagle.


Pamela Jacobs, NRCDV, CEO

Pamela Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer

Pamela Jacobs, JD joined NRCDV as our new Chief Executive Officer in March 2024. Pamela is a passionate and experienced leader who has served in the field of sexual and domestic violence prevention and advocacy for over 20 years, most recently as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence. She is an attorney, advocate, author, and trainer who has provided extensive training to multidisciplinary professionals nationwide on how to improve our response to, and ultimately prevent, domestic and sexual violence. Her career has included training military leadership on transforming their response to survivors; providing legal services to survivors in immigration and family law proceedings; and advocating for survivors in court, the media, and the legislature. Pamela has published several articles as well as a book, The Empowered Advocate, on these topics. Throughout her career, she has focused on creating spaces that are inclusive and equitable, for both survivors and advocates. As a survivor of abuse and homelessness herself, Pamela is committed to ensuring all survivors – especially those who are the most marginalized – have access to the resources and support they need and deserve. Pamela holds a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law in Kansas and a bachelor’s from Lincoln University in Missouri. Her daughter grew up in this movement and recently graduated from Eastern Carolina University. Pamela lives outside Philadelphia with her partner and their rescued pets.


Casey Keene

Casey Keene, Director of Programs & Prevention

Casey Keene (she/her) believes that social change is both possible and necessary. A survivor of childhood trauma and mother to two inspiring children, her passion is nurturing resilient and equitable communities where all children can thrive. With more than 20 years of experience in gender-based violence advocacy, Casey knows that our work must be grounded in and guided by the needs, priorities, and leadership of those with lived experience at the intersections of violence and oppression. As the Director of Programs & Prevention at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV), Casey works to advance the special projects and resource development initiatives of the Programs & Prevention Team. These include PreventIPVVAWnet, the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, and the Adult Children Exposed to Domestic Violence (ACE-DV) Leadership Forum. Casey is a lifelong learner and Licensed Social Worker who earned her Master’s in Social Work from Temple University.


Sharita Lewis

Sharita Lewis, Events Specialist

NRCDV welcomes Sharita Lewis as the Events Specialist. Sharita start date was August 14, 2023 and comes to us through the Professional for Nonprofits staffing agency.  In addition to the admin support for operations,  her duties include being the POC for the DVRN meetings and all other external meetings and events. Sharita was responsible for contracts until the Contract Specialist was hired and provided support for our fund development efforts. Sharita brings a wealth of knowledge to NRCDV in event planning and admin support as she has served as an administrative liaison and operations communication professional in the nation’s capital for nearly two decades.
Prior to joining NRCDV, Sharita strengthened administration and communications efforts at area non-profits including the American Lung Association, The Fuller Project, the National Teachers Association, The Families Forward Project and Tech Congress: The National Coalition for the homeless client relations and case management. Key elements of her position included a focus on advocating and supporting efforts to end homelessness while teaching self-sufficiency.  
Sharita studied Business Administration at Ashworth University, and hold certificates such as case management, database administration, event planning, captain of special police, certified firearms instructor, and a member of the American Society of Administrative Professions. Sharita has a deep passion for social justice and loves all things comedy.


Shenna Morris

Shenna Morris, Vice President of Policy and Systems Change

Shenna (Black/African American; pronouns: she/her/hers) joined NRCDV as the Director of Policy in 2021. In this role she provides policy vision and expertise across NRCDV areas of focus and social justice issues impacting survivors of domestic violence. Shenna has been a social justice advocate for over 15 years with most of her work being in the gender-based violence movement. She has used both her lived experience as a child witness survivor of domestic violence and professional experience, to lead efforts that engage and mobilize communities, stakeholders, and lawmakers in addressing the intersecting issues of domestic violence, homelessness, racism, and oppression. During her time as the Director of Policy and Community Engagement at the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADAV), Shenna led capacity building technical assistance efforts to culturally specific community based organizations, efforts to strengthen collaborations between community-based and mainstream dv programs, worked with system partners to strengthen service provision and housing advocacy for survivors and people experiencing homelessness in HUD housing programs, provided training and support to systems on addressing systemic racism and building equitable response systems, and advocated for responsive public policies that met dv survivors needs. Shenna continued many of these efforts during her time with Collaborative Solutions Inc. where she provided technical assistance to communities’ implementing HUD and homeless system programs.


Lavon Morris-Grant

Lavon Morris-Grant, Director of Community Engagement

Lavon joined NRCDV as the Director of Community Engagement in 2021. Working in close collaboration with the Vice-President of Strategic Partnerships and Systems Change, Vice President of Programs, Prevention and Social Change, the Director of Policy and the Director of Housing and Economic Justice, she is a bridge to people with lived experience in communities most impacted by housing insecurity to guide and inform the work of NRCDV’s housing capacity center and across all initiatives. Lavon has been a social justice advocate for over 25 years, where she founded and was the Executive Director of MACOSH Healing Network in 2013 – 2021. It is the first culturally specific, holistic African American non-profit, domestic violence organization providing resources through the Arts in the State of Georgia. She is a gifted international and keynote speaker and dedicated political activist on vital social and psychological issues including; homelessness, domestic violence, sexual assault, mental illness, trauma recovery, suicide prevention and gun control.


Ivonne Ortiz

Ivonne Ortiz, (She, her, ella) Vice President of Programs, Prevention and Social Change

Ivonne is a human rights activist with more than 25 years of experience working to end gender-based violence. She is nationally recognized as an advocate, community organizer, and racial justice advocate. In 2005 Ivonne received the Arte Sana’s National Comadre en la Lucha Award for her advocacy efforts on behalf of the Latinx communities. As a member of the NRCDV family since 2013, Ivonne has been responsible for coordinating specialized technical assistance, training, and resource development on a wide range of subjects and issues that intersect with domestic violence like dynamics, prevalence, intervention, prevention, and public awareness. She is an orgullosa Puertorrican thrifter mother of three who continues to advocate for social change in her homeland of Puerto Rico and the US. Ivonne has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico.


John Schein

John Schein, Director of IT & Communications

John (pronouns: he/him/his) has been with NRCDV since 2003, serving as the Content Administrator for VAWnet prior to becoming NRCDV’s Information Technology Director. He is responsible for building and maintaining network infrastructure, preserving organizational resource integrity and providing budgetary guidance for administrative staff. John provides instruction to and researches technology issues for NRCDV staff members so they can accomplish their jobs more effectively. He graduated from the University of Maine with studies focusing on Political Science, Public Administration and History.