Advocacy, Research, Training

Staff and Areas of Expertise

WOW’s main office is based in the nation’s capital.


 

Stacey Brown, Financial Manager

Work at WOW

Stacey is responsible for WOW’s financial operations and elements of its financing strategy.  

Before WOW, Stacey served as Budget and Finance Manager for the State Of Maryland Higher Education System for more than 14 years and five years in state government and non-profit accounting. As a budget and finance manager, Stacey analyzed and assessed the funding and performance of University System of Maryland institutions, and provided recommendations for funding to be included in the governor’s proposed annual budget. Her role included grants management, requiring preparation of project budgets for large-scale, multi-year federal and private research initiatives being proposed and in production. Additionally, she was responsible for automating several routine budget functions in an effort to simplify reporting requirements, produce ad hoc requests and manage data. Stacey earned her Master’s in Accounting Information Systems from the University of Maryland University College and a Bachelor of Science in business administration, majoring in accounting, from Bowie State University.

Areas of Expertise

Stacey’s experience and expertise includes accounting, budget, financial management, grants management, forecasting and account reconciliation in both the public and private sectors.


 

Camille Browne, Associate Director, Elder Economic Security Initiative

Work at WOW

Camille promotes the Elder Economic Security InitiativeTM (EESI) by supporting current Initiative partners and  identifying, recruiting and building relationships with potential partners at the local, state and federal levels. She also provides technical assistance to partners and coalition members, contributes to WOW’s intergenerational policy agenda and develops and implements special initiatives.

Camille worked previously as Program Manager in OWL’s national office in Washington, DC where she was instrumental in helping manage and launch Mother’s Day campaigns and reports. Her work in aging includes volunteering for AARP. Camille’s previous career was in accounting.  Camille graduated with an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Allied Health Professions Department of Gerontology.  She also holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Areas of Expertise

Camille’s focus includes aging and public policy.


 

Solace Duncan, Economic Empowerment Advocate, Economic Security for Survivors Project

Work at WOW

Solace provides career planning and financial education through workshops and individual counseling to survivors of domestic violence at partner organizations in the District of Columbia. Before joining WOW, Solace worked in several areas of human services and employment services for the Government of the District of Columbia. Specifically, Solace served as a special assistant to the Refugee Resettlement Coordinator for Washington, DC and provided career coaching to refugees and asylum seekers. She crafted the plan for refugee resettlement, which included mechanisms for providing healthcare and cash assistance to refugees. Solace earned a Master’s in Public Administration from Howard University. 

Areas of Expertise

Solace focuses on career planning and workforce development.


 

Malore Dusenbery, Associate Director, Economic Security for Survivors Project

Work at WOW

Malore provides technical assistance and training to groups that regularly interact with survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. She works with service providers, transitional housing programs, the criminal justice system and policy makers to  improve the economic security and safety of survivors by enhancing existing programming. Malore worked with both WOW policy and the research departments before joining the ESS team.

Prior to working at WOW, Malore consulted for the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, where she advocated for alternatives to incarceration for previously abused girls, nonconsensual research on women and domestic youth sex trafficking. Malore has also developed teen dating violence prevention programs for DART, Inc., which she then taught to middle school health classes. After receiving her B.A. from Whitman College, in Washington State, Malore earned an M.S. in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Areas of Expertise

Malore specializes in issues facing survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. She focuses on state criminal and civil justice systems, employment counseling for quality jobs, federal and state policy advocacy and curriculum development.


 

Mary Gatta, Ph.D.,  Senior Scholar

Work at WOW

Mary manages and performs a wide variety of research related to job quality, such as workplace flexibility for low-wage workers in business sectors including restaurants, tourism and manufacturing; workforce development training programs; and the lived experiences of seniors who lack economic security. Mary’s expertise includes the integration of a gender lens into these and other areas of economic policy analysis.

Before working at WOW, Mary was the Director of Gender and Workforce Policy at the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University. While at Rutgers, Mary explored the experiences of women as they navigate One-Stop Career Centers, which led to Mary’s forthcoming  book, All I Want Is A Job! Unemployed Women Navigating the Public Workforce System. Mary is also the author of Not Just Getting By: The New Era of Flexible Workforce Development and  Juggling Food and Feelings: Emotional Balance in the Workplace and is the editor of A US Skills System for the 21st Century: Innovations in Workforce Education and Development. Mary received a B.A. in social science from Providence College and her Master’s degree and PhD in Sociology from Rutgers University, where she is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations.

Areas of Expertise

Mary focuses on broad issues of women, such as low-wage work and workplace skills, gender wage gap, workplace flexibility and social welfare policy, including workforce development, poverty and welfare.


 

Sarah Gonzalez Bocinski, Director, Economic Security for Survivors Project

Work at WOW

Sarah oversees the Economic Security for Survivors (ESS) project, which provides education, training and technical assistance to transitional housing programs, Services Training Officers and Prosecutors (STOP) Grant Program administrators, and STOP sub-grantees. WOW training enhances existing programming and policies to improve the economic security and safety of survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Sarah guides the development of tools and curricula, and provides on-site technical assistance to partners interested in addressing issues of economic security.

Sarah joined WOW in 2010 to work on local direct service and policy advocacy. She was responsible for expansion of the DC Family Economic Security Project and has provided DC area youths and adults with career and financial literacy programs and job readiness. Before working at WOW, Sarah worked in higher education fundraising and philanthropic program management. Sarah received her B.A. from Colgate University and Master of Public Policy from Georgetown Public Policy Institute, concentrating on family, social and education policy.

Areas of Expertise

Sarah focuses on the struggles of survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and how public policy and programs can address the connections between survivor safety and economic security.


 

Jessica Horning, Research Associate

Work at WOW
Jessica manages the Basic Economic Security Tables StandardTM Index (BEST) and its inclusion in the Economic Security Database. As a part of the BEST project, Jessica analyzes state and national labor and wage data. She also models program supports and tax credits for low-income families and elders to demonstrate the importance of these programs to their economic security and drafts briefs on the findings. Additionally, Jessica evaluates state and national policies for their impact on economics security for families and elders. Jessica joined WOW’s staff as a federal policy intern.

Jessica earned her Master of Science in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin and her Bachelor of Social Work at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. She spent a year teaching HIV prevention to Washington, DC  public school students through AmeriCorps.

Areas of Expertise
Jessica specializes in labor market data, unemployment insurance, federal and state support programs, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), and in early child education.


 

Shawn McMahon, Vice President for Policy and Programs

Work at WOW

Shawn serves as WOW’s Vice President for Policy and Programs, where he oversees diverse programs, projects and research which improve the economic security of women, elders and families. He began working with WOW as a consultant developing WOW’s DC Metro Area Self-Sufficiency Calculator (DCMASSC), and joined the WOW staff shortly thereafter. Before assuming his current position, Shawn was WOW’s Manager of Research and Innovation, and designed and oversaw the research components of all WOW programs and projects. He also designed and oversaw the development of WOW’s online tools. He is the lead author of WOW’s the Basic Economic Security Tables StandardTM Index (BEST).

Earlier in his career, Shawn developed adult education programs, complete with wrap-around social service provision, within the former District of Columbia Mayor’s Adult Literacy/Lifelong Learning Initiative. He has also worked as an independent research and evaluation consultant, and as a ghostwriter of policy-related nonfiction. He is the author of Fight for Equality: International Medical Graduates in the United States. Shawn holds degrees in economics, political science, English and international political economy from Rutgers University and the University of California, San Diego.

Areas of Expertise

Shawn specializes in measures of well-being, labor market research, gender segregation, employment-based benefits, workplace flexibility, older workers, work and income support programs, federal budget processes and entitlements.



Katie Onachila
, Women & Work Project Manager

 


Jo Reed, Director, Elder Economic Security Initiative

Work at WOW

Jo oversees WOW’s Elder Economic Security InitiativeTM (EESI), which improves the economic well-being of older adults by raising awareness of financial needs, building state partner capacity and creating policy change on the local, state and federal levels. She provides strategic vision for the Initiative and WOW’s broader economic security work, and helps shape WOW’s policy agenda.

Before joining WOW, Jo worked as a federal lobbyist and team leader at AARP for more than 25 years, focusing on “livable communities” issues such as housing, transportation, supportive services, low-income assistance programs and consumer protection. Later, she coordinated research, training and technical assistance activities related to livable communities as a senior program manager at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). Jo earned her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master’s of Social Work with a focus on aging policy at San Diego State University.

Areas of Expertise

Jo specializes in public policy and aging, including livable communities issues and public assistance. She also covers entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.


 

Vivian Staples, Office Manager

Work at WOW

Vivian oversees WOW’s office operations, including human resources and external financial relations. Vivian has worked at WOW for more than 30 years,  and is WOW’s unofficial historian.

Before joining WOW, Vivian worked for the Project on Equal Education Rights, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Vivian is WOW’s “go-to” person.


 

Lauren Sugerman, Director, Women and Work Projects

Work at WOW

Lauren directs WOW’s non-traditional occupations programs and contributes to WOW’s workforce advocacy initiatives. She provides program support and technical assistance on equal opportunity policy and practices to the workforce development system, community-based agencies, educational institutions and industry stakeholders. She leads WOW’s advocacy of improved funding for women and girls’ training, and of gender equity policy and practice in workforce development and career and technical education.

Lauren began her career as an elevator constructor and was a co-founder of Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT). She led the agency for nearly 25 years, growing CWIT from an all-volunteer support group to a multi-service, nationally recognized organization. Lauren has served on two federal advisory committees for the US Department of Labor, the Illinois Workforce Investment Board, the Illinois Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women and the Chicago Private Industry Council. She is a founding member of the Committee of Women in the Trades for the Building and Construction Trades Department and a leader of the National Task Force on Tradeswomen’s Issues and Tradeswomen Now and Tomorrow. Lauren studied  graduate-level  community economic development and conducted a cross-national study on women in the trades and occupational segregation by gender via on-site research with tradeswomen’s programs in Cuba, Nicaragua,  South Africa and Spain.

Area of Expertise

Lauren is an expert on equal opportunity, occupational segregation by gender, non-traditional career awareness and training and pre-apprenticeship training program development.


 

Matt Unrath, Director, National Projects

Work at WOW

Matt oversees WOW’s national projects—The Family Economic Security Project, the Basic Economic Security Tables StandardTM Index (BEST), the Women and Work project and the Economic Security for Survivors project. He serves as the principal contact for WOW’s state and local partners across the country and represents WOW in national advocacy efforts.

Before joining WOW, Matt served as policy and program liaison for Asset Building at Heartland Alliance in Chicago, where he worked on initiatives which help low-income families build wealth, including financial literacy and matched savings programs. He also advocated for consumer protection policies in Illinois. Matt earned his B.A. In International Studies at Boston College.

Area of Expertise

Matt specializes in alternative measurements of poverty and family economic security. He is an expert on issues faced by low-wage workers, gender-based occupational segregation and effective communications for progressive policy campaigns.

 
Wider Opportunities for Women
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