Brandon McKoy, President, is the chief executive of NJPP and leads the organization’s efforts in shaping policy debates to advance economic justice for the many, not a chosen few. Prior to being named President of NJPP in February 2019, Brandon served as NJPP’s Director of Government and Public Affairs, where he designed and implemented the organization’s outreach, advocacy, and government relations activities. He also produces timely, credible and accessible research and analysis on issues including, but not limited to, economic security, the social safety net and economic opportunity.
Brandon’s research interests include: state tax policy, the minimum wage, paid sick leave, the earned income tax credit, urban planning and criminal justice.
Before joining NJPP in August 2014 as a national fellow under the State Priorities Partnership’s and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ state policy fellowship program, Brandon worked as a Program Associate at The Fund for New Jersey, where he assisted in grantmaking on public policy issues that particularly affect low-income and minority populations in New Jersey. He also worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA at HANDS, Inc., a community development corporation in New Jersey, where he worked to mitigate the negative impact of foreclosures and increase citizen participation in local decision-making.
Brandon formerly served as the Deputy Chapter Director of New Leaders Council – New Jersey and is an alumnus of the 2013 fellows class. He currently serves on the board of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, Shelterforce and the I Am Trenton Community Foundation. He received a MA in City & Regional Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and holds a BS degree in Social Psychology from The College of New Jersey.
Phone:(609) 393-1145 ext. 14
Louis Di Paolo
Louis Di Paolo, Communications Director, develops and directs communications strategies to promote NJPP’s research and shape the public debate across a range of policy issues.
Louis works closely with the media and other key stakeholders, edits reports and publications, manages social media accounts, and acts as spokesperson for the organization.
Before joining NJPP in 2018, Louis was the Legislative Director for the New Jersey Working Families Alliance. He also served as a councilman in his hometown, Dumont, New Jersey, from 2016 through 2019. A proud product of New Jersey’s public schools, Louis received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Ramapo College of New Jersey.
Phone:(609) 393-1145 ext. 15
Jennifer Fekete-Donners, Development Director, oversees donor communications and manages the organization’s fund development. Jennifer is an experienced development and fundraising professional, with over fifteen years of experience working in nonprofit and higher education. She is a skilled development writer and communicator, with particular expertise in annual giving, fundraising event management, and donor cultivation.
Prior to joining the staff at New Jersey Policy Perspective, Jennifer was the Associate Director of Advancement at the Michener Art Museum, a cultural institution devoted to preserving, interpreting and displaying the rich artistic legacy of Bucks County and the surrounding region. During her tenure, Jennifer executed successful fundraising campaigns, seamlessly weaving together a comprehensive, multi-channel strategy that encompassed annual support, fundraising events, individual and corporate membership, and exhibition and program sponsorship, as well as laying the groundwork for a reinvigorated planned giving program. Prior to her time at the Michener, Jennifer was Development Director at One Simple Wish, an innovative nonprofit which provides support and wish fulfillment for children living in the foster care system, and the Manager of Membership and Annual Support at the Princeton University Art Museum.
She received her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in History of Art from Cornell University.
Phone:(609) 393-1145 ext. 13
Senior Policy Analyst
Brittany L. Holom-Trundy
Dr. Brittany L. Holom-Trundy, Senior Policy Analyst, is a researcher and lecturer whose interests include health care system reform, the differential impact of health policies across socioeconomic groups, and the role of social and cultural factors in the access to and use of health care services, as well as health outcomes.
Prior to joining NJPP in May 2020, Brittany taught classes on human security, health care systems, post-Soviet politics, human rights, and development at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and in the Department of Political Science at The College of New Jersey. She also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at the Puerto Rican Action Board in New Brunswick and has recently volunteered at one of New Jersey’s COVID-19 testing sites as part of the Medical Reserve Corps.
Brittany received her Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University in 2018, where her dissertation explored healthcare reforms in the former Soviet countries and the impact of decision making at critical junctures on long-term institutional trajectories. She received her Master’s in Politics from Princeton in 2013 and her Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Literature and Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in 2011.
Senior Policy Analyst
Vineeta Kapahi, Senior Policy Analyst, works on issues related to immigrants’ rights and economic security. She has worked alongside immigrant communities as a social worker, organizer, and researcher for nearly a decade.
In the summer of 2019, Vineeta served as NJPP’s Kathleen Crotty Fellow, where she authored a landmark report on the benefits of expanding New Jersey’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Prior to that, she was the Manager of Policy and Volunteer Engagement at Womankind, a nonprofit organization that addresses gender-based violence.
Vineeta completed her undergraduate studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Rice University and holds master’s degrees from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Director of Operations and Finance
David Nelson, Director of Operations and Finance, joined NJPP in 2016 as Operations Specialist and served as Director of Operations and Development before his current role. David is also a Master’s of Public Administration student in the Graduate School of Arts and Science at Rutgers Camden. He is focusing his studies on state and local budgeting and financing practices and intergovernmental nature of government funding. He previously worked for Princeton AlumniCorps, an alumni association committed to engaging the Princeton University community in civic service work, and Left Forum, a New York City-based non-profit organization that brings progressive people together to share radical ideas for social change. David plans to combine his passion for equity and justice with his interest in government budgeting to help build progressive budgets in New Jersey. He is the proud recipient of an Eagleton Fellowship and a New Leaders Council Fellowship.
Phone:(609) 393-1145 ext. 10
Senior Policy Analyst
Sheila Reynertson, Senior Policy Analyst, focuses on budget and tax issues with an emphasis on advocating for state fiscal policies that benefit working families of New Jersey.
Sheila’s research interests include: budget planning, corporate taxation, progressive taxation policy, supportive work/family policies and women’s economic empowerment.
Before joining NJPP in October 2014, Sheila worked as an advocacy coordinator at MergerWatch, a national women’s health advocacy organization. Previously, Sheila worked in the health care sector as a private childbirth coach in New York City. She currently serves as President of the Board of Health in Hopewell.
Phone:(609) 393-1145 ext. 12
Nicole Rodriguez, Research Director, is an experienced public policy advocate who researches and advocates for state policy solutions that centers the needs of communities. She is skilled in policy analysis, research, writing, communication, and nonprofit organization and management. Her research interests include labor and economic policy at the intersection of work and family.
Before joining New Jersey Policy Perspective, Nicole was a Senior Researcher at Community Labor United (CLU), an organization that brings together community and labor partners to speak in one voice on issues that impact working-class families throughout Greater Boston. Specifically, Nicole drove strategic campaigns forward with rigorous research and leadership that stabilize and strengthen low-income families and communities of color.Prior to that, Nicole worked as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, an independent research organization that produces non-partisan policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state’s economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts. Nicole has authored numerous reports focusing on family economic security and the state budget.
She has also worked for foundations, non-profits, and state and local governments in Massachusetts. She holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Villanova University.
Phone:(609) 393-1145 ext. 18
Digital Communications Manager
Erica Boland, Digital Communications Manager, develops and executes NJPP’s digital and video strategy, translating complex policy topics into stories that entertain as much as they inform.
Erica works closely with the entire NJPP team as well as outside partners on events, press conferences, and other speaking engagements, and creates social media posts, graphics, videos, and blog posts.
Prior to joining NJPP in 2021, Erica worked for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, where she led and executed dynamic digital campaigns promoting programs and events that benefit New Jersey residents. Erica has also worked as a graphic designer and art director for private marketing agencies designing websites, email campaigns and social media campaigns. Erica graduated from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University with her Bachelor’s of Science in Art Education.
Senior Policy Analyst
Peter Chen, Esq., Senior Policy Analyst, has worked on child and family policy advocacy in New Jersey since 2014. Most recently, he coordinated New Jersey’s nonprofit campaign for a complete count of the 2020 Census. Additionally, Peter has written reports on topics including childhood lead poisoning prevention, chronic absenteeism from school, teacher certification, and summer meals.
Prior to New Jersey Policy Perspective, Peter was Policy Counsel at Advocates for Children of New Jersey, where he also served as a Skadden Fellow from 2014-16. Peter received his JD from Yale Law School and his Bachelors of Arts from Indiana University-Bloomington. He served as a law clerk for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Policy Analyst and State Policy Fellow
Marleina Ubel, Policy Analyst and State Policy Fellow, researches the criminal legal system with a focus on alternatives to policing that center restorative justice.
Previously, Marleina was NJPP’s 2020-2021 Kathleen Crotty Fellow where she analyzed the state budget process and researched public spending on state and local law enforcement.
Marleina began her undergraduate work at Valencia College and earned a transfer scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned a B.A. in Philosophy. As a PIKSI fellow, she spent a summer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology challenging demographic disparities in institutions of higher learning. In 2021, she earned her M.S.W. in Management and Policy at Rutgers University and served as an Eagleton Fellow in the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office. Marleina lives in Lambertville with her husband and daughter.
2021 Kathleen Crotty Fellow
Kimberly Thomson, 2021 Kathleen Crotty Fellow, is a researcher focusing on Universal Basic Income (UBI). The Kathleen Crotty Fellowship honors the legacy of NJPP’s late board chair, Kathleen Crotty, by giving the next generation of New Jersey policy leaders an intensive summer experience in policy analysis and advocacy.
Kimberly began her career in clinical genetics, providing counseling services to both prenatal and pediatric patients. With a desire to expand her focus to population health, she recently completed a master’s degree in Public Health Policy and Administration at Montclair State University. Since graduating, she has worked in the policy office of the All of Us genomics research program at the NIH. Projects included review and analysis of ethical, legal, and social issues in areas such as consent, data access, and pediatric participation. Professional interests include the role of public policy in addressing social determinants of health to reduce health inequities and disparities.