Alex Ambrose (she/they), Policy Analyst, researches policies with a focus on climate justice and transportation.
Prior to NJPP, Alex served as Policy Associate at the Association of NJ Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) and Policy Assistant at New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV). In those roles, she worked on policy and legislation to protect clean water, preserve open space, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with an emphasis on equity. Most recently, she worked to pass plastic pollution legislation including the statewide single-use bag ban.
Alex currently serves as the Chair of Clinton Township Environmental Commission and is pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration at Rutgers University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources from Rutgers University with a minor in Environmental Geomatics.
Digital Communications Manager
Erica Boland (she/her), 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. (he/him), 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.
Louis Di Paolo
Louis Di Paolo (he/him), Vice President, works with the leadership team to guide and execute NJPP’s policy agenda and strategic vision. He also leads NJPP’s communications department, developing messaging and tactics that promote the think tank’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, and acts as spokesperson for the organization. He was a leading figure in the successful campaigns for the $15 minimum wage, millionaires’ tax, and state-level Child Tax Credit.
Before joining NJPP in 2018 as Communications Director, Louis was the Legislative Director for the New Jersey Working Families Alliance. He was previously the Deputy Director of New Leaders Council – New Jersey and served as a councilman in his hometown, Dumont, New Jersey, from 2016 to 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:(201) 417-5049 (cell)
Jennifer Fekete-Donners (she/her), 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.
Senior Policy Analyst
Brittany L. Holom-Trundy
Dr. Brittany L. Holom-Trundy (she/her), 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.
Awinna Martinez (she/her), Policy Director, manages NJPP’s team of analysts and plays a major role in developing and advancing the think tank’s research and policy agenda.
Before joining NJPP in 2023, Awinna spent the majority of her career focused on criminal legal system with a human-centered lens. Awinna most recently worked in the pretrial justice space as a Program Manager with the Center for Effective Public Policy, and as the Project Director of the Staten Island Justice Center, where she oversaw the implementation of pretrial supervised release after New York City’s bail reform. Awinna also held positions at the Midtown Community Court and Newark Community Solutions. Awinna also served as the Community Law and Policy Fellow at the Center for Collaborative Change in Newark, where she was the Research Lead for the 2012 Newark Needs and Impact Assessment. Awinna holds a B.A. from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law-Newark.
Movement Communications Strategist
Hera Mir (they/them), Movement Communications Strategist, develops and executes communications strategy with NJPP’s partners and grassroots organizations to achieve racial justice across the state.
Hera builds communications infrastructure to increase access to news, policy, and political information for Black, Indigenous and People of Color in New Jersey.
Prior to joining NJPP in 2021, Hera worked for the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, where they coordinated press and digital campaigns advocating for inclusion of all immigrants in society and supported communications for the Alliance’s grassroots member organizations. During their time as communications coordinator, the Alliance led and won access to driver’s licenses for immigrants regardless of status, and legislation to phase out all immigration detention contracts in the state.
Hera began their career as an advocate for survivors of gender-based violence which led to a passion for community organizing and policy for the people. In 2015, as a Seeding Change fellow, they supported Asian American youth in Portland, Oregon organizing for inclusion of ethnic studies in Portland’s high school curriculum, and led initiatives to organize the South Asian American community in the city.
Hera holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick and currently serves as a communications advisor for New Jersey Prison Justice Watch (NJPJW).Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance and Operations Manager
Lianna Reagan (she/her), Finance and Operations Manager, works on administration for NJPP including financial management, human resources, and operations.
Prior to joining NJPP in 2023, Lianna worked for Girls on the Run Northern Virginia as their Director of Administration. She has also worked on policy issues such as school discipline reform, judicial election reform, voting access and voter ID, and campaign finance reform. Lianna has her Masters in Public Administration from the Wagner School of Public Policy at New York University, and her B.A. from Barnard College where she majored in Urban Studies.
Nicole Rodriguez (she/her), President, is an experienced public policy leader who advocates for equitable solutions that center communities’ needs with racial, social, and economic justice.
Before joining New Jersey Policy Perspective as Research Director, Nicole was senior researcher at Community Labor United (CLU) — an organization that brings community and labor partners together to speak in one voice on issues affecting working families throughout Greater Boston. Nicole drove strategic campaigns with rigorous research and leadership that stabilized and strengthened low-paid families and communities of color.
Before that, Nicole worked as senior policy analyst for the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, an independent research organization that produces nonpartisan policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations to improve the lives of low- and middle-income residents and strengthen the state’s economy. Nicole wrote numerous reports focusing on family economic security and the state budget.
She has also worked for foundations, nonprofits, and state and local governments. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Villanova University.
Senior Policy Analyst
Marleina Ubel (she/her), Senior Policy Analyst, 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.