DeAnna Nara serves as a Senior Policy Associate focusing on initiatives to reduce sugary drink consumption. As an Edward Alexander Bouchet Doctoral Fellow, she earned her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from Howard University. Her doctoral dissertation work focused on nutritional management of chronic disease among low income, minority residents in DC, and she served as a teaching assistant in Howard’s Department of Nutritional Sciences. DeAnna earned a MSc in Botanical & Culinary Medicine from the Maryland University of Integrative Health and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BS in Psychology from Howard University, completing her Post Baccalaureate Training at the National Institute of Mental Health within the Laboratory of Cellular & Molecular Regulation. DeAnna sits on the DC Board of Nutrition & Dietetics and is also a Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist. DeAnna most recently served as policy advisor and public health Nutritionist for Terrific, Inc., a nonprofit housing and human services organization, where she advised DC policy for managing chronic disease for low income, at-risk, minority senior citizens.
Colleen O'Day is the Director of Human Resources and Administration at CSPI. She manages all human resources-related functions and oversees CSPI's administrative operations. Prior to joining CSPI in 2009, she served as Director of Human Resources at People for the American Way starting in 2005. Before that, O’Day held a variety of positions throughout her 18 years at Common Cause, including five years in the media relations office and 11 years as Director of Human Resources. O'Day earned a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior and Management from Brown University.
Ronda Parks serves as Accounting Associate and has been with CSPI since 2000. Her primary responsibilities are assisting the Finance Director with operations, coordinating the audit process, and managing invoices and payments.
Cassandra (Cassie) Ramos is a Policy Associate who helps identify and implement strategies to support healthy eating for low-income families, including through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Before joining CSPI, she served as the HHMI Science Policy Fellow at Research!America supporting health research advocacy, and as a researcher at City of Hope investigating the links between obesity and breast cancer. She earned her PhD and MS in Biological Sciences, and her BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Sara Ribakove is a Senior Policy Associate focused on reducing unhealthy food marketing to children and improving the nutritional quality of food for children in restaurants. Prior to joining CSPI in 2015, Sara worked for the Food Recovery Network, a non-profit working to reduce hunger and food waste. She is currently a graduate student at Georgetown University, where she is pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration, focused on responsible and ethical business practices and non-market strategy. She earned her B.A. in Public Health from the University of Rochester in 2014.
Maya Sandalow is a Senior Policy Associate at CSPI and focuses on SNAP access and nutrition insecurity. Prior to joining CSPI, Maya worked at the Georgetown University Health Justice Alliance, interned with the food assistance team at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and served as an AmeriCorps member at a San Francisco Department of Public Health primary care clinic. Maya holds a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College.
Chris Schmidt has been with CSPI since 1991. He currently serves as the Customer Service Manager. His primary responsibility is to coordinate and supervise the circulation, customer service and mailroom functions.
Tia Schwab is a Communications Associate at CSPI. Prior to joining CSPI, she served as the Communications and Development Specialist at Grantmakers In Health. She has also worked as a graphic designer and journalist, covering stories related to healthy and sustainable food. She holds a BA in Human Biology with a concentration in public health and food systems from Stanford University, and she is pursuing a Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy from Vermont Law School.
Colin Schwartz, MPP, is Deputy Director of Federal Affairs at CSPI and works on nutrition policy and advocacy. Prior to joining CSPI in July 2015, he served as director of government affairs at the Physicians Committee, policy and communications manager for the American Association of People with Disabilities, and manager of Viral Hepatitis Policy and Legislative Affairs at the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors. Colin earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, and a Master in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Katherine Shek serves as CSPI's Director of Campaign Communications, leading the policy communications team in planning and implementing campaigns to influence policy and drive engagement, especially in disadvantaged communities. Before CSPI, Katherine managed communications and digital engagement at the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board, the American Constitution Society and the National School Boards Association, respectively. Prior to that, she was a journalist and editor.