Staff

Jump to section: Executive Director | Policy Staff | Outreach Staff | Communications Staff | Operations & Development Staff | Research/Open Justice Oklahoma Staff | Fellows

Executive Director Ahniwake Rose

Ahniwake Rose is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute (OK Policy). Rose brings nearly two decades of experience at the intersection of public policy and nonprofit management. She is grounded in forward-thinking policy solutions and seeks to work within communities to assess, develop, and implement comprehensive change based in credible data.

Prior to her joining OK Policy, Rose served as the Deputy Director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), a national organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities, where she worked with a diverse coalition of civil and human rights organizations to address economic inequality and systemic injustice.

Oklahoma-born, Rose serves on several education and youth related boards and is a Rockwood Leadership Institute Leading from the Inside Out Fellow, Class of 2017. She is a mother of two daughters, Waleah and Tahna. She is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and is of Muscogee (Creek) descent. Contact Ahniwake

Policy Staff

Policy Director / Health Care Policy Analyst Carly Putnam

Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in January 2014. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern. A Kansas City native, Carly graduated from the University of Tulsa in December 2013 with a BA in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. She is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification Program, the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking program, and  The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa. She previously served as board president for United Campus Ministry at the University of Tulsa. She is a member of Leadership Tulsa Class 62. At OK Policy, Carly supervises policy staff and conducts health care research. Contact Carly

Infrastructure and Access Senior Policy Analyst Sabine Brown

Sabine Brown joined the Oklahoma Policy Institute as an Infrastructure and Access Senior Policy Analyst in January 2022. She previously worked at OK Policy from January 2018 until September 2020 as the Outreach and Legislative Director, and received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. Before joining OK Policy she served as the Oklahoma Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Sabine also earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Health Science from the University of Oklahoma and was a physician assistant prior to discovering advocacy work. She grew up in Germany but has called Oklahoma home since 1998. Contact Sabine

Criminal Justice Policy Analyst David Gateley

David Gateley joined Oklahoma Policy Institute in August 2021 as the Criminal Justice Policy Analyst. Raised in Oklahoma, David received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma. After graduation, he taught biology at Edmond North High School before earning his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. During law school, he wrote on topics such as the abolition of cash bail and the effectiveness of restorative justice. He was also an avid moot court competitor, receiving recognition in the national Order of the Barristers. Most recently, David worked as a licensed legal intern in the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office. David is passionate about reforming the criminal justice system towards less punitive principles of justice and away from mass incarceration. In his free time, David enjoys trying new restaurants, and reading science fiction novels. He lives in Oklahoma City. Contact David

Child Well-Being Policy Analyst / KIDS COUNT Coordinator Gabrielle Jacobi

Gabrielle Jacobi joined the Oklahoma Policy Institute as its Child Well-Being Policy Analyst / KIDS COUNT Coordinator in March 2021 after more than two years as a Program Coordinator at the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness. Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Gabrielle earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Kansas. While there, she worked for four years at KU’s Center of Public Partnerships and Research, which spurred a passion for child advocacy and showed the impact that public policy and programming can have on families. Currently, she is working on her Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate in Disaster Management from the University of Central Oklahoma. She lives in Oklahoma City where she proudly cheers on both the Kansas Jayhawks and the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball teams. Contact Gabrielle

Health Care and Revenue Policy Analyst Emma Morris

Emma Morris joined Oklahoma Policy Institute as the Health Care and Revenue Policy Analyst in April 2021, and she previously worked as an OK Policy intern and as the Health Care Policy Fellow. She has worked as a case manager with justice-involved individuals and volunteered as a mentor for youth in her community. Emma holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Women’s and Gender Studies and Public and Nonprofit Administration from the University of Oklahoma, and is currently working on a Master of Public Administration degree from OU-Tulsa. She is an alumna of OK Policy’s 2019 Summer Policy Institute and The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship. Contact Emma

Tribal Policy Analyst (State Priorities Partnership Fellow) Vivian Morris

Vivian Morris joined OK Policy in August 2021 as the Tribal Policy Analyst through the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities State Policy Partnership Program. She is Oklahoma’s first tribal policy focused fellow in the program. Vivian is Alabama (federally recognized as Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town) and Diné (Navajo).  She defines herself as a nomadic Oklahoman with New Mexico roots. Vivian holds dual Bachelor degrees with academic distinction; a Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, with a minor in Native American Studies from the University of Oklahoma. She is currently working on a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with a Public Policy concentration from the University of Oklahoma, and expected to graduate in May 2022. Vivian also currently serves as the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Election Committee Chairman where she oversees the tribe’s election process and policy development. Previously, she worked as a Tribal Government Relations Health Promotion Coordinator at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (SoonerCare). In this role, she gained invaluable experience in state administration and tribal public health. She is a passionate Indian Country advocate who also has shelter experience addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness. Some of the core issues that she’s passionate about addressing and spreading awareness of include: domestic violence, racism, protecting tribal sovereignty, respecting Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and Este-cate (Indigenous/Native American) identity diversity. Contact Vivian

Immigration Policy Analyst Gabriela Ramirez-Perez

Gabriela joined OK Policy as an Immigration Policy Analyst in August 2021. Raised in Oklahoma City, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with minors in German, Arabic, and International Security Studies. During college Gabriela had internships at the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma, the Office of former Congresswoman Kendra Horn, and she took part in events to help educate first-generation Latinx students on how to attend college. Gabriela looks forward to using her skills at OK Policy to work towards a more equitable future for all Oklahomans. Contact Gabriela

Outreach Staff

Outreach & Legislative Director Angela Monson

A lifelong Oklahoman, Angela Monson has been an advocate for change for more than five decades. Working with the community, faith-based, civic, civil rights organizations, and others, she has been a leader for policy change in health care, education, social justice, taxes, and many other important issues that impact hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans. Angela served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from November 1990 until her election to the Oklahoma State Senate in 1993, where she served until November 2005. She earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science in Corrections from Oklahoma City University. Angela is a graduate of the historic Oklahoma City Douglass High School. Contact Angela

Legislative Liaison Nicole Poindexter

Nicole Poindexter joined OK Policy in 2019. She is originally from California’s Central Valley where she attended Fresno State. Nicole worked in EMS before staying home to raise her four children, identical twins Lukas and Logan, daughter Ella, and youngest son Wyatt. In 2013, after the devastating Moore tornado she joined a statewide political campaign, advocating for storm shelters in schools. After that campaign ended, she continued to advocate for women and children in the non-profit arena. Nicole most recently worked at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. She was appointed by Governor Fallin to the Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness in 2017. When she is not working, Nicole can often be found in her craft room or at a local concert. Contact Nicole

Project Manager for ProsperOK Damion Shade

Damion joined Oklahoma Policy Institute in July 2018 as the criminal justice policy analyst. He grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and has lived in Oklahoma since the late 90s. Prior to joining OK Policy, he was an educator at Jenks Public Schools and the Oklahoma School for the Performing Arts. He’s written education and justice features as a contributing writer for the Tulsa Voice since 2016, and he was awarded best Education and General News Reporting features by the Society for Professional Journalists in 2017. Damion earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Oral Roberts University and started several voter registration and political advocacy initiatives during his time on campus. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Rachel. Contact Damion

Southeast Regional Organizer Roxanne Logan

Growing up in Norman, Oklahoma, in the 60’s, Roxanne experienced family life typical of the era. Her Mom stayed home to care for the kids and her Dad worked to provide for his family.  They were typical but at the same time they weren’t. Her parents, both independent people, nurtured her independence too, by encouraging her to think for herself. As a result, she knocked doors for former presidential candidate George McGovern and while attending school at Oklahoma University, participated in protests against the Viet Nam War.  She grew up at a time when abortions and pot were both illegal. John, Bobby, and Martin were assassinated.  The black community was struggling to gain equality and women were demanding their rights. While all of this was happening, she was learning about politics, the good, the bad, and the ugly. When her husband passed in 2012, she was happily living a quiet life—I was a hermit, she says–but soon grew tired and began seeking out like-minded people. She eventually became an officer in the county political party as well as the women’s arm of the county party.  When one of her new friends ran for state representative, she served as the campaign’s Deputy Treasurer. A deep-down ember was reignited. Following the election and Oklahoma Policy Institute‘s launch of a rural outreach program, Roxanne accepted the Chapter Leader’s  position for Together Oklahoma’s Carter County chapter. She credits the opportunity with leading to her dream of working for Oklahoma Policy Institute. She believes that change can happen when people work together toward a common goal, and she is laser focused on making Oklahoma the state we all deserve. Contact Roxanne

Southwest Regional Organizer Katie Applegate

Katie Applegate joined OK Policy in November of 2021. Her heart is in Southwest Oklahoma where she was born and raised. She worked in Events Management at Cameron University while earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She was active on her campus as a staff member and student. During her last year of school, she was selected as the Senior Class Gift Committee Chair and brought a public art piece to campus along with her team. Although her career and school kept her schedule full, she always made time see local theatre performances and picking up a Wayne’s Drive Inn Dr. Pepper afterwards. After graduating, she worked in Events Management at the University of Central Oklahoma. Katie and Lottie (her senior golden retriever) enjoy short walks and an Oklahoma sunset by the fire-pit. What she tackles, she conquers. She is excited and honored to serve her region. Contact Katie

Communications Staff

Communications Director Dave Hamby

David Hamby has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning communicator, including overseeing communication programs for Oklahoma higher education institutions and other organizations. Most recently, he was director of public relations for Rogers State University where he managed the school’s external communication programs and served as a member of the president’s leadership team. He served in a similar communications role for five years at the University of Tulsa. His professional experience also includes service at Oklahoma State University and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from OSU, he worked as a reporter for three years at the second-largest daily newspaper in Arkansas. Contact Dave

Communications Associate Jessica Vazquez

Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy’s Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and a founding Board Member for El Centro: New Sanctuary Empowerment Center in Tulsa. Contact Jessica

Digital Communications Associate / Storybanker Annie Taylor

Annie Taylor joined OK Policy as a Digital Communications Associate/Storybanker in April 2022. She studied journalism and mass communication at the University of Oklahoma, and was a member of the Native American Journalists Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Central Oklahoma. While pursuing her degree, she worked in restaurant and retail management, as well as freelance copywriting and digital content production. Annie is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation, and holds a deep reverence for storytelling in the digital age. She was born and raised in southeast Oklahoma, and now lives in Oklahoma City with her dog, Melvin. Contact Annie

Operations & Development Staff

Deputy Director Shiloh Kantz

Shiloh joined OK Policy in February 2010.  She is a wife and mother of three children, Grantham, Ethan and Delilah, and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.  Prior to joining OK Policy, she worked as a controller  for an Oklahoma small business group.  Shiloh was promoted to Director of Operations and Development in June of 2015, then Deputy Director in 2018. She oversees the Operations & Development team.  Contact Shiloh

Manager of Organizational Effectiveness Andrea Mancuso

Andrea joined OK Policy in June 2018 as a member of the operations team focusing on human resource management, project management, and finance. She lives in the Tulsa area with her two children and can often be found enjoying local parks, hiking trails, and libraries. Before joining OK Policy, Andrea held positions in accounting and finance at the Tulsa Community Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa Opera, and Riverfield Country Day School. A native Oklahoman, she holds a B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern State University and an M.A. in Organizational Dynamics from OU – Tulsa. Contact Andrea

Development Manager Michelle Pooch

Michelle Pooch joined OK Policy in May of 2022. She was born and raised in small-town Iowa where her community shaped her commitment to public service. After completing her B.A. in sociology at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, she served families throughout rural northeastern Oklahoma as a Resource Coordinator for the State while completing her M.P.A. degree at OU-Tulsa. Michelle brings nearly a decade of experience in political and nonprofit fundraising, most recently serving as the Director of Development and Communications for Restore Hope Ministries, an urban ministry dedicated to hunger relief and homeless prevention. Contact Michelle

Staff Accountant Ryan Starkweather

Ryan Starkweather joined the Oklahoma Policy Institute as a Staff Accountant in April 2022. A native Tulsan, Ryan received his B.S. in International Business and B.A. in Chinese Studies from the University of Tulsa. He was selected as the first recipient of the Pickering Fellowship at TU but decided to forgo a career in the Foreign Service to work towards bettering his home state. Prior to joining OK Policy, Ryan served as the Operations Director for the Oklahoma Democratic Party. He lives in Oklahoma City with his dog, Hank. Contact Ryan Starkweather

Research/Open Justice Oklahoma Staff 

Research Director Ryan Gentzler

Ryan Gentzler, Research Director, leads OK Policy’s work to use data to support our organization’s policy and programmatic goals. He joined OK Policy in January 2016 as Criminal Justice Policy Analyst and founded Open Justice Oklahoma, a program of OK Policy that uses public court, jail, and prison data to open the black box of our justice system. A native Nebraskan, he holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a BA in Institutions and Policy from William Jewell College. Contact Ryan Gentzler

Data Analyst Ashley Harvey

Ashley Harvey joined OK Policy as the justice data analyst for Open Justice Oklahoma in September 2018. A native Oklahoman, she received her B.S. and M.S. from Oklahoma State University-Tulsa in Human Development and Family Science. She previously worked as a research assistant for OSU’s Center for Family Resilience evaluating various community and grant funded projects. As an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, she developed and implemented a family strengthening initiative within Tulsa County Juvenile Detention Center. Ashley is an alumna of OK Policy’s 2017 Summer Policy Institute. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from OSU, where her research interests include family and community impacts of the justice system. She lives in the Tulsa area with her husband, Bryan, and their two children. Contact Ashley

Justice Data Analyst Andrew Bell

Andrew Bell joined the Oklahoma Policy Institute in March 2021 as a justice data analyst. Born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, Andrew moved to Oklahoma in 2016 to attend the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and is currently working towards a Master of Public Administration degree. Andrew has worked in many roles within the field of social science and public policy, including working the phones at a public opinion polling center to organizing and conducting research on risk communication at the OU Center for Risk and Crisis Management. He hopes to use the skills he has learned through those experiences to help build a better, more just Oklahoma. Andrew enjoys baking, college basketball, and his orange cat named Bean. Contact Andrew

Justice Data Analyst Brancen Gregory

Brancen Gregory joined OK Policy as a Justice Data Analyst in March 2021. Raised in Tulsa, they graduated from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, minoring in Philosophy and Religious Studies. After graduating, they worked as a Clinical Data Analyst for the Muskogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health. Brancen has also spent time freelancing as a graphic designer, web developer, and analyst. In all their endeavors, they strive to bring an interdisciplinary and analytic perspective. Contact Brancen

Data Analyst Hunter McCans

Hunter joined OK Policy as a Data Analyst in February 2022. Raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Hunter moved to Oklahoma in 2016 to attend the University of Oklahoma, where he obtained a master’s degree in Managerial Economics, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Economics with a Political Science minor. Before joining OK Policy, Hunter spent time at Community Cares Partners, where he worked directly with those facing eviction to provide rental assistance. Hunter hopes that he can contribute to making a kinder and fairer Oklahoma. In his free time, he also enjoys hiking, reading, and singing. Contact Hunter

Fellows

Policy Fellow Josie Phillips

Josie Phillips joined OK Policy in June of 2020 as a policy intern and transitioned into a policy Fellowship with a focus on labor and the economy in August 2021. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2020 with a double major in Economics and International & Area Studies along with a minor in Spanish. While she has dabbled in working with various non profit organizations and a political campaign, her most treasured experience before entering the public policy field has been her time volunteering with the Women’s Resource Center, a rape crisis center and domestic violence shelter in Norman, Oklahoma. On the side, she enjoys reading, constantly listening to music, and having loud opinions on the internet. Contact Josie

Communications and Operations Fellow Kristin Wells

Kristin Wells joined OK Policy in October 2021 as the Communications and Operations Fellow. She previously worked as a digital content producer for News On 6. A native Kansas Citian, Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 2020. While there, she was accepted into the Global Scholars program, spurring her interests in policy, social movements, global identities, and the importance of education and advocacy. She hopes to use her skills to continue to learn and create a more equitable future for Oklahomans. An avid sports fan, Kristin lives in Tulsa with her rescue dog and is passionate about college basketball, documentaries, and coffee. Contact Kristin