Staff

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

Executive Director Ahniwake Rose

Ahniwake Rose is the incoming 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 agraduate 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 | More about Carly

Budget & Tax Senior Policy Analyst Paul Shinn

Paul ShinnPaul Shinn joined OK Policy in May 2019. He has held budget and finance positions for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Department of Human Services, the cities of Oklahoma City and Del City, and several local governments in his native Oregon. He’s also taught political science and public administration at the University of Oklahoma, University of Central Oklahoma, and California State University Stanislaus. While with the Government Finance Officers Association, Paul worked on consulting and research projects for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and several state agencies and local governments. He also served as policy analyst for CAP Tulsa. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Oklahoma and degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Maryland College Park. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife Carmelita. Contact PaulMore about Paul

Economic Opportunity Policy Analyst Courtney Cullison

Courtney Cullison joined OK Policy in March 2017 as a policy analyst focusing on issues of economic opportunity and financial security. Before coming to OK Policy, Courtney worked in higher education, holding faculty positions at the University of Texas at Tyler and at Connors State College in eastern Oklahoma. A native Oklahoman, she received an Honors B.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. with emphasis in congressional politics and public policy from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, Courtney was a fellow at the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. As a professor she taught classes in American politics, public policy, and research methods and conducted original research with a focus on the relationship between representatives and the constituents they serve. Contact Courtney | More about Courtney

Education Policy Analyst and KIDS COUNT Coordinator Rebecca Fine

Rebecca Fine joined OK Policy in July 2018 as the education policy analyst. She began her career in education in 2009 as an Oklahoma teacher. Rebecca proudly comes from a family of educators, and spent four years teaching middle school in Tulsa and Union Public Schools. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science from the University of Rochester and received an M.A. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Contact Rebecca | More about Rebecca

Criminal Justice Policy Analyst 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 | More about Damion

Mental Health Policy Analyst / Fellowship Coordinator Lauren Turner

Lauren Turner joined Oklahoma Policy Institute in October 2018 as the mental health policy analyst and coordinator of the Mental Health Policy Fellowship. She is a native Tulsan who has spent the entirety of her career working in social services in Northeastern Oklahoma, including work in inpatient and outpatient mental health settings, the HIV/AIDS community, and anti-trafficking efforts in the Tulsa area. She was a research assistant and Knee Center for Strong Families Scholar at the University of Oklahoma. She received a B.S in Family and Human Services from John Brown University in 2010 and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2016. She became a Licensed Master Social Worker in July 2016. Contact Lauren | More about Lauren

Outreach Staff

Outreach & Legislative Director Sabine Brown

Sabine joined Oklahoma Policy Institute in January 2018. She grew up in Germany but has called Oklahoma home since 1998. Before joining Oklahoma Policy Institute she served as the Oklahoma Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. Sabine 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. Sabine enjoys working with grassroots advocates to work towards a fair and prosperous Oklahoma. She lives in Bixby with her husband, Eric, and their two children. Contact Sabine | More about Sabine

Outreach and 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 | More about Nicole

Senior Field Organizer Kyle Lawson

Kyle joined OK Policy as a Field Organizer for Southeastern Oklahoma in early 2019 and was promoted to Senior Field Organizer in July 2019. Kyle was born in Tucson, Arizona to Sheila and Dale Lawson and grew up in Southern Arizona. After finishing high school, he joined the U.S. Army as a Human Intelligence Collector. Upon completing his military service, Kyle attended college, majoring in business administration and minoring in psychology, and then worked for Congressman Jim Kolbe in Arizona’s 5th congressional district for three years. After Rep. Kolbe retired, Kyle worked in the private sector in Phoenix. In 2010, he moved to Southern Oklahoma to be near his family.

Since moving to Oklahoma Kyle has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children for four years, as an officer in the Masonic Lodge, worked with children as a Shriner, and served two years on the board of directors for Restoring Lives as the finance chairman. He was  Mayor for the town of Gene Autry for three years, serving in the Mayor’s congress and on the Mayor’s council. Kyle has always been dedicated, hardworking and places an emphasis on community involvement. Contact KyleMore about Kyle

Southwest Oklahoma Field Organizer Jacobi Crowley

Jacobi joined OK Policy in 2019. As a Lawton native and graduate of Eisenhower High School, Jacobi’s roots in southwest Oklahoma communities run deep. He credits his family and teachers for being instrumental in the achievement of earning a scholarship to Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The positive role models in his life influenced his decision to major in Special Education with a minor in Behavioral Management. Upon earning his degree, Jacobi moved back to his hometown to help make a difference in his community. Prior to Together Oklahoma, Jacobi ran for Oklahoma State Senate, becoming the youngest person in state history to advance to a general election at the age of 25. Jacobi is host for a local radio talk show called The Revolution, where he is able to connect and educate the community on various issues. Contact Jacobi | More about Jacobi

Northeast Oklahoma Field Organizer D’Marria Monday

D’Marria Monday is a formerly incarcerated woman who uses her voice and experiences to shine a light on the challenges faced by justice-involved Oklahomans. In 2018, D’Marria successfully led a legislative grass-roots campaign to end the shackling of incarcerated pregnant women in Oklahoma. For her dedication and work in spearheading the Anti-Shackling House Bill 3393, she received the Black Wall Street Humanitarian Award of 2018 from the African American Ancestral Society of Tulsa, Dallas, and Houston. She also has been honored as an “Unsung Hero” by the Lacy Park Community Center Council for her legislative work. In addition to her role at OK Policy, D’Marria serves as the Visionary Founder of Block Builderz, which offers community-led solutions as alternatives to incarceration, and serves on the Board of Directors for Racism Stinks and Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice. She graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2018 with a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship and a minor in marketing and management. D’Marria lives in Tulsa with her two sons. A 2018 Summer Policy Institute alumnus, Monday joined OK Policy in September 2019. Contact D’Marria

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. He and his wife Melissa live in Tulsa and have two daughters. Contact Dave

Communications Associate Jessica Vazquez

Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. Born in Tamaulipas, Mexico, she immigrated to Oklahoma with her family at a young age and obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Oklahoma City University as a Clara Luper Scholar. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked as an Inbound and Digital Marketing Specialist for an OKC based firm. She is an alumnus of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a Board Member for Dream Action Oklahoma, a community organization dedicated to advocating and empowering immigrant youth in the state. Contact Jessica

Operations & Development Staff

Deputy Director, Operations & Development Director Shiloh Kantz

Shiloh joined OK Policy as the Office Manager 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 and office manager for an Oklahoma small business group.  Shiloh was promoted to Director of Operations and Development in June of 2015. She oversees all internal operations, event planning, and fundraising activities. Her work at OK Policy has tuned her in to what is happening in our state and fostered a drive to play a more active part in it.  Before joining the staff, she felt she was a suburban wife and mother who had no interest in state government because it did not affect her.  She now realizes state government affects all residents, big and small, old and young. Contact Shiloh | More about Shiloh

Senior Operations & Development Associate Andrea McNeil

Andrea joined OK Policy in June 2018. She is a lifelong Tulsan, wife, mother of two children, and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Prior to working at 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. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northeastern State University and is working towards her Master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics at OU-Tulsa. Andrea has recently become more involved in local advocacy groups such as Together Oklahoma and is passionate about seeing education, health care, and safety net programs improve for a strong and sustainable Oklahoma. Contact Andrea | More about Andrea

Operations & Development Associate Kourtni Cain

Kourtni Cain joined OK Policy in September 2018. Previously, she worked for The University of Tulsa in their Development office. Kourtni received a B.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University in 2013. As part of the Operations Team, she assists with fundraising and special events. Kourtni’s areas of policy interest are immigration, international relations, poverty/healthcare, and women’s health. Always ready for a good debate, she volunteers with the Tulsa Debate League. In her spare time, Kourtni enjoys spending time with her husband Paul, her two dogs and three cats, and travelling. Contact Kourtni | More about Kourtni

Open Justice Oklahoma Staff 

Open Justice Oklahoma Director Ryan Gentzler

Ryan Gentzler joined OK Policy in January 2016 as a policy analyst focusing on criminal justice issues, including sentencing, incarceration, court fines and fees, and pretrial detention. Open Justice Oklahoma grew out of Ryan’s groundbreaking analysis of court records, which was used to inform critical policy debates. 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. He served as an OK Policy Research Fellow in 2014-2015. Contact Ryan | More about Ryan

Justice 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 | More about Ashley

Mental Health Policy Fellows

Mental Health Policy Fellow Maggie den Harder

Class of 2020

Margaret (Maggie) den Harder obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Theology from Seattle Pacific University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Originally from the Pacific Northwest area of Washington state, Maggie has called Tulsa home since 2010. While living in Tulsa, Maggie has worked in the legal field, higher education administration, and the nonprofit sector. In 2018, Maggie spent time at the City of Tulsa as a consultant and wrote the content for Resilient Tulsa, an action-oriented strategy designed to better equity in Tulsa. Through her work, community involvement, and personal experiences, Maggie is interested in the intersection of the law and mental health and addiction treatment issues, preventative and intervention programs, and maternal mental health. Through earlier work, Maggie further developed interests in family dynamics and stability, economic security-related stress, and intergenerational trauma. Maggie is part of the CityMatCH CityLEADERS 13th Cohort. This leadership program trains emerging maternal child health leaders through skills-building, community-based activities designed to increase health equity and improve maternal child health outcomes.

While not at work, Maggie serves on the board of the Junior League of Tulsa, as a board intern for Domestic Violence Intervention Services, as a mentor at Street School, and as a tutor for Reading Partners. She also enjoys hanging around the house with her spouse and their three rescued dogs, Bertram, Gretel, and Gina.

Contact Maggie | More about Maggie

Mental Health Policy Fellow Brittany Hayes

Class of 2020

Brittany Hayes joined OK Policy in October 2018. She is a licensed attorney, having graduated with highest honor from the University of Tulsa College of Law in May of 2018. Brittany earned her Bachelors of Science in Political Science from Oklahoma State University in May of 2011 before teaching history and coaching debate at Charles Page High School in Sand Springs. Brittany’s passion for policy work and advocacy reignited while working with the Community Advocacy Clinic, Immigrant Rights Project, and Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office. Her research and policy interests include mental health, criminal justice, education, and the problems at the intersection of all three areas. Contact Brittany | More about Brittany

Mental Health Fellow Ky’Lee Barnoski

Class of 2021

KyLee Barnoski joined OK Policy as a Mental Health Policy Fellow in August 2019. A native Oklahoman, KyLee is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and also of Muscogee Creek descent. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Early Intervention in 2016. During this time, KyLee developed interests in advocacy and research through her roles as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and as an undergraduate researcher with the University of Tulsa Psychophysiology Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience (PLAN). KyLee earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma in May of 2019. Her interests in child and adolescent mental health and public policy were cemented through her graduate degree practicums with Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Welfare; Tulsa Children’s Advocacy Center, Child Abuse Network; National Resource Center for Youth Services; and the Tulsa Family Safety Center. Contact Ky’Lee

Mental Health Fellow Robert Koolis

Class of 2021

Robert (BobbyKoolis hails from Glastonbury, Connecticut, a suburb of Hartford. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Keene State College, (New Hampshire) in May of 2017. He then attended the Carsey School of Public Policy, located within the University of New Hampshire, receiving a Master’s degree in Public Policy. Bobby’s research primarily focused on the intersection of healthcare and economic policy. His Master’s thesis analyzed state policy responses to the opioid epidemic in New England. While attending Carsey, Bobby worked as a Residential Counselor at a residential placement for boys with behavioral, emotional and learning disabilities. Bobby’s interests are largely reflected in his previous experience, with work continuing on healthcare and mental health policy. Specific interests include adolescent mental health, the effects of healthcare reform on mental health, suicide prevention policy, and policies to combat the substance abuse crisis.

Outside of work, Bobby is a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity, where he serves as Treasurer for both the Lambda-Sigma (Keene State College) chapter’s Board of Advisers and Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. He previously served as President of the Keene State College Debate Team and as a member of the American Democracy Project. In his free time, Bobby enjoys photography, video games, music festivals, and watching and playing sports – especially baseball. He is an ardent Yankees fan. Contact Bobby