OK Policy Staff Contact List

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Executive Director Shiloh Kantz

Shiloh Kantz 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 2015, then Deputy Director in 2018. She began serving as the organization’s interim executive director June 2022. Following a national search, Shiloh was named executive director in October 2022. With over a decade of policy and advocacy experience, she is committed to OK Policy’s non-partisan focus on helping all Oklahomans have the opportunity to live healthy lives, raise thriving families, and live in safe communities.  Shiloh is a Rockwood Leadership Institute 2023 National Leading from the Inside Out Fellow, a member of the State Priorities Partnership Steering Committee, and a member of VEST, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities to achieve positions of power and influence for women leaders in the workplace. Contact Shiloh

Policy Staff

Policy Director Carly Putnam

Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She also serves as the KIDS COUNT coordinator for OK Policy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy’s health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house. Contact Carly

Criminal Justice Policy Analyst Cole Allen

Cole Allen joined OK Policy as a Policy Fellow in August 2022, and he was named the Criminal Justice Policy Analyst in October 2023. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a master’s degree in International Studies as well as a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with minors in Religious Studies and Middle Eastern Studies. During college, Cole was a research assistant at the Center for U.S.-China Issues and the Center for Cyber Governance and Policy. He also interned for the U.S. Department of State Diplomat in Residence for the Central United States. Cole hopes that his work at OK Policy will help make Oklahoma a more just and equitable state for all its residents. When he is not working, Cole enjoys cooking Italian food, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and following OU athletics. Contact Cole.

Housing Senior Policy Analyst Sabine Brown

Sabine Brown joined the Oklahoma Policy Institute as Housing 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

Fiscal Policy Analyst Aanahita Ervin

Aanahita Ervin joined OK Policy Institute as a Fiscal Policy Analyst in May 2024. She calls Oklahoma City and Mumbai, India home having been raised in both cities. She earned her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 2022 and her Master of Public Policy from the Sanford School at Duke University in 2024. She began her policy journey wanting to merge science with policy to help address climate change. She soon realized her wide array of interests in criminal justice reform to food insecurity and how they are inextricably linked to poverty. Fiscal policy undergirds all policies because without financial backing, policies have no power. Aanahita is excited to use her skills to positively transform Oklahoma’s fiscal policy landscape to better serve everyday Oklahomans. When not working, she enjoys admiring Oklahoma’s sunsets, cooking meals, and taking rejuvenating naps. Contact Aanahita

Youth Justice Policy Analyst Jill Mencke

Jill Mencke joined OK Policy as the Youth Justice Policy Analyst in September 2022. Jill earned her B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Oklahoma in May 2020. After graduation, she worked as a family preservation specialist, providing intervention services to families experiencing issues in the home. She saw the impact intervention programs and support services can have, and is dedicated to creating more avenues for prevention and support for Oklahoma families and their youth. Jill enjoys attending local concerts, hosting movie nights, and her Siamese cat, Buddy. She was born and raised in Oklahoma and resides in Norman. Contact Jill

Tribal-State Policy Analyst Vivian Morris

Vivian Morris joined OK Policy in August 2021 as a Tribal Policy Fellow through the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities State Policy Fellowship Program. She was named the Tribal-State Policy Analyst in August 2023. Vivian is Alabama (federally recognized as Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town) Mvskoke-Seminole, and Diné (Navajo). Vivian grew up in rural Oklahoma, on both the Mvskoke (Creek) and Seminole Nation reservations. She completed her Master of Public Administration degree with a Public Policy concentration from the University of Oklahoma in May 2022 and holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Studies and Women and Gender Studies, with a minor in Native American Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Previously, Vivian served the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Election Committee where she oversaw the tribe’s election process and policy development and worked as a Tribal Government Relations Health Promotion Coordinator at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (SoonerCare). Vivian was a member of the 2022 AICCO Leadership Native Oklahoma class, recipient of the 2022 OU-WGS Alice Mary Robertson award, and Metriarch’s 2023 Breakthrough Maven award. Vivian is passionate about racial and economic equity and access to justice for all Oklahomans. In her free time you will likely hear her elongating her As and Es. 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

Southwest Regional Organizer Katie Applegate

Katie Applegate joined OK Policy in November 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

Southeast Regional Organizer Roxanne Logan

Growing up in Norman in the ’60s, 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

Central Regional Organizer Deon Osborne

Deon Osborne joined OK Policy in March 2024 as the Central Oklahoma Regional Organizer. Growing up as a community volunteer and church songleader in Lawton, the values of serving the community greatly influenced his path. As a student activist in Norman, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in strategic media, won a student film festival award for a pro-peace documentary, and helped negotiate citizen oversight for the local police department. He went on to become managing editor for the Black Wall Street Times news outlet in Tulsa’s Greenwood District from 2021 to 2024, where he elevated local, state and national stories impacting marginalized communities. Deon is passionate about working with communities to combat threats to multicultural democracy and envision a future that provides equal opportunity to everyone. Contact Deon

Northeast Regional Organizer Austin Webb

Austin Webb joined OK Policy in September 2022 as the Northeast Regional Organizer. Born and raised in Tulsa, he notes his grandfather instilled in him a strong dedication for community service, taking him to volunteer at his church’s food bank twice a week, every summer from the fifth grade until his high school graduation. Austin worked as a volunteer coordinator for local and state election campaigns in 2016 and 2018. He has also worked for non-profit organizations in the Tulsa area in areas that include helping low-income households prepare their tax returns, working for after-school programs, and helping people enroll in various government services like SoonerCare and SNAP. Service to community remains at the heart of everything he does. Contact Austin

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. Before joining OK Policy, 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 for a daily newspaper in Arkansas. Contact Dave

Digital Communications Associate 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 an enrolled 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

Communications Associate Kandis West

Kandis West is a communications professional with more than 15 years of experience. Most recently, she served as the Communications Director for the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus. She spent nine years in the Olympia/Tacoma area of Washington organizing compensation campaigns for teachers for the Washington Education Association. Kandis has a proven track record of increasing community engagement, public awareness and media exposure around the most pressing issues that impact citizens. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism. She lives in her hometown of Midwest City with her husband, three daughters and many beloved pets where she is passionate about native plants, permaculture and gardening. Contact Kandis

Operations & Development Staff

Development Director Michelle Pooch

Michelle Pooch joined OK Policy in May 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

Operations Manager Ryan Starkweather

Ryan Starkweather joined the Oklahoma Policy Institute 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 Tulsa with his dog, Hank. Contact Ryan Starkweather 

Development Associate ViaFaith McCullough

ViaFaith McCullough joined the OK Policy Team in July 2024. She is an advocate for peace and justice from Oklahoma City. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Philander Smith University in May 2021. Before joining OK Policy, she served as executive director of a local education-centered nonprofit. She is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management program. In addition to being a former early childhood educator, ViaFaith brings over eight years of experience working with advocacy, community, and faith-based organizations to advance education, anti-poverty, health care, and racially equitable policies. ViaFaith is excited to use her skills and passion for equity to expand opportunities for Oklahomans. Contact ViaFaith 

Administrative and Office Coordinator Oscar Guillen Arauz

Originally from Honduras, Oscar is rewriting the possibilities of First-Gen, undocumented residents in America. Starting in 2022, through relationship building at Tulsa Innovation Labs, he helped create tech-focused economic opportunities in the city of Tulsa. As part of the Advanced Aerial Mobility Portfolio, he assisted in managing three ~$69 million Build Back Better Regional Challenge-funded projects, as well as supported the development of R&D, testing infrastructure, and workforce development initiatives. He has experience in finance, data analytics, IT, and retail. In his spare time, he enjoys studying foreign languages, running, listening to audiobooks, and educating himself on the latest in politics and technology. Contact Oscar

Research/Open Justice Oklahoma Staff 

Research Director Brancen Gregory

Brancen Gregory joined OK Policy as a Justice Data Analyst in March 2021 and they were named Research Director in November 2022. 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

Senior Data Analyst Andrew Bell

Andrew Bell joined the Oklahoma Policy Institute in March 2021. Born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, Andrew moved to Oklahoma to attend the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master’s in Public Administration in 2021. He has worked in many roles within the field of social science and public policy, including public opinion polling and research on probabilistic risk communication at the OU Center for Risk and Crisis Management. Since joining OK Policy, his work has focused on data related to the Oklahoma County District Court, the Oklahoma County Detention Center, as well as other data sets in the criminal legal system. Andrew is also involved in developing OK Policy’s research tools and data management operations. Contact Andrew

Data Analyst Anthony Flores

Anthony Flores joined OK Policy as a Data Analyst in March 2023. He graduated in his home state of Oklahoma with a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, he researched the impact of child benefits, including their effect on improving child poverty, economic growth, and carceral outcomes. His experience in supporting his family after the deportation of his father informs his research and allows him to empathize with those experiencing our criminal justice system’s financial and emotional consequences. Anthony works to contribute to reform so future Oklahomans may participate in a criminal justice system based on principles of restorative and rehabilitative justice. Outside work, he loves learning more about our world and people’s experiences, playing piano, and creating art. Contact Anthony

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 two children. Contact Ashley

Data Analyst Polina Rozhkova

Polina Rozhkova has been a Data Analyst at OK Policy since March 2023. She earned a Master of Public Policy with a focus on data analysis and computational social science from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Economics from Gettysburg College. At Oklahoma Policy Institute, Polina analyzes data and conducts research on youth in the criminal legal system, the criminalization of individuals with substance use disorders, and the evaluation of Oklahoma’s parole process. Before joining OK Policy, Polina worked with LiveFree Illinois, a faith-based organization in Chicago dedicated to transforming public safety and mitigating the harm caused by the criminal justice system in Black communities. She conducted research that was used to advocate for police accountability policies and address Chicago’s unsolved homicide problem. She has a background in classical ballet, having studied it for 14 years, which has instilled in her a strong dedication to discipline and continuous improvement. In her free time, Polina is interested in any activity that involves Momo (cat). Contact Polina