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Our Team

We welcome hearing from you. Please email us at: OPWDD-NCCCpartnership@georgetown.edu

Tawara Goode is pictured smiling, wearing a royal blue blouse, silver and blue necklace, and red eyeglasses.Tawara D. Goode, Principal Investigator

Tawara D. Goode (she/her) serves as the principal investigator and is responsible for the successful implementation and quality assurance for all aspects of the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership.

Professor Goode is also the Director of the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (GUCEDD) and is responsible for short-term and ongoing programs for persons at-risk for and with developmental and other disabilities and their families.

Read more of Professor Goode's bio

 

Dr. Tanisha Clarke, a black woman with black shoulder-length hair, is smiling at the camera. She is wearing silver hoop earrings, a black blouse with white polka-dots, and a black blazer in front of a black background.Tanisha Clarke, Project Director

Dr. Tanisha Clarke, DBA, MPH directs the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. She oversees this three-year complex and multi-faceted statewide project designed to advance policies and practices of cultural and linguistic competence, diversity, equity, and inclusion in all components of the intellectual and developmental disability system of New York State. Tanisha has served in various leadership roles, where she directed public health projects and technical assistance activities, and led efforts related to cultural and linguistic competence, diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has over 20 years of progressive professional experience managing programs and capacity-building initiatives at the state and national levels focused on addressing health outcomes, reducing disparities, and influencing sustainable inclusion of people with disabilities in education, professional training, services, programs, resources, and health promotion and care. Tanisha most recently served as the Director of Research and Medical Programs at the Tourette Association of America. Before that, she was the Principal Investigator and Program Director of AUCD's National Center on Disability in Public Health. Tanisha's professional experience also includes over ten years in leadership at the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), at the University of South Florida (USF).

Tanisha earned her Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She earned her Master of Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from USF, where she was an AUCD Trainee. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in public health and general business administration. In addition, she was in the first cohort of participants in the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence Institute for Cultural Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence.

 

Andy-Arias: Andy is pictured smiling in a headshot with a blurred background. He is a Latin X man with an olive complexion, short brown highlighted hair, and brown eyes, and he is wearing a purple argyle sweater. You can see the top of his wheelchair in the photoAndy Arias, Component Manager, Persons with Lived Experience & their Families

Andy Arias (he/him) serves as a Program Component Manager for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. He leads and contributes to formulating and implementing program approaches and strategies for the Persons with Lived Experience of IDD & Family Program Component. His responsibilities include leading activities that support, collaborate, and partner with persons who experience IDD and their families across diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and other identity groups who reside in New York. Andy has worked in the disability/diversity space for over a decade. He previously worked with the NCCC as an Adjunct Faculty on various projects. Andy was a Policy Advisor at the US Department of Labor for 6.5 years. He focused on employment policy for individuals with disabilities, including IDD and underserved communities. He also focused on financial and economic advancement policies for individuals with disabilities. All his policy work has an intersectional diversity lens. He is a recognized national Subject Matter Expert (SME) on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

 

Chantel Campbell is pictured smiling in a headshot with an ivory background. She is a Black woman of Caribbean descent wearing hair slightly longer than shoulder length, a blue denim top, studded earrings and necklace.Chantel Campbell, Project Coordinator

Chantel Campbell, MS serves as the Project Coordinator for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. She works collaboratively with team members to provide an array of administrative and technical support. Chantel previously worked in various supervisory roles, including as a Training Coordinator, a Success Coach, and an Abuse Counselor. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in Sociology. Chantel returned to FAMU to complete her master’s in criminal justice.

 


Franccesca Cesti-Browne is pictured smiling in a headshot based outdoors. She is a white Latina woman with shoulder-length, curly brown hair. She has brown eyes and is wearing a coral-colored dress.Francessca Cesti-Browne, Project Administrator

Franccesca Cesti-Browne, MPA (she/her) serves as the Project Administrator overseeing the finance and administrative functions of the project. Franccesca has over 11 years of Senior Management experience leading all operating functions of an organization, from IT to contracts, as well as over 20 years of experience in finance, operations, program management, grant writing, and grant and contract compliance. Franccesca has worked in different sectors and fields: private, state, non-profit, international development, and institutions of higher education.  She has worked with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), state agencies, and U.S. and International foundations during her time with the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, the Academy for Educational Development, FHI 360, and the YMCA of Greater Miami. Franccesca holds a master’s in public administration from Florida International University.


David Crawford is pictured with a pleasant facial expression with a cream background. He is a black Jamaican man with brown skin, light-brown eyes, short brown and gray hair, and a full, neatly cropped brown and gray beard. He’s wearing a white button-up shirt with a tan colored blazer.David J. Crawford, Program Component Associate, OPWDD

David Crawford, BA, is a Program Component Associate for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. He provides administrative support and coordinates a variety of project tasks and activities to support the OPWDD component. David is a seasoned marketing communications executive with over 15 years of experience supporting C-Suite executives. Skilled in copywriting and editing, he’s known for being dynamic, adaptable, and dependable in working with leadership teams and executing traditional and digital projects. David graduated from St. John’s University in Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in writing.



Luticha is a honey-skinned Black femme sitting in a wheelchair wearing pink pants, a black and white houndstooth top, and a multitude of sparkly jewelry. Behind Luticha is part of a quote from Frederick Douglass that reads “freedom” in black and white on a purple backgroundLuticha Andre Doucette, Component Manager, OPWDD

Luticha Andre Doucette (all pronouns) serves as a Program Component Manager for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. She leads and contributes to formulating and implementing program approaches and strategies for the OPWDD Program Component. Her responsibilities include managing multiple CLC, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts such as action planning; policy analysis and development; professional development and training; technical assistance and consultation; leadership development; and engagement of key constituencies such as persons who experience IDD and their families across diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and other identity groups and the communities in which they live. Luticha holds a bachelor’s in bioinformatics from the Rochester Institute of Technology.



Syreeta Elie is pictured smiling with a slightly blurred background with green, yellow, and cream hues. She is a black woman with a brown complexion, shoulder-length dark brown, almost black hair, and wearing burgundy lipstick that matches her burgundy and black sweater.Syreeta Elie, Program Component Associate, Provider Network

Syreeta Elie (she/her) is a Program Component Associate for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. She provides administrative support and coordinates a variety of project tasks and activities to support the Provider Network component. Syreeta has provided administrative support in higher education for over 20 years.

 


Leslie Gaines, Information Technology Specialist

Leslie Gaines, MS serves as the Information Technology Support Specialist. She provides information technology support to the project, including audio/visual and other technical support for meetings and webinars. Leslie comes with a varied background in Biology (BS), Social Psychology (MS), and Computer Science (certs). She has worked as a research assistant, teleconferencing and face-to-face meeting administrator, and database management/analyst. Leslie also supports the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.

 

Sharonlyn Harrison is pictured smiling with a medium grey background. She is an African-American woman with brown skin, white hair wearing black frame glasses with purple-tinted lenses and a black and white checked blazer.Sharonlyn Harrison, Director of Research and Evaluation

Sharonlyn Harrison, PhD serves as the Director of Research and Evaluation for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. She is primarily responsible for designing the evaluation plan, implementing data collection strategies, conducting data analysis, and reporting findings from these efforts. She has more than 20 years of experience in the evaluation of federal, state, and locally funded projects and has received special recognition for her research in culturally, racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse communities. Sharonlyn has extensive experience in conducting stakeholder-driven evaluation projects and engaging diverse communities in the process. The primary focus of much of her work has been on topics related to cultural and linguistic competence, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Sharonlyn is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Director of Research and Evaluation for the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University.

 

This photo of Wendy Jones depicts a smiling red-brown complexioned black woman with brown eyes, dimples in both cheeks, and red-mauve colored lip gloss. She has brown shoulder-length locs or rope-like strands of hair, and is wearing a navy-blue mock turtleneck sweater, and sits against a black background.Wendy Jones, Senior Technical Assistance Director

Wendy Jones, MEd, MSW is the Senior Technical Assistance Director and is responsible for planning and providing technical assistance, training, and consultation across all components of the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. She serves on the project’s leadership team, provides oversight and guidance on relevant internal project planning, and collaborates with staff as needed. She maintains an ongoing consultative relationship with the New York State Community of Practice on Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Developmental Disabilities (NYS CoP). She provides technical assistance and supports to assist the NYS CoP in its leadership role to advance cultural and linguistic competence, diversity, equity, and inclusion across New York State in the intellectual and developmental disability space.

Read a full bio of Wendy Jones

 

Mariam Kherbouch, GUCCHD Administrator

Mariam Kherbouch, MBA, serves in a dual capacity as the GUCCHD Administrator and the principal administrative staff for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership. Her responsibilities include: (a) serving as the liaison with the Georgetown University Medical Center Office of Sponsored Research, Office of Legal Counsel, and other departments/offices as required by university policy; (b) supervising budgetary management of the contract to ensure compliance with both OPWDD and Georgetown University Medical Center policies; and (c) serving on the project’s leadership team.

 

Kalie Kowalski is pictured smiling in a headshot with a light-grey background. She is a biracial, Black-American woman with an olive complexion, shoulder-length, curly, black hair, brown eyes, and is wearing a green blouse with a navy blazer and gold hoop earrings.Kalie Kowalski, CLC-DEI Professional Development Associate

Kalie Kowalski, MS (she/her) serves as the Cultural and Linguistic Competence-Diversity Equity Inclusion Professional Development Associate for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. Kalie oversees and facilitates the formation, design, and implementation of professional development and training activities. Her responsibilities include: (a) providing a broad range of professional development, training, and consultation activities focused on advancing cultural and linguistic competence, diversity, equity, and inclusion, (b) managing and leading short-term and ongoing initiatives in accordance with the work plan, and (c) supervising administrative staff as required. Kalie also supports other efforts at the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC). Kalie holds a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

 

A headshot of Jalyn Marks, a white woman with freckles who is in her 20’s and smiling. She has curly, auburn hair, blue eyes, and is wearing glasses.Jalyn Marks, Information Dissemination Coordinator

Jalyn Marks, MA (she/her) serves as the Information Dissemination Coordinator for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. Jalyn assumes the lead for and assists with a broad array of communication and product development tasks with an emphasis on persons with the lived experience of intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities, accessibility, multimedia products, postings, and related dissemination activities. Jalyn holds a Master of Arts in Communications, Culture & Technology and is also the Information Dissemination Coordinator for the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).

 

Vernice Thompson, Fiscal Clerk

Vernice Thompson serves as the Fiscal Clerk. She is responsible for providing a first-level review of all financial transactions, such as requisitions, payment requests, and travel expenses. Her responsibilities include: (a) processing purchase orders, (b) ensuring all payments are tracked and filed correctly, and (c) providing administrative support to the project’s principal investigator, such as scheduling appointments.

 

Sarah Ward is pictured wearing a red blouse with a pearl necklace.Sarah Ward, Multimedia Specialist

Sarah Ward, MA serves as the Multimedia Specialist for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. Her primary role supports video production, graphic design, and other forms of visual and audio communication that will be used within the project. Sarah contracts with experts to create alternate versions of our work to ensure our products are accessible to the culturally and linguistically diverse audiences we serve. Additionally, Sarah ensures that the branding of all products is aligned with the mission of the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence. Sarah is also the Multimedia Specialist for the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

 

Soumia Yesraoui, Director of Information Technology

Soumia Yesraoui, BS, serves as the Director of Information Technology and is responsible for leading the Information Technology team to ensure the project’s technology needs are met, including webinar registrations, accessibility compliance, and all other technical support. She provides hardware and software support and training for Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities faculty and staff. Soumia is responsible for the website's day-to-day maintenance and provides technical support for all webinars and distance learning technologies. She ensures that the website’s compliance and accessibility are consistent with federal regulations.



Aylie is pictured smiling in a headshot with a light-grey background. They are an Arab, feminine-presenting individual with an olive complexion. She has brown eyes, and her hair is dark brown, pulled back in braids. She is wearing gold hoop nose rings, earrings, and a gold pendant necklace. They are additionally wearing thin-rimmed glasses, and a white turtleneck beneath a green-brown button-down shirt.Aylie Yousif, Professional Development Assistant

Aylie Yousif (they/she) serves as the Professional Development Assistant. Aylie assists in planning, developing, and implementing a broad range of professional development, training, and consultation activities focused on advancing CLC, diversity, equity, and inclusion for the OPWDD-NCCC Partnership for Systems Change project. Aylie holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and has a background in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, primarily through providing 1-on-1 support as a behavioral therapist.