Executive Leadership

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Christy Respress has more than 20 years of experience working with individuals who are experiencing homelessness and living with complex behavioral health challenges. She has worked with Pathways to Housing for 17 years, and has been in the role of Executive Director of Pathways to Housing DC since January 2011. She has extensive knowledge of Housing First and has provided technical assistance to agencies and communities around the world to implement this innovative model. She is also the President of the Board of Directors of the DC Behavioral Health Association. Christy received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and her Masters in Social Work from Howard University.

Christy Respress, MSW

Executive Director

Rachel Pierre joined Pathways to Housing DC as Senior Director of Programs in December 2015 with a wealth of experience working in social services and managing nonprofit organizations. Rachel was promoted to the Chief Operating Officer of Pathways to Housing DC in July 2016 and is responsible for the day to day leadership and general Contract and Programmatic oversight of the organization.

Prior to joining Pathways to Housing DC, Rachel spent three years as the Director of Clinical Operations at Lutheran Social Services where she managed multiple foster care programs. Rachel has over 15 years of experience working in different capacities with organizations serving vulnerable populations in the Washington DC area. Rachel has a Bachelors in Finance from James Madison University, a Masters in Social Work from Howard University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

A. D. Rachel Pierre, LICSW, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Girum A Gebretsadik joined Pathways to Housing DC in September 2016 as our Director of Finance. Girum has 20+ years of professional experience managing financial operations of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations with extensive experience in the banking industry. Girum is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and holds a Masters in Accounting (MSA) and Masters in Finance (MBA) from Strayer University in Washington DC.

Girum A. Gebretsadik CMA, MBA, MSA

Director of Finance

Lawrence Greene came to Pathways to Housing DC from a career supporting organizations dedicated to serving individuals and families in health care, homeless services, housing, preschool, child care and disaster recovery, just to name a few. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Lawrence began his career with the NY City Human Resources Administration, where he saw firsthand the issues and challenges facing a disadvantaged population. Additional stops included NeighborWorks America and the American Red Cross, where he supported their disaster response and emergency preparedness departments. Prior to joining Pathways to Housing DC in July 2015, Lawrence worked with Allegiance Relocation Services, where he built the human resources department from the ground up. Lawrence holds a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology from Long Island University and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources.

Lawrence D. Greene, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Human Resources Director

Carla Lester is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) with more than 20 years of combined experience in Medicaid, Medicare, home, hospital, and community-based health care, education, and social services. Prior to joining Pathways, Carla served as the Associate Director of Interim Programs at N Street Village where she provided oversight of the largest women’s shelter in the District of Columbia, a women’s recovery program, and a 31 bed night shelter. Carla also served as the Director of Care Management for AmeriHealth Caritas DC. Carla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Springfield College.

Carla Lester, LICSW

Senior Director of Programs

Monica Harrington

Director of Institutional Advancement

Staff Leadership

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Sara Brown currently serves as the program manager for the Veteran’s Housing First Team at Pathways to Housing DC. She is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and received her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Having begun her career in her first social work internship placement at a transitional housing center for homeless women and families, Sara has always been passionate about helping people find permanent housing. Sara is also extremely passionate about veteran’s issues and has been working with homeless veterans at Pathways since 2012. She is proud to be a part of the collaborative effort to end veteran homelessness throughout the country, and especially here in Washington DC.

Sara Brown, LCSW-C

Veterans Housing First Team Program Manager

Dr. Joel Cohen

Medical Director

Garrett Cordell BSN, RN

Director of Integrated Care Services

Will Doyle joined Pathways as an MSW intern in August 2006 and has been a part of Pathways ever since then. He is a founding member of the DowntownDC BID Outreach Team. He has been the Program Manager of the Permanent Supportive Housing Program since October 2008 and transitioned to his current role as Director of Housing Operations in July 2017. He has also supervised the Community Support Team and Golden Triangle BID Outreach Team. Prior to joining Pathways, Will worked in accounting and was a Conventual Franciscan Friar. He earned his Bachelors in Accounting from Boston College in 2000 and a Masters in Social Work from The Catholic University of America in 2008. Will has his LICSW in DC.

Will Doyle, LICSW

Director of Housing Operations

Jaline Gilliam is a LICSW/LCSW-C and received her MSW from Howard University with a special emphasis on mental health and the black experience. Jaline completed her BS from Towson University in Family Studies and Community Development. While in Baltimore, she spent time planning meaningful curriculum and providing services to children and families in the inner city. Jaline’s work in Baltimore and her experience as a Washingtonian ignited her passion for serving people experiencing homelessness, and underserved populations. Jaline has experience overseeing Forensic Community Support, ACT, PSH, CABHI, and 24 hour On Call services. Further Jaline has managed a team of Outpatient Therapists, and oversaw Crisis Homes Clinical Treatment. Jaline’s mission as our new Clinical Director is to cultivate a team of dedicated mental health professionals, provide them with the tools to assist our clients in their chosen Person Centered Recovery, while supporting a healthy work-life balance. Jaline brings a commitment to ending homelessness in DC as well as supporting our community to develop a meaningful life of connection, hope, and well being. In Jaline’s spare time she enjoys camping, concerts, spending time with family and friends, and connecting with her community.

Jaline Gilliam, LICSW

Clinical Director

Dr. William Lawson is the Medical Director of the Urgent Care Clinic and the D.C. Superior Court, Director of Psychiatric Research for the Emerson Clinical Research Institute and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He recently retired as Associate Dean for Health Disparities and is now emeritus professor of psychiatry, at the Dell Medical School, University of Texas, Austin, where he also held appointments in psychology and pharmacy. He was also a professor of psychology at Huston-Tillotson where he was Director of Community Health Programs at the Sandra Joy Anderson Community Health and Wellness Center and also the Director of Health Disparities Policy and Research at Austin Travis County Integral Care. He received a PhD in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and MD from the Pritzker School of Medicine University of Chicago, did his residency at Stanford University and a fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health. He is emeritus professor and formerly chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Howard University School of Medicine and has held faculty positions at the University of Illinois, Urbana, University of California, Irvine, Vanderbilt University, University of Arkansas, and Howard University. He has held numerous senior positions and received national recognition including past President of the DC chapter of Mental Health America, Past President of the Washington Psychiatric Society, past Chair of the Section of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the National Medical Association, and past president of the Black Psychiatrists of America. He received the American Psychiatric Foundation Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health, theSolomon Carter Fuller Award by the American Psychiatric Association, the Sigma XI the scientific honor society and Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Exemplary Psychiatrist Award and Outstanding Psychologist Award, the Jeanne Spurlock Award from the American Psychiatric Association, and the E.Y. Williams Clinical Scholar of Distinction Award from the NMA, and the George Winokur Clinical Research Award from the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists. He has over 200 publications, and is the editor in chief of the Journal of the National Medical Association. He has continuously received federal, industry, and foundation funding to address mental and substance abuse disparities. He has created an institute to utilize research, education, and clinical care to reduce racial disparities in mental health outcomes.

William Lawson MD, PhD, DLFAPA, PA

Urgent Care Clinic Medical Director

Adam Maier, a native Washingtonian, joined Pathways to Housing DC in 2011 and serves as the Director of Housing Partnerships. Adam and his team have successfully created relationships with over 150 Washington landlords who rent to our tenants. Adam brought over 27 years of experience with the City Council of the District of Columbia and 5 years’ experience at the United States Senate. At the Council, he oversaw the operations of thirteen human service and public works agencies. Among many responsibilities, he served as Staff Director of the Committee on Human Services and as Staff Director for the Committee on the Environment and Public Works. He was also the Executive Director of Independent Living for the Handicapped that provided housing in Washington, DC for adults with severe physical disabilities, and has been an owner of commercial real estate for over 40 years. For eighteen years Adam has been a member of National Community Church where he is an active member of their international mission teams, homeless and youth ministry. Adam is a Joslin Diabetic Center 50 year Medalist, a Mayoral appointee to the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission, and is a former Board member of The Arc of DC. Adam received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Public Administration and Philosophy from the University of Maryland.

Adam Maier

Director of Housing Partnerships

Joe Martinez-Williams has been with Pathways to Housing DC for 4 years and currently serves as our Quality Improvement and Assurance Director. Over his time with Pathways, he has served in the roles of Interim MHRS and Urgent Care Clinic Clinical Director, Clinical Supervisor of an Assertive Community Treatment and Community Support Program, and many other various roles. He is a graduate of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology holding a Master’s of Arts in Forensic Psychology and is a Licensed Professional Counselor with many years of experience providing direct and indirect services to people both in housing and on the streets in the District.

Joe Martinez-Williams

Quality Improvement and Assurance Director

Lina Permut, a native Washingtonian, joined Pathways to Housing DC as the Donor Relations Office, with a focus on major gifts in 2018. With over 10 years of international, national, and local non-profit experience, Lina brings diverse knowledge to the development team. Before her role at Pathways to Housing DC, Lina served as the Individual Giving Development Manager for Free the Slaves and spearheaded the development of the major gifts program. She believes we all are responsible for the least among us, that change is only as good as the people who support it, and that we can end homelessness, together. Lina received her Bachelor of Arts in English Communications from Saint Francis University.

Lina Permut

Donor Relations Officer

Pascal A. Peterson, LICSW, LCSW-C

Director Project Home

Tonya Ridley came to Pathways to Housing DC to manage and reestablish the Evidence-Based Supported Employment program in September 2014. Coming from the DC Department of Behavioral’s Homeless Outreach Program, and a native Washingtonian, Tonya has always wanted to give back to her community in a very powerful way. Tonya Ridley is a Licensed Professional Counselor who is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. She holds a Masters of Science in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the Virginia Commonwealth University. She also has specialized knowledge in the medical psycho-social aspects of disability as it relates to work. Currently, she uses this knowledge to assess individuals and place them in the workforce with appropriate reasonable accommodations in place that she, her clients and her team identifies as a need.

Tonya Ridley, LPC, CRC, CWIC

Program Manager for Supported Employment

Board of Directors

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Michael Allen is a partner in the civil rights law firm of Relman, Dane & Colfax, PLLC where his practice focuses on litigation under the Fair Housing Act and related civil rights laws. He joined the firm in June 2006, after 11 years of litigation and other advocacy on behalf of poor people and people with disabilities at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and a decade at Legal Services of Northern Virginia. Michael has litigated and lobbied at the federal and state levels, and appeared in national print and electronic media. He is a 1979 graduate of Georgetown University, and received his law degree in 1985 from the University of Virginia. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Virginia. Michael has written, lectured and consulted widely on civil rights and NIMBYism.

Michael Allen, Esq.

Board Chair

Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, is a leading national voice on the issue of homelessness. The Alliance is a public education, advocacy and capacity-building organization with over 10,000 nonprofit and public sector agencies and corporate partners around the country. To implement this plan, Ms. Roman works closely with members of Congress and the Administration, as well as with cities and states across the nation. She collaborates with Alliance partners to educate the public about the nature of homelessness and successful solutions. She has researched and written on the issue, is frequently interviewed by the press, and regularly speaks at events around the country. Her unique perspective on homelessness and its solutions comes from over thirty years of local and national experience in the areas of poverty and community-based organization. Ms. Roman received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois.

Nan Roman

Board Secretary

Stephen Dempsey is the Director of Administration for Sidley Austin’s DC Office, overseeing a staff that supports 300 attorneys. He has been in Legal Administration for over 20 years, but started his career as an accountant. He holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a Texas CPS, and an MBA from George Washington University. Stephen moved to Washington DC in 2000 and immediately became engaged in supporting efforts to battle the homeless epidemic in the area. He has worked with Miriam’s Kitchen for the past 15 years to help the homeless community and joined Pathways to Housing DC board in 2016.

Stephen Dempsey

Board Treasurer

Ivory Banks is the founder and managing partner of i5 SharePoint Consulting, LLC, a technology consulting firm specializing in Microsoft SharePoint technology. Ms. Banks has more than 15 combined years’ experience in consulting, IT architecture and design. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language & Literature from New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University) and an Master of Science in Technology Management: Information Systems & Services from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). After serving two tours of active duty in the U.S. Navy, Ms. Banks began a new career as an IT management consultant for the public and private sector markets. Ivory is committed to being part of the solution to ending chronic homelessness in DC. She has been volunteering with Pathways to Housing DC since 2009 to help raise awareness and bring on more supporters, and joined the Board of Directors in 2015.

Ivory Banks

Board Member

Stephanie is a partner in Sidley’s Healthcare and Government Strategies groups. Based on Sidley’s DC office, she focuses her practice on healthcare regulatory, compliance, and legislative matters, including strategic counseling and advocacy in connection with public policy proposals and implementation issues. Stephanie has deep and broad experience in healthcare coverage and reimbursement issues, including policies under Medicare, Medicaid, and the commercial insurance market. She received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and her J.D. and Master of Biomedical Ethics degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Stephanie regularly engages and speaks on issues and developments relating to health policy and healthcare coverage, access, and payment issues. She is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and in Illinois, and she joined the Board of Directors in 2016.

Stephanie Hales

Board Member

Prior to joining the Pathways to Housing DC Board in 2009, Ed Rich provided pro-bono legal assistance to Pathways while practicing at Arent Fox LLP. A native Washingtonian and graduate of D.C. Public Schools, Ed has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a law degree from Georgetown University. Ed has practiced law for over 25 years in the Washington area, both in District government and in private practice. Ed has assisted numerous clients on matters concerning transactional real estate, land use and zoning, government contracts and local government affairs. While in the District Government, Ed has served as a Special Assistant to the Mayor, General Counsel of United Medical Center and Deputy General Counsel of the DC Department of Health. Ed is also a member of the Steering Committee of the DC Affairs Section of the DC Bar, Co-President of the Greater Farmland Civic Association and a member of the White Flint Implementation Committee. Ed lives in Rockville, MD with his wife Laura.

Ed Rich

Board Member

Joanne Schehl

Board Member

Amber Shaver is an Associate Director at The Advisory Board Company supporting a team on the healthcare branch of the firm. She oversees the Account Management department’s community service efforts and launched a group to support returning Veteran’s by creating internship opportunities at the company. Amber relocated to Washington DC to join the 2008 Teach for America Corps. During her tenure as a fifth grade teacher at Wheatley Education Campus, she partnered with Flamboyan Foundation to improve family engagement and launched a Saturday School program to support students. She was featured in media stories in Washington Post and National Public Radio to highlight the DC Public School System. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her Masters of Education from American University.

Amber Shaver

Board Member

Natalie Nickens Gunn
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, Capital Impact Partners

Natalie Nickens Gunn is responsible for formulating and executing Capital Impact Partners’ financial strategy, capital and investment base expansion, and investor relations. She also manages the overall direction for accounting, tax, audit, treasury and financial planning and analysis and oversees the Corporate Services, Information Technology and Human Resources departments.

Natalie has more than 25 years of corporate financing and accounting experience across the public and private sectors, including serving as Capital Impact Partners’ Controller before stepping into the Chief Financial Officer position. Prior to joining Capital Impact, she held senior positions at the Government National Mortgage Association, National Cooperative Bank, Capital Automotive REIT, Host Hotels and Resorts and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Natalie is a Certified Public Accountant and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hampton University with a degree in Accounting.

Natalie Nickens Gunn

Board Member

How Pathways Helped Restore David's Eyesight and Hope

David was homeless in and around Bethesda for almost 30 years, living in the woods for most of that time. Constantly on the move, David survived by panhandling, dumpster diving, and selling scrap metal. David’s untreated cataracts finally caught up with him and he completely lost his eyesightDavid felt his way, mostly by memory, to the panhandling and dumpster-diving spots that he knew before going blind. A homeless outreach worker connected David to a Pathways case worker, who took him to a doctor who offered to operate to restore David’s sight, for free! David was able to see again for the first time in years. In October, David moved into his own apartment. Having his sight back and a home of his own has made all the difference in David’s life.

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