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Our Staff

Laurie Fenton Ambrose

President & CEO
Laurie Fenton Ambrose

Laurie Fenton Ambrose is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) responsible for managing the overall mission and strategic direction of the organization.  Hired as LCA’s first President in 2004, Laurie has managed LCA’s relocation, restructuring and realignment from a west coast-based operation to its current headquarters in Washington, DC.  Today, LCA is nationally and internationally recognized as the premier non-profit dedicated solely to patient support and advocacy for those living with or at risk for lung cancer.

Laurie is responsible for overseeing the creation and implementation of LCA’s patient empowerment programs, public health policy agenda and national grassroots and awareness initiatives.  Laurie is also LCA’s primary liaison to community and government leaders, national media, collaborating agencies, health care professionals, and other strategic alliances.

Laurie brings almost two decades of public policy experience to LCA having served in senior management positions in both the legislative and executive branches of government.  Prior to joining LCA, Laurie was tapped to serve as the first Chief of Staff to United States Department of Commerce Secretary Don Evans, where she helped set the strategic and policy direction of the Department in the first years of the Bush Administration. Before serving in the Commerce Department, Laurie worked for 6 years in the United States Senate as Chief of Staff to Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ).  Prior to her work in the Senate, Laurie served 11 years in the House of Representatives, 6 as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), and the remaining as Legislative Assistants to Congressman Amo Houghton (R-NY) and Congressman Edward Madigan (R-IL).  Laurie has also served in the private sector as Federal Relations Director for Honeywell.

Laurie is a graduate of The George Washington University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Senior Management in Government Executive Program.  Laurie was inspired to join LCA by her friend and associate Sheila Ross, a two time lung cancer survivor.

   
Sheila Ross

Special Counsel
Sheila Ross

Sheila Ross, special counsel to The Lung Cancer Alliance, was previously the Washington Representative for its forerunner organization, ALCASE. She worked for 20 years on Capitol Hill as chief of staff in both the House and the Senate for Democrats and Republicans. She was a member of First Lady Hillary Clinton's Health Care Task Force in 1993 and 1994. Prior to moving to Washington DC, she was Director of Public Information for the Legislature of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and is a two time lung cancer survivor.

   
Emily Eyres

Chief Operating Officer
Emily Eyres

Emily Eyres has more than 20 years of fundraising and non-profit management expertise stemming from her work with the world’s largest non-profit environmental organization. She has helped to design, launch and successfully complete several multi-million dollar capital campaigns, as well as lead fundraising, marketing and board development efforts for several state and international programs. Emily was inspired to join the Alliance after experiencing her mother and father-in-law’s courageous battles with lung cancer. She holds a bachelor's degree in Biology from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.

   
Edy Whidden

Chief Administrative Officer
Edythe Whidden

Edythe Whidden joined the staff of LCA as the Director of Administration and Finance in December 2009.  She has more than 30 years of non-profit experience and has worked with three non-profits to implement systems, improve operations and lead them through substantial financial and organizational growth.

She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University.  She lost her brother to lung cancer after a short but courageous battle in April 2009.

   
Kay Cofrancesco

Director of Marketing
Kay C. Bayne

 Kay Bayne holds a BA in Biology from the University of Delaware.  She joined LCA in November 2004 as Program Specialist and has held many positions within the organization.

Kay is responsible for formulating and overseeing the execution of a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy with the goal of advancing the brand, mission, programs, events and achievements of the organization to targeted constituencies through effective and measurable communications strategies.

   
Maureen Rigney

Director of Community and Support Services
Maureen Rigney

As Director of Community and Support Services, Maureen Rigney oversees LCA's portfolio of support and outreach services. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Maureen has been with LCA since 2005. She received her BS in Psychology from South Dakota University and her Master of Social Work degree from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining LCA, Maureen worked in the field of community mental health, primarily supervising programs designed to help those with serious mental illness in three states and the District of Columbia.

   
Amy Pearson

Director of Medical Outreach
Amy Copeland

Amy Copeland joined LCA in 2007. She is currently Director of Medical Outreach. In this role, she works to expand LCA’s national network of medical institutions serving lung cancer patients, those at risk and their loved ones through collaborative relationships with healthcare professionals. This focus on relationship building, collaboration and coordination will ensure a solid continuum of care from screening through survivorship. Prior to this position, Amy served as Associate Director of Support Services where she assisted with a variety of support programs and materials development to help educate those affected by lung cancer about  research advances. Prior to her arrival at LCA, she spent seven years working in international health, primarily with community-based health and nutrition programs in Latin America. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from The College of William and Mary and a Master of Public Health from The George Washington University.

   
Jennifer King

Director of Science and Research
Jennifer King  

Jennifer King joined LCA in 2015 as the Director of Science and Research to lead the scientific and research strategies in support of LCA’s mission. She is a cancer research scientist who has seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector after leaving the laboratory. Before coming to LCA, she was the Director of Data Governance for a learning healthcare system in oncology and the Associate Director and Scientific Reviewer for the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO.  As a researcher, she worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA. Jennifer received a PhD in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS from Duke University.  

   
Director of Philanthropy
Kristin Bramell 

Kristin Bramell joined LCA in 2016 as the Director of Philanthropy. Kristin works with individuals across the U.S. who are driven to help LCA achieve its mission through private philanthropy. In addition, she works to recruit and engage new volunteer leaders who will grow support for LCA broadly, and implements development activities throughout the organization. Kristin has a BA in Marketing from the University of Maryland, and minored in clarinet performance. She most recently spent over a decade at The Nature Conservancy working with individual donors and foundations in the D.C. and Baltimore regions.
   
 Kate Abramson

Support Services Manager 
Kate Abramson  

Kate Abramson joined the LCA staff in June 2014 as one of the Managers of Supportive Services.  Her primary focus on the supportive services team is managing the lung cancer support groups across the US.  She also assists with answering the helpline at LCA while supporting other endeavors on the team. Prior to working at LCA, she worked as a licensed social worker in Washington DC in the field of community mental health.  She received her bachelor degrees in Social Work and Political Science from Syracuse University and her Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. 

   
Tara Perloff

Senior Manager Support Services 
Tara Perloff

Tara has her BS in Interdisciplinary Health Science from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. As our Senior Manager of Support Services, Tara’s work focuses on helping patients and caregivers find their best support to cope with the emotional side of cancer. Tara is passionate about psycho-oncology research and has presented both nationally and internationally on various studies in lung cancer survivorship. She has begun planning to pursue her doctorate in clinical psychology.

When she’s not at work, Tara enjoys ballet barre classes, wine tasting, and long walks in The District with her dog Chip.

   
 Gabby Geier Senior Manager, Digital Marketing and Graphic Design 

Gabby Geier 

Gabby Geier joined the LCA staff in June 2013. She works closely with the Director of Marketing to develop and execute social media tactics. Gabby is responsible for creating and managing content, expanding the online community and fostering engagement on LCA’s social media channels. She assists in the implementation of communications and marketing projects. Additionally, she handles graphic design needs ranging from printed brochures to digital infographics. Prior to joining the staff she worked for MATTER, Inc., the Sports and Entertainment Marketing division of Edelman PR, in New York City. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Trinity College, CT.

  

 Chris Davis

 

Media Relations Manager 
Chris Davis  

Chris Davis joined LCA in September 2014 as the Media Relations Manager. He is a member of the communications team working closely with the Director of Marketing to develop and execute impactful media relations efforts for programs, events and other initiatives. Before joining LCA, he worked at several public relations firms in the Washington, DC area. Christopher is a graduate of Duke University and holds a B.A. in History. 

   
 Lanni Boyd

 

Senior Manager of Corporate Relations and Events
Lanni Boyd 

Lanni Boyd joined the staff of Lung Cancer Alliance in the summer of 2011 from Fort Worth, TX. As the Senior Manager of Corporate Relations and Events, she works closely with industry partners and event organizers from around the country. Lanni studied Biology and Social Work at Texas Christian University and upon graduation stayed in Fort Worth and worked for a nationally known homeless shelter coordinating volunteers and engaging donors. She recently completed her Master of Public Health at George Washington University and enjoys backpacking and sailing with her husband and two labs.

 

   
 Nisa Natrakul

Senior Manager of Development and Donor Relations
Nisa Natrakul

Nisa Natrakul recently rejoined LCA in January 2015 after taking a year to pursue higher education aboard. Originally  joining LCA in June 2011, she returns as the Development Manager. In this role, she manages the fundraising needs of the organization ranging from major gift strategy development to prospect research and annual giving. She holds a Master of Science in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Delaware. She enjoys traveling and practicing her penmanship. 

   
   
 Nadia

Clinical Research Coordinator and Clinical Trials Navigator
Nadia McLaughlin

Nadia McLaughlin joined LCA in 2016 as the Clinical Research Coordinator and Clinical Trials Navigator. She works with the Director of Science and Research to implement and support LCA’s research activities. She also works with the Director of Community and Support Services to disseminate information regarding current clinical research trials available. Prior to working at LCA, Nadia worked at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio on several clinical research trials focusing on treating PTSD and other associated mental health disorders in active duty service members and veterans. She received an MS in Psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BS from Oregon State University. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Nadia recently moved to Washington, D.C. with her husband.

   
   

Medical Outreach Manager
Angela Criswell

Angela Criswell joined LCA as Field Coordinator in January 2015, arriving from the Kentucky Department for Public Health where she managed the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.  Angela represents LCA in the efforts on the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative (Lung Cancer Education, Awareness, Detection, Survivorship) and is based in Frankfort, KY. 

A Certified Prevention Specialist, Angela previously provided statewide technical assistance to Kentucky’s network of community mental health centers and substance abuse prevention boards and coalitions on the prevention of adult high risk drinking, underage drinking, and drunk driving; from 2004 to 2009 she served as State Executive Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Kentucky.  Angela taught political science at the college level for 8 years and has a B.A. in Political Science from Mississippi College and an M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.

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Office Manager
Barbara Mendoza

Barbara Mendoza joined the staff of LCA in June 2015 as Office Manager. She has close to 30 years of experience in working on the “administrative side of things” in nonprofit organizations and greatly enjoys the combination of logistics and the human touch of an organization’s mission. A graduate of the State University College of New York (SUNY) at Brockport, Barbara holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice. She enjoys writing, pondering the meaning of life and has a vast array of passions, ranging from baseball and aviation to old-time movie stars and all kinds of animals. Her personal interest in the mission of LCA stems from having a dear friend and mentor who walked the walk with small cell lung cancer. 

   
  Administrative Assistant    

Rowan Bishop

Rowan Bishop officially joined the LCA team in June 2015 as Administrative Assistant to our President and CEO, Laurie Fenton Ambrose and the policy team. She came on board after working with several departments during a three month internship with the organization. One of her inspirations for joining LCA is her grandmother, a two-time lung cancer survivor. Rowan attended the College of Charleston before moving to Jackson Hole, WY, for several years. Outside of work, Rowan loves traveling, skiing and spending time with her family.   

   
  Outreach and Support Coordinator   

Rahma Omar

Rahma Omar joined the LCA staff in July 2015 as the Outreach and Support Coordinator. She works with the Director of Medical Outreach, Director of Science & Research and the Community & Support Services team in supporting the network of medical institutions servicing patients, those at risk and their loved ones. Before LCA, Rahma had worked with various cancer non-profits based in Maryland and the District of Columbia. She received her B.A. in Health Administration and Policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and her Master of Public Health from the University of Maryland, College Park.