“For those of us committed to working for social and economic justice, we must see ourselves as a community of continuous learners.”
Jennifer Lynn-Whaley, Ph.D.
Senior Program Associate
Patricia Marrone Bennett, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of Resource Development Associates. Under her leadership, RDA has grown to 20 staff members. She has launched numerous efforts in public sector leadership development, organizational change management, revenue enhancement and consumer-driven planning processes. She firmly believes that government, when partnered with consumers of services and supports and community-based organizations can and does solve social problems and improve the quality of life of individuals, families and the communities in which they live.
Stemming from her days as a lobbyist for the Quaker sponsored Friends Committee on Legislation, she maintains a passion for criminal and juvenile justice reform, violence prevention and supports for people coming out of prison and jail. She led an effort which established the first program of its kind for incarcerated pregnant teens and their infant children and the first alternative to incarceration for the California Youth Authority. Prior to joining RDA, she served as the Executive Director of several non-profit organizations that provided behavioral health, case management and homeless services. She learned that collaboration among public sector organizations that often serve the same populations was essential for realizing positive outcomes and solving community problems. As an advocate for public systems improvement, she has led many planning and evaluation efforts that incorporate data driven processes with the voices and participation of community members.
Pat completed her Ph.D in Human and Organizational Development in 2004 from Fielding University in Santa Barbara. Her dissertation research examined the co-occurrence of youth and family violence at a neighborhood level. She is currently a member of the California Mental Health Planning Council and President Elect of Mental Health America of California.
Nishi Moonka, Ed.M., has served as a consultant for 14 years bringing innovation, organization and high quality to each project. Since 2002, Nishi has contributed to many of RDA’s most impactful projects. For 10 years, she has led RDA’s evaluation work for the After School for All collaborative contributing to demonstrated continuous program improvement. For 4 years, she has managed the evaluation of a large scale violence prevention initiative in Oakland (Measure Y) which includes approximately 30 violence prevention programs and a community
Nishi is deeply committed to social justice and is a strong advocate of participatory planning and evaluation. Prior to her work at RDA, Nishi enjoyed an extensive career in urban youth development, training youth consumers to perform evaluations of their schools and the agencies from which they receive services. She also worked as an IT consultant for Accenture and brings her process and systems perspective to each project. She holds Bachelor's degrees in Molecular and Cell Biology and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Education, with a concentration in Human Development and Psychology, Risk and Prevention, from Harvard University. Nishi is also the mother of two children under the age of five and is very passionate about programs that serve children, youth and their families.
Amalia Egri Freedman brings 18 years of professional experience in project and program management for and within government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies. With deep expertise in running multi-functional teams and projects, Amalia brings a passion for supporting government agencies and nonprofits in developing policy, programs and operational strategies to achieve their mission.
Amalia has served in project management capacities in evaluation, strategic planning, organizational development and grant writing, in domains as varied as criminal justice, health services, education, transportation, and high tech; she is accustomed to rapidly engaging in technical environments and moving teams and projects forward effectively. In addition to her work with RDA clients, Amalia works directly with RDA staff to grow their project management capabilities. Prior to joining RDA, she managed software initiatives to serve government clients; led an emerging practice delivering community engagement programs for Booz Allen Hamilton; and served as a legislative aide. Amalia graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Sociology. Amalia serves on the Board of Directors of the Family Services Agency of San Francisco; she makes her home in San Francisco, where she is raising a school-aged daughter.
Roberta Chambers, Psy.D. is committed to strengthening individual, program, and system’s capacities to work together in service of their communities. The majority of Roberta’s work focuses on participatory processes that bring together people with a diversity of experiences and backgrounds, in partnership with public and nonprofit organizations, to consider how to address community needs, use research and data to inform decision-making, maximize available resources, and measure the impact of the work. She is deeply concerned about organizations’ abilities to meet the growing needs of their communities with limited resources and works to discover opportunities to maximize funding and invest in programs that are likely to be effective for those that need it most. She has presented nationally on promising practices in participatory planning and evaluation as well as issues related to deinstitutionalization.
With a background in direct service provision, Roberta has worked extensively throughout California and nationally to design and implement programs that support people with serious mental illness and/or developmental disabilities to remain in or transition back to the community from institutional settings, such as jails and hospitals. Roberta received her Doctorate in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. Clinically, her experience is based in the public sector with a focus on people with serious mental illness, substance use, forensic involvement, and/or an intellectual disability.
As the Director of Business Development and Grantwriting at RDA, Roberta leads our efforts to develop opportunities to promote social and economic justice and support public and non-profit organizations to best meet the needs of their communities. She also manages a small portfolio of planning and evaluation projects, primarily focusing on community engagement and behavioral health systems transformation.
Mikaela Rabinowitz, Ph.D., has a background in juvenile and criminal justice policy and research, and she works on all of RDA’s criminal and juvenile justice projects, as well as on a variety of other evaluation projects. Mikaela’s commitment to improving the justice system stems from her work with the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM II) Program, a project for which she oversaw several years of research inside the nation’s largest single-site pretrial detention center, the Cook County Jail, in Chicago, IL. Having worked extensively with jail administrators, correctional officers, probation officers, and inmates in jurisdictions as diverse as Craighead and Jefferson Counties, AR; Oakland, CA; and the State of Wyoming, Mikaela believes that meaningful criminal justice reform must involve diverse and broad-based stakeholder coalitions, including criminal justice and social service agencies, community-based service providers, and inmates.
Prior to joining to RDA, she served as a Juvenile Justice Policy Advocate at the National Center for Youth Law, where she worked with state and local jurisdictions across the country to identify local juvenile justice reform needs and provide support for research and policy implementation. Mikaela has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University, where her research examined the effect of pretrial detentions on detainees’ case outcomes and on their lives outside the criminal justice system.
Rajni Banthia, PhD is a public health scientist who conducts research and evaluation studies on obesity and chronic illness prevention in the context of environmental, behavioral, and public policy initiatives that aim to reduce health disparities and promote healthy living. This work is rooted in her passion for advancing access to healthy foods, opportunities for physical activity, tobacco control, community engagement, capacity building, and social determinants of health in lower income communities of color. Being the daughter of Asian immigrants has fueled her pursuit for social justice and commitment to working with diverse and underserved groups.
Rajni earned a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley with a minor in South Asian Studies, and a PhD in Behavioral Medicine from the University of California San Diego/San Diego State University joint doctoral program. She completed her clinical internship at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System and her postdoctoral fellowship in Public Health Policy at the University of California, San Francisco with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Scholars in Health Disparities program. Previously, Rajni worked at Samuels & Associates, a public health research and evaluation firm, and PolicyLink, a non-profit research and advocacy organization promoting social justice and equity.
Lisa Fox-Mullen, MPP comes to RDA from a background with mission-driven organizations dedicated to the protection of civil and human rights. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree at Tufts University with a major in anthropology, she performed a year of volunteer service as an AmeriCorps VISTA with a literacy tutoring program serving students in Richmond, CA. Her passion for social justice work led Lisa to a master’s degree in public policy at UCLA where she focused on international human rights and attended the International Institute on Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. With the New York State affiliate of the ACLU, Lisa advocated before the state legislature on issues including reproductive freedom, criminal justice, and LGBT rights. In partnership with New York’s leading LGBT advocacy organization, she managed a statewide campaign for marriage equality that contributed to the State Assembly’s historic first vote in favor of the legislation. She gained further expertise in the civil rights context through her work with a First Amendment law firm in Berkeley that served clients facing lawsuits whose sole intention was to intimidate and silence.
Over the past decade, Lisa has increasingly focused on organizational health and sustainability in her work with both nonprofit organizations and progressive businesses. She believes that sound operations and human resource management are critical for social change organizations to have their greatest impact.