Meet our Staff
The Economic Progress Institute team is a group of dedicated individuals with extensive experience and expertise in public policy, advocacy, communications and research.
KATE BREWSTER, M.S.W.
Kate became the Executive Director of The Institute in September 2004, having served as Assistant Director to Nancy Gewirtz from September 1999 through the spring of 2001. Kate is responsible for the overall management of the organization, including fund development, planning and evaluation, fiscal management, and public policy analysis and advocacy. Kate has taught social policy and case management at the Rhode Island College School of Social Work. Prior to this, Kate worked for the state’s Medicaid programs RIte Share and RIte Care. Kate received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Social Work degree from Rhode Island College. Email Kate
LINDA KATZ, J.D.
Co-Founder and Policy Director
Linda Katz, Esq. is the Policy Director and, along with Nancy Gewirtz, co-founded The Institute. Linda is responsible for legislative and policy analysis and advocacy on a range of public benefits and programs, including: welfare, health care, child care, and employment and training. Linda is chair of the statewide RI Works Advisory Committee, RIte Care Consumer Advisory Council, and was one of nine public members appointed to the state’s Health Insurance Exchange. Before joining The Economic Progress Institute full-time in 2001, Linda worked for the RI Health Center Association, RI Disability Law Center and RI Legal Services. Linda received her Juris Doctorate from Boston College and undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester. Email Linda
RACHEL FLUM, JD
Rachel joined The Institute in 2004 to conduct policy analysis and advocacy on a range of anti-poverty policies including cash assistance, child care, unemployment insurance and child support. She is one of the primary authors of the Rhode Island Standard of Need and is responsible for updating the Guide to Assistance. Rachel is the Chair of the Child Support Advisory Committee and serves on the Permanent Legislative Commission on Child Care. In addition, Chief Judge Haiganush Bedrosian appointed her to serve on the 2011 Child Support Guideline Task Force. Prior to joining The Institute Rachel worked on TANF legislation on behalf of Catholic Charities USA and on children's issues for Senator Kennedy's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Email Rachel
SADIE DECOURCY, JD
Kerri joined The Institute in the fall of 2005 to assist with development efforts, financial accounting and communications. Kerri is a graduate of Rhode Island College and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Prior to becoming the office manager for The Institute, Kerri was a project manager at New England Medical Billing, Inc. in Providence. Email Kerri
Sadie joined the staff in October 2012 to manage the RI Health Coverage Project, a joint project between the Institute and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT that is working to ensure that consumers have a voice as health care reform is implemented in Rhode Island. Before coming to the Economic Progress Institute, Sadie was a legal intern for the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Sadie graduated from The George Washington University with a degree in International Affairs and received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School. Email Sadie
IRENA NEDELJKOVIC-CUNNINGHAM, MA
Senior Policy Analyst
Irena joined The Institute in 2012 to conduct policy analysis and advocacy on a range of tax and budget issues, including workforce and economic development. Prior to joining the Institute, Irena had an analytical and leadership role as a Manager of the Research, Statistics & Policy team at RIEDC. Irena holds Bachelors Degrees in both Economics and Political Science from Rhode Island College, and a Masters in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University- SAIS.. Email Irena