Meet our Staff


WEAYONNOH NELSON-DAVIES, J.D.

Executive Director


Weayonnoh joined the Economic Progress Institute as executive director in January 2022. Before joining the Institute, Weayonnoh worked as a legal aid attorney at South Coastal Counties Legal Services and then Community Legal Aid (CLA), first as a staff attorney and then managing attorney of CLA's Worcester and Fitchburg offices. Her areas of expertise include general poverty law, medical-legal partnership, the effect of structural racism on communities of color, public benefits, and housing law.

Weayonnoh is a member of the Rhode Island Foundation's inaugural Equity Leadership Initiative. Previously she served as a small group faculty and capstone project mentor of the Patient Care in Complex Systems Gateway Program at Brown University Medical School. She is a proud alumna of Leadership Worcester, the Shriver Center's Racial Justice Institute, and City Year Rhode Island. She received her Juris Doctorate from Roger Williams University School of Law and undergraduate from Rhode Island College.

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Rachel, Executive Director

LINDA KATZ, J.D.

Co-Founder and Policy Director (retired)


Linda 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, and a member of the HealthSource RI Advisory Board. 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.


Linda, Policy Director

ALAN KRINSKY, PhD, MPH

Director of Research and Fiscal Policy


Alan joined the Institute in January 2019. From 2016 through 2018, he worked on the data analytics team at Rhode Island Medicaid, part of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. His work, much of which focused on long-term care, included program, policy, and fiscal analyses. Prior to this, Alan served as the Health Analytics Manager at one of Rhode Island’s Federally Qualified Health Centers and as a Senior Analyst at UMass Memorial Healthcare in Worcester. At the Institute, Alan’s primary areas of responsibility include analysis of the state budget, in the Rhode Island and national contexts, as well as consideration of the many associated revenue, tax, and expenditure policy issues. Alan earned a Master of Public Health Degree from Brown University in 2006 and a PhD in History and the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001 (with a doctoral dissertation titled Let Them Eat Horsemeat!: Science, Philanthropy, State, and the Search for Complete Nutrition in Nineteenth-Century France).

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Alan, Senior Policy Analyst

KARINA TORDOYA

Administrative Manager


 Karina joined the Institute in 2016 to assist with the day-to-day administrative duties of EPI. Karina is also an administrative assistant for Rhode Island College Outreach Programs. Karina has a Medical Assistant Certificate from Rhode Island College.

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Alan, Senior Policy Analyst

DIVYA NAIR

Policy Analyst

Divya Nair graduated from Columbia University with an MSW in Policy Practice. She has worked with non-profit and government agencies in the areas of human rights, housing, and children’s nutrition and education, and she has experience in research, policy dissemination and community engagement. Her goal is to advance equity through an anti-oppressive lens. Divya’s passion for social change work stems from a genuine confidence in the expansive potential of human capability.

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