Meet our Staff


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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Policy Director

Nina Harrison, a Rhode Island native, is a key member of the leadership team to advance EPI’s policy and advocacy agenda. As Policy Director she supervises the policy team, leads coalition building and community engagement efforts, and cultivates relationships with policy makers. Harrison is a graduate of Howard University with a BA in English and a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School. Prior to joining EPI she served as a Racial Justice Fellow and Staff Attorney for Community Legal Aid in Worcester, MA where she represented clients with sealing and expungement of criminal records and appealed criminal-record-based denials of applications for subsidized housing. Nina can be reached at [email protected].

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Linda, Policy Director


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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Operations Director

Sonia Grace joined the Economic Progress Institute in July 2023. As the Director of Operations, Sonia advances EPI’s growth in the areas of fundraising, accounting, financial planning and budgeting, human resources, and internal operations.  
Sonia has experience in non-profit management, policy, advocacy, community engagement, and public service. Sonia has focused her work on increasing the efficacy of non-profit organizations through the implementation of professional systems. She is a graduate of Brown University with degrees International Relations & Social Development and Portuguese & Brazilian Studies.  

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Communications Director

Andrew joined the Economic Progress Institute as the Communications Director in February 2023. Before joining EPI, Andrew was the Director of Media Relations for the City of Providence, Mayor’s Office. Andrew’s background includes community organizing for clean air and clean energy as well as electoral campaigns. He is a board member of the Southeastern New England Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Andrew received a Master’s degree in Communications for Social Change from Temple University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island.

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Alan, Senior Policy Analyst


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


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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Imanol, Summer 2023 Intern


State Policy Fellow

Kavya Gopinath joined the Economic Progress Institute in July of 2023 as the State Policy Fellow focusing on workforce development and state tribal policy. She graduated Brown University with a BA in International and Public Affairs and then continued to complete a 5th year Master of Public Affairs. Her research has focused on discrimination in school discipline practices, campus safety at Brown, and participatory budgeting in the Rhode Island public school district. She is thrilled to join an organization that puts equity at the forefront of all their work.

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Linda Katz, retired


Co-Founder (retired)

Linda along with Nancy Gewirtz, co-founded The Economic Policy Institute. Linda was 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.