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Professional Staff Team

 

Amelia Psmythe

Interim Executive Director

See bio

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Kinkini Banerjee

Coalition Relations Director

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Cheryl Lebedevitch

Senior Workplace Program Manager & Policy Analyst

See bio

Alyssa Speece

Constellation Program Manager

See bio

Camille Abbe

Events & Public Relations Manager

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Denae Schmidt

Member Relations & Operations Manager

See bio

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Lynette Anwulika Anigbo

Development & Evaluation Coordinator

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Sarah Walz

Communications & Program Coordinator

See bio

Jennifer Grooms

Advocacy & Public Policy Intern

See bio

 

Staff Team Member Bios

Amelia Psmythe, Interim Executive Director: Amelia began her career in public health first as a breastfeeding peer counselor and then as Executive Director of Nursing Mothers Counsel of Oregon, where her grassroots organizing efforts grew membership, funding, community visibility and impact. As Executive Director of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon, she supported local and state coalition development; implementation of workplace law; statewide hospital practice improvement; collaborative insurance investment; donor milk banking; and work with the Oregon Office of Equity and Inclusion to allow for Medicaid reimbursement of doulas. Amelia joined the USBC staff as Deputy Director in 2012, participating in the USBC leadership during a time of rapid growth in staff, changes in membership, adoption and application of Collective Impact principles, alongside the organization’s racial equity journey. Amelia supports the formation and development of USBC’s action-focused Constellations in various topics, with particular focus since 2014 on the Lactation Support Providers Constellation. Amelia applies servant leadership values to collaborative work, centering equity, growth of trust in relationships, and shared leadership, while building strategic alliances, leveraging resources, and balancing confidentiality with transparency. Amelia is in her second year of training with the Human Systems Institute, working toward certifications in family and organizational facilitation, using an approach that surfaces dynamics in human systems in order to provide new understandings, open possibilities, and increase clarity and peace. 

Kinkini Banerjee, Coalition Relations Director: Kinkini comes to the USBC with more than 20 years of experience working closely with community organizations, social services agencies, public health, and academic partners to build and sustain strong multi-objective initiatives impacting health, civic engagement, safety, and community capacity. She began her career in clinical practice, as a Dietitian specializing in pediatric nutrition. Kinkini partners with breastfeeding coalitions across the country to strengthen their capacity to improve the landscape of breastfeeding support. She works with coalition leaders to strengthen their governance and leadership capacity and increase organizational transparency and accountability. A core component of her work is helping move USBC’s equity mission forward. The best part of her work is fostering transformational partnerships to build strategic visions to advance community health and resiliency. Kinkini serves on the Board of Trustees of Alameda Health System, chairing the Strategic Planning Committee. She is the President of the Board of Building Futures with Women and Children.

Cheryl Lebedevitch, Senior Workplace Program Manager & Policy Analyst: Cheryl has been working with the United States Breastfeeding Committee since 2009. As a young student and working mom, Cheryl became committed to influencing the policies and systems that impact today's families, bringing extensive social media, communications, and technology experience to the USBC team. She holds a Bachelors Degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and completed an undergraduate fellowship at the Newberry Library.

Alyssa Speece, Constellation Program Manager: Alyssa graduated from Wayne State University in 2010 with a BA in Sociology and Women's Studies. After college she studied direct-entry midwifery for two years before moving to Oregon. She also has experience as a doula, childbirth educator, data reviewer with the Midwives Alliance of North America, and policy intern with Society for Women's Health Research. Alyssa received her Masters in Public Health from Oregon State University in 2017. Her coursework focused on maternal and child health, health equity, and health policy analysis.

Camille Abbe, Events & Public Relations Manager: Camille has a background in public relations and event planning, working on award-winning campaigns for nationally-recognized food, beverage, and consumer product brands at Hunter Public Relations, a New York City Public Relations firm. Camille has since left agency life and became a DONA-trained birth doula and birth advocate, volunteering with the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services and Choices in Childbirth. She has been coordinating the annual conference for the Midwives Alliance, a professional organization for midwives, since 2009.

Denae Schmidt, Member Relations & Operations Manager: Denae graduated from the University of South Florida in 2010 with a Bachelors in Biomedical Sciences and minor in Public Health. During her graduate education at Mercer University she found her passion for women’s health while working in an Ob/Gyn clinic. As a community health intern for the Central Georgia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, she became an active advocate of breast cancer prevention in African American women. Her Capstone project assessed the correlation between socioeconomic factors and access to mammography services among African American women in middle Georgia. Denae received her Masters in Public Health in 2012 before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lynette Anwulika Anigbo, Development & Evaluation Coordinator: Lynette attended Indiana University for both her undergraduate degree (Religious Studies/African and African-American Diaspora Studies) and graduate degree (School of Public and Environmental Affairs). She has experience managing social media, graphic design, marketing, and advocacy. While an undergraduate, she created the Parents Resource Guide under the leadership of Dean Yvette Alex-Assensoh at the IU Office for Women's Affairs. She is passionate about helping women find the information and support they need to thrive, informed by her experiences as an undergraduate mother and advocate for maternal academic retainment and positive child development.

Sarah Walz, Communications & Program Coordinator: Sarah graduated from Carleton College with a Bachelors in English Literature. While in school, she actively pursued coursework and activities related to women’s health, gender issues, and reproductive justice. Her senior thesis was a collection of poetry that explored issues of gender identity, generational story-telling, and personal narrative. She has published pieces for BookWomen and Obvi, We're the Ladies.

Jennifer Grooms, Advocacy & Public Policy Intern: Jennifer has just completed her undergraduate studies at George Washington University, where she earned a Bachelors degree in International Affairs and a minor in Public Health. Her background includes work in communications, advocacy, and community health. She has worked with a healthcare communications strategy agency, as a legislative intern on Capitol Hill, with a small community development nonprofit, and with USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program. She currently attends nursing school at Duke University, where she hopes to pursue neonatal and travel nursing.