CHN Contact

Coalition on Human Needs
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 312
Washington, DC 20036
202.223.2532 (phone)
202.223.2538 (fax)

General Inquiries: Contact Joanna Sandager at

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CHN Staff

Deborah Weinstein |

Executive Director

Deborah Weinstein came to the Coalition on Human Needs as its new executive director in June of 2003. Debbie brings over thirty years of advocacy experience to CHN on a wide range of issues at both the state and federal level.

Prior to coming to CHN, Weinstein served for nine years as director of the Family Income division of the Children’s Defense Fund. At CDF she worked on policy strategies to lift children and theirfamilies out of poverty, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child support, jobs and wages, housing, nutrition, unemployment insurance, and equitable tax policy.

From 1983 to 1993, Weinstein was executive director of the Massachusetts Human Services Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy organization made up of human service providers, religious organizations, labor, and advocacy groups and focusing on the needs of Massachusetts people, especially those with limited income.

Weinstein has been the recipient of many awards from human services and advocacy groups. She has a Master of Social Work degree from San Diego State University.
Richelle Friedman |

Director of Public Policy

Richelle Friedman, PBVM, joined the Coalition on Human Needs as director of public policy in April, 2006. Richelle has over 20 years of legislative experience on a wide range of issues with the goal of strengthening the economic reality of low-income families. Before coming to CHN, Friedman worked at the Children’s Defense Fund, McAuley Institute and NETWORK as a policy analyst and lobbyist. Prior to coming to DC, she was a junior high and secondary school teacher. Richelle has a bachelor’s degree from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa and a master’s degree from Loyola University in Chicago.
Kelly Wilkins |

Outreach and Field Manager

Kelly Wilkins came to the Coalition on Human Needs in October 2013. Kelly has 7 years of grassroots organizing in the community. She is an ordained minister and serves as the Minister for Social Justice at Covenant Baptist UCC in Washington DC and a strategy team leader for the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN). Kelly was the Cluster Coordinator for the Court Services & Supervision Agency (CSOSA) Faith-Based Initiative and was appointed by Mayor Gray to chair the Commission on Reentry and Returning Citizens Affairs. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Governors State University and a Master’s of Divinity with a concentration in Urban Ministries from Wesley Theological Seminary.
Lecia Imbery |

Senior Policy Writer

Lecia has over 14 years of experience in advocacy, civic engagement, volunteer management, fundraising and program management in the nonprofit field. Prior to joining CHN, Lecia managed federal and state grassroots advocacy campaigns at the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of University Women.

Before coming to DC in 2006, Lecia worked for nonprofits and engineering firms in San Francisco and Chicago. In addition to her commitment to social and economic justice issues, Lecia is an avid animal lover and volunteers at the Washington Animal Rescue League. Lecia has degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois.
Joanna Sandager |

Communications Associate

Joanna Sandager joined the Coalition on Human Needs in June 2014. After graduating from The College of William and Mary in 2011, Joanna went on to complete her M.A. in Political Science in Florence, Italy through James Madison University. During this time, she studied European Union economic and social policy and interned for The Florentine, an English-language newspaper in Florence.

Before coming to CHN, Joanna worked for Atlantic Media as an editorial and custom event planner for both The Atlantic and Government Executive Media Group. A Fort Lauderdale, Florida native, she enjoys traveling, yoga, and being outdoors.