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 David Elliot at

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CHN Staff

Deborah Weinstein |

Executive Director

Deborah Weinstein came to the Coalition on Human Needs as its executive director in June of 2003. In her four decades of advocacy experience, Debbie has worked 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 their families 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.
David Elliot |

Communications Director

David Elliot has 20 years of experience engaging in communications advocacy in the nonprofit world. He served as communications director for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (2001-2008); for USAction (2008-2013); and most recently for Fair Share, a part of The Public Interest Network.

Prior to his career in nonprofit advocacy, David worked as a newspaper reporter in the state capitol bureau of the Austin American-Statesman. He covered state politics and the Texas Legislature. He was recognized for outstanding coverage by the Associated Press Managing Editors Convention for his article A Day in the Death of Inmate No. 918, an eyewitness account of an execution in Texas. He also was honored by the Center for Public Policy Priorities and the Texas State Conference of NAACP Branches. When he isn’t working, David enjoys reading historical fiction, travelling to warm and sunny locales, and following his beloved Texas Longhorns and Washington Nationals.
Lecia Imbery |

Deputy Director

Lecia has over 17 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. Lecia has degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois.
Joseph Battistelli |

Director of Outreach & Membership

Joseph has 10 years of experience in advocacy, public policy, project management, and program management.  Prior to joining CHN in his current capacity, Joseph was a longtime consultant for CHN and worked on major policy initiatives, fundraising projects, coalition outreach, and partnership building for them.

Before coming to CHN, Joseph worked for Bloomberg, Public Citizen, and on the historic 2008 election.  Additionally, Joseph’s strong interest in Socio-Economic affairs has lead him to volunteer his time helping teach basic economic and financial literacy as well as contribute to papers on how economic forces effect international relations.
Leo Nguyen |

Administrative & Communications Associate

Leo Nguyen was born and raised in the bustling city of Saigon, Vietnam. At the young age of 16 years old, Leo decided to pack up, say goodbye to his family, and embark on the American journey. He spent a year in Wichita, Kansas as a foreign exchange student, and 4 years at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Marketing. During that time, he interned at the Congresswoman Cheri Bustos reelection campaign in 2016, as well as advocated for international and minority students’ representation on campus. Fun fact, he was the 2x Last Comic Standing Champion at the college’s annual stand-up contest.

Leo was drawn into the Washington political scene after binge-watching the West Wing and House of Cards (among other reasons as well). His journey to the District started in 2017, when he interned at the Coalition on Human Needs and Main Street Alliance. After his graduation in May 2018, Leo is excited and humbled to return to CHN as a full-time staff member.

Outside of work, Leo is a massive “fútbol” fan, an avid jokester, a typical millennial “foodie”, and an aspiring musician.
Nicolai Haddal |

Field & Events Coordinator

Nicolai has over three years of experience in advocacy and nonprofit administration. Prior to joining CHN, he worked as an office manager and a grants administrator, assisting in the coordination of several large-scale projects and events. Originally from Los Angeles, Nicolai relocated to the East Coast in 2014 to intern in the office of Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo of Guam, and has remained in the District since.

Nicolai holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and cat, and playing one of his four guitars.