The BIPP advisory board comprises alumni, parents and donors who provide their time, donations and expertise to help BIPP reach everyone in the Bucknell community.
B.J. currently serves as a federal budget and program management subject matter expert within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. Specifically, he works on the Programs, Resources and Assessments team for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats. In this role, B.J. manages a $1 Billion budget and coordinates budget and resource management policy with other elements of the Department of Defense, Congress, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Office of Management and Budget.
With over twenty years of experience, B.J. has previously supported the Defense Security Service, FEMA’s Hurricane Katrina response, DHS’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, NASA’s Earth Observation System as well as various other DOD and civilian government agencies.
B.J. grew up in central Pennsylvania and graduated from Bucknell University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Political Science with minors in English and Legal Studies. Additionally, he has completed Master of Government coursework at Johns Hopkins University with classes at the Advanced Academic Program (DC), School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the University of Westminster (London).
Matthew Benjamin is a graduate of Bucknell University and New York University (M.A., class of 1995). Matt worked as a journalist for 14 years for various publications where he covered the intersection of politics and economic and monetary policy. He was Chief Economics Correspondent for US News and World Report Magazine and Special Economics Correspondent for Bloomberg News, among other positions. For six years Matt was Director of Political Economy for Medley Global Advisors, a macroeconomic research firm based in New York and London. Matt now writes about economic policy, trade and development for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, among other organizations.
Kevin Blackwell is a Senior Research Associate at the United States Sentencing Commission. Kevin has been at the Commission for over 28 years. Kevin has worked extensively on federal sentencing policy on areas such as immigration, child pornography, firearms and Native American issues. Kevin has been the Commission’s primary researcher on disparity in sentencing and mandatory minimum sentencing. Kevin has also served as the President of the National Association of Sentencing Commission and before working at the United States Sentencing Commission, he worked at the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.
Kevin served as Vice President of the Bucknell Alumni Association and as a member of the Board of Control of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. Kevin graduated from Bucknell with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Sociology and was a member of the Men’s Basketball Team.
Alexandra serves as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Water Security and Cooperation. Before co-founding the CWSC, Alexandra was a Fulbright Scholar in Spain researching water law and watershed management. Alexandra teaches Water Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and American University Washington College of Law as well as Legal Research and Writing at The George Washington University School of Law.
Paul F. Clark is Professor and Director, School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State University. My field studies all aspects of work and employment, including public policies that address job creation, unemployment, workplace discrimination, and union-management relations.
I am the author or editor of five books and have published over sixty scholarly articles and book chapters. My research primarily focuses on union-management relations, labor unions, and the American labor movement. I have conducted studies of collective bargaining in three major American industries--coal, steel, and healthcare. In recent years I have studied and written about labor-management partnership programs in acute care healthcare facilities in the U.S. and Scotland. My teaching interests include employment relations in the public and private sectors, labor law, and labor history.
I regularly serve as a consultant to unions and employers on research and training programs. And I have been a visiting faculty member at universities in the U.S., Scotland, New Zealand, and Australia.
I received a B.A. in Economics and History from Bucknell University, a M.S. degree from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. I also did graduate work at the School of Social and Economic Science, University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Christina Jenckes Coleman ’01 is a former Professional Staff Member for the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she served as an advisor on U.S. foreign aid policy to former Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. In this role Ms. Coleman helped to draft legislation for more effective and accountable foreign aid programs, as well as provide oversight of the $25 billion Federal foreign aid budget and U.S. government implementing agencies. Ms. Coleman also led several Congressional staff delegations overseas to countries receiving U.S. foreign assistance, including Pakistan, India, Haiti, Egypt, Zambia, among others.
Prior to joining the Committee, Ms. Coleman served as Majority Assistant Manager of the Floor Services office for former Speaker Dennis J. Hastert, and subsequently former House Speaker John A. Boehner. From 2001-2005, Ms. Coleman served in various legislative positions under the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, giving her more than a decade of experience on Capitol Hill.
From 2014-2018, Ms. Coleman joined Bridgewater Associates, LLC, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, managing assets of approximately $160 Billion. She is currently engaged in her most challenging role yet, being a mom to her two children, Jack and Sam.
Ms. Coleman holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and English Literature from Bucknell University (2001), and a Master's Degree with distinction in International Relations from the War Studies Department of King's College, London (2009).
Shannon Hayes is a senior policy analyst at ACT, where she writes about education and workforce policy and manages the annual public release of ACT scores for the national high school graduating class. As the daughter of an elementary school teacher, she has always understood the impact a quality education can have, and through her policy work strives to shine a light on inequities that prevent all students from receiving the education they deserve. She has a BA in political science and history from Bucknell University and an MPA from George Washington University.
Shannon lives in Washington, DC, not far from her hometown of Baltimore, and volunteers her time as the leader of the largest Catholic young adult community in the area. She is frequently victorious at trivia nights and will, to anyone interested (or not), vociferously explain why the Oxford comma is mandatory.
Jack Hoadley is Research Professor Emeritus in the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. He retired in 2017 but continues to conduct research on a part-time basis. In 35 years as a health policy researcher, he has studied a wide range of health financing topics. A primary focus has been on prescription drug issues and the Medicare Part D drug benefit, including spending trends, out-of-pocket costs faced by beneficiaries, the impact of drug plan benefit design on the use of generic drugs, and the dynamics of Part D enrollees’ decisions whether to switch plans.
Other recent projects have focused on consumer protections around surprise medical bills, insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, and the role of Medicaid in small towns and rural communities. Dr. Hoadley just completed six years of service on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), a congressional advisory body. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from UNC-Chapel Hill and a B.A. in math from Bucknell. Prior to arriving at Georgetown in 2002, he held staff positions at the Department of Health and Human Services, MedPAC, the Physician Payment Review Commission, and the National Health Policy Forum. He also taught political science for several years at SUNY-Stony Brook and Duke University.
Since 2000, Claire Holmes has worked as an academic librarian at Towson University's Albert S. Cook Library. As liaison librarian to TU’s College of Education, she provides research support and information literacy instruction to faculty and pre-service educators. Since 2015, she has served as Assistant University Librarian for Research & Instruction, leading the Library’s team of instruction librarians and coordinating the Information Literacy Instruction Program. Her professional interests include information literacy, assessment of student learning, creation and calibration of rubrics, infusing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into information literacy instruction, and mentoring.
Over the years, Claire has served in various capacities at the University level, including Towson University’s Academic Senate, Assessment Council, and Middle States Self-Study/Reaccreditation Working Groups. She is an active member of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and she has presented extensively on topics related to assessment of student learning, design and delivery of library instruction, and applying UDL to library instruction and services. Claire served as President-Elect and President of ACRL’s Maryland Chapter in 2016 and 2017.
Claire received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Bucknell University in 1988, and her Master’s in Library Science from the University at Albany in 1995. From 1996-1999, she worked in the Vienna International Centre Library, which serves the United Nations Office at Vienna (Austria).
Laura Rittmeyer Jenkins, MS, CGC, joined the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s Division of Medical Genetics in December of 2015. In 1988 she completed her undergraduate work at Bucknell University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and English. She received her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in 1995.
Laura’s extensive work experience includes Pediatric and Adult Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Human Genetics, the Cancer Genetics Program at Magee Womens Hospital, and as a Regional Genetic Counselor with Myriad Genetics, Inc. Past research experience includes studies focusing on Hereditary Pancreatitis, Hereditary Colon Cancer, Cytochrome P450, and Psychosocial Implications of Hereditary Cancer Testing.
Laura is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counselors as a genetic counselor, a PA-state licensed genetic counselor, and is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.
Cynthia Mason-Posey is the deputy director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
After serving in the active duty Army, Army Reserve and National Guard for over three decades, Mason-Posey established her passion for servicing her fellow veterans in joining the Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs in 2011.
Mason-Posey's current role as a deputy director has enabled the success of countless scores of veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, as well as the continuing education of veterans aspiring to do business with the Veteran Affairs' Office.
In addition to being a member of the BIPP Advisory Board, Cynthia served as the president of the Black Alumni Association Board (BAAB) for over five years and is currently a board member. While at Bucknell, she double majored in Sociology and Political Science.
Ashley Thompson became senior vice president, public policy analysis & development for the American Hospital Association (AHA) in Nov. 2015. In this role, Ashley provides leadership, strategic direction and management to a team of policy specialists in the development, articulation and advocacy of policy positions. She oversees the various areas of the policy department, including hospital finance and payment, data and trends analysis, quality and patient safety, health information technology and the State Issues Forum. Additionally, she leads AHA’s formal governance and policy development process, which solicits member input on key advocacy, public policy and hospital field leadership issues. A 12-year veteran of the AHA, Ashley most recently served as acting senior executive for public policy analysis and before that as vice president and deputy director of policy and director of policy.
Previously, Ashley was Health Policy Advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, where she served as policy lead for Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) on Medicare Part A issues, including those related to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health care and hospice. During her tenure with the Committee, she developed and drafted the Medicare provisions adopted in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, including provisions related to value-based purchasing and post-acute care payment reforms.
Before working on Capitol Hill, Ashley spent seven years at hospitals and health systems, working in the areas of strategic planning, finance and policy at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health Systems, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, and Mount Sinai Health System in Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, and her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from the University of Michigan.
With more than 20 years of experience working in Washington D.C. and on some of the country’s top political and public affairs campaigns, Walsh is a partner at FP1 Strategies helping to lead the firm’s Public Affairs practice. FP1 was recognized recently as one of just five finalists among communications firms across the country for PRWeek’s “Outstanding Midsize Agency” award category.
Walsh is an expert at helping businesses, associations and other organizations across a variety of industries tell their story and meet their public policy goals. Prior to joining FP1, Walsh was a partner at a top public affairs firm in Washington where he provided strategic counsel, crisis management and media relations to Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, governments and non-profit organizations.
Prior to his work in the private sector, Walsh worked on Capitol Hill for over 15 years including most recently as the chief communications strategist for U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), a member of the Senate GOP leadership team. Walsh first served in Cornyn’s official Senate office as Communications Director and in that same position at the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for both the 2010 and 2012 election cycles during which Republicans gained five new Republican Senate seats.
Walsh also worked in the U.S. House of Representatives for almost 10 years, where he served as Communications Director for a key Congressional Committee and several members of Congress. His work there led former Editor-in-Chief of The Hotline and current NBC News Meet the Press host Chuck Todd to accurately predict, Walsh “has an amazing ability to show supreme loyalty but in a very rational way. This guy will be a sought-after crisis PR guy.”
Brian graduated from Bucknell with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English. He currently resides in McLean, Virginia with his wife and two children.