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Executive Team

Angela glover blackwell

Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, started PolicyLink in 1999 and continues to drive its mission of advancing economic and social equity. Under Blackwell’s leadership, PolicyLink has become a leading voice in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, education, and infrastructure.

Prior to founding PolicyLink, Blackwell served as Senior Vice President at the Rockefeller Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s Domestic and Cultural divisions. A lawyer by training, she gained national recognition as founder of the Oakland (CA) Urban Strategies Council, where she pioneered new approaches to neighborhood revitalization. From 1977 to 1987, Blackwell was a partner at Public Advocates, a nationally known public interest law firm.

As a leading voice in the movement for equity in America, Blackwell is a frequent commentator for some of the nation’s top news organizations, including The New York Times, the Huffington Post, Washington Post, Salon, CNN and has appeared regularly on public radio’s Marketplace, The Tavis Smiley Show, Nightline, and PBS’s Now. Blackwell has also been a guest on the PBS series Moyers & Company and PBS’s NewsHour. Blackwell appears in the sixth and final segment of the PBS six-part series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates Jr., which aired in October and November, 2013. Most recently, Blackwell joined PBS Newshour hosts Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff to discuss President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address during NewsHour’s live coverage of the address.

Blackwell is the co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), and contributed to Ending Poverty in America:  How to Restore the American Dream (The New Press, 2007) and The Covenant with Black America (Third World Press, 2006). In 2013, Blackwell and PolicyLink collaborated with the Center for American Progress to write and release All-In Nation: An America that Works for All. Blackwell earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She serves on numerous boards and has served on The President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Blackwell was also co-chair of the task force on poverty for the Center for American Progress.  Blackwell currently serves on the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

For more information about Angela Glover Blackwell, please contact Otilia Mirambeaux, Program Liaison to the Founder & CEO, at


Judith bell photo

Judith Bell, President 

Judith Bell is the President of PolicyLink. She has been at PolicyLink since its founding in 1999. Under her central leadership, PolicyLink has developed into a national voice for access and opportunity for all people — particularly low-income people and communities of color..

At PolicyLink, Bell oversees strategic planning, policy development and policy campaign strategy at the local, state, and national levels, including for efforts focused on improving health and infrastructure.  She has led PolicyLink efforts to increase access to healthy foods, particularly the successful establishment of the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative. At the federal level, she has also played a leadership role in launching and advancing the Promise Neighborhoods program and expanding equity impacts in the Transportation arena. She supervises PolicyLink projects at the local and state level focused on equitable development, including equity in public investment, regional equity, and community strategies to improve health.

Bell is a regular writer for different news outlets and academic publications. She has authored several studies including, “Why Place and Race Matter: Impacting Health Through a Focus on Race and Place.” She is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant on advocacy strategy.

Previously, Bell directed the West Coast Regional Office of Consumers Union, where she engaged in efforts to improve the quality of life for all consumers, particularly in access to health care. This work included successful campaigns in 32 different states to preserve more than $14 billion in charitable assets resulting in the creation of many new foundations including The California Endowment and the Wellness Foundation. 

She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University where she was a Lucius Littauer fellow.  

Joe brooks

Joe Brooks, Vice President for Civic Engagement, works to foster civic engagement by individuals and community organizations, a key component of the PolicyLink mission and goals. As a member of the senior management team, Brooks develops and maintains close working relationships with local, regional, and national organizations. He is also the team leader for the PolicyLink Men and Boys of Color Policy Planning and Advocacy project. Brooks has also served as president of the Emergency Land Fund, Atlanta, Georgia, and was editor of the Review of Black Political Economy. He was formerly program executive for Neighborhood and Community Development at the San Francisco Foundation, where he directed the foundation’s Workforce Development and Interfaith Initiative, FAITHS. Brooks served as the national co-chair of the Neighborhood Funders Group and vice-chair of the Association of Black Foundation Executives.

Milly hawk daniel

Milly Hawk Daniel, Vice President for Communications, leads the PolicyLink team responsible for strategically using media, online, editorial, and special events efforts to advance economic and social equity.  A speechwriter, editor, and author, Daniel has directed communications activities in several nonprofit organizations and provided consulting services for many others. In its work with partner organizations across the country, PolicyLink helps identify media and web opportunities, plan advocacy efforts, draft opinion pieces and letters to the editor, and produce print materials for successful policy change.  In her work at PolicyLink, Daniel has led communications efforts related to affordable housing, transit oriented development, equitable rebuilding in New Orleans, and revitalizing older core cities.

Josh kirschenbaum

Josh Kirschenbaum, Vice President for Strategic Direction, one of the original PolicyLink staff members, has led community building and technology projects, and now brings a wealth of organizational knowledge to build diverse alliances and implement strategic initiatives. Prior to joining PolicyLink, Kirschenbaum was the director of special projects at the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development, where he managed a defense conversion research program and fostered partnerships between the university and the City of Oakland to strengthen and revitalize low-income neighborhoods.  He holds a BA from Brown University and an MS in city and regional planning from the University of California-Berkeley.

Victor rubin

Victor Rubin, Vice President for Research, leads knowledge-building, evaluation, and qualitative and quantitative analysis activities to build a strong research base for PolicyLink. Recently he has been particularly deeply involved in analyses of equity issues in infrastructure, and in strategies to address health disparities through improvements to the built environment. Rubin previously directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of University Partnerships, and served as a director of the University-Oakland Metropolitan Forum, a partnership based at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also an adjunct associate professor of city and regional planning. Rubin holds a BA in public affairs from the University of Chicago, and an MCP and PhD in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley.


Lauren L. Webster, Chief Financial Officer, leads the Finance team at PolicyLink. Since 1985 she has worked in the non-profit sector for a variety of national and local social change and social service organizations. Her career has focused on building, maintaining, and improving integrity of financial and operational infrastructure that supports organizations in achieving their mission. Prior to joining PolicyLink, she was Chief Financial Officer for the Tides organizations (Tides Foundation, Tides Center, and Tides Shared Spaces) where she served for 22 years. She also serves on audit, finance, and investment committees for several private foundations and other non-profit organizations.

Jennifer thompson

Jennifer Thompson, Director of Human Resources and Administration, is responsible for managing the Oakland facility. Thompson also coordinates staff recruitment and retention programs and administers PolicyLink benefits plans. Previously, she held positions in both finance and fundraising and managed events for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Thompson earned her BA in economics from San Jose State University.