Program Staff - Catholics for Choice

Media Contact

For more information or to arrange an interview,  please contact us via phone at +1 (202) 986-6093 or by email.

Program Staff

All photos copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.



Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Marlee Breakstone, Domestic Program Associate
Marlee Breakstone promotes and strengthens prochoice Catholic advocacy on the local, state and national level, focusing on outreach, recruitment, and engagement of grassroots activists. Emphasizing CFC’s voice as the leading expert on progressive Catholicism and reproductive health and rights, Ms. Breakstone builds and sustains relationships with and offers educational resources to progressive prochoice Catholic individuals and groups throughout the United States. Ms. Breakstone’s prior experience directing a canvassing office with Work for Progress during the 2018 midterm elections sparked her passion for grassroots activism. She has also interned with the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE). Ms. Breakstone holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Theory and Practice with a focus on Women’s Health Policy from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Rebecca Robinson Brown, Senior Associate, Development
Rebecca Robinson Brown works directly with senior leadership to coordinate the development efforts of the organization to ensure CFC’s institutional stability. She maintains relationships with current individual and foundation supporters and promotes CFC’s mission to new and expanded constituencies, cultivating broad-based financial support for all CFC’s programs. Ms. Brown comes to CFC directly from the Secular Coalition for America, a strong partner in CFC’s work to uphold religious liberty for all. She began her career as a legal assistant to a family firm which focused on representation of media and entertainment clients. Ms. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Media studies from Carleton College in Northfield, MN.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Gaby Garcia-Vera, States Program Manager
Gaby Garcia-Vera is the States Program Manager at Catholics for Choice (CFC), where he coordinates CFC’s strategic engagement at the state and local level. Working with prochoice Catholic policymakers, state partners and activists, Gaby engages, educates and mobilizes people across the United States to advance sexual and reproductive rights. He employs his wealth of experience forging and sustaining coalitions, mobilizing grassroots activists and engaging state policymakers to deliver analysis and develop and implement CFC’s Domestic State Program through statements, positions and resources that make the moral case for abortion rights and access. In 2016 he co-founded the Coquí Language Collective, a Florida based collective working to promote social justice throughout Florida and the country through interpretation and translation service. Gaby was the Executive Director for GetEQUAL and the Florida Field and Advocacy Manager for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, where he honed his acumen in fortifying relationships with advocates, policymakers and partners in organizations throughout the country.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Jamie Manson, President 

For over a decade, Jamie Manson has been a thought leader and advocate in the field of women’s equality and reproductive rights in the Catholic Church and the public square. For 12 years, she was a columnist at the National Catholic Reporter where she was one the few openly LGBTQ journalists in the Catholic media in the world. She was an often-solitary voice for reproductive freedom and justice and was one of the first to sound the alarm about the right-wing push for religious freedom. Her columns led to interviews with the New York Times, CBS, MSNBC and NPR.

Ms. Manson’s expertise in Catholicism and sexual ethics was first formed during her Master of Divinity studies at Yale with her mentor Margaret Farley. In 2002, she aided Farley in co-founding the All Africa Conference: Sister to Sister, which supports women religious who minister to those suffering from the HIV/AIDS pandemic. She edited and wrote the introduction to Changing the Questions: Explorations in Christian Ethics, a collection of writings by Margaret Farley (Orbis Books, 2015).

Ms. Manson began her career as the inaugural director of publications at Yale Divinity School where she created a new publications program and communications strategy and oversaw the School’s complete rebranding. A key member of the development team, she also re-launched the School’s legacy publication, Reflections, and served as its editor-in-chief for five years.

Ms. Manson’s calling to be an activist ignited in 2005 when she was hired as pastoral associate at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Manhattan, a parish dedicated to lifting up LGBTQ people as well as those suffering poverty and homelessness. She later served as director of Social Justice Ministries at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in New York City, where she ministered full time to the needs of Manhattan’s poor and homeless populations. Her advocacy on behalf of the marginalized led her to triple the program’s staff capacity and fundraising income in the first year of her tenure.

An internationally recognized, authoritative voice on gender equality, sexuality and reproductive health, Ms. Manson has spent over a decade challenging hierarchy’s teachings on women’s ordination, contraceptive access, abortion, religious liberty and LGBTQ issues. She has won over a dozen awards from the Catholic Press Association and is a three-time winner of the Religion News Writers Association’s award for Commentary of the Year. She also won the Wilbur Award for Best Online Religion News Story for the story “Feminism in Faith.” In 2015, her activism on behalf of women earned her the Theresa Kane Award for Women of Vision and Courage.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.
Elyce Nollette, International Program Senior Associate
Elyce Nollette coordinates CFC’s international program activities with overseas policymakers, health providers, advocates, activists and collegial organizations to diminish the influence of religious extremism on public policy and advance sexual and reproductive rights. She employs her experience and training in public policy and diplomacy, to foster and sustain strategic relationships as well as inform and influence international debates in the reproductive health and religious liberty spaces. Ms. Nollette’s experience encompasses a range of human security and international development issues both domestically and internationally, including in Latin America and Africa. Ms. Nollette holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Dickinson College and a Master of Public and International Affairs in Human Security from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at University of Pittsburgh.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Glenn Northern, Domestic Program Director
Glenn Northern leads and implements CFC’s US activities, including advocacy, outreach, policymaker education, legislative analysis and collegial relationships. He directs CFC’s Catholics in Public Life project, a nonpartisan public education initiative that helps Catholic policy makers in the US clearly articulate prochoice positions grounded in progressive Catholicism and sound public policy. He oversees CFC’s strategic relationships with prochoice Catholics, policymakers, reproductive health providers, religious and secular activists and collegial organizations to inform and influence debates on sexual and reproductive health and rights, social justice and religious liberty. Before joining CFC, Mr. Northern led constituency building and advocacy efforts at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. He holds a degree in political science and women’s studies from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Vice President. Ms. Ratcliffe supports the president in her efforts to position CFC as the leading organization working at the intersection of faith, reproductive health and rights and religious liberty. She bolsters the development and implementation of CFC’s organizational strategy, program plans and communications efforts, and serves as one of the spokespersons for the organization with the public, partners and in the media. Working closely with the staff to build and sustain the organization’s relationships focusing on key stakeholders including policymakers and donors to foster support for CFC’s work around the world to serve as a voice for the majority of Catholics who believe that the Catholic tradition supports a woman’s moral and legal right to follow her conscience in matters of sexuality and reproductive health.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Ratcliffe directed CFC’s activities in the USA to help Catholic policymakers, advocates and partners articulate prochoice positions grounded in progressive Catholicism and sound public policy. Ms. Ratcliffe is an experienced advocacy professional working for twenty-five years in the public policy arena at the state and federal level on issues of public health and access to health services working with government agencies and advocacy organizations on policy analysis, strategic planning, and legislative and grassroots campaigns. Along with her professional positions, Ms. Ratcliffe also worked on numerous political campaigns at the local, state and national level. She began her career on Capitol Hill where she served as a Senate staffer for three years after earning her bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration on domestic policy from The George Washington University.

Hailing from the Midwest, Ms. Ratcliffe is now a proud Virginia resident for more than fifteen years, where she also engages in community efforts and political activism at the local and state level. She currently lives near Charlottesville, VA with her family.

 

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Taylor Tuckerman, Director of Operations
Taylor Tuckerman manages the day-to-day operations of Catholics for Choice, coordinates the activities of different departments and monitors the organization’s finances and budget. Ms. Tuckerman holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Christopher Newport University and a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Amanda Ussak, International Program Director
Amanda Ussak implements and manages CFC’s international activities including initiatives with global advocates, policymakers and reproductive health providers and other influencers to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide. Ms. Ussak’s leadership helps CFC influence and build a stronger community of advocates working around the globe to diminish the influence of religious extremism on women’s health policies. She manages strategic partnerships with civil society and policy leaders across Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe to educate public and policy audiences about Catholic support for women’s autonomy in reproductive health decisions. Ms. Ussak has a wide range of expertise in development assistance in the government, non-profit and private sectors. Previously, she worked with several start-ups to design and test products for community initiatives. Ms. Ussak served in the Office of the Deputy Secretary and the Bureau of Public Diplomacy at the State Department. She has also consulted for several faith-based nonprofits. She holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree from Stanford University.

top

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Doug Walker, Communications Director 
Doug Walker directs communications and messaging strategies for publications, press and public engagements, creative content and storytelling and advocacy campaigns to advance CFC’s thought leadership as the authoritative voice on reproductive rights, religious freedom and Catholicism in the United States and around the world.  Mr. Walker is a seasoned communications professional, having served in strategic communications positions for multi-sector organizations including the National Education Association, the U.S. Social Security Administration, Chicago Public Schools, a local top-10 radio station, U.S. Congressional offices and multiple local, state and national political organizations and campaigns. Mr. Walker brings an acumen in strategic communications, including on-camera media experience, knowledge of integrated marketing across new and tradition media platforms and proficiency with mission-based message development. Mr. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Howard University, completed the Senior Executive Fellows program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and earned an MBA from Washington Adventist University.

top

Catholics for Choice