Our Team

Ralph da Costa Nunez, PhD
President and CEO
Ralph is President and CEO of the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness and its affiliate Homes for the Homeless. He has worked with homeless families for more than three decades, starting at the office of then-Mayor Ed Koch in the early 1980s. He is an internationally recognized expert and leading scholar in the field of family and child homelessness. Dr. Nunez holds a PhD in political science from Columbia University, where he also serves as a professor at the School of International and Public Affairs.
Aurora Zepeda
Chief Operating Officer
Since 2006, Aurora has served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness and its affiliate Homes for the Homeless. Prior to 2006, she was on the faculty in the Department of Education Studies at the University of California, San Diego and served as the Executive Officer for San Diego County’s Commission on Children, Youth and Families. Ms. Zepeda received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego and her MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Policy Team

Andrea Pizano
Chief of Staff
Andrea is Chief of Staff at ICPH. Through her work at the New York City Department of Homeless Services as well as her previous work experience at ICPH and ICPH’s affiliate, Homes for the Homeless, she obtained an in-depth understanding of the issue of homelessness. She has extensive experience in program and project management in both the public and private sectors. Andrea holds a Master’s degree in Economics from New School University.
Josef Kannegaard
Principal Policy Analyst
Josef Kannegaard is Principal Policy Analyst, focusing on both national- and New York City-level policy analysis and research. He has served as the lead analyst on publications such as The Dynamics of Family Homelessness in New York City. Prior to leading the policy team, he focused on issues of poverty and homelessness in New York City, contributing quantitative analysis to publications such as The Atlas of Student Homelessness in New York City 2016. Before joining ICPH in 2011, Josef worked for Charles Group Consulting in Boston. Josef holds a Master's degree in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bachelor's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kristen MacFarlane
Senior GIS Analyst
Kristen MacFarlane leads the development of ICPH’s interactive maps, including The United States of Homelessness, to help users explore family homelessness in their communities. Before joining ICPH in 2016, Kristen worked as a Data Specialist at the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. She holds a Master's degree in Geographic Information Science from the City University of New York Lehman College and a Bachelor's degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University.
Amanda Ragnauth
Senior Policy Analyst
Amanda Ragnauth is a Senior Policy Analyst, leading projects on the education and health disparities faced by homeless students, such as Learning English While Homeless and Suicide and Depression Among Homeless Students. Before joining ICPH in 2017, Amanda worked as a Researcher for the Service Employees International Union. She holds a Master's degree in Public Policy from Rutgers University, and both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Florida.
Chloe Stein
Senior Policy Analyst
Chloe Stein serves as a Senior Policy Analyst, leading ICPH’s community work, including the State Snapshot series and The Seattle Atlas of Student Homelessness. In addition, she contributes analysis to work on housing and health issues. Before joining ICPH in 2016, Chloe served as Assistant to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. She holds a Master's degree in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University, and Bachelor's degrees in Public Health and Spanish from Franklin & Marshall College.
Rachel Barth
Policy Analyst
Rachel Barth focuses on health and education analysis, specializing in the use of data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey for ICPH’s interactive data apps, including The Health and Well-Being of Homeless High School Students. Before joining ICPH in 2016, Rachel served as a Research Technician for Wayne State University's Center for Urban Studies. Rachel holds a Master's degree in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences from Columbia University, and a Bachelor's degree in Social Relations and Policy from Michigan State.
Kaitlin Greer
Policy Analyst
Kaitlin Greer participates in housing and education policy research, contributing to publications such as The Atlas of Student Homelessness in New York City. Before joining ICPH in 2015, Kaitlin worked on a YouGov research team in Kurdistan, Iraq. Kaitlin has a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Smith College.
Alexander Guinn
Policy Analyst
Alexander Guinn is a Policy Analyst, with a focus on education issues and housing policy. He has contributed to reports such as The Dynamics of Family Homelessness in New York City and The United States of Homelessness Regional Reports. Alexander holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia.
Mukta Ramola
GIS Analyst
Mukta is a GIS analyst at ICPH, working on ICPH’s maps. Before joining ICPH in 2018, she was a GIS intern at the Jersey City Planning Commission. She holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers. Prior to attending Rutgers, she worked on planning issues such as social housing, sustainable resource management, and equitable access to water and sanitation services in India.

Communications Team

Alexander Tucciarone
Director of Communications & External Affairs
Alexander Tucciarone is Director of Communications & External Affairs. Before joining ICPH, he served as Communications Manager at the Roosevelt Institute. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Reporting and Broadcast Journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a Bachelor’s in International Affairs and Latin American Studies at George Washington University.
Katie Linek Puello
Digital Communications Manager
Katie Linek Puello drives ICPH's digital presence and strategy, serving as the lead on ICPH’s website, social media, and newsletter. In addition, she serves as a conference planner for the Beyond Housing Conference. Prior to joining ICPH, Katie worked for New York City-based public relations firm Butler Associates as a Marketing and Events Specialist. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from the University of Delaware, in addition to a Digital Marketing certification from New York University.
Linda Bazerjian
Senior Communications Associate
Linda is Senior Communications Associate at ICPH and our affiliate Homes for the Homeless. In her role at ICPH, Linda heads the planning of the Beyond Housing conference as well as serving as Development Editor for the Journal of Children and Poverty. She has also served as Director of External Affairs for both organizations. Prior to joining ICPH, she held the position of Director of Communications and External Affairs with the NYC Department of Homeless Services, and Communications Specialist at the Maryland State Department of Education. She holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from New York University.
Hellen Gaudence
Senior Graphic Designer
Hellen Gaudence is Senior Graphic Designer at ICPH, translating information into creative visual assets such as Learning English While Homeless: Why Early Fluency Matters and Dating Violence & Homeless Students. She has over three years of experience developing concepts and visualizations for a humanities context. Additionally, Hellen is a documentary photographer working with migrant communities resettled in the USA. She holds a Master of Fine Art degree from the University of Arizona.
Grace Cabarle
External Affairs Associate
Grace is External Affairs Associate at ICPH. Before joining ICPH, she served as a Research Assistant for the North Dakota Department of Health and North Dakota State University. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Bachelor’s in Microbiology from North Dakota State University.
Robyn Schwartz
Administrative Editor
Robyn is Administrative Editor of the Journal of Children and Poverty, shepherding articles that inform policy and practice from initial submission through publication and promotion. In addition, she provides technical support to ICPH’s digital communications team. Robyn has a background in editing and nonprofit administration and has served in various roles at Workman Publishing, ICPH affiliate Homes for the Homeless, and the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County. Robyn holds a BA in Political Science from Columbia University and an MPA from Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.
Marcela Szwarc
Graphic Designer
Marcela Szwarc is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator at ICPH. She has created illustrations for Rebecca Minkoff, Steve Madden, and Betsey Johnson. At ICPH, she tells our story through visual elements such as the infographic Turning Disruptive Behavior into Learning Opportunities. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Purchase College, SUNY.

Latest Publications