Prior to joining EFA, Melissa was CEO of Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing access to justice for children and families throughout New York State. Before LIFT, she worked on criminal justice reform on a national and local scale. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Melissa was a litigator, working as a prosecutor in the Brooklyn DA's Office and as a criminal defense attorney. Melissa has been an Adjunct Professor of Nonprofit Management at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and an Adjunct Professor of Women’s Studies at Fordham University. She is the author of numerous articles on nonprofit management and social justice issues as well as a playwright. She sits on the Leadership Council of the Support Center on Nonprofit Management and on the Steering Committee of the Active Owners Working Group at Confluence Philanthropy. A graduate of Hampshire College, Melissa received her JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and holds a certificate in nonprofit management from the Columbia Business School.

Christy Loper, Program Director

Prior to joining EFA, Christy worked for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Prior to her tenure at NOAA, she served as a Program Director at Rare. Christy co-chairs the marine conservation funders group of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity and serves on the Board of Directors of Row New York. She is a graduate of Eckerd College and received her M.A. in Marine Policy from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science and her Ph.D. from the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies.

Laura Nixon, Reproductive Health & Justice Program Officer

Prior to joining EFA, Laura was a Law Students for Reproductive Justice Fellow at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where she led the expansion of the organization’s reproductive justice program. Before her tenure at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, she held positions at the Office of the General Counsel at CUNY, Kingsborough Community College, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. Laura’s work in the reproductive rights movement includes service with the National Abortion Federation Hotline and reviving the D.C. Abortion Fund. Laura is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and she received her JD from The City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law.

David Stocks, Program Director

Prior to joining EFA, David was the President of the Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon, in New Lebanon, NY. Earlier in his career, David was the founding board president and first Executive Director of Friends of the Katy Trail in Dallas, Texas. David is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.