Board Members

Lauren Cristella

President

lcristella@lwvphilly.org

It was Lauren’s passion for active citizenship, strong public leadership and practical policy-making that led her to Broad Street and the organization that shares her dedication. As the Chief of Staff & Chief Program Officer of the Committee of Seventy, Lauren is responsible for board development, external affairs, youth civic engagement, the election program, the Buchholz Fellowship Program, and events.

Prior to joining C70, Lauren was the Director of Student Affairs & Strategic Operations at Penn’s Fels Institute of Government. She spent seven years ensuring that students had excellent internships and job prospects in government, nonprofits, and private firms that serve the public interest. She also secured a number of record-breaking gifts to Fels, in addition to overseeing dozens of events each year and general operations.

Before joining Fels, Lauren spent five fun years at the National Constitution Center. During her tenure there, Lauren worked in the education department, where she first began to wish that people would celebrate Constitution Day (September 17th) without being legally obligated to do so. She later joined the Center’s senior management team as the Director of Special Projects for the CEO. In that position, Lauren led the team that created the Center’s blog, Constitution Daily, and facilitated the creation and adoption of a new five- year strategic plan. Lauren was also a member of the Center’s international team, which was responsible for the creation of the Being We the People exhibition and website, as well as a guide to voting in national elections for Afghan citizens, created in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.

Lauren received her bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where she majored in politics, and interned at the International Center for Terrorism Studies. She went on to receive her master’s degree from the University of Essex in Colchester, England in Ethics, Politics and Public Policy.

Lauren, her husband Doug, son Theo, foster child Penelope, and their dog, Utley, reside in South Philadelphia so they can easily feed their love of the Philly sports and good food.

Melissa Wright

First Vice President

VicePresident@lwvphilly.org

Melissa works at Teach for America as a Director of Performance Measurement and Evaluation. Before joining TFA, she was Project Manager for the School District of Philadelphia in the Superintendent’s office focused on building a System of Great Schools for all children close to where they live. She is passionate about quality public education and advocating for marginalized groups. Melissa served in many roles in the District including as an Associate in the District Performance Office for her Education Pioneers Fellowship placement and Data Analyst for their Pregnant and Parenting Student Program, ELECT. Before joining the School District, she worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s PolicyLab as a Study Coordinator investigating programs designed to promote minority faculty persistence in academic medicine.

A strong proponent of democratic participation, Melissa has served the Philadelphia League as Treasurer since 2018. She also serves at the state level as Treasurer for the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania. In her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, she is also an active member of the Connections Committee which works to promote sound public policy, voting rights, and social justice.

Melissa is a proud Fordham Ram, earning her Bachelors in Economics. She also holders a Master of Education from Penn’s Graduate School of Education in Education Policy and a Master of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she is an avid reader, runner, and baker. She has one cat, named Cupcake, as an ode to her love of baking.

Keshema Davidson

Second Vice President

2ndVicePresident@lwvphilly.org

Keshema is the Manager of Community Affairs at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. Cristo Rey combines a rigorous college prep curriculum with an innovative Work-Study model to serve students and families from under-resourced neighborhoods all Keshema is the Manager of Community Affairs at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. Cristo Rey combines a rigorous college prep curriculum with an innovative Work-Study model to serve students and families from under-resourced neighborhoods all across the Philadelphia region. She manages special projects for the school and works closely with the neighborhood, the Tioga section of North Philadelphia, to ensure that Cristo Rey serves not only its students but also its community. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from Drexel University and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Temple University. Previous to Cristo Rey, she was the Program Director for a legal education company based in Philadelphia called LawMeets. She has also worked at Drexel Law School, the National Education Association, and Street Law Inc. Keshema was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Beltsville, Maryland in high school before making her way to Philadelphia. She serves on the board of Neighbors Investing in Childs Elementary (NICE), a volunteer led effort to support the GW Childs Elementary School in Point Breeze. Keshema is also a current Buchholz Fellow with the Committee of Seventy.

Jasmine Lamb

Treasurer

treasurer@lwvphilly.org

Jasmine earned her Master of Public Policy from Temple University, where she received the Academic Excellence Award. She completed her graduate capstone project for the Philadelphia City Council, assessing the impact of the Philadelphia Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement and evaluating the policy options available after the agreement’s expiration. While pursuing her studies, Jasmine served as a Legislative Fellow for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where she worked alongside the Finance Committee’s Minority Chairman, Representative Jake Wheatley, Jr. After serving her fellowship, Jasmine practiced local government management and budget consulting as an intern for Public Financial Management.

Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Jasmine served three terms as a JusticeCorps-AmeriCorps public servant for the Los Angeles County Superior Courts of California. During her tenure, she ensured every litigant received equal access to the justice system, regardless of their income, ability or language. Jasmine received her bachelor’s degree in economics from California State University of Long Beach. Jasmine lives in West Philadelphia with her two cats, Snot and Gritty. 

Miriam Lipschutz

Secretary

secretary@lwvphilly.org

Miriam Lipschutz has lived in Philadelphia since 2018 and is proud to now call this city home. She currently works as a policy analyst at Benefits Data Trust, a nonprofit that harnesses the power of data, technology, and policy to streamline public benefits systems and provide efficient and dignified access to assistance. In her role, she works directly with state and federal agencies, as well as community partners, to create policies and processes that will streamline access to benefits such as SNAP, WIC, and Medicaid. Previously, Miriam worked at Challah for Hunger as the Director of Advocacy, working to mobilize students and communities to end hunger on college campuses. She completed a year of service with Repair the World where she mobilized people to volunteer with food justice organizations in Central Brooklyn. She is a proud alum of both Temple, where she earned her Master’s in Public Policy, and the University of Vermont, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Animal Science. She resides in South Philadelphia with her partner and cat. 

During her time on the board, Miriam hopes to continue the legacy of her grandmother, Helen Heumann, who served on the League of Women Voters of Roselle, New Jersey for several decades and inspired Miriam’s commitment to be civically engaged and never miss an election. 

Renee Androckitis

Policy Chair

policy@lwvphilly.org

Renee Androckitis is a Coordinator for the Economic Competitiveness Department at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. In this role, Renee manages several efforts to encourage inclusive and equitable economic growth for the Greater Philadelphia region. Her scope of work includes providing opportunities for higher education leaders to develop a strong higher education ecosystem through the work of the Regional College & University Presidents’ Alliance; supporting regional practices and advocating for federal policies that help make Greater Philadelphia a global first-tier 21st-century innovation economy via the CEO Council for Growth; and implementing solutions for an inclusive economic recovery through the Recharge & Recover PHL Initiative.

Renee also sits on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Regional Technical Committee, and leads the Instagram content development for the Young Philanthropists cohort of Impact100 Philly, a women’s collective giving organization that addresses unmet needs in the Philadelphia region to make our community more just, equitable, and healthy for everyone.

Renee received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology & Sociology from Drexel University in 2017 and her master’s degree in Political Management from The George Washington University in 2021. Outside of work, Renee enjoys spending time with her amazing friends and family, attempting to build picture-worthy charcuterie boards, and watching Jeopardy! on a nightly basis.

Shannon Connell-Robichaud

Communications Chair

communications@lwvphilly.org

Shannon moved to Philadelphia shortly after graduating from Chestnut Hill College in 2011 with.BA in political science. While she attended Chestnut Hill she was an intern for former Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition.

After graduating Shannon worked as a paralegal in the office of Children and Youth in Montgomery County. She currently works at White and Williams and is attending Temple University and is expected to graduate with a Masters in Public Policy in the Fall of 2020. While at Temple, Shannon served as a Research Assistant for the Alliance of Philadelphia Public Schools. Shannon maintains an interest in child welfare and immigration policy.

Cori Daggett

Voter Services Chair Emeritus

voterservices@lwvphilly.org

Cori is a practicing lawyer in the financial services industry, and has worked at law firms and in house in New York City and Philadelphia. She graduated from Colgate University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and received her law degree from Fordham University Law School.

As a member of the League of Women Voters of Philadelphia, Cori has actively supported the League’s voter registration, education and engagement efforts, managing GOTV projects for the region and serving as a liaison with elected officials and the community. She also served on the Election Protection team of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in the 2020 general election.

 Cori is a director on the board of the Pennsylvania SPCA, a 150 year-old animal welfare organization based in Pennsylvania.  She chairs the board’s Finance Committee, and is a member of the Executive Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee.

 Cori lives in Philadelphia with her husband Jon and their rescue dog Dottie.

Samantha Jean

Board Member At-Large

skelly@lwvphilly.org

Samantha is currently a project manager overseeing three grants at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital. Samantha’s professional interests involve measurably improving health outcomes, creating exceptional experiences of care, and decreasing patient costs. She is particularly focused on improving outcomes and decreasing disparities for traditionally underserved populations.

She has a background in project management and coordinating curriculum development and implementation. She develops transformation strategies across the full continuum of primary care education: from medical and physician assistant students to primary care residents, practitioners, and faculty.

Samantha has language proficiency in Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Italian, French, and Tibetan. She is an alumna of Michigan State University and has a Master’s in East Asian Languages & Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania.

Morgan Robinson

Voter Services Chair

voterservices@lwvphilly.org

Morgan is born and bred in Philadelphia. Raised in West Philly she currently resides in Germantown. A lifer and graduate of Friends’ Central School, she decided to stay in Philadelphia for college. Following graduating high school Morgan attended Temple University for undergrad and graduate work with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Fox School of Business and Master of Science from The School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management. While in graduate school Morgan interned with the Paul Robeson House assisting her now mentor Vernoca Michaels in reinvigorating the museum. 

During her time in college and post-graduation Morgan has worked in nonprofits in varying capacities. Beginning with Please Touch Museum, she found her love of working with others and bringing forth the mission of an organization. Morgan has also worked at Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania focusing her efforts on an important program that caters to girls whose mothers are currently and previously incarcerated and bringing them the Girl Scout mission. Currently Morgan works for the American Cancer Society working diligently in the community in the fight against cancer. In addition Morgan is the current President of Young Involved Philadelphia where she works on civic engagement throughout the city with Millenials and Gen Z.

In her spare time Morgan enjoys time with family and friends, traveling to new countries and trying new restaurants in Philly. Having always been event focused Morgan along with a classmate from graduate school partnered to bring about Amara Planning allowing both graduates to explore their passion for events further by planning and executing weddings, festivals, conferences and other events throughout the city.

Emily Schulman

Membership Chair

membership@lwvphilly.org

I am thrilled to be considered for the role of Membership Chair Position with the League of Women Voters Philadelphia. I am currently a resident of the Bella Vista neighborhood where I am on the neighborhood association board. I work as a management consultant for North Highland where I support state and city agencies, primarily in the transportation and HHS space.

I moved to Philadelphia four years ago to pursue a Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, I lived in D.C. where I served a year with AmeriCorps at DC SCORES, and worked for three years doing family engagement work with DC Public Schools at the Flamboyan Foundation. I grew up in NY and attended the College of William and Mary as an undergraduate. I am a civic engagement, Philly and food enthusiast. 

Sara Strickland

Budget Chair

sstrickland@lwvphilly.org

Sara is a Senior Officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts. There she is focused on strategic planning, budget management, and  event logistics for the Pew Biomedical Programs, which are dedicated to supporting early career faculty in sciences relevant to the advancement of human health. 

A native of Ohio, Sara fell in love with Philadelphia during her undergraduate education. She started her career at the Free Library of Philadelphia, developing teen- and adult-focused literacy events as a part of the One Book, One Philadelphia program. For the next five years she applied her program development skills in the world of STEM academia, where she supported over 100 faculty in the development of collaborative research proposals to public and private funders, science curriculum for high school students, and educational events aimed at the general public.  

Sara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and is an alumni of AmeriCorps VISTA (Philly Fellows) and the Committee of Seventy’s Buchholz Fellowship. She also enjoys spending time mentoring undergraduates as they make the transition from the classroom to the professional world.

Cassie Tomkins

Nominating Chair

nominating@lwvphilly.org

Cassie is currently an Associate Director of Penn’s Office of Government and Community Affairs. Her responsibilities include implementing communication strategies, evaluating initiatives, and managing special projects. She previously worked at the Fels Institute of Government at Penn where she oversaw the Fels Lab, an initiative to connect non-profit organizations in need of program support with graduate students from Fels.

Before working at Penn, Cassie completed a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Chicago. She served as an After-School Specialist for Girls in the Game, a nonprofit providing holistic health programming for underserved girls. She managed after-school programming sites, coordinated volunteers and MSW interns, and worked directly with both school faculty and program participants. 

Cassie is passionate about equitable community growth and ensuring equal access to education, healthcare, and resources for children and families regardless of their zip codes. Cassie is a deacon at Arch Street Presbyterian Church and volunteers with Guadalupe Family Services in Camden. Cassie is an alumna of Saint Joseph’s University and has her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Sandy Vogel

Programming Chair

programs@lwvphilly.org

Sandy Vogel is the Assistant Director at the Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies, an undergraduate research center focused on conducting public opinion research and training the next generation of social science researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Penn, Sandy worked at Drexel University at the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, where she connected students to volunteer opportunities with Philadelphia non-profit organizations and managed the university’s voter engagement efforts. Her leadership on voter engagement during the 2018 midterms garnered Drexel’s designation as a Voter Friendly Campus and a “Best in Class” award from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Since October 2020, Sandy has served as a Buchholz Fellow with the Committee of Seventy, an independent and nonpartisan organization for better government in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. She received a master’s degree in urban strategy from Drexel University in 2019 and a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in sociology from Temple University in 2016. In her spare time, Sandy volunteers at Bartram’s Garden and explores Philly on walks with her dog, Saxby.