Kelly Allen is the executive director at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. She is a lifelong West Virginian who joined the WVCBP team in 2018. She holds a B.A. in political science and communications from West Virginia University and a Master of Public Administration from Penn State University. Prior to joining the WVCBP, Kelly advocated for health policy and saw the importance of the Medicaid expansion and access to health coverage for the people of our state. As director of the WVCBP, she engages with residents, stakeholders, and lawmakers on tax and budget issues, health policy and issues that impact women and families. She has authored multiple reports for the WVCBP including Smoothing the Transition: A Medicaid Buy-in Could Reduce Churn and Expand Health Insurance Coverage to Thousands of West Virginians. She lives in South Charleston with her husband and dog, Enzo. Email Kelly.
Renee Alves is the communications and operations coordinator at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. A California native, she holds a B.A. in sociology and minors in civic engagement and public affairs from UCLA. Before joining the Center in 2020, Renee worked for the ACLU of Southern California’s Jails Project and served in the Peace Corps as a Children, Youth, and Family Volunteer in the Philippines. Down the road, she plans to obtain either a Master of Social Work or Master of Public Administration (or both!), after which she hopes to work in criminal justice and incarceration reform. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, eating copious amounts of ice cream, and asking people if she can pet their dogs. Email Renee.
Seth DiStefano is the policy outreach director at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. A native of Randolph County, WV, Seth is a graduate of Tygarts Valley High School and holds a B.A. in liberal arts and sciences from West Virginia University. Seth leads the government affairs work at the Center and is especially passionate about food security, tax justice issues, and building a better future for working families through policy change. Email Seth.
Quenton King is the criminal justice policy analyst at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. Before joining WVCBP, Quenton worked for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program as a field organizer and policy specialist. Most recently he served as the Policy Director for a mayoral campaign in Baltimore, MD. Quenton is a native West Virginian and holds bachelor’s degrees in criminology and Spanish from West Virginia University and a Master of Public Health in Sociomedical Science from Columbia University. Email Quenton.
Sean O’Leary is the senior policy analyst at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. Since joining the Center in 2010, Sean has authored numerous reports on working family issues, economic development, and state and federal budget and tax policy, including annual reports on the state budget and the State of Working West Virginia. Sean also collaborates with West Virginia Kids Count for the annual West Virginia Kids Count Data Book and serves on the board of directors for the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition. Sean holds a B.A. in political science and economics and a Master of Public Administration from West Virginia University. Email Sean.
Rhonda Rogombé is the health policy analyst at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. Rhonda holds a B.A. in economics and public policy from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where she also competed in Division I track and field. Before joining the Center, Rhonda worked in non-profit and grassroots organizational settings within and outside of WV, both of which inform her approach to research. Most recently, she co-founded the Black Business Boost and became a leader for the Climate Reality Project. She is currently completing her M.A. in political science at Rutgers and enjoys cooking, hiking, and reading. Email Rhonda.
Myya Helm is a summer research associate at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. A native West Virginian, she holds a B.A. in political science and international studies from West Virginia University. During her undergraduate career, she worked with WVU President E. Gordon Gee to address racial bias within the university policing system, facilitated anti-racist and gender-inclusive classroom trainings, and interned for West Virginia Delegate Danielle Walker. In the future, she hopes to obtain a doctoral degree in sociology, specializing in critical race and ethnic studies. She also loves to travel, learn new languages, and cook Japanese food!
Tamicah Owens is a summer research associate at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. She is originally from North Carolina, but she now calls West Virginia home. She is currently a PhD student in Educational Theory and Practice at West Virginia University. She holds a B.A. in English with North Carolina teacher licensure from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Master’s in Instructional Design and Technology from West Virginia University. Tamicah’s research interests include rural adolescent education and Black girls’ literacy practices and identity formation.