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Meet the Staff

Brenda Clement, Director

Brenda Clement, Director

bclement@rwu.edu

Brenda currently serves as Director of HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University. Prior to HousingWorks, Brenda served as Executive Director of Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) from 2012-2016 and was responsible for managing and overseeing all aspects of the agency’s work. Established in 1967, CHAPA is a non-profit umbrella organization for affordable housing and community development activities in Massachusetts. In 1995, CHAPA created the New England Housing Network which coordinates federal advocacy efforts for affordable housing across the region.

Brenda has over 20 years of experience in the housing and community development field. She previously served as Executive Director of the Housing Action Coalition of Rhode Island, a statewide affordable housing advocacy organization, and as Executive Director of the Housing Network, the Rhode Island trade association for community development corporations. Brenda is also a founding member of the New England Housing Network and served on the Board of the National Low Income Housing Coalition for nine years and just recently completed her term as Chair.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Economics from Providence College and a Juris Doctor from Washington College of Law at American University. She has received many awards and recognition for her work including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 from Rhode Island Housing; a Healthy Housing Award from RI Department of Health in 2011 and a Local Hero Award from Bank of America in 2008.  

Annette Bourne, Research and Policy Director

Annette Bourne, Research and Policy Director

abourne@rwu.edu

Annette Bourne is the Research & Policy Director for HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University. She is responsible for the overall management of the research program, including the annual Housing Fact Book. Prior to joining HWRI, she was the Training Manager for Grow Smart RI. Annette spent 10 years at Rhode Island Housing in several positions, including Technical Assistance Coordinator, Assistant Director of the Policy Division and Manager of Grants and Research. Annette was the technical liaison to municipalities regarding the planning of low- and moderate income housing and related housing research.

Before moving to Rhode Island, Annette managed the NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center of a Vermont Community Land Trust in Springfield, VT, and was also the Program Coordinator for the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Annette holds a B.A. in Political Science from Boston University. and an M.L.A. with a Concentration in Government from the Harvard University Extension School. 

Kristina Brown, Research and Policy Assistant

Kristina Brown, Research and Policy Assistant

kbrown@rwu.edu

Kristina Brown is the Research and Policy Assistant at HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University. She is a mixed methods researcher trained in qualitative data collection and analysis as well as quantitative analysis. Since joining the HousingWorks RI team in 2015, she has primarily tracked the intersection of Health and Housing. She was the Principal Investigator of a year-long study of the Affordable Care Act and its implications for housing. Her current research builds from her growing expertise in healthcare policy and community development, tracking the growing age population and their housing needs in relationship to their healthcare needs She is also the Principal Investigator on a three-year study investigating the impact of Affordable Housing on Health and Economic Wellbeing throughout Rhode Island.

Kristina holds a B.A. in Literature Analysis and a B.F.A in Studio Art from the University of Connecticut, as well as a Certificate in Community Development from Roger Williams University.

Amy Cola, Communications Assistant

Amy Cola, Communications Assistant

acola@rwu.edu

Amy Cola is a Communications Assistant for both HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University and the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. The first member of an established joint staffing model, Amy has an interest in outreach via social media, as well as mass communications. During her time at HousingWorks RI, Amy has contributed copy and proofread the annual Housing Fact Book, as well as other major publications such as, An Exploratory Study of the Affordable Care Act and Housing in Rhode Island. She enjoys the art of writing and utilizing that skill in a professional environment.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island. In her free time, Amy enjoys to travel and spend time with her family, including her yellow Labrador, Riley.

Emily Eckerson, Administrative Assistant

Emily Eckerson, Administrative Assistant

eeckerson@rwu.edu

Emily Eckerson is an Administrative Assistant for both HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University and the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. As a student, Emily enjoys learning more about issues involving housing, healthcare, and economics, while utilizing her skills in writing and organization. 

She is currently in school for Occupational Therapy and looks forward to working with the public in the healthcare field. In her free time, Emily enjoys hiking and camping, as well as martial arts and sports.