Board and Staff

Marilyn Watkins,
Policy Director

Economy, Public Revenue, Work and Family

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Marilyn Watkins joined EOI in 1999. She is a member of the Graduate Faculty and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services at the UW, and has been appointed to the City of Seattle Gender Pay Equity Taskforce (2013-14), the Governor’s Commission on Transforming Washington’s Budget (2010), the Joint Legislative Taskforce on Family Leave Insurance (2007), and serves on the executive committee of Family Values @ Work Multi-State Consortium. Before joining EOI, Marilyn worked as a historical consultant for Northwest tribes and taught courses in Pacific Northwest and American women's history. She earned a B.A. in Social Studies at Harvard and Ph.D. in History at the University of Michigan.

John Burbank,
Executive Director

Retirement Security, Higher Education, Early Learning, Public Revenue

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John Burbank has a Master of Public Administration from the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and a B.A. from Evergreen State College. Before founding EOI, John was project manager of the Sand Point Community Housing Association, political director of the Washington State Labor Council, staff coordinator for the Washington State Senate, and director for the Community Labor Coalition in Rhode Island. He speaks Finnish and has published in the Journal of Finnish Studies. John is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He has a faculty appointment with the Department of Health Services, University of Washington, as a clinical instructor in the School of Public Health.

Ashley Sutton,
Policy Associate

Health Care

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Ashley Sutton is a master of public administration student at Seattle University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Washington. Prior to joining EOI, Ashley worked in population health management, contracted with the Washington State Health Care Authority. Ashley brings experience in both the private and public sector. Ashley has extensive experience working in the clinical arena. Her career works span various areas which influence the social determinants of health ranging from public safety, financial inclusion, HIV and she was responsible for the implementation of a mental health program enabling rural residents to access mental health services. Previous board experience includes sitting as vice president of the Hilltop Action Coalition.

Sarah Clark,
Policy Associate

Early Learning, Higher Education

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Sarah holds a master's of education from the University of Washington’s Master in Education Policy (MEP) program and a B.A. in comparative history of ideas and nutritional science from the University of Washington. Sarah started her work with EOI in 2018 as a Policy Associate, focusing on early learning and higher education. Sarah sits on the MEP Alumni Advisory Board as Secretary and Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee which was formed in 2017 after her independent research demonstrated the need for more rigorous program evaluation and growth.

Aaron Keating,
Managing Director

Budget & Finance, Operations & Human Resources, Development

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Aaron Keating holds a Master of Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, and a B.A. in Music from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. Before joining EOI, Aaron worked as Communications and Technology Manager for Port Jobs, Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Environmental Law and Policy, and Program Director at the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties.

Sam Hatzenbeler,
Development Director

Development and Fundraising

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Sam Hatzenbeler holds a Master of Public Health from the Community Oriented Public Health Practice program and a B.A. in Gender Studies, both from the University of Washington. Sam started her work with EOI in 2014 as a Graduate Policy Intern and then transitioned to Communications Manager, both with a strong focus on building women’s economic security. Prior to joining the EOI team, Sam worked as Program Evaluator at Entre Hermanos, Clinic Manager at Seattle Medical and Wellness Clinic, Community Organizer at Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project, and spent four years as a Women and Children’s Advocate at New Beginnings. Sam has a faculty appointment with the Department of Health Services, University of Washington, as a clinical instructor in the School of Public Health.

Matthew Caruchet,
Communications Director

Communications, Data Visualization

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Matthew Caruchet holds a master's degree in Journalism and Religion from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a bachelor's in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University. Prior to joining the EOI team, Matthew worked at local radio stations KPLU and KUOW, for a successful statewide ballot initiative, for the federal government covering development and human rights in Africa and the Middle East, and at a variety of domestic publications. His journalism work continually focused on social justice, inequality, and political reform movements.

Gabriela Quintana,
Washington Work & Family Coalition Organizer

Grassroots organizing, outreach and community building

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Gabriela earned a Masters of Social Work from Boston University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Washington. Prior to joining EOI, Gabriela managed her own consulting business where she worked on social and racial justice issues such as the panhandling ordinance in Seattle, the voting restoration rights bill in Olympia as well as on some state-wide initiatives such as the domestic partnership and the anti-liquor privatization initiatives.

Melanie Mazza,
Development and Operations Associate

Development, Operations

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Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound in International Political Economy. She joined EOI in 2018 as a Communications Intern, and then transitioned to Development and Operations Associate. Prior to joining EOI, Melanie researched economic empowerment initiatives for smallholder coffee producers in Nicaragua and worked as part of a government initiative to improve English education in Colombian public schools, both with a focus on improving economic security for lower-income populations. Melanie has also worked as a barista and marketing coordinator for Seattle Coffee Works.

Sharayah Lane,
Floyd Jones Fellow

Early Learning

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Sharayah Lane is pursuing an MPA at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. She is a member of the One Table initiative created by King County, Seattle and Auburn officials to address the root causes of homelessness. She is also currently working with Habitat for Humanity on a management project to document and improve work processes such as procurement, site scheduling and permit approval. She works on education policy, researching how low wages for staff affect quality, hiring and retention at early learning centers statewide.

Brandon Bannister,
Floyd Jones Fellow

Health Care

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Brandon is a graduate of the University of Washington Tacoma, and current MPA candidate at Seattle University. He has worked for legislators and lobbyists in Olympia, as well as managing four political campaigns. He works on health care policy and intends to expand his policy analysis and program evaluation skills to become a better advocate for disadvantaged populations.

Board of Directors


Makini Howell, President | Owner, Plum Restaurants | Seattle, WA

Lynne Dodson, Vice-President | Secretary-Treasurer, Washington State Labor Council | Seattle, WA

Matt Loschen, Treasurer | Redmond, WA

Andrew Gordon, Secretary | Retired Professor of Public Policy, Evans School of Public Policy, University of Washington | Seattle, WA

Dawn Trudeau, At-Large Executive Committee | Co-owner, Seattle Storm | Seattle, WA

Stan Sorscher, At-Large Executive Committee | Labor Representative, SPEEA | Seattle, WA

Ray Sugarman, At-Large Executive Committee | Professional & Technical Employees Local 17 | Seattle, WA


Nancy Altman | President, Social Security Works | Chair, Strengthen Social Security Coalition | Washington, D.C.

Nicole Grant | Executive Secretary-Treasurer, M.L. King County Labor Council | Seattle, WA

Karen Keiser | Washington State Senator | Des Moines, WA

Elizabeth Woody Lindquist | Attorney, Lindquist Law, PLLC | Seattle, WA

Sandy Restrepo | Directing Attorney, Colectiva Legal del Pueblo| Burien, WA

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner | Co-founder and Executive Director, | Kirkland, WA

John Sirois | Committee Coordinator, Upper Columbia United Tribes | Spokane, WA

Michael Tamayo | Vice President, Seattle Education Association | Seattle, WA

Ximena Velázquez-Arenas | Washington Democrats Staff | Seattle, WA

Katie Wilson | General Secretary, Transit Riders Union | Seattle, WA



Our History

Every day, public decisions affect private lives. Each of us counts on our democratic institutions to serve and protect economic opportunity for our children, families and communities through sound public policy. But policy-making can be hi


EOI hosts educational events across the Puget Sound, with nationally-recognized speakers on a topics like Social Security, the state economy, paid sick days, and more.

Join us for our next event!