Economic Opportunity Institute Staff

Aaron Keating

Managing Director

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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.

Andrea Lopez-Diaz

Development and Operations Associate

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Prior to EOI, Andrea worked in philanthropy, supporting communities in developing and implementing inclusive economic growth strategies in underinvested neighborhoods in California. Previously, she provided technical assistance and helped build capacity for community health worker coalitions across Washington state. She also served as a Program Fellow/Community Organizer for the American Friends Service Committee, addressing systemic barriers that impact communities of color in King County, focusing on the prison industrial complex and racial equity.

Emnet Getahun

Communications Director

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Emnet Getahun holds a BA with an emphasis in Political Economy from The Evergreen State College. Prior to joining EOI, Emnet worked on the LELO Relicensing Programs helping workers regain access to their driver’s licenses and rejoin the workforce; as the Communications Lead for the Prison Doula Project Collective, providing prenatal and labor support to incarcerated pregnant people and as Administrative and Operations Coordinator at Wedgwood Montessori.

Gabriela Quintana

Advocacy Director

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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 statewide initiatives such as the domestic partnership and the anti-liquor privatization initiatives.

John Burbank

Executive Director

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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.

Marilyn Watkins

Policy Director

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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 Washington State Paid Family & Medical Leave Advisory Committee (2017-2020); the City of Seattle’s Labor Standards Advisory Commission (2019-2021) and Gender Pay Equity Taskforce (2013-14); and the Governor’s Commission on Transforming Washington’s Budget (2010). 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.

Melanie Mazza

Development Director

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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 joined the full-time staff as a Development and Operations Associate, and now manages EOI’s development program. 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.

Sam Hatzenbeler

Policy Associate - Health

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Sam Hatzenbeler holds a master’s 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 being the Development Director until 2019, before taking on managing EOI’s health policy portfolio. Prior to joining the EOI team, Sam worked as a program evaluator at Entre Hermanos, a clinic manager at Seattle Medical and Wellness Clinic, a 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.

Sara Bekele

Policy Associate - Education

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Sara Bekele recently graduated from the University of Washington, with a BA in Economics and Political Science.

During her undergraduate career, Sara’s academic focus was in international political economy, international development, and ethnic politics.

Outside of her academics, Sara was as a board member at both the University of Washington Black Student Union and Economics Undergraduate Board, serving as a voice for those who are traditionally underrepresented and marginalized.

In her time as a Floyd Jones Fellow at the EOI, Sara will be working on higher education access by assessing the impact of College Promise Programs throughout the US.

Board of Directors

Michael Tamayo

Board President

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Michael is Vice President of the Seattle Education Association.

Ray Sugarman

Vice President

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Ray Sugarman is the owner of Sugarman Consulting. Ray has been a member of EOI’s board since 2017.

Summer Stinson


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Summer Stinson is president of Washington’s Paramount Duty, a non-partisan, grassroots group of parents and allies working to compel the state to amply fund basic education.

Stan Sorscher


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Stan Sorscher is a Labor Representative at the Society for Professional Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), and previously worked as a physicist at Boeing. Stan has been an EOI board member since 2007.

Andrew Gordon

At-Large Executive Committee

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Andrew Gordon is a retired professor of Public Policy at the Evans School of Public Policy at the University of Washington. Andrew has been a member of EOI’s board since 1998.

Dawn Trudeau

At-Large Executive Committee

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Dawn Trudeau spent 20 years in the software industry, is co-owner of the Seattle Storm, and is a member of many boards and community organizations in Seattle. Dawn has been a member of EOI’s board since 2006.

Matt Loschen

At-Large Executive Committee

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Matt Loschen is retired, and has served on EOI’s board since 2009.

Sutapa Basu

At-Large Executive Committee

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Sutapa Basu is the executive director of the University of Washington Women’s Center

Algernon Austin

Board Member

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Algernon Austin is a Senior Researcher at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Thurgood Marshall Institute, and a former director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy (PREE).

April Sims

Board Member

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April Sims is the secretary treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council.

Elizabeth Woody Lindquist

Board Member

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Elizabeth is a practicing attorney and owner of Lindquist Law, PLLC in Seattle, Washington.

Gabrielle James

Board Member

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Gabrielle James is a development and outreach associate at Hedgebrook, a nonprofit that helps women write nonfiction to help raise awareness about a vast range of issues.

John Sirois

Board Member

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John is the Committee Coordinator for Upper Columbia United Tribes in Spokane, Washington.

Katie Wilson

Board Member

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Katie is the General Secretary of the Transit Riders Union in Seattle, Washington.

Mary Curry

Board Member

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Mary Curry is an early learning professional and advocate, and has served Washington families for over 40 years.

Economic Opportunity Institute
Shannon Turner

Board Member

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Shannon Turner is a Legislative Assistant to Washington House Representative Tarra Simmons.

Tarra Simmons

Board Member

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Tarra Simmons is an attorney, and member of the Washington State House of Representatives, representing district 23-Position 1. She is a formerly incarcerated mother working to end mass incarceration and its many collateral consequences.