Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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National Advisory Board


Development Associate, Visual AIDS

Nancy Chong is the Development Associate at Visual AIDS, the only arts organization fully committed to raising AIDS awareness and creating dialogue around HIV issues today, by preserving and honoring the work of artists with HIV/AIDS and artistic contributions of the AIDS movement. She is also a New York State Department of Health-certified emergency department advocate of the Mount Sinai Hospital's Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program. Previously, Nancy served as a Global Health Corps fellow at the Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia. She led partnership efforts for the organization's HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health programs, working closely with sex workers, the LGBTQIA+ community, and youth to link them to comprehensive care. She also held positions at D.C. Central Kitchen, Human Rights Watch, Global Health Corps, and the Wilson Center. Nancy holds a BA in International Studies and a minor in Public Health from American University. She is currently pursuing a MS in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University.


Health Educator, Texas A&M University

Jennifer is currently a PhD candidate in Health Education at Texas A&M University. Her research specifically explores the school-based sexual health education needs and interest of middle and high school-age youth. Her previous experience includes supporting and enabling innovative, systems-level approaches to improving adolescent sexual health and reducing unintended pregnancy. She is a passionate advocate for youth voice and strongly believes in the power of youth-adult partnerships to improve sexual health education. In her free time she loves biking, hiking, camping, and pretty much anything to do with animals and nature. She lives in Houston, TX with her family.




As the Movement Building Director at If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, Jeryl’s role is to shape movement building strategies, grow and evolve programs, and oversee the mobilization and networking of law students and legal professionals to champion reproductive justice within and beyond the legal system. Prior to working with If/When/How, Jeryl worked as the Director, Public Policy for Physicians for Reproductive Health, and as the Domestic Policy Analyst with Advocates for Youth. Jeryl focused her legal training on reproductive health, rights, and justice, and engaged with If/When/How while in law school, both as a legal intern and as a chapter leader. After earning her Masters in Law in Law & Government, with a specialization in Gender and the Law, from American University Washington College of Law in 2012, Jeryl completed the If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program, with placement at the Black Women’s Health Imperative.

From October 2017 through June 2019, Jeryl served as the Board President of the DC Abortion Fund (DCAF), an all-volunteer non-profit that makes grants to pregnant people in the DC area who cannot afford the full cost of an abortion. Jeryl previously served as the Chair of the Women’s Information Network (WIN), DC’s premier professional, political, and social network dedicated to empowering young, pro-choice, Democratic women. She earned her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Denison University. Jeryl is based in the Washington, DC area.



Sex Education Advocate

Susan Hrabchak has been a long-time supporter and advocate for Answer. Her involvement began with the intersection of Answer and her organization of educational lectures for Princeton Common Ground (a consortium of sixteen private schools in the Princeton area). In addition she hosted numerous fundraisers and Answer "Get to know us" events in and around New Jersey. As a result of a recent move to Omaha, Nebraska she looks forward to supporting Answer's ability to improve sex education in the Midwest as well as Nationally. Susan obtained her bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology at Villanova University. She was an Employee Benefit Manager of Administration and Senior Account Executive for Unum Insurance Company for more than a decade. In 2012, she received her Professional Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. She is currently a professional genealogist in addition to a docent at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. In her free time she enjoys running marathons, climbing mountains and competing in Ironman triathlons with her husband, Rick and their four children.



Board Chair

Attorney, Skadden, Arps 

Cynthia Lam is a corporate attorney at Skadden, Arps, a global law firm headquartered in New York. Outside of work, she serves as Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee for the Asian American Bar Assocation of New York and an elementary school volunteer for Apex for Youth. Cynthia is passionate about empowering young people through education, and she attributes many of her experiences to her time as a Sex, Etc. Teen Editor from 2008-2011. A Levy Scholar and Wharton Fellow, Cynthia graduated from the three-year JD/MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and The Wharton School in 2018. She received her BA in English and BS in Business Administration from Washington and Lee University as a Johnson Scholar in 2015.



Legal Department Manager, States United Democracy Center

Mai Ratakonda is a staff attorney at Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Public Policy Litigation and Law Department. While at PPFA, Ms. Ratakonda has been involved in numerous cases that have an impact women’s access to reproductive health services across the country, including challenging an admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers in Alabama, Texas’s attempt to terminate Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, and a contracted physician requirement for medication abortion providers in Arkansas. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, dog and cat.




Learning and Evaluation Officer, Open Society Foundations (OSF)

Vanessa is an experienced evaluator passionate about using data and evidence to inform programs and policies that advance health and human rights. As a Learning and Evaluation Officer at OSF, Vanessa works closely with colleagues across program areas to ensure that strategy, grant making practices, and learning are mutually reinforcing. Prior to joining OSF, Vanessa worked for the learning and evaluation teams at the International Women's Health Coalition, the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Regional Office. Vanessa also serves a data co-manager on the NY Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF) board of directors and mentors first-generation college students through Ascend Educational Fund (AEF). She holds a BS in Human Development from Cornell University, and an MPH in Global Health from Emory University. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her partner and their Boston Terrier, Luna.



Research Director, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine

Lydia A. Shrier, MD, MPH is Research Director for the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine and Co-Director of the Center for Adolescent Behavioral Health Research at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Shrier leads a program of adolescent health research using electronic devices for frequent momentary assessment of and intervention on emotional states, social contexts, and risk behaviors in vivo. She has developed interventions to reduce cannabis use in youth and to reduce sexual risk behavior in young women with depression, both of which couple brief, clinic-based, motivational counseling with momentary assessment and intervention. Dr. Shrier also developed the Safer Sex Intervention to reduce sexual risk behavior among high-risk female adolescents and young adults, which has been replicated in sites across the U.S. She maintains an active clinical practice in primary and specialty adolescent care.