Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is made up of dedicated leaders from across the nation and in Mexico with diverse backgrounds. They are committed to advancing equity to support safe, secure, vibrant and healthy communities where everyone can thrive.

Marilyn Wexler

Marilyn Wexler

Chairperson of the Board

Marilyn Wexler has served on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Public Strategies since 2010 and is the current Chairperson of the Board.

Brenda Simmons

Brenda Simmons

President/CEO

Brenda Simmons began her career at the Institute for Public Strategies in 2003 as a community organizer and has served on the Board of Directors since 2019, when she was appointed CEO/President.

Vicki Luquette

Vicki Luquette

Vice President

Vicki has served on the IPS Board of Directors for four years and previously served in various leadership roles within IPS for 11 years.

Kathleen Smith-Wenning

Kathleen Smith-Wenning

Secretary Treasurer / Finance Committee

Kathleen Smith-Wenning is a registered respiratory therapist who holds a master’s degree in medical anthropology.

Sam Becknel, Jr., MPA

Sam Becknel, Jr., MPA

Compensation and HR Committee

Sam Becknel is a dynamic, hands-on organizational strategist and consultant with a wealth of knowledge and experience in strategic planning, program development / evaluation and the leadership of complex projects.

Sara Cooley Broschart

Sara Cooley Broschart

Sara Cooley Broschart has over ten years of experience as a substance abuse prevention leader at local, regional and state levels.

Reverend Bolivar Flores

Reverend Bolivar Flores

Rev. Flores serves as the Chief of Staff for the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC) where he strives to change the punitive nature of American incarceration.

Kevin Groark

Kevin Groark

Dr. Kevin Groark is a medical and psychological anthropologist working at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Dana Sherrod, MPH

Dana Sherrod, MPH

Dana Sherrod is a visionary public health leader whose work centers on health equity, gender, and racial justice.

Richard Yoast

Richard Yoast

Dr. Richard Yoast, now retired, directed the American Medical Association (AMA) Office of Prevention and Healthy Lifestyles (1996-2010).