Meet the MWEG Team

In addition to the strength of our global membership and many volunteers, MWEG relies on the insights and work of a dedicated leadership team. 

Meet Operational Leadership
Meet the Board of Directors

Operational Leadership

Emma Petty AddamsCo-Executive Director

Emma Petty Addams serves as co-executive director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Stanford University, she spent time in Boston and Silicon Valley working in contracts negotiation, corporate transactions and capitalization, and investor relations. In addition, she has built and run large piano studios in California, New Jersey, and now Omaha, Nebraska, where she currently resides with her husband and three sons. While seemingly unrelated, these previous career opportunities were excellent preparation for the fast-paced yet methodical and collaborative nature of the work at MWEG. Every time an MWEG member writes an op-ed, speaks out against injustice, or expresses her opinion peacefully on social media, Emma is grateful for the chance to help women contribute their part to the complex multi-voice symphony that is our democracy.

Emma Petty Addams
Jennifer Walker Thomas

Jennifer Walker Thomas, Co-Executive Director

Jennifer Walker Thomas is the co-executive director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She received her bachelor’s degree in art history and Italian from Brigham Young University and went on to do graduate work in art history at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. She worked as a consultant for underperforming schools in the New York City public school system and then worked in event planning and major gift fundraising for Massachusetts General Hospital. Following the birth of her four boys, Jennifer became a full-time parent and has consistently volunteered in her community. She currently serves as an elected member of the town government in Belmont, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and sons.

Rachel AlbertsenDirector of Special Projects

Rachel Albertsen is the director of special projects for Mormon Women for Ethical Government; she previously worked as the virtual conference director for the 2021 spring conference. She received her BS in mass communication from the University of Utah. She’s used her skills working in investment communications with client and broker groups. She volunteers in her children’s school community and recently wrapped up a third year on the elementary PTSO executive board most recently as president. Rachel’s interests are many, but she especially likes to explore National Parks with her family and taking the scenic route.  She currently lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband Ryan and their four children.

Rachel Albertsen
Danica Baird

Danica Baird, Senior Director  Proactive Root 

Danica Baird is the senior director of MWEG's proactive root. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature with studies in Italian, editing, and journalism from Brigham Young University. She then received a law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School and currently works full time as an attorney. Danica has been involved in the civic process from a young age, when she went door-to-door to help people register to vote and volunteered at the caucus by handing out pencils and collecting votes. She has also served as a state delegate. Now, she is actively involved with prevention efforts surrounding human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Danica and her husband reside in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area.

Christie BlackDirector of Business Operations

Christie Black is Mormon Women for Ethical Government’s business manager. She earned a master’s of accountancy from Brigham Young University but did not attempt to pass the CPA exam — which was a good call since she only worked in the accounting industry for five years. Since then she has been raising her two children in Arizona while working with various nonprofits. (In other words, none of her jobs pay monetarily.) The return is in love and friendship, which is arguably well worth it. Lately, she has been especially busy working with and advocating for refugees in the Phoenix area.

Christie Black
Cristie Carter Bake

Erika Blas, Director of Development

Erika Justis Blas is the director of development for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Erika earned a BA in Humanities at Brigham Young University, with minors in music and business. A subsequent internship at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. launched a fifteen-year career with nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay area in the fields of healthcare, the arts, community development, and collaborative leadership. Marriage to an Air Force officer sent Erika across the country and the arrival of two sons kept her busy at home for several years. They are currently stationed in Montgomery, Alabama. Erika enjoys volunteering in her boys’ school, reading, writing, exploring the outdoors, baseball, and sushi.

Cristie Carter BakeAdvocacy Director — Environment & Sustainability

Cristie Carter Bake is MWEG’s advocacy director over environment and sustainability, and her work is focused on energy policy and land conservation, especially in the Southwest. Cristie grew up wandering public lands in southern Utah before earning her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Utah and her law degree from Brigham Young University. Cristie loves hiking but hates camping, and can also be found reading and playing the piano. She lives in Utah with her husband, four children, two dogs, one bird, and more houseplants than anyone can count.

Cristie Carter Bake
Merinda Cutler

Merinda CutlerAdvocacy Director — Immigration & Refugees

Merinda Cutler serves as the engage manager over immigration for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Teaching from Brigham Young University, and has taught high school English in inner-city Washington, D.C., adult literacy in rural Mexico, and English for speakers of other languages in Austin, TX. She lived in New Delhi for nearly three years with her husband and their three small children while learning to navigate expatriate life and drink in the rich culture and history of India. She has worked as a volunteer coordinator at Refugee Services of Texas and loves to organize and drag along her friends and family to all manner of service projects, especially those that benefit refugees, immigrants, children, schools, and democracy. Now a mother of six, she currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with her family, where she enjoys hiking, skiing, cycling, gardening, reading, and traveling.

Ashley DicksonChief Editor

Ashley Dickson is the chief editor for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Ashley earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and marriage/family/human development at Brigham Young University, which led to her dual passions for both the news and motherhood. After receiving her master’s degree in library science, Ashley became the editor for a financial research firm and began freelance writing and editing for a variety of magazines, lifestyle websites, tech firms, and book authors. Ashley is now a full-time mother to three boys and has recently taken on the roles of foster mom and homeschool mom. She loves living in the Boston area with her family.

Ashley Dickson
Sheryl Ellsworth

Sheryl Ellsworth, Advocacy Director — Rooting Out Racism 

Sheryl Ellsworth was the project manager for Utah Youth Leadership Pipeline, an initiative to increase BIPOC representation in Utah's education, political, and business leadership. Prior to that, she was the Family/Community Engagement Specialist for the Utah State Board of Education. In this role, she supported and trained administrators and teachers in engaging families through evidence-based strategies. Sheryl served as the team leader of a family engagement fellowship to design a strategic plan to improve family engagement in Utah. Before working at Utah State Board of Education, Sheryl taught in Philadelphia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. While in D.C., she played an integral role in helping her school move from the second-lowest performing position in the district to become the first school out of priority/turnaround status.

Sheryl received an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in Communications and Sociology and obtained a master's degree from George Mason University in Early Childhood Education. Sheryl and her husband, Matt, are the parents of three children and reside in the Atlanta Metro Area.

Catherine EslingerEmpower Director

Catherine Eslinger is the director of the empower limb for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She holds an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and has taught English to adult learners in the US and China. She is curious about almost every subject and loves to read. Catherine ran for Utah House of Representatives in 2020 and has been involved in voter registration and voter education efforts for several years.

Catherine Eslinger
Jennifer Walker Thomas

Meredith GardnerEmpower Director  Media Literacy

Meredith Gardner serves as the media literacy director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has experience working as a full-time newspaper reporter, editor, and freelance writer. She has a passion for helping people gain news literacy skills and believes Russell M. Nelson’s philosophy that “good inspiration is based upon good information.” She is also an American Association of Suicidology-accredited crisis worker and worked for seven years at a national crisis and suicide prevention hotline. Meredith currently lives in central Texas with her husband and five children.

Abby Greenwald, Chapters Director

Abby Greenwald is a chapters director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She holds a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in theology. She has used her training to teach all ages at home and abroad, but believes that church music is where the magic really happens.  After working as a hospital chaplain and hospital ethics committee coordinator in Albuquerque, Abby enjoys the slower pace of part-time work with Mormon Women for Ethical Government and the freedom of homeschooling two happy little kids.

Abby Greenwald
Kristine Haglund

Molly Cannon Hadfield, Co-Lead Moderator

Molly Cannon Hadfield serves as co-lead moderator for the national Facebook MWEG Discussion Group and helps run the Awareness Wednesday Team. She has a bachelor's degree in interior design and a minor in fine art from Brigham Young University. Since graduating, Molly has worked as designer and dabbled in many creative endeavors, including illustration. She has enjoyed volunteering for several local community organizations over the years, and is always trying to keep up with her two now-teenage boys. She loves exploring Utah, and anywhere else she can manage, with her family.

Lisa Rampton Halverson, Advocacy Director — Research

Lisa Rampton Halverson is the director of engage communications for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She helps craft papers on each of MWEG's Principles of Ethical Government, as well as white papers and policy papers. Lisa studied international relations (BA) and modern Jewish and Middle Eastern history (MA) at Stanford University and then taught high school English for 10 years. She holds a PhD in instructional psychology and technology from Brigham Young University, where she researched learner engagement in blended and online settings. She is a civics education scholar with Utah Valley University's Center for Constitutional Studies. A native Oregonian, Lisa now lives in Springville, Utah, with her husband and two children.

Lisa Rampton Halverson
Jessica Larson

Jessica Blackwell LarsonSenior Director of Advocacy

Jessica Larson is the senior director of advocacy at MWEG. Her work focuses on fair elections and democratic processes. Previously, Jessica worked for two U.S. Representatives and in the Office of the Vice President in the White House. After the birth of her first child, she became a full-time parent and an active volunteer in her community, working as an advisor to non-profits and an attorney for refugees. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and children but her heart lies in her home state of Kentucky, where she loves to spend summers.

Kira LudwigAssistant Director of Communications

Kira Ludwig is the assistant director of communications for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She has a bachelor's degree in English from Utah Valley University and worked in design and marketing before returning to school to receive a teaching certificate. Kira taught high school English and journalism for several years before changing paths to work from home. She still loves being involved in education, but now through volunteering on the PTA and advocating for local education issues. She began volunteering for MWEG in 2020, writing the weekly newsletter — which she still does — and quickly fell in love with her team and the work they do. Kira loves cooking, walking, biking, playing Scrabble, and is learning to skate. She and her family currently reside in Orem, Utah.

Jessica Larson
Jillaire McMillan

Klarissa LudwigExecutive Assistant

Klarissa is the Executive Assistant to the Co-Executive Directors at Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She grew up in Orem, Utah and received her bachelor's degree from Utah Valley University. Klarissa has also had the pleasure of living in Sweden (for her mission), as well as Tucson, Arizona, and Fort Worth, Texas. She has worked for several years as an executive assistant for various employers as well as a contract employee doing transcription work for several counties and cities across the U.S. She currently resides in Provo, Utah with her husband and three adorable redheaded little boys.

Jillaire McMillanDirector of Volunteers

Jillaire McMillan serves as director of volunteers at Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She was born in Delaware and raised in the western U.S. Since leaving home for college she has lived in a major east coast city, a southwestern suburb, the English countryside, a small town in the Northwest, and teeming Silicon Valley. She now resides in Colorado with views of the mountains out one window and the prairie out the other. Such varied homes let her rub elbows with people with education, income, and life experiences both very similar and very different from her own. She has served and cheered alongside them on PTA boards, bond measure phone banks, soccer game sidelines, and church assignments. Jillaire has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in American history from Boston College. She had a brief career in museum education before choosing to become a stay-at-home mom. As Jillaire’s four children began entering school, she became an avid school volunteer.

Jillaire McMillan
Kimberly Powell

Kimberly Powell, Chapters Director

Kimberly Powell is a chapters director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with an Elementary Education Degree and spent the next eight years working in public schools in North Carolina and Utah. Now she works as a full time mom and part-time administrative assistant for the family business. She enjoys camping with her family, traveling, reading, and gardening.

Rachel Fisher ScholesEncircle Director

Rachel Fisher Scholes is the senior director of the encircle limb of Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She received her degrees in math (BA) and physics (BA) from Brigham Young University and spent four years teaching science and alternative education in North Long Beach, California; Provo, Utah; and Tucson, Arizona, where she has resided for the last 26 years. She has spent many years full-time mommying her seven children and learning much more than she ever imagined or desired to learn, including tax accounting, rental property management, pig farming, dog whelping, mental health counseling, homeschool teaching, conflict resolution, and advocating for kids with special needs. Her unpaid work also includes coaching an elementary school cross country team, PTG volunteer and accidental president, refugee mentor, and her favorite, leading 20 15-year-olds on a five-day backpacking adventure that ended at Lake Powell. She loves all outdoor adventures and is much more comfortable leading a 10-mile trail run than she is doing pretty much anything else.

Rachel Scholes
Megan Seawright

Megan Seawright, Senior Director of Communications

Megan Seawright is the senior director of communications for Mormon Women for Ethical Government; she also previously served as the peaceful root director and one of MWEG’s Utah chapter coordinators. Megan received her B.A. in English teaching from Brigham Young University and taught junior high and high school English for several years before taking a break to raise her three kids. In addition to her work at MWEG, she also works as a writer and producer, and has continued to advocate for education by serving on school community councils and PTA boards. Megan has a love for children’s literature, hiking and enjoying the outdoors, and inventing pies. She and her family currently live in Provo, Utah.

Tiffany TertipesCreative Director

Tiffany Tertipes is the Creative Director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and has had a successful career as a professional creative for more than twenty years. Tiffany has extensive experience in both the photography industry — having worked many years as a wedding and portrait photographer — and as a graphic designer. In addition to her professional endeavors, Tiffany has actively volunteered her time as a precinct caucus delegate, volunteering at school book fairs, and serving as an ESL speaking partner. She is an avid reader and baseball enthusiast, and she finds great joy in the nature of the Pacific Northwest. Tiffany currently maintains her online graphic design studio in the Seattle area, where she lives with her husband and son.

Tiffany Tertipes
Megan Seawright

Elizabeth VanDerwerken, Senior Director — Peaceful Root

Liz VanDerwerken is the senior director of MWEG’s peaceful root. She received her bachelor’s degree in interior design and Italian from Brigham Young University. After college, she worked in local government for nearly a decade at Provo City. She is active in her community and has volunteered as a poll worker and was previously a board member for the Neighborhood Art Center in Provo. Liz is an avid hiker and loves the outdoors. She also enjoys reading, traveling, piano, sewing, knitting, and fiber art. She is a master candidate in landscape architecture and city planning at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design and lives in Philadelphia.

Annie Bentley Waddoups, Senior Director of Strategy & Planning; Advocacy Director — Children & Families

Annie Bentley Waddoups is the senior director of strategy and planning, as well as the advocacy director over children and families, for MWEG. Annie received her bachelor’s degree in English from Utah State University and earned PhD and master’s degrees from Tufts University in Child Study and Human Development.  She brings two decades of program, advocacy, and research experience focused mainly on early social/emotional development and improving developmental outcomes in challenging circumstances, including for children in Syrian refugee families in the Middle East, in home visiting programs for teen parents and their babies, and through NICU interventions to improve longitudinal outcomes for preterm infants. She was named a Leaders for the 21st Century fellow by the national advocacy organization Zero to Three in 2009.  She and her husband Greg have raised their family mostly in the eastern US with two overseas assignments in the mix — Australia for five years and Abu Dhabi for two — and currently live in the Boston area. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Annie Waddoups
Anita Wells

Anita Wells, Senior Director — Faithful Root

Anita Wells is the senior director of MWEG’s faithful root. She grew up in the DC area, interning at Congress and working at the National Archives. Anita’s love of scriptures led to a degree in Near Eastern Studies/Biblical Hebrew from BYU, which in turn led to teaching early morning seminary for seven years while raising her four children. She pursued her genealogical passions with a masters in library science and archival studies from Drexel University, volunteering at the Church History Library, and presenting twice at RootsTech. She has authored several books and articles on scripture and family history topics. Anita and her husband Matt live in Sandy, Utah, when not traveling.

Megan Rawlins Woods, Senior Director — Nonpartisan Root

Megan Rawlins Woods earned a bachelor’s degree in planning and resource management from Brigham Young University. She grew up in the Salt Lake area and served a proselyting mission in Australia. Megan's political views have been influenced and tempered by living in places as diverse as New York (where her husband taught in the Bronx) and very rural Utah. She has been a full-time parent for many years, choosing to homeschool her five children until the last few years. Her interests include politics, education, environment, and encouraging civil discourse. She does not enjoy cooking but does enjoy eating. Her pastimes include reading, yoga, sauntering casually outside (very different from hiking, which is more strenuous), and listening to U2.

Megan Woods

Board of Directors

Lori Hickman

Lori HickmanChair of Board of Directors

Lori Hickman serves as the chair of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Brigham Young University (B.S. business management) and a cum laude graduate of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. Lori has practiced law in New York, Utah, and Idaho as a litigation associate, an in-house counsel at a semiconductor company, and a U.S. District Court clerk for the District of Idaho. She now works for a small law firm in Boise and does pro bono work in child protection cases. When she's not wearing her lawyer hat, Lori enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, practicing yoga, trying new recipes, and helping refugee families adapt to their new lives in America. 

Denise Furlough GraysonVice Chair of Board of Directors

V. Denise Furlough Grayson serves as the vice chair of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Born in Oceanside, California — a military brat and, later, wife — she has lived around the country and world. She is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University with a B.S. in nursing. She has served in various leadership roles in nursing and received her CDE in diabetes management. She and her husband owned a Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy for 25 years while raising four children and gaining three sons-in-law and 10 superb grands. After retiring, they were called to serve a three-year mission as mission president and wife of the Georgia Macon Mission. Denise has loved being politically active with her involvement in voting drives, canvassing for candidates, and other efforts. She now resides in San Antonio, Texas.

Denise Grayson
Stefanie Condie

Stefanie CondieSecretary of Board of Directors

Stefanie Condie serves as the secretary of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She is a marketing strategist, writer, and career development coach. Before going freelance in 2018, she had a 20-year marketing career with organizations including Adobe, Ancestry, Columbia Business School, and KPMG. Her areas of expertise include communications, content strategy, and brand, demand, and product marketing. Stefanie holds master’s degrees in business and journalism from Columbia University, as well as a master’s degree in international affairs from American University. She is proficient in German and Russian and conversant in French and Finnish. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Patrice ManoTreasurer of Board of Directors

Patrice Mano serves as treasurer of Mormon Women for Ethical Government’s board of directors. She is a certified public accounting licensed with over 25 years of experience in public accounting. Patrice holds bachelor's and master’s degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University. She lives in San Francisco, California and enjoys the city's food, arts and weather. 

Patrice Mano
Hannah Adams

Hannah AdamsMember of Board of Directors

Hannah Adams serves on Mormon Women for Ethical Government's board of directors. She is a master's student at Brigham Young University studying public administration with an emphasis on state and federal government. As a public servant at heart, Hannah is obsessed with the government's potential to do social good. She has worked for two branches of government and several nonprofit organizations, including the U.S. House of Representatives, the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, and the Ballard Social Impact Center.

Karen HallMember of Board of Directors

Karen Hall is a member of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She is the Deputy Executive Director with the Rule of Law Collaborative at the University of South Carolina where she focuses on designing and implementing programs to enhance people-centered justice and fight corruption. She served for ten years with the U.S. Department of State in its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. While there, she directed the development and management of State Department assistance to the criminal justice system in Afghanistan as part of the overall U.S. foreign assistance initiative. There, she developed programs dealing with institutional reform, access to justice, protection of women’s rights, and legal education. She spent 2006-2008 living at the Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan directly managing the State Department’s criminal justice and corrections programs. In recognition of her work, she has earned multiple Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards from the State Department.

Karen Hall
Sharon J. Harris

Sharon J. HarrisMember of Board of Directors

Sharon J. Harris is a member of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She is an author and Assistant Professor of English at Brigham Young University. She holds degrees in music, humanities, and literature from BYU, University of Chicago, and Fordham University. Her research in literary studies has been published in various journals and funded by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Newberry Library, Huntington Library, and other institutions. Sharon also works in LDS theology and is the author of Enos, Jarom, Omni: a brief theological introduction. Prior to her current career she worked in non-profit administration, public education, and academic publishing. Sharon and her spouse, Edje Jeter, are the parents of two boys.

Kristin Winmill SouthwickMember of Board of Directors

Kristen Winmill Southwick was raised by a family in Idaho who heavily participated in politics and public service. She received a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University and completed internships in the White House (working in the Speechwriting Office and for the Director of Communications) and for a political party in England. She worked as the Briefer to the U.S. Secretary of Education, was employed by two U.S. Presidential campaigns, and worked as an International Advance Worker for the White House, where she oversaw all traveling logistics when the White House Press Corps would travel to a location with the U.S. President. She put this logistical training to good use as her family (including four children) moved frequently, living in Boston, Southern Indiana, Beijing, Singapore, Johannesburg, Seattle, and now Salt Lake City, Utah. She enjoys playing tennis, hiking, gardening, reading, and traveling.

Kristin Winmill Southwick
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