Our Team

We’re hiring! Lots of additonal staff not yet pictured.

Media inquiries please email: anne.martens (at) kcrha (dot) org

General inquiries please email: info (at) kcrha (dot) org

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Biographies

We are currently hiring, and additional bios will be added as staff members provide them. Learn more about our organization, including our mission, vision, services, funding, and structure here.

Marc Dones (they/them), CEO

Marc Dones, Chief Executive Officer, appointed April 2021. Marc (they/them pronouns) is a social entrepreneur, policy strategist, and social justice activist with over 10 years of experience in equitable systems transformation. Prior to taking on the role of inaugural CEO for the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, Marc was the founder and Executive Director of the National Innovation Service (NIS), a consulting firm that helps governments redesign their approaches to supporting marginalized populations. Marc has also held leadership roles in social impact, policy and program design, and continuous improvement at the Center for Social Innovation (C4 Innovations), and is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). Marc holds a degree from NYU in Psychiatric Anthropology and is an experienced equity trainer. Read Marc’s profile in the Seattle Times.

Helen Howell, Deputy CEO. Helen (she/her) was most recently the City of Seattle’s Interim Director of Human Services, and previously served as a Senior Director at the King County Housing Authority, where she led Policy, Research & Evaluation, Homeless Housing Initiatives, and the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Her experience with human services and the homeless crisis response system was developed when serving as Director of the Pierce County Human Services Department, and as Executive Director of Building Changes, a Seattle-based nonprofit working to reduce youth and family homelessness. She has also held several positions in federal and state government, including with U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Governor Gary Locke. Helen earned her B.A. from Vassar College, a Diploma in Legal Studies (Jurisprudence and Moral & Political Philosophy) from Oxford University, and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

Peter Lynn (he/him), Chief Program Officer

Peter Lynn, Chief Program Officer. Peter (he/him) is a public servant who has worked in low income housing and homelessness for the past 20 years.  Prior to joining the KCRHA, he led the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) for five years of tremendous growth for the nation’s largest Continuum of Care. Peter focused LAHSA on housing outcomes, evidence-based practices, and how structural and institutional racism drives and deepens homelessness. Under his leadership, LA’s homelessness response system housed more than 80,000 people out of homelessness. Prior to LAHSA, he ran the Section 8 voucher programs for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation.  Peter holds a B.A. from Vassar and an MBA from NYU, has two adult children, and lives in West Seattle.

Lisa Gustaveson

Lisa Gustaveson, Senior Advisor. Lisa comes to the Authority from the City of Seattle Human Services Department where she served as Strategic Advisor for the Homeless Strategy & Investment Division. She earned a master’s degree in Not-for-Proft Leadership (MNPL) from Seattle University, and has worked as a homeless service provider and in affordable housing development, as an intermediary and private funder, in government, higher education, and as a community volunteer and non-profit board of director. Lisa resides in Seattle with her husband, daughter, two cats and a dog. She loves living in the Pacific Northwest, entertaining and traveling.

Meg Barclay (she/her), Chief Administrative Officer

Meg Barclay, Chief Administrative Officer. Meg (she/her) came to the Authority in Augist 2021, after serving as the Homeless Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles, where she was the primary point of contact responsible for coordinating with City Departments in their work to implement the City’s Comprehensive Homeless Strategy. She also oversaw more than $200 million in State funding for homelessness. Meg worked at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2010‐2015, where she oversaw the design and implementation of a nationwide GIS‐based system for City and State grant recipients to meet planning requirements for $4 billion in federal entitlement grant funds. Meg grew up in the Pacific Northwest and when she’s not at work, she dotes over her fluffy cat Seamus and makes pottery.

Owen Kajfasz (he/him), Deputy Chief Community Impact Officer

Owen Kajfasz, Deputy Chief Community Impact Officer. Owen (he/him) joins us directly from King County where he served as the Lead Evaluator on homelessness and housing stability. Previously he was a Senior Data Analyst at the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department, where he lead data, performance measurement, and evaluation efforts across the City’s homelessness investments. Complementing Owen’s expertise in data analytics and evaluation is a background in teaching — from middle to graduate school. Owen earned his B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Washington, where he later received his M.S. of Information Management. 

Anne Martens (she/her), Director of Communications & External Affairs

Anne Martens, Director of External Affairs & Communications. Anne (she/her) has worked for many years in advocacy and communications across government, political campaigns, non-profits and philanthropy. She was most recently at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led communications for the Washington State team, focusing on the foundation’s local COVID-19 response, educational efforts from pre-K through college, and addressing homelessness among families with children. She previously served as Communications Director for the Washington State Office of Financial Management under Governor Gregoire, and for the Oregon Secretary of State under Bill Bradbury. Born and raised in Seattle, she holds a law degree from Georgetown and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. She also has one lovely daughter and one rather demanding cat. Media inquiries and speaking requests please email Anne.

Erin Bryant-Thomas, Director of Equity & Justice. Erin (she/her) is a proud wife of 12 years, mother of 3 Brilliant Black Boys, native of San Francisco and a 13-year resident of the Seattle/ King County area. She is an anti-racist community organizer, grounded in the People’s Institute for Survival & Beyond’s principles, and focuses much of her time on addressing racism in systems and institutions as well as the manifestations of internalized racial oppression within herself. She is committed to the liberation of Black people and does that work through Black Star Line, The Village of Hope and Holgate Street Church of Christ where she has served as an Events Coordinator, Program Coordinator and Para Educator as well as many other roles. Erin is committed to building a community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Her work is informed by 15 years of strategic and relational leadership experience in the community, grassroots, nonprofit and government sectors. She helped to start the very first Black Student Union (BSU) at Auburn High School, and is currently studying Education and Business/Entrepreneurship at Evergreen State College-Tacoma. Her focus is on community healing & building, principled anti-racist organizing, and helping to develop multi-cultural & multi-generational relationships so all communities thrive.

Alexis Mercedes Rinck (she/her), Sub-Regional Planning Manager

Alexis Mercedes Rinck, Sub-Regional Planning Manager. Alexis (she/her) is a coalition-builder and advocate. At the Authority, she leads ongoing and equitable engagement across the region with community members with lived experience of homelessness, jurisdictions, providers, and community-based organizations staffed by and serving Black, Indigenous, and people of color to support the creation of tailored sub-regional plans. Previously, she worked at the Sound Cities Association (SCA) as a policy analyst, supporting over 40 city elected officials on 12 different regional boards and committees primarily focused on human services, affordable housing, public health, and public safety. She also supported the organization’s advancing equity work. Before working at SCA, she was a community organizer who helped organize a 1,000 person march, multiple protests and demonstrations, and various teach-ins. Alexis has bachelor’s degrees in political science and sociology, certificates in Spanish, and Women and Gender Studies, and she earned her Masters of Public Administration in 2019. She believes in the power of authentic partnership and community care; In her free time she organizes around food justice and experiments with vegan recipes. You can catch her on a morning run through Capitol Hill.

Nneka Payne Program Specialist

Nneka Payne, Program Specialist. Nneka (she/her) comes to the Authority with a strong background in relationship building, collaborative problem solving, intentional system implementation and social justice. Through her lived experience as a homeless youth, Nneka provides an added level of insight to the work of the Authority. She is passionate about cultivating individual and community relationships and strongly believes in the power of co-creating systems and processes for more equitable and sustainable outcomes and impact! Nneka holds a B.A. in Social Services and a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction. In her free time she loves having dance parties and movie nights with her family. 

Tiffany Brooks, Finance Director. Tiffany (she/her) is a dedicated public servant passionate about incorporating an equity and inclusion lens to her work as she serves the community. She is a seasoned financial professional with over 10 years of experience in budgeting and fiscal compliance in local government, and most recently served as the Budget Lead for the City of Seattle’s Homeless Strategy and Investment (HSI) Division. In this role she oversaw $190 million in City funding dedicated to Addressing Homelessness and COVID-19 response. Tiffany has a background in governmental accounting, a B.S. in Business from the University of Phoenix and is currently completing her MBA.  She is a proud mother of three and enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest in her free time. 

Paul Tan, South King County Sub-Regional Planning Coordinator. Paul (he/him) is a focused engagement person. For the past 30 years, he has found great value through living, listening, and learning among diverse communities in Seattle, Boston, Chicago, The Philippines, and Romania. Most recently, he served as Director of HOPE (Housing, Outreach, Prevention and Equity) at Kent Youth and Family Services. He has experience working on anti-trafficking, refugee resettlement, therapeutic foster care, and diversion for youth and families who are navigating social service systems. He holds a Masters of Divinity with a specialization in Urban Systems, a bachelor’s in Biology, and a certification in Fine Woodworking & Furnituremaking. He and his wife have raised their kids in South Seattle for the past 24 years. They are finding time to e-bike, laugh, and spend moments with family, friends and neighbors wherever they might be encountered.

Katherine Wells, Senior Administrative Specialist. Katherine (she/her) has over 10 years experience in the administrative field, and worked with the City of Seattle for the past 3 years as an Administrative Specialist III. This work holds a special place for her, as it allows her to live by giving back what she has been given. 11 years in Recovery has given her the opportunity to give back and she truly enjoys sharing her experience with others in the chance that it will give someone hope, by just taking that first step.

More Background

Learn more about us, including our mission, vision, services, funding, and structure here.

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