Our Washington, DC, staff is committed to furthering the goals of the coalition, bringing deep government relations and Capitol Hill experience, research expertise and insights, as well as networking and partnership ideas that bring our members' work and collaborations to fruition.
Ms. Petee has served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Coalition since its founding in 2015. Drawing from more than 34 years of experience in healthcare communications and government relations, Ms. Petee leads the Coalition's efforts to unite cross-sector organizations under the common goal of achieving health equity. The Coalition's membership has grown from 17 inaugural partners into a diverse collection of more than 70 leading organizations from various states, sectors and services. For the past decade, Ms. Petee's focus has been addressing food insecurity and other basic needs so as to help develop and lift-up sustainable solutions that can be scaled and replicated across the nation, thereby improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities.
Committed to helping develop and implement a new model of healthcare delivery that considers all the various social, physical and mental needs of individuals, Ms. Petee’s work in the social determinants has been widely recognized across the nation. She has served on myriad local, regional and national boards and committees, and is currently a board member of the Alliance to End Hunger, an affiliate of Bread for the World; a member of the Government Relations Officers Network for the American Hospital Association; and serves on the Legislative Policy Panel for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. Follow Barbara on Twitter: @BarbaraPetee
Tom Dorney is Vice President of The Root Cause Coalition. He leads the Washington office’s day-to-day advocacy efforts, manages its operations and supports the work of the Executive Director, board and membership groups.
In his prior role, Mr. Dorney served as senior policy advisor to Congressman John Lewis. He advised on all health matters in Rep. Lewis’ work as Chairman of the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, and developed legislation and initiatives focused on HIV/AIDS providers, kidney and cardiac health, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.
Mr. Dorney holds a Master of Social Work degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work from The Catholic University of America.
Senior Advisor, Research and Communications
Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, PhD, MPA, is the Senior Advisor, Research and Communications for The Root Cause Coalition. She also is the owner of Fruitful LLC, a food and nutrition consulting business in Washington, DC. With nearly 15 years of experience working at nonprofits, member associations and the United States Department of Agriculture, Alexandra specializes in the intersection of consumer insights, communications and public affairs. Prior to Fruitful LLC, Alexandra served as the Vice President, Research & Partnerships, for the International Food Information Council.
Senior Advisor, Advocacy
Hannah Miller is the Senior Advisor for Advocacy for The Root Cause Coalition. She manages the organization's advocacy efforts by analyzing priority issues affecting health disparities and tracking relevant legislation and regulations that address them.
She has extensive experience working with state legislators across the country and researching and writing about key public policy issues related to social and economic equity. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Denison University and earned her Master of Science degree from American University’s School of Public Affairs.
Member Relations Manager
Anna Megel is the Manager of Member Relations for The Root Cause Coalition. She started her advocacy career in her home state of Michigan working on a congressional campaign and an international nonprofit before moving to Washington, DC where she has focused on children’s health as part of the public affairs team at the Children’s Hospital Association. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics.