Our Team

Audra Moran, President & CEO
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As President & CEO of Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA), Audra heads the largest global charity for ovarian cancer research and advocacy. She directs overall strategy, operations and fundraising to promote progress and awareness, while hastening breakthroughs in diagnostics and treatments with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for ovarian cancer.

Under Audra’s leadership, OCRA has awarded the most research funding in its history, and has passed the $122 million mark in funds invested. She has extended the organization’s national reach by engaging grassroots supporters around the country, and integrated another nonprofit, Ovarian Cycle, into OCRA, expanding its indoor cycling events to more than 23 locations nationwide.

She developed the national expansion of a support program for women undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancers, Woman to Woman, and secured a $1 million corporate sponsorship to ensure its success. Woman to Woman has now been funded at more than 40 hospitals around the country, and has expanded to include a virtual national program, serving as the perfect complement to OCRA’s robust research and advocacy work.

Audra oversaw the merger of Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) and Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA), with OCRA launching in January, 2016. She continues to lead the now expanded organization, with offices in New York City and Washington, DC.

Erin Cassin, Senior Manager, Social Media & Content
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Erin Cassin is OCRA’s Senior Manager, Social Media & Content. Erin has worked across many different areas of media, with experiences that include reporting for the Los Angeles Times, writing for nonprofits and creating digital content for Lifetime, Food Network and Cooking Channel. As the daughter of a nurse, she has long been passionate about health content and has written about wellness for various websites. She is thrilled to join the OCRA team and use her skills for such a meaningful cause.

Erin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Spanish from New York University. A native of New York, she has also lived in Spain, England and Mexico.

Nancy Cincotta, LCSW, MPhil, Director, Social Work Education and Research (Consultant)

Nancy Cincotta is a Director, Social Work Education and Research (Consultant) for OCRA. Bio coming soon.

Jenny Daugherty, Development Coordinator
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Jenny Daugherty is OCRA’s Development Coordinator and joined the team in August 2023. Jenny supports the development department including individual giving stewardship, direct mail, as well as industry partnerships.

Prior to joining OCRA, Jenny spent 5 years working with the ARMY MWR and Army Fisher House focusing primarily on fundraising and program management as well as more than 2 years working with a small local non-profit helping to shape their development strategy.

Jenny graduated from Webster University with a Master of Arts in International Relations and from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. 

Jenny lives in Western North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. 

Sarah DeFeo, Chief Program Officer
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Sarah DeFeo, OCRA’s Chief Program Officer, joined OCRA in November 2008 and oversees OCRA’s grantmaking, programmatic, and educational initiatives. Working closely with the Scientific Advisory Committee, Sarah manages OCRA’s annual grant solicitation and review process, and under her direction applications to OCRA’s three research grant programs have quadrupled.  She also directs OCRA’s rapidly expanding patient support program, Woman to Woman Peer Mentor Program, our Survivors Teaching Students program, and all live and web-based patient education initiatives, including the Ovarian Cancer National Conference.  Sarah supports the development and communications teams, providing content and ensuring the visibility of OCRA’s research and programmatic activities across all media platforms.

Before joining OCRA, Sarah was the Director of the Physician Advocacy Fellowship at Columbia University, which trained doctors in social justice and health policy work. She also served as the Project Officer at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Center to Advance Palliative Care, and in various positions at the Social Science Research Council.

Sarah graduated with honors from Vassar College with a degree in American History and earned her Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

Sarah Handsman, LCSW, Oncology Social Worker

Sarah Handsman, LCSW, is OCRA’s Oncology Social Worker. Sarah joined the OCRA team in April 2023 and is a passionate clinician and fervent advocate for those living with cancer and their loved ones. She is highly involved in OCRA’s Support & Education programming, including the Patient Support Line, Woman to Woman Peer Mentor Program, Staying Connected support sessions, family programs, and Inspire online community.

Prior to joining OCRA, Sarah spent several years working within the Mount Sinai Health System in NYC. She began her social work career in the Emergency Department at the Mount Sinai Hospital before transitioning to the Mount Sinai Brooklyn Infusion Center as the sole Oncology Social Worker on the multidisciplinary team. Sarah gained valuable experience in conducting comprehensive biopsychosocial assessments, providing supportive counseling and psychoeducation to patients and their families, addressing gaps in care through referrals to community resources, and advocating on patients’ behalf to insurance carriers and public benefit corporations. She also facilitated support groups for patients and caregivers as a volunteer with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Sarah obtained her MSW degree from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work in 2018 and her BS in Applied Psychology from NYU’s Steinhardt School in 2014. She was awarded the American Cancer Society’s Training Grant in Clinical Oncology Social Work and is a proud Fellow of the Zelda Foster Fellowship in Palliative and End-of-Life Care.

Jessica Hughson-Andrade, Director, Strategic Alliances
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Jessica Hughson-Andrade is OCRA’s Director, Strategic Alliances. Jessica joined the OCRA team in June 2021 and is responsible for managing and enhancing industry partnerships to increase collaboration and support for OCRA’s programs. Prior to joining OCRA, she worked for an association management company, serving as client lead for a rare disease foundation and managing other healthcare clients. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector and is delighted to be part of the OCRA team.

Jessica earned her B.A. in International Studies from Manhattanville College and her M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.

Emily Hynes, Manager, Programs
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Emily Hynes is OCRA’s Manager, Programs, and joined OCRA in May 2022. Emily supports all OCRA programs, including Policy and Advocacy, Survivor Support, and Grants Management. Prior to joining OCRA, Emily spent three years in operations and program delivery at Year Up New York | New Jersey, a workforce development nonprofit. She graduated from William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA with a BA in Sociology and Public Policy and lives in New York City.

Susan Leighton, National Program Director, Survivors Teaching Students (Consultant)
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Susan Leighton is National Program Director, OCRA’s Survivors Teaching Students and an OCRA Research Advocate.

Susan Leighton is a 24-year survivor of recurrent ovarian cancer and 8-year survivor of breast cancer. Susan began her journey in advocacy when she co-founded the Lilies of the Valley, a gynecologic cancer support and awareness group in Huntsville, Alabama. Susan serves as a research advocate on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance.

Susan is the National Program Director of OCRA’s Survivors Teaching Students program. Under her guidance the program has expanded both nationally and internationally reaching approximately 13,000 students annually. Susan serves as a consumer member of the Programmatic Panel for the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program and as an NCI patient advocate reviewer. She has participated as a PCORI reviewer, an FDA Patient Representative for both ovarian cancer and cardiovascular-renal drugs, and as a member of the NCI Ovarian Cancer Task Force. She has participated in numerous scientific meetings and as a mentor for the AACR Survivor-Scientist Program. She served as an OCRA Advocate Leader carrying the voice of the ovarian cancer community to Capitol Hill and in 2010 testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense in support of the DoD OCRP. She spearheaded state legislation establishing the “Alabama Study Commission for Gynecologic Cancers and continues to assist in implementation of the commission’s recommendations. Susan serves as a patient advocate on several ongoing research projects providing the patient’s perspective.

She was honored by OCRA with the Cindy Melancon Survivor Spirit Award and recognized by CURE Magazine as an Ovarian Cancer Hero in recognition of her work on behalf of the ovarian cancer community.

Kim Liao, Senior Development Associate
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Kim Liao is OCRA’s Senior Development Associate, and joined OCRA in February 2018. Before joining OCRA, Kim spent four years as an Administrative Assistant and Front Desk Assistant. She brings successful administrative and customer service experiences to the role of Senior Development Associate. She lives in Queens, with her four legged son named Jake. Kim received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Hunter College.

Diana Maynard, Director, Events
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Diana is OCRA’s Director, Events, and joined OCRA in January 2022. Diana serves as staff support for all OCRA Heroes events including Ovarian Cycle and DIY Fundraisers. Prior to joining OCRA, Diana held development positions managing community events, signature events and more for the Alzheimer’s Association and Make-A-Wish Connecticut Chapters. Diana has a passion for connecting donors to missions through special events. She graduated from Sacred Heart University with a BA in Business Administration and lives in Connecticut with her daughter and twin beagles named Jack and Jill.

Kristin McGowan, Director, Grants & Scientific Affairs
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Kristin McGowan is OCRA’s Director, Grants & Scientific Affairs. Kristin joined OCRA in August 2021 and works closely with the Vice President, Scientific Affairs & Programs to manage OCRA’s annual grant solicitation and review process. She also works cross-departmentally on the planning, development, and execution of research-related programs and projects.

Before joining OCRA, Kristin spent 3 years working in non-profits on grant management and 10 years in Higher Education, specifically student affairs. Kristin graduated from Drexel University with a Master of Science, and from Rider University with a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Tracy Moore, LCSW, Vice President, Support & Education
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Tracy Moore, LCSW, is OCRA’s Vice President, Support & Education. Tracy is an Oncology Social Worker with 30 years’ experience as an organizational leader, patient advocate, author, and speaker. She began working with OCRA in 2018 as a consultant and in 2022 joined us full time. Ms. Moore has helped develop and expand Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance’s Patient Support Line, Woman to Woman Peer Mentor Program, Staying Connected Support Series, online community through Inspire, family programs, and Clinical Trial Navigator.

Ms. Moore has experience working with patients and families providing psycho-educational and supportive counseling from initial diagnosis, through treatment, post-treatment, and end-of-life. She was awarded her MSSA from Case Western’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences in 1993 and BA from the University of Rochester in 1991. Ms. Moore began her career as a pediatric oncology social worker at Schneider Children’s Hospital (now Cohen Children’s Medical Center) providing direct patient care within the hospital setting. She transitioned to Director of Support Services at Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation in 2001 where she developed and implemented national programs, while maintaining a clinical practice. Ms. Moore moved to hospital administration at North Shore University Hospital in 2009 where she was the Director of Social Work for 8+ years. Ms. Moore started a community healthcare consulting firm along with a private practice in 2017. She provides resource and system navigation for individuals and families, healthcare program assessment and guidance.

Ms. Moore is a member of NASW, Association of Oncology Social Workers and Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers. She has previously been on the Board of APOSW.

Josephine Neil, Manager, Operations & Finance
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Josephine is OCRA’s Manager, Operations & Finance, and joined the team in June 2022. She is responsible for the overall operations and facilities management at OCRA’s NY office.

Josephine has dedicated her time to learning multiple areas within healthcare. She has steadily climbed the ranks –starting off in Brookdale Hospital in the nursing field then moving into health administrative management. Prior to joining the OCRA team, Josephine worked at Weill Cornell Medical College Department of Anesthesiology and finance where she grew within the company—starting off as an Administrative Billing and Compliance Team Leader, to Senior Finance and Operations Specialist and supporting her department as an Interim Supervisor. Josephine’s additional experience dates to almost 10 years of working within the field of healthcare administration.

In her spare time Josephine enjoys philanthropic work. She is also a part-time adjunct instructor teaching evidence-based leadership in healthcare. Josephine also dabbles in crafts and wellness as she makes hair replacement units for patients with depilating diseases.

Josephine received her master’s degree in health care administration and operations from Capella University where she graduated with honors. Josephine plans on furthering her education, and she currently lives in New Jersey with her fiancé and two children.

Ginika Nwaba, Ann Kolker Health Policy Fellow
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Ginika Nwaba is OCRA’s Ann Kolker Health Policy Fellow and joined the team in August 2023. Under the training and guidance of OCRA’s Vice President, Policy, she helps advance gynecologic cancer research and policy through grassroots and legislative advocacy, and patient engagement.

Ginika received her BA in Neuroscience and Political Science from Vanderbilt University and her MS in Bioethics from Columbia University. She has more than 10 years of experience in health equity initiatives and more than 5 years of experience conducting clinical and scientific research. She is excited to utilize her background and skills to advance equity within ovarian cancer treatment and outcomes.

Brian Phair, Director, Donor Relations
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Brian Phair is OCRA’s Director, Donor Relations, and joined the team in April 2022. Brian oversees the daily operations of the development department with a focus on individual giving stewardship, including direct mail and the recurring and planned giving programs.

Prior to joining OCRA, Brian spent 12 years working with non-profits throughout the Boston area focusing primarily on fundraising and program management and more than 2 years working in higher education, specifically alumni relations and development.

Brian graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A in Sociology and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.

Chad Ramsey, Vice President, Policy
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Chad Ramsey is OCRA’s Vice President, Policy. Chad joined the organization in 2015 and oversees the organization’s public policy including the development and implementation of a national agenda for ovarian cancer. Chad works with policymakers on Capitol Hill and organizational allies to implement the policy agenda and achieve OCRA priorities. He also serves as a staff liaison to the the Congressional Ovarian Cancer Caucus and monitors efforts within federal agencies, including the CDC, FDA, NIH and CMS as they relate to the OCRA’s policy agenda.

Prior to joining OCRA, Chad was Director of Legislative Relations for the National Marrow Donor Program where he worked to ensure that patients in need of a bone marrow donor were able to find a suitable match. Chad also served as Director of Federal Legislation for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and has more than 18 years of experience in public policy and advocacy in the non-profit sector.

Chad graduated with honors from Hobart College with a degree in English and earned his Master’s Degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Julia Thayer, Associate Director, Advocacy
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Julia Thayer is OCRA’s Associate Director, Advocacy. Julia joined the organization in October 2023. She oversees OCRA’s Advocate Leaders program and supports the advancement of OCRA’s public policy agenda at both the state and federal levels. Prior to joining OCRA, Julia worked for the American College of Physicians, serving as a program manager on multiple portfolios focused on empowering clinicians to achieve meaningful and sustained improvement of quality and patient outcomes. She has more than 7 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and is excited to continue to make an impact through her role at OCRA.

Julia earned both her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Master’s of Public Health degrees at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Nikki Wargo, Vice President, Philanthropic Partnerships & Community Engagement
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Nikki Wargo is OCRA’s Vice President, Philanthropic Partnerships & Community Engagement. Nikki joined OCRA in February 2016 and oversees the production and execution of local and national events including the annual National Conference and the OCRA Heroes program with the goal to raise awareness and funding for ovarian cancer.  Additionally, she manages the corporate and foundation partnerships and community engagement activities throughout the country. A true collaborator, she enjoys working closely with the other departments within OCRA to meet the needs of the organization.

Prior to joining OCRA, Nikki spent over 6 years as the Director of Special Projects and Partnerships at Win (formerly Women In Need) working with the board to increase awareness about family homelessness in NYC and raising critical funding for support services through events and donor relations. She also worked for Saks Fifth Avenue for over 10 years in the Public Relations department focusing on NY and National press outreach before moving to the Public Affairs office where she directed three national charitable initiatives for the flagship and 60+ stores throughout the country.

Lindsey Weeks, Director, Digital Communications
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Lindsey Weeks is OCRA’s Director, Digital Communications. Lindsey joined the OCRA team in June 2008 and is responsible for effectively conveying and furthering OCRA’s mission through promotion of partnerships, cause marketing, and key messaging via external facing communications including the website, social media, and all electronic formats.

Engaging in extensive interaction with all members of the OCRA constituency, she serves as a critical point person in expanding OCRA’s social reach, setting the tone for all methods of communication with the community through writing, editing and designing the print newsletter, bi-weekly e-newsletter, e-blasts, custom event pages, and other organizational publications.

Lindsey earned a BA in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and, prior to joining OCRA, dedicated her career to serving nonprofit organizations in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Jon Zeidman, Chief Development Officer
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Jon Zeidman is OCRA’s Chief Development Officer and is responsible for the design, implementation and oversight of OCRA’s fundraising programs including annual giving, major gifts, direct mail, corporate partnerships, foundation relations and special events. He has more than 13 years of experience in the nonprofit sector.

Jon joined OCRA in 2010 as the first Director of Development in the organization’s history and has built a fundraising program that has exhibited consistent growth and increased revenue in support of OCRA’s rapid national expansion.

Prior to joining OCRA, Jon served five years as Director of Development for NARSAD, The Brain and Behavior Research Fund where he directed the organization’s $20 million annual campaign. He earned a B.S. in Communications from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and worked as a location manager for 10 years for both film and television before entering the field of non-profit fundraising.