Meet the USICH Team
Jeff Olivet is the executive director of USICH. He has worked to prevent and end homelessness for more than 25 years as a street outreach worker, case manager, coalition builder, researcher, and trainer. He is the founder of jo consulting, co-founder of Racial Equity Partners, and from 2010 to 2018, he served as CEO of C4 Innovations. He has worked extensively in the areas of homelessness and housing, health and behavioral health, HIV, education, and organizational development. Jeff has been principal investigator on multiple research studies funded by private foundations and the National Institutes of Health. Jeff is deeply committed to social justice, racial equity, gender equality, and inclusion for all. He has a bachelor's from the University of Alabama and a master's from Boston College.
Katie is responsible for advancing progress on ending homelessness among veterans and people experiencing chronic homelessness, among other priority areas. She began her tenure at USICH as a program assistant for the National Initiatives Team, where she gained a deep appreciation of the need for local expertise to inform policymaking at the federal level. Katie has a background in project management and event planning, having spent several years as a project management consultant for NASA. A graduate of American University, Katie lives in Washington, DC, but makes it home to New England as frequently as she can.
Director of Policy Initiatives
Prior to joining USICH, Erika served as a program manager at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. She has more than 20 years of experience working in human services, housing, community planning, and program design. She previously worked in special needs housing and homelessness in Virginia, as a project evaluator for the Virginia Department of Health, and as a program analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. Erika has a M.S.W. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia.
Director of National Initiatives
Bev has extensive experience building local partnerships to end homelessness and has held leadership roles in supportive housing development and service design, delivery, and coordination. Her background includes capacity building and technical assistance with HUD grantees, strategic planning and restructuring of Continuums of Care, and convening stakeholders to promote the alignment of resources for persons experiencing homelessness, with an emphasis on developing permanent supportive housing. Bev holds an MSW from Wayne State University.
Senior Regional Advisor
Nichele has 25 years of experience leading teams in the mental health and homeless services sector. She led Virginia’s homeless services system through the COVID-19 pandemic and ensured access to safe shelter for people experiencing homelessness during the implementation of stay-at-home orders. During her tenure, Virginia decreased overall homelessness by 34% and was the first state to functionally end veteran’s homelessness. Nichele previously served as the co-chair of the Council of State Community Development Agencies’ national homeless committee, is a nationally recognized speaker on racial equity, and is committed to uplifting the voices of people with lived expertise. She was named one of the Virginia housing field's top 40 under 40. She has a bachelor's in psychology from Virginia State University and a master's in rehabilitation counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Senior Regional Advisor
Katy has worked with local leaders to design and implement innovative solutions to homelessness in the northwestern U.S. for more than two decades. For 13 years, both in government and non-profit sectors, she led high-performing teams to maximize local, state, and federal resources for the greatest impact. As a public and private funder, she formed partnerships that created thousands of housing and service opportunities for individuals and families and launched new initiatives that helped people move out of homelessness permanently.
Joe N. Savage, Jr.
Senior Regional Advisor
Joe is a recognized leader with over 15 years of experience in the fields of homelessness, social policy, economic development, and human services administration. His passion for this work has cultivated years of skills and expertise that have helped bring over $150 million of funding to support housing and services for the homeless and community development projects. Joe’s commitment to this work is rooted in his belief in the dignity of human life. He has a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware.
Senior Regional Advisor
Helene has served over 17 years in municipal government, as mayor, city councilmember, and housing authority commissioner for the City of Santa Barbara, California. As an elected official, Helene focused on affordable housing policies and best practices in ending homelessness. She served as policy council chair on the countywide homelessness collaborative board, chaired the U.S. Conference of Mayors Hunger & Homelessness Task Force, and served on the League of CA Cities Board of Directors. She has a certification in human resources management from UCLA Extension and a BA from Skidmore College.
Senior Regional Advisor
Tamara is located in Phoenix and has been in public service, both locally and federally, for 13 years. She first became a regional coordinator for the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she managed grants that reduced and ended veteran homelessnessfor 8 years. At the national nonprofit Community Solutions, she addressed systemic barriers to ending veteran homelessness in Phoenix. Tamara also served as chair of the metro area’s Continuum of Care board, leader of the Coordinated Entry Subcommittee, and a leading member of both the Ending Veteran Homelessness Workgroup and Racial Equity Workgroup. She’s currently a commissioner for the Phoenix Women’s Commission. She has a Bachelor’s in political science and Master’s in public administration from Arizona State University.
Caroline came to USICH after more than a decade of covering public policy and politics as a journalist for major media outlets. She spent time as an editor for CBS, Apple News, and Governing, a national publication dedicated to helping state and local governments find solutions to pervasive problems like homelessness. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and History from James Madison University.
For 10 years, Sam worked in New Orleans government as a speechwriter and policy advisor to former Mayor Mitch Landrieu and later as a senior advisor to the superintendent of schools. Most recently, he served as a senior speechwriter in the New York City Mayor’s Office. In New Orleans, he helped draft and enact its 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness and led the effort to end veteran homelessness as part of USICH’s Mayor’s Challenge. For this work, Sam received the Key to the City, the Unsung Hero of the Year award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and the Superintendent’s Coin for Excellence - the highest civilian honor awarded by the chief of police. Sam is also a former teacher and co-founder of the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition.
Director of Finance & Administration
Sanya Cade was recently appointed as the Director of Finance and Administration in August of 2020. She oversees USICH’s financial, information technology, HR, and procurement operations.
Ms. Cade’s career includes over 10 years in public service to the House of Representatives and the District of Columbia Government, respectively. Prior to her work in federal and municipal government, she was a finance executive in television and media. She has worked for Congressional Quarterly, the Discovery Channel, Black Entertainment Television, and USA Today. She brings a wealth of operation experience and a talent for working with diverse teams toward common goals and achievement.
A Washington, D.C. native, Sanya holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Hampton University.
Special Assistant to the Executive Director
Jerome is has been professionally active in public administration and contract management for more than 15 years. He has served as a contracting professional for four D.C. government agencies—as Commodity Manager and Supervisory Contract Specialist/Contracting Officer for the Office of Contracting and Procurement, Associate Director of Grants and Procurement for the Department of Employment Services, Agency Contracting Officer for the Department of Motor Vehicles, and Management Analyst for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. Jerome is an expert in statutory, regulatory, and policy authorities governing public purchasing and grant making at the federal, state, and local government levels.
Senior Administrative Services Specialist
Chrischanne has been at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness since December 2009, working closely with the director of finance and administration. Chrischanne participates in the management of the office by controlling and performing a variety of administrative, finance, and mission-supported activities, as they relate to the council.