Chief Executive Officer
Judy Patterson is SWAN’s Chief Executive Officer. She comes to SWAN with more than 20 years of nonprofit and association management. Judy co-founded both the American Gaming Association (AGA) and its charitable research arm, the National Center for Responsible Gaming, and ran the day-to-day operations for each. During her 18-year tenure, she diversified revenues by creating an international trade show and conference and raised more than $25 million through multi-year corporate contributions, special events and conference revenues. She developed corporate social responsibility programs for diversity, volunteerism and environmental sustainability that became hallmarks of the industry. Prior to joining the AGA, Judy served as special assistant to the president of the American Bar Association (ABA), where she developed public-private partnerships to build and sustain support for justice system improvements. She also served the ABA as director of the Public Liaison Office. Judy also served as circulation director of The Washingtonian Magazine, co-developed a monthly newspaper for the information industry, and was a teacher of the deaf.
Judy has a passion and dedication to women’s issues. Most recently, she served as a managing partner of Aspire Ascend, LLC, a professional services firm dedicated to advancing women’s achievement by creating and implementing workplace strategies for retaining and promoting women. She also founded an industry organization called Global Gaming Women to empower women and increase opportunities worldwide in management, executive, and board positions. She developed a first-of-its-kind online mentoring program and created a scholarship program to advance educational opportunities. She also grew the organization to more than 1,000 women worldwide in less than two years. Judy is known for her ability to connect with diverse constituencies to build trust and respect and has a talent for solving entrenched and complex problems.
Judy is a graduate of Georgetown Law School and a member of the D.C. Bar Association. She holds a Master in Education from Boston University. She is an active member of the Washington, DC Chapter of the International Women’s Forum and is Treasurer of the Washington Independent Review of Books. She is a volunteer domestic violence attorney for the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project. Judy lives in Washington, DC and is the proud parent of two adult children. She is an avid reader, theater-goer and pet-lover.
Operations Manager and Executive Assistant
Hannah joins SWAN after serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Spartanburg, South Carolina, improving wellness policies and managing a county-wide health campaign and partnership program. She worked to strengthen access to wellness resources for low-income populations and served on the Spartanburg County Childhood Obesity Taskforce. Her past experience includes More than Me, a grassroots organization providing education for girls in Monrovia, Liberia, where she was a member of a development team that secured a million dollar grant from Chase Community Giving. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Northeastern University with a concentration in Public Policy and Administration. Before graduating, Hannah was able to participate in an intensive practicum on global civil society in Bali, Indonesia, working with local communities addressing the essentials of global citizenship, social entrepreneurship, and NGO development in response to local and global problems.
Fellowship Program Director
Kristine is the Women Veterans Fellowship in Public Policy and Leadership Program Director at SWAN. She has worked with the U.S. Army for 13 years and has served as a Civil Affairs soldier with deployments to Iraq and Kosovo. She has also served as a cultural advisor to the Army in Northern Iraq and as a Trainer at Ft. Leavenworth preparing teams for Iraq and Afghanistan. Kristine later went on to be an instructor for USAID/DAI and traveled throughout Afghanistan training Afghans, U.S. and NATO forces on a program management tool. She currently works at West Point as a research consultant for an African Environmental Stability Project and serves as the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Veteran’s Yoga Project. While working at West Point, she was part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Minerva Research Initiative, where she helped establish a research fellowship program, and now works as a research consultant for an African Environmental Stability Project. She has also worked tirelessly overseas to better understand the perspectives of vulnerable populations and bring that message back to those making decisions. As Program Director of SWAN’s pilot Fellowship program, Kristine’s aim is to incorporate best practices for successful outcomes. Her hope is to see follow on programs in the future so that more women veterans have the opportunity to learn how they can be a voice for change. Kristine holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and Bachelors in Mass Communications from North Dakota State University.
Greg is the Policy Director at SWAN and a former U.S. Marine with 10 years of experience serving both as an enlisted infantry Marine and an infantry officer. Since joining SWAN in 2010, Greg has successfully established SWAN as a leading voice in developing extremely effective solutions to the tough issues facing service members and veterans through legislation, litigation, policy changes and regulatory reform. Greg holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Kentucky and worked as a media professional prior to joining the Marine Corps. After graduating from Parris Island, Greg held leadership billets in the Marines ranging from Fire Team Leader to Company Commander. Greg’s numerous deployments with the Fleet Marine Force and Joint Special Operations Command have taken him to every continent except Antarctica. He had been in Harm’s Way several times and received numerous decorations, including the Combat Action Ribbon. It was during Greg’s last assignment as a Commander of an integrated training company that he witnessed the discriminatory treatment and sexual trauma experienced by service members and learned firsthand the military’s failure to effectively prevent and prosecute these crimes. A solid researcher and prolific writer, Greg has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by members of the military and the veterans’ community and has appeared in media outlets worldwide as a powerful advocate for institutional change. Greg is a member of the Miniconjou Lakota tribe.
Krista Wyrick is currently an undergraduate student Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). She is working towards Bachelor’s degrees in Applied Anthropology and Political Science. She plans to conduct a cultural analysis of women’s issues. She is enthusiastic about advocating for a more comprehensive women’s rights, and awareness for military programs supporting service women. Having family members in the military, growing up in Carlisle, Pa., near the U.S. Army War College, traveling across the U.S. and Haiti has enriched her cultural and historical knowledge of military, civil, and international affairs. She joined the IUP Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program in January 2014, and wishes to become an Army Civil Affairs Officer. Krista is also the ad hoc social media manager for Rho Tau Chi, a local based community service Fraternity at IUP in which ROTC members, military veterans, Reserves members, and other individuals help serve veterans in the Indiana, Pa., area through fundraising, public advocacy, and community service initiatives. Her mother, a U.S Navy Veteran, has inspired her to stand for causes she believes in, and is a major catalyst behind her passion for a career in military, civil or international affairs. Krista ultimately seeks to; work to support women’s rights through advocacy, education, and social justice organizations.
Barbara L. Brown
Barbara is Communications Director for the Service Women’s Action Network. She is responsible for leading SWAN’s media and outreach strategies. She has nearly 20 years of experience designing and managing best-of-breed public relations and strategic communications programs to create understanding and acceptance of missions, policies, new products, and/or services as well as, increase business success, performance, stakeholder alignment, and identity of organizations, in the Non-Profit, Government, Media, High Tech, and Telecom industries. Barbara spent the last 12 years as a management consultant identifying solutions to help her clients achieve transformational and programmatic goals. Her work includes multi-faceted project management activities that include strategic planning, needs assessments/stakeholder analyses, content development, design, production, delivery, and evaluation. While serving as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and ICF International, Barbara worked primarily with federal agencies and non-profits to manage and support communications initiatives associated with new policy and key organizational transitions. Barbara has managed multiple federal communications projects and accounts for the Departments of Energy, Defense, Labor, State, Homeland Security, Treasury (IRS), and Veterans Affairs. She has made key contributions to the VA’s strategic initiatives to improve services to veterans including supporting MyCareer@VA, the VA Learning University’s – Career & Employee Development program, VA HR Academy, and the Women Veteran Toolkit for the Department of Labor’s Veteran Employment and Training Service and Women’s Bureau at Department of Labor. She was also responsible for delivery of key communications products to promote continuous change within the Department of Defense – Office of the Secretary, Business Transformation Agency. Ms. Brown developed and executed the Strategic Change Communications Plan for the Defense Business System Acquisition Executive (DBSAE) Directorate which included strategies for internal and external communications for programs including but not limited to the Defense Travel System (DTS) and Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS). Barbara has Bachelors in Print Journalism from American University and a Change Management Advanced Practitioner certificate from Georgetown University. She resides just outside of Washington, D.C. with her two sons, Tre’ and Jackson.
Valerie Smith is a currently an undergraduate student working on receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications at California State University East Bay. She is a Chips Quinn Scholars alumni, which supports diversity in the newsroom, and worked as an intern as a business reporter for The Bulletin, one of Central Oregon’s newspapers. She is an award-winning, former features editor and staff writer for The Collegian, San Joaquin Delta College’s student newspaper. She was also named an Outstanding Student for the Mass Communication Department for her work on the Delta Newspaper and academic achievement. Valerie received scholarships from the Sacramento Press Club, and the National Defense Transportation Association. She is interested in reporting and design, as well as, broadcasting, multimedia and digital journalism. Valerie wishes to enhance her media and communications skills and find a career path that merges policy, politics, and media
Prior to working with nonprofits, Matthew had a long history of multimedia production and documentary filmmaking. Working independently and with a wide range of collaborators, he has traveled extensively to build the capacity of social justice organizations through multimedia content. Many of his projects have been featured at international film festivals, used as educational tools, and served as centerpieces for grassroots and international advocacy campaigns. Today, his work also includes strategic development and fundraising as well as advising on a wide range of technical topics including best practices for production, digital workflow, and the utilization of new-media tools.