Meet Our People

Our team includes
a mixture of researchers

Spark’s innovative team-based approach ensures every challenge is met with flexibility and creativity, so we can apply the right skills and expertise at the right time

Our team includes a mixture of researchers, facilitators, project managers, and product developers, with backgrounds that range from policy analysis and law to cognitive psychology and social work, and even to geography and journalism!

Main Team

Kim Riley


Kim has more than 28 years’ experience working in community health education and research focused primarily on health disparity issues in underserved communities.
Kara Underwood


Christopher Diaz

Senior Researcher

Christopher Diaz is a Senior Researcher at Spark Policy Institute. For the past twelve years, he has evaluated programs and provided technical assistance for two state legislatures, a university research institute, and various state and local agencies and nonprofits.
Kyle Brost, is the CEO of Spark Policy Institute, where he leads an interdisciplinary team that works to create meaningful change through adaptive, strategy design and high-quality research.
Daniela Hernandez, MSS

Project Coordinator

Daniela Hernandez helps facilitate projects through coordination, handling logistics, organizing, research, and community engagement in a variety of setting.
Kristin Lacy


Kristin provides research and evaluation services focused on food systems development, health equity and community engagement in domestic and international settings.
Joby Schaffer

Senior Researcher

Joby has expertise in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. He has led research projects with methods ranging from computer lab experiments, to public opinion surveys.
Kerry Vachta

Senior Researcher

Dr. Vachta has a Ph.D. in Forestry from Michigan State University with emphases in community/social forestry and urban/community and environmental sociology and an M.A. in Ecological Psychology.
Alexander Dane


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Candidate for Bachelor of Science in Biology
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