Mary Nelson, the associate director of Government Partnerships and Policy at REDF, plays a crucial role in developing public-private partnerships that promote quality jobs and economic mobility within our communities. Leveraging employment social enterprises, she supports effective workforce system initiatives with a particular focus on WIOA and SNAP E&T.

Before joining REDF, Mary served as the assistant director of practice at the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA). In this capacity, she led a team of project managers dedicated to driving economic mobility in the communities that APHSA’s members serve. She also served as the project director for APHSA’s USDA SNAP E&T National Partnerships Grant. Prior to this role, she spent two years as a policy associate at APHSA, covering SNAP E&T, TANF, and WIOA. She also acted as the staff liaison to the National Association of State TANF Administrators and the SNAP E&T Workgroup. Before APHSA, Mary managed programs for youth dually involved in child welfare and juvenile justice at CASA for Children of DC, helping them to access services including education and workforce development.

Mary’s expertise extends to local, state, and federal legislative analysis, as well as policy and legal research. She holds an LLM in international business and economics law from Georgetown University, a JD from Gonzaga University, and a B.A. in marketing and philosophy from Whitworth University.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Mary enjoys listening to podcasts, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. Her two cats, Jean Luc and Janeway, occasionally make surprise appearances during Zoom calls.