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Mailing address

Habitat for Humanity International
Government Relations and Advocacy
1424 K Street N.W., Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20005-2429

Phone: 202-628-9171
Fax: 202-628-9169


Our Government Relations and Advocacy team 

Chris Vincent
Vice President, Advocacy and Government Relations

Christopher Vincent began working for Habitat for Humanity International in 1997, spending two years in the Latin American office in Costa Rica before moving to the Government Relations and Advocacy team. Vincent’s responsibilities include directing HFHI’s global advocacy strategy, which includes working to influence policy and systems globally to increase access to adequate and affordable housing, including the implementation of HFHI’s first global campaign. He is also responsible for government relations efforts directed at influencing U.S. foreign assistance policy and the United Nations, for managing the global advocacy team and managing the operations of HFHI’s office in Washington, D.C.

Christopher graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a double major in international studies and anthropology. He and his wife, Katharine, have three children, Liam, Scarlett and Gavin.

Elisabeth Gehl
Associate Director of Federal Relations
Elisabeth Gehl supports HFHI’s domestic policy and advocacy efforts, along with the implementation of its advocacy strategic initiative. Before joining HFHI, Gehl was the director of governmental relations for the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations in New Orleans and the director of public policy for Business and Professional Women/USA in Washington, D.C. She also served as a staff assistant to former Sen. Joseph R. Biden of Delaware on Capitol Hill. Gehl has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Randolph-Macon College and a master’s in social work with a concentration in nonprofit management from Boston University.
Piper Hendricks
Director of Advocacy Communications

Piper Hendricks handles internal and external communications around Habitat’s advocacy priorities from the local to the global levels. She works in conjunction with the Government Relations and Advocacy team and Habitat affiliates and national organizations to reach decision-makers and equip the public to do the same. Before joining HFHI, Hendricks litigated human rights cases as the director of the International Justice Project at Human Rights USA and with the International Rights Advocates, before founding a nonprofit organization to make documentary films about human rights. Hendricks graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University with degrees in chemistry and communications and earned her law degree with honors from the University of Michigan.

Jane Katz
Director of International Affairs and Programs

Jane Katz provides housing policy and advocacy advice on HFHI’s international priority issues. Katz manages the Global Housing Indicators initiative and represents HFHI on international coalitions and advisory groups on land, housing policy, gender, disaster risk reduction and urban issues. She has experience working in the public and private sectors in housing finance, policy, regulatory and business/program development. Prior to coming to Habitat, Katz spent 14 years at Fannie Mae in various management positions and 15 years in the U.S. public sector in mortgage finance, regulatory oversight and housing policy at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. Katz received a master's degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree in foreign affairs from the University of Cincinnati.

Dan Petrie
Associate Director of Congressional Relations
Dan Petrie helps to manage Habitat for Humanity’s interests in foreign affairs by tracking policy and legislation, working with decision-makers and cultivating external relationships. As part of Habitat’s Advocacy Strategic Initiative, he will be providing financial and technical assistance to Habitat’s area offices to catalyze advocacy around the globe. Petrie continues to direct Habitat’s annual shelter report and has enjoyed working for Habitat since he graduated from Brown University in 2007.
Christopher Ptomey
Director of Federal Relations
Christopher Ptomey has served as HFHI’s director of federal relations in Washington, D.C., since 2006. Focusing on federal domestic policy and U.S. campaigning as part of Habitat’s Advocacy Strategic Initiative, Ptomey leads the development and implementation of the federal domestic policy portfolio and manages Habitat’s relationships with federal executive branch officials and legislators. Before joining Habitat, Ptomey served as federal liaison for the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and as a senior legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Mac Collins (GA). Ptomey holds a J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Haverford College.
Ruxanda Renita
Office Manager
Ruxanda joined the Government Relations and Advocacy division in January 2015 as the Office Manager. Ruxanda served as a Rotary fellow from 2013 through 2014 in Atlanta, GA after graduating as a merit scholarship student at Oxford Brookes University in 2013. Originally from Moldova, Ruxanda Ruxanda speaks seven languages, is passionate about transdisciplinary initiatives and has previously worked in various projects in Europe and the USA.

Carley Ruff
Associate Director of State and Local Relations

Carley Ruff joins the Government Relations and Advocacy team after three years as a member of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. She previously worked as the Policy Director for the North Carolina Housing Coalition, where she served as the organization’s lead lobbyist in the North Carolina General Assembly and provided technical assistance to local housing coalitions on local advocacy efforts. Ruff first discovered her passion for affordable housing as an AmeriCorps member for Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity, followed by a second year of service with Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte. Ruff earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Georgia and a master's degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

Andrew Szalay
Director of State and Local Relations

Andrew Szalay comes to Habitat from the Mortgage Bankers Association, where he had been since the beginning of the foreclosure and credit crisis in 2007. Szalay filled various roles at MBA, most recently managing single-family policy and advocacy operations and earlier running the state government relations and advocacy program. Szalay also worked as a congressional aide for five years to then-Congressman Tom Reynolds from New York, and was responsible for housing issues. He is also a trained project manager, an accredited mortgage professional and has a bachelor's degree in political science from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.

Carolyn Tilney
Project Specialist

Carolyn Tilney works on a variety of domestic and international projects within the Government Relations and Advocacy division. Her work includes planning for Habitat’s annual legislative conference Habitat on the Hill, assisting with advocacy communications, including the advocacy newsletters, mobilization notices and social media, and conducting public policy research as needed. Tilney graduated from Brown University in 2011 and has worked in the fields of international development and environmental protection in Beijing and Washington, D.C., prior to joining Habitat in September of 2014.