Circles USA Team

“The leadership and staff have a realistic, valid, and practical view of poverty. For instance, the leadership defines poverty and prosperity as the joint responsibility of societies and communities, as well as individuals. ”
— Mary Jane Collier, professor at the University of New Mexico

Circles USA Leadership Team

Scott Miller, Founder

Since the late 1970s, Scott has initiated numerous projects in North America to help families and communities more effectively address poverty. He has spent decades developing tools and best practices for helping low income people navigate their way out of poverty for good. Scott is the author of several books about poverty reduction.

Jamie Haft, Executive Director

To achieve Circles USA’s ambitious goals for growth, Jamie Haft is directing the strategic planning and operational functions of the organization and leading key programs. She served for the last year as our deputy director, where she directed high-impact strategies related to fundraising and launching our Poverty Reduction Labs. She came to Circles USA with more than ten years of professional experience building national coalitions for social justice, community organizing, and multimedia storytelling.

Kamatara Johnson, Chief Learning Officer

Kamatara is responsible for supporting Circles USA communications, curriculum, coaching, and training for the national network. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and has 25 years of experience teaching inner-city high school English. She is happy to continue her efforts in supporting families out of poverty through education and community building.

Courtney Cowan, Information Systems and Design Manager

Courtney manages Circles USA’s national data system and trains Circles chapters on how to use it. She also serves as a graphic designer for Circles USA and creates websites, logos, brochures, manuals, guides, and reports for its chapters.

Gena Atcher, National Membership Coordinator

Gena began working for Circles USA in 2006. She manages general inquiries, materials distribution, contract negotiations, invoicing, and events. She can be reached at (888) 232-9285 and


Circles USA Board of Directors

Vince Gonzales, Board Chair, and IT Director, Perinatal Associates of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)

Joan Kuriansky, Board Vice Chair, and Former Executive Director of Wider Opportunities for Women (Washington, DC)

Jim Masters, Board Treasurer, and President of Center for Community Futures (Berkeley, CA)

Jennifer Pelling, Board Member, and Director of Tsuha Foundation (San Diego, CA)

John Wilson, Board Member, and Former Executive Director of Community Action Association of Pennsylvania (Chalk Hill, PA)

Circles USA Consulting and Training Team

Darcey Terris, Poverty Reduction Lab Consultant and Founder, CQIU (Phoenix, AZ)

Nishita Morris, Poverty Reduction Lab Consultant and Founder, CQIU (Athens, GA)

Jeannie Chaffin, Poverty Reduction Lab Consultant (Washington, DC)

Sherri Nee, Curriculum Development (Portland, OR)

Chris Tinney, Communications Consultant (Las Vegas, NV)

Jen Nibley, Expansion Advisor and Director of Arrive Utah (Provo, UT)

Lisa Doyle-Parsons, Coach for Circles USA Chapters (Parkersburg, WV)

Jim Wagner, Copy Editor (Albuquerque, NM)

Mark Lautman, Poverty Reduction Lab Consultant and Founder of CELab (Albuquerque, NM)

Janet Carl, Poverty Reduction Lab Consultant and Grant Writer (Grinnell, IA)

Robert Karp, Strategic Planning and Partnership Development (Milwaukee, WI)