Meet our Team

Kate Breslin is the President & CEO of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy.  With Kate’s leadership, the Schuyler Center is building upon its long history as a strong, independent voice and coalition-builder that holds government accountable and helps shape public debates around social policies that affect New Yorkers.  Kate has spent her career analyzing and advocating in support of thoughtful policy solutions that improve the lives of people in the U.S. and abroad.

Kate plays a leadership role in statewide coalitions focused on health and was appointed by Governor Cuomo to the Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council.  She serves on several health policy advisory bodies, including the Value-Based Payment Workgroup, Innovation Council, and Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program Project Approval and Oversight Panel.

Kate previously served as the Director of Policy for the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS), where she directed CHCANYS’ public policy projects and initiatives to improve access to high-quality primary care in underserved communities.  She was a Project Director for the California Budget Project, analyzing state budget and tax policies and has led and worked on relief and development programs in several African nations, including serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone.  Kate earned Masters Degrees in both Public Health and City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University.

Kate can be reached by phone at (518) 463-1896, ext. 125, or by email at

Dorothy (Dede) Hill is the Director of Policy for the Schuyler Center.  In this role, Dede coordinates the Schuyler Center’s policy team and conducts policy analysis and advocacy in the area of economic security as well as overseeing child welfare and health policy.  Prior to joining the Schuyler Center, Dede was a Professor of Law at Albany Law School, where her teaching and scholarship focused on labor and employment law.  While in academia, Dede was active in local and statewide efforts to aid working families by increasing the minimum wage and organizing for stricter enforcement of labor and immigration laws to prevent wage theft in low wage and immigrant worker sectors.

Dede previously practiced law as an Assistant Attorney General and Labor Counsel for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, an Assistant Solicitor General for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and as an associate for a New York City labor law firm.  Dede earned a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she was a member of the Wisconsin Law Review, and a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College.

Dede can be reached by phone at (518) 463-1896, ext. 138, or by email at

Lara Kassel is the Coordinator of Medicaid Matters New York (MMNY), a statewide coalition of over 140 organizations representing the interests of New Yorkers served by the Medicaid program.  In her role as Coordinator, Lara organizes all of the activities of this diverse coalition, which works to ensure that Medicaid consumer interests are included, understood and met in any and all discussions on Medicaid in New York.  She was a member of the Health Reform Stakeholder Advisory Panel and the Medicaid Redesign Team, and she is on the DSRIP Project Approval and Oversight Panel.  Lara has been recognized by peer organizations for her role as a consumer advocate, including the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association and Health Care for All New York.  Prior to joining MMNY, she served as legislative staff to Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried for nearly seven years, working on a wide range of health issues.

Lara has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York College at Geneseo, where she majored in Sociology.

Lara can be reached by phone at (518) 463-1896, ext. 124, or by email at

Kari Siddiqui is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Schuyler Center. In this role she conducts policy analysis in areas related to child welfare in order to promote programs and policies that will positively impact the lives of New York’s children.

Before joining Schuyler, Kari was a Fellow on Women and Public Policy at the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society at the University of Albany’s Rockefeller College. She previously worked with a number of community, arts, and education organizations on program delivery, development, and administration.

Kari earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration, with specializations in Nonprofit Management and Global Leadership, from the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, and her Bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kari can be reached by phone at (518) 463-1896, ext. 130, or by email at

Helen W. Smith serves as the Director of Finance & Operations for the Schuyler Center. She oversees all financial operations of the organization including accounting, budgeting, financial reporting activities, policies, and practices. Helen manages the administration of the organization, its grants and takes an active role in the communication and fund development efforts at Schuyler.

Before joining the Schuyler Center, Helen worked in various financial, development, and management capacities for non-profit environmental and health care organizations.

Helen holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Smith College.

Helen can be reached by phone at (518)463-1896 ext. 140, or by email at

Grazyna Szymanowski is Schuyler’s Office Manager where she oversees all purchasing and provides administrative support to the staff.

Before coming to Schuyler Center, Grazyna worked as Administrative Assistant and Case Worker/Employment Counselor with the International Center of the Capital Region, responsible for assisting refugees with settlement in a new country.

Grazyna can be reached by phone at (518) 463-1896, ext. 122, or by email at

Carole Tozzi serves as Schuyler Center’s Administrative Associate. She is responsible for appointment scheduling, desktop publishing, Board of Trustees communications and word processing.

Prior to joining Schuyler Center, Carole worked as an administrative assistant at NYS Department of Taxation and Finance in the Litigation Department.

Carole can be reached by phone at (518) 463-1896, ext. 121, or by email at

Bridget Walsh is a Senior Policy Analyst for Health and Public Health. She conducts policy analysis and advocacy for Schuyler Center in areas of maternal and child health, oral health, early childhood health, nutrition, and health care access. She represents the Schuyler Center on numerous boards both in and out of government that advance health policy and improve access to health services.

Prior to joining Schuyler, Bridget served as staff on health policy issues in the New York State Assembly, the Office of Governor Mario Cuomo, and for several non-profit organizations.

Bridget earned a Master’s in Public Health from the University at Albany and a Bachelor of Arts from Ithaca College where she majored in politics.

Bridget can be reached by phone at (518) 463-1896, ext. 129, or by email at