Staff Bios

Ohio Office

Sarah Biehl, Policy Consultant
(614) 221-2244 x 205
sbiehl@childrensdefense.org

Sarah is a part time Policy Consultant for Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio.  Sarah received both her undergraduate and law degrees from Ohio State University and clerked for the Honorable James G. Carr of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio before being awarded a Skadden Fellowship with the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. While in Chicago, Sarah ran a legal clinic in a high school and directed a domestic violence project.  Upon returning to Ohio, Sarah worked on education law and policy as a staff attorney at the Ohio Poverty Law Center and then on juvenile justice reform, improving educational outcomes for Ohio children, and child health policy issues as Policy Director at Children's Defense Fund-Ohio. After taking a year off in 2015-16 to care for her two young children, Sarah returned to CDF-Ohio to focus on child health and education policy work.

Pam Kreber, Associate Director, Operations & Fundraising
(614) 221-2244 x 201
pkreber@childrensdefense.org

Pam joined CDF–Ohio in July 2013 and brings a diverse background in administration, finance, event management and development. Most recently, Pam served as Director of Finance and Operations for the Cancer Support Community Central Ohio. Her background includes work for the Ohio Department of Development’s International Trade Division, and marketing roles at Ernst & Young. Pam co-founded an event management company, whose clients included Nationwide Children’s Hospital, McGraw-Hill Publishing, and First Night Columbus. Pam is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration majoring in International Business and Marketing. She serves as a trainer with the Youth Education for Safety program in schools.

Renuka Mayadev, Executive Director
(614) 221-2244 x 203
rmayadev@childrensdefense.org

Renuka is a seasoned professional, with a strong mix of policy experience, understanding of the importance of smart collaboration, and passion for making a difference in the lives of Ohio's children.

Renuka is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she majored in Economics with a concentration in Spanish. She analyzed financial transactions for Coopers & Lybrand and worked at the U.S. Department of Justice before earning her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

After working at a large Los Angeles law firm, Renuka returned to her native Columbus, Ohio to assume leadership roles in the public arena. She served as Deputy Director for Constituent Affairs and Policy at the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Prior to joining the Children's Defense Fund-Ohio, Renuka worked in the Ohio Governor's office focused on juvenile justice, public safety, rehabilitation, corrections, and workers' compensation policy. 

Ashon McKenzie, Policy Director
(614) 221-2244 x 204
amckenzie@childrensdefense.org

Ashon McKenzie serves as our Policy Director. Most recently, Ashon joins us from the Ohio Legislature where he worked as a policy lead on health, civil and criminal justice, and state and local government issues. Prior to his work in the Ohio Statehouse, he was an Assistant Attorney General in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. In this position, he sought justice for children and schools litigating educator conduct matters on behalf of the Ohio Department of Education.  He also worked on criminal justice matters. Ashon received his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Currently, Ashon serves on the Board of Directors for IMPACT Community Action. Ashon was a United Way of Central Ohio 2015 African American Leadership Academy Fellow. Ashon and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Columbus with their two children.

Robert Southers, Policy Intern
(614) 221-2244 x 209
rsouthers@childrensdefense.org

Dawn Wallace-Pascoe, Director of Data & Research
(614) 221-2244 x 207
dwallacepascoe@childrensdefense.org

Dawn joined CDF-Ohio in January 2013 as the Project Manager for KIDS COUNT in Ohio.  KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the well-being of children in the United States.

Prior to her work at CDF-Ohio, Dawn was a researcher at the International Poverty Solutions Collaborative (IPSC), an interdisciplinary research center at Ohio State University.  At IPSC she focused on metrics and evaluation related to initiatives designed to alleviate poverty. Dawn has several years of experience in higher education administration through a variety of roles with the University Registrar at Ohio State. She began her career as a consultant with a major global business consulting firm.

Dawn graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Spanish.  She holds master’s degrees from The Ohio State University in Education and Political Science and a doctorate in Quantitative Research, Evaluation, and Measurement within the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State.  Dawn has two children.