Internet Safety

Our Leadership

Women Against Abuse's leaders carry extensive experience in their fields of expertise and contribute to the growth and sustainability of the agency.


Meet our Leadership Team

Jeannine L. Lisitski, Executive Director & President

Jeannine L. Lisitski has been the Executive Director and President of Women Against Abuse, Inc. since 2009. Women Against Abuse is the leading domestic violence advocate and service provider in Philadelphia and the largest in Pennsylvania. Women Against Abuse has a two-pronged mission of providing life-saving services to people experiencing domestic violence while leading the struggle to end domestic violence.

Ms. Lisitski has worked for more than 24 years in the nonprofit sector, focusing on issues of poverty, violence, behavioral health and homelessness. Ms. Lisitski has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and is a Ph.D Candidate (ABD), in Social Work and Social Research. In addition, Ms. Lisitski has a certificate in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School as well as one in Non-Profit Executive Leadership from Bryn Mawr College, where she co-facilitated their Non-Profit Executive Leadership Institute for two years. 

Prior to Women Against Abuse, Ms. Lisitski worked as the Vice President of Operations for Project H.O.M.E., where she was responsible for an annual operating budget of $11 million and oversaw the agency’s multiple supportive housing and homeless service programs, including 418 supportive housing units as well as the human resources function. Currently, Ms. Lisitski supervises all executive level staff at Women Against Abuse, as well as the prevention, policy and legal center directors, and provides leadership and strategic direction for agency functions and initiatives. 

Under Ms. Lisitski’s leadership, the agency has grown exponentially, doubling its emergency safe haven facilities, expanding its transitional housing capacity by 25%, creating 60 opportunities for permanent affordable housing with supports, quadrupling the number of clients receiving attorney representation, and reaching thousands of high-risk victims that were previously unaware of available supports and resources.  In addition, Ms. Lisitski led the creation of a citywide initiative to coordinate the community response to domestic violence. This effort, Shared Safety: Philadelphia’s Response to Relational Violence, involves all health and human service agencies in the city and involves the collaboration of more than 60 individuals and groups.

In 2017, Ms. Lisitski was awarded the Social Innovations Journals’ Human Rights Innovator Award for pioneering Shared Safety. In 2015, Ms. Lisitski was recognized as one of the finalists in SmartCEO Magazine’s Circle of Excellence in the Non Profit Category. In 2013, Women Against Abuse was the recipient of the H. Craig Lewis Good Governance Award by The Philadelphia Foundation. In 2011, Ms. Lisitski was awarded the 2011 Brava! Women Business Achievement Award in recognition of her leadership skills.  

Contact Jeannine at 215-386-1280 ext. 6104


Michelle Byrne, Vice President of Human Resources

Michelle Byrne brings more than 22 years of Human Resources (HR) experience, with 12 years in non-profit Human Services/Homeless Services Agencies and 10 years in the for-profit sector. She leads Women Against Abuse’s HR recruitment and retention efforts, and manages the agency’s safety and risk management programs.

Contact Michelle at 215-386-1280 ext. 6118.


Nicole Drake, Vice President of Program Operations

Nicole Drake has over 20 years of experience working with homeless families in Philadelphia and has her Masters in Psychology. Throughout her professional career, she has been responsible for the development and implementation of programming for children, youth and families that address social and developmental needs related to homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence and poverty issues. Ms. Drake oversees the social service department, education department, facilities management and behavioral health department at Women Against Abuse.

Contact Nicole at 215-386-1280 ext. 6123.


Katie Young-Wildes, Vice President of Advancement

Katie Young-Wildes leads Women Against Abuse’s fundraising efforts, building a diverse portfolio of funding streams to sustain the organization’s programs. She is also responsible for Women Against Abuse’s communications and marketing strategy, and manages the organization’s media relations. Ms. Young-Wildes possesses expertise in donor cultivation, grants management, communications, special event planning, advocacy and strategic planning. She has a passion for engaging stakeholders in the organization’s mission through compelling storytelling. Ms. Young-Wildes holds a Master’s of Science degree in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University.

Contact Katie at 215-386-1280 ext. 6116.


Molly Callahan, Esq., Legal Center Director

Jeanne-Marie Hagan, Program Compliance Director

Lori Hendrickson, Clinical Director

Sarah Janicki, Director of Client Services

Christine Nieves, Director of Fund Development

Elise Scioscia, Director of Policy and Prevention

Phil Weis, Director of Facilities


Meet our Board of Directors

Amy Pocino Kelly, Esq., Chair

Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP

Leslie Miller Greenspan, Esq., Vice Chair
Attorney, Tucker Law Group, LLC

Margaret A. Flynn, CFA, Treasurer

Plan Investment Account Executive, American Water

Erin McKenna, Secretary
Freelance Graphic Designer

Katherine A.B. Coonradt, RA, LEED, AP

Architect, Amtrak

Gloria Gay
Health Educator and Adjunct Professor

Amy Hirsch, Esq.

Managing Attorney, Community Legal Services

Yvette Kamimura-Jones, M.S.

Behavioral  Health Specialist, Consumer Satisfaction Team, Inc.

Amy L. Kurland

Inspector General, City of Philadelphia

Robert Lichtenstein, Esq.
Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP

Mark Lipowicz, Esq.
Partner, Duane Morris, LLP

Stacy Sullivan Livingston
Crime Prevention Officer, University of Pennsylvania Police Department

Julie Mostov, Ph.D.
Dean of Liberal Studies, New York University

Patrick Mundy
Corproate Controller, USA Technologies

Renee Norris-Jones, M.S., Ph.D. candidate
Accounting & Operations Director, The Law Offices of Debra D. Rainey

Ana E. Núñez, MD
Professor of Medicine, Drexel University

Judith Porter, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Bryn Mawr College

Michelle Ray
Interim Title IX Coordinator, Swarthmore College

Sally Rosenthol
Nursing & Health Administration

Yvette Rouse
Director of Forensic Clinical Services, Public Health Management Corporation

David Rusenko
Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Drexel University

Stefanie Fleischer Seldin, Esq.
Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia

Sandy Sheller
Art and Family Therapist / President, Sheller Family Foundation

Lauren Swartz

Senior Director of International Business Development, City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce

Myra Woll, M.S.
Public Health Administration


Women Against Abuse Legal Center Board of Directors

Mark Lipowicz, Esq., President
Partner, DuaneMorris, LLP

Amy Hirsch, Secretary
Managing Attorney, Community Legal Services

Stefanie Fleischer Seldin, Treasurer
Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia

Amy L. Kurland
Inspector General, City of Philadelphia

Leslie Miller Greenspan, Esq.
Attorney, Tucker Law Group, LLC

Last updated: September 2015

Lucia’s Story

Lucia’s Story

Lucia* came to the WAA emergency shelter pregnant and with five children.

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Amy’s Story

Amy’s Story

“This is not OK; this is not who I will be; I will love my children; violence will not be allowed in my home.”

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Catherine’s Story

Catherine’s Story

When I first met my abuser, I was just 14 years old and he was 20. I thought I was in love, so I ignored the disapproval of my mom and sister.

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Sheila’s Story

Sheila’s Story

Sheila arrived at the Women Against Abuse Emergency Shelter after waking up in a hospital emergency room.

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Verizon’s Story

Verizon’s Story

A valued corporate partner, Verizon has been committed to empowering survivors of domestic violence in Philadelphia through HopeLine by Verizon.

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Dick MacKay’s Story

Dick MacKay’s Story

Dick MacKay knows the real reason for the holiday season—to bring hope to families in need.

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William’s Story

William’s Story

William Spratley flicks through the text messages on his phone until he finds the one he’s been looking for. It’s from his 27-year old daughter, Ameya, and it’s the last words he will ever exchange with her.

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Alyssa’s Story

Alyssa’s Story

Alyssa* had been living with her parents and was restricted to a wheelchair due to under-developed limbs.

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Overbrook Presbyterian’s Story

Overbrook Presbyterian’s Story

The Women’s Dining Circle of Overbrook Presbyterian Church knows how to make fundraising down right fun. In January, the Dining Circle hosted a dinner that raised over $1,200 for Women Against Abuse.

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Mike’s Story

Mike's Story

Mike, a former police detective with the Philadelphia Police Department, has been working as the police liaison for Women Against Abuse, so that he can help survivors in ways he couldn’t as a detective.

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If you or someone you know needs help, call our toll-free 24-hour Hotline:


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