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Carrie Howell: Executive Director (

Carrie began her nonprofit career in her early 20s after completing her master’s degree in counseling.  While Carrie’s career goals started with a passion for behavioral health and adolescents, she fell in love with nonprofit work.  She has a passion for advocating for patients and families, a love for providing parents the resources they need to feel empowered, and a desire to meet people where they are in their journey.

The mission of Dup15q Alliance called Carrie back to an Executive Director position after a 3-year hiatus providing consulting for nonprofits in South Florida.  Carrie is skilled in fundraising, board development, strategic planning, and organizational management.  Her achievements have been recognized including being named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte, NC and she was recognized as a Brava Award Smart CEO.  When not working, Carrie loves spending time with her son, Finn in Charlotte, NC.

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Naka King: Administrative Director (

Naka King lives in rural Pennsylvania on a hobby farm with her husband Nick, daughter Rylan and son Bryer. With 20 years of experience in administrative management, she joined the Dup15q Alliance as an administrator in 2018. After 3 years of searching for medical answers related to their daughter’s symptoms, they were given a diagnosis of Dup15q Syndrome in March 2015. Naka believes in the importance of raising awareness that helps lead to faster diagnosis and more research into potential treatments. She looks forward to contributing to the Dup15q Alliance Mission as our community of families continues to grow.

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Julie Murphy: Business Manager (

Julie grew up in Tampa Bay (Go Lightning!) and now lives in Southern Indiana with her husband, Jim, three amazing teenagers, and pup, Mercy.  While Julie’s career began with finance for small for-profit businesses, using her bean-counting and spreadsheet superpowers for the greater good has become her passion.

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Ryan Rogers-Hammond: Director of Scientific and Clinical Initiatives (part-time)

Ryan completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science at The University of Connecticut Health Center in the Genetics and Developmental Biology department. From there, she was tenured faculty in the Sciences department at a technical college for engineers. In addition to research and teaching responsibilities, she developed and reviewed new degree programs, wrote grants and manuscripts, and dedicated a great deal of time to mentoring. After dedicating nearly seven years to training undergraduates, she took a break from Academia, but was quickly pulled back in as the Lead Scientific Writer and Project Manager for an aging lab at Harvard Medical School. Here, Ryan led the conceptual development and writing of many NIH and foundation grants, with a high rate of awarded funds. With writing as a lifelong passion, Ryan uses this skill as a tool to engage and educate others, but also to have fun through creative writing projects, which she is in the early stages of publishing. Aside from reading or writing, she loves to run. As a collegiate athlete, she ran the steeplechase and cross country, but bumped up to marathons after graduating. Now, with two small children, she still runs but has largely swapped races for adventures with her family of four.

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Ember Burke:  Connections and Outreach Coordinator (part-time)

Ember lives in Park Ridge, Illinois with her husband Mike, her daughters Mikaela and Alana, along with her sons Brendan and Tommy. Her son Brendan was diagnosed with Dup15q Syndrome in 2008. That year she attended her first Dup15q Alliance family conference in Indianapolis, IN, and was inspired to contribute to the cause. Ember has since been actively involved in the Alliance for 15 years by volunteering her time, raising awareness and fundraising to support the Dup15q Alliance Mission

Ember joins us with experience as a former Special Education Teacher for 7 years along with assisting her husband run their family-owned, plumbing company.  She is thrilled to continue her involvement within the Alliance as she utilizes her communication skills and experience to further the Dup15q Alliance reach in the Community and Rare Disease space. 

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Adrienne Paradis: Family Intake Manager (part-time)

Adrienne has volunteered with the Dup15q Alliance in various roles since her son was diagnosed with Dup15q syndrome in 2007. Combining her degree in Biology with experience in Practice Management, she is thrilled to be joining the team as the Intake Manager and looks forward to helping families as they navigate their journey.

Adrienne lives in Roxborough, CO with her husband Robert, and son Aidan. When not working, they enjoy hiking, biking and throwing rocks into any body of water with him.

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Libby Powers: Database and Fundraising Coordinator (part-time)

Libby grew up in North Carolina and graduated from East Carolina University. She has experience in various account management roles as well as executive assistant positions. After Maddi was diagnosed Libby left her corporate America job to focus on her family. She currently lives in Cary, NC with her husband, Will and children Shea, Maddi and Kennedy.

After joining the Dup15q Alliance and immersing herself into the community and volunteer work she found how passionate she is about the Alliance and their mission. Libby was hired officially in June 2023 as Development and Administrative Assistant. She is enjoying learning more about the Alliance everyday and how to create better tomorrows for all the loved ones that suffer from Dup15q. When not working Libby loves painting, traveling, playing basketball and baseball with her kids.


Dup15q Alliance internship opportunities are appropriate for students interested in health care, pediatrics, genetics, neuroscience, advocacy, social work, event planning, information technology.  Open to students who are not yet certain of their interests.   

Intern commitment: 4 hours per week (60 hours total for the semester)

Apply here: Internship Application


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Anna Gunelson: Intern

Anna is from Minnesota and recently graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. While she has always had a love for science, in college, she discovered her passion for genetics and biological research. She joined the Alliance to learn more about rare genetic disorders such as Dup15q syndrome and Angelman syndrome, the latter of which her cousin was diagnosed with in 2014.

She is currently living in the Virgin Islands as part of her gap year before applying to graduate school. She aspires to one day play a larger role in advancing treatment for children with rare genetic orders.