Colleen Chapman has close to 15 years of public policy and advocacy experience, beginning with grassroots environmental and public health efforts in New York state during the Cuomo administration. Her background includes extensive work in federal, state and grassroots policy and issue campaigns.
Prior to joining Spitfire Strategies, Colleen was senior associate for public policy for Burness Communications where she led multiple client portfolios with an emphasis on health, education, Medicaid, women and families, and the development of relationships between community non-profits and policymakers. In that role, she worked with multiple foundations to train community leaders in developing effective messages for the public, policymakers, and the media to advance their issues.
As national manager for public policy with the American Cancer Society (ACS), Colleen led the development of policy priorities for ACS chapters in all 50 states, grassroots initiatives, and partnerships related to health disparities and the medically underserved. While at ACS, Colleen led outreach and coalition development efforts with diverse advocacy groups including the NAACP, National Council of La Raza, Intercultural Cancer Council, and the National Indian Health Board, as well as joint work with the National Conference of Mayors, the National Governors Association and key leaders in Congress. She was a leading force behind the development and advancement of patient navigator legislation and defense of state and federal Medicaid budgets.
Starting her career in grassroots community-based advocacy, Colleen facilitated the replication of Planned Parenthood's Church Partnership Program in inner cities across the country. In this role, Colleen's work focused on developing unique alliances between faith leaders and family planning organizations to reduce teen pregnancies and the contraction and spread of HIV/AIDS in many of the nation's poorest communities.
She sits on the board of the Women's Information Network, based in Washington, D.C., and has served as a guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University and multiple conferences on policy, grassroots advocacy, health care reform and women's rights.
A former journalist, Colleen served as a beat reporter for a daily paper in New York and a columnist for Gannet newspapers.
Colleen grew up in the agricultural heart of rural upstate New York. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in religion from the University of Rochester and a master's in English from the University of Maryland.