McSilver Names AI, Health Equity and Justice Policy Experts As Fellows-in-Residence

Portraits of the three newly announced Fellows-in-Residence: Chris Hemphill, Ifeoma Ike, and Cathy Nonas

Chris Hemphill, Ifeoma Ike, and Cathy Nonas have been appointed for the 2022-2023 term at the poverty institute

Contact: Sheryl Huggins Salomon,

NEW YORK (September 12, 2022) — The NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research has announced an important step in its continuing evolution as a center for scholarship, thought leadership and policy advocacy with impact, involving nationally-recognized experts. The 2022-2023 McSilver Fellows-in-Residence are data scientist and ethical AI advocate Chris Hemphill; social justice policy advisor and attorney Ifeoma Ike, Esq.; and public health researcher and nutrition policy expert Cathy Nonas. All three fellows-in-residence have been highly influential in policy-making realms within their respective fields, at the local and federal levels.

“Chris Hemphill, Ifeoma Ike and Cathy Nonas have been transformational leaders within their respective spaces of social justice, public health and artificial intelligence. As such, they will make invaluable contributions as the NYU McSilver Institute extends the scope of our research and policy advocacy relating to poverty and inequity into emerging areas,” said Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Executive Director of the NYU McSilver Institute. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have them as fellows-in-residence.”

The McSilver Institute Fellowship-in-Residence engages nationally-recognized social justice scholars and thought leaders across disciplines to conduct research projects, publish books and papers, conduct courses, and participate in seminars, conferences, and workshops.

Portrait of HemphillChris Hemphill focuses on how data science can help us understand and improve the human condition. Hemphill is Director of Commercial Intelligence at Woebot Health, a role that combines data science with AI strategy for health systems and insurers. This work at the intersection of tech and strategy has a broader theme: working with healthcare leaders to drive ethical and effective decisions with AI and algorithms. Hemphill started the “Hello Healthcare” podcast, featuring strategy and technology discussions with healthcare leaders and policy makers. It is in the top 25% most downloaded podcasts. Hemphill started and led data ethics initiatives at Actium Health, which led to collaborations between Chicago Booth’s Center for Applied AI and reduced racial and gender bias in algorithms. Hemphill’s current focus is on engagement arcs and uncovering unseen population health needs in the digital mental health sector. They graduated from the University of South Alabama and have helped teach data science at General Assembly.

Hemphill said they are excited about the opportunity to amplify this mission with the NYU McSilver institute. “Smarter data use in healthcare and policy helps us uncover community health needs that were previously unseen. My mission with the McSilver Institute is to help identify opportunities for underserved populations, and to encourage ethical and effective data strategies among the people who can drive change.”

Portrait of IkeIfeoma Ike, Esq. is an award-winning advocate, writer and policy advisor focused on designing solutions to address disparities. She has been involved in the formation of three congressional caucuses: on Black Men & Boys, on Black Women & Girls and on Black Innovation. Ike has co-drafted several pieces of legislation, including the federal End Racial Profiling Act and Reparations Bill (HR 40). During the onset of the pandemic, her social impact firm, Pink Cornrows launched COVID While Black, a research and culture project centering the lived experiences of Black lives, the continued failures of our healthcare system and honoring those who have transitioned. She is also the visionary behind the annual Black Policy Lab, a project birthed in response to racial uprisings, centering visioning, joy and collaborative policy creation. Ike’s prior experience includes serving as New York City’s Executive Deputy Director of the Young Men’s Initiative, being a Senior Policy Advocate with the Innocence Project, providing counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and being a researcher with the American Bar Association. She is a member of New York City’s Conflict of Interest Board. She holds a LL.M. degree with highest honors from The George Washington University School of Law and J.D. from CUNY School of Law.

“In the spirit of Audre Lorde, we know there’s no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we don’t live single-issue lives,” said Ike. “I’m humbled  to be selected for this fellowship and look forward to what our collective imagination yields this academic year.”

Portrait of NonasCathy Nonas, MS, CDN is an advocate for policies and practices that address health equity and nutrition. Since 2018, Nonas has been the CEO of Meals For Good Inc, a New York-based 501c3 public charity that operates with a dual mission: to support underfunded food pantries with grants for fresh produce, most of which is grown locally, and to supply the missing groceries that families facing food insecurity want and need. Prior to that, she was Senior Advisor at the Center for Health Equity at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Her work in public policy has involved changing New York City’s Health Code to improve nutrition in early childcare centers, regulating restaurant chain calorie-posting, creating the NYC Green Cart initiative and growing the Health Bucks municipal farmers market incentive. A clinical dietitian who spent her early years at the federally-funded New York City Obesity Research Center, Nonas has also been an assistant clinical professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and a member of the National Institutes of Health committees to update obesity and lifestyle guidelines. She is a member of New York City’s Food Service Establishment Advisory Board. She is also an alumna of New York University, where she received her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition.

“Food insecurity does not occur in a vacuum,” said Nonas. “I look forward to working with the researchers and scholars at McSilver to link issues of mental health, housing, and health, with the issues that arise from the lack of food choice.”

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About the McSilver Institute

The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University is committed to creating new knowledge about the root causes of poverty, developing evidence-based interventions to address its consequences, and rapidly translating research findings into action through policy and best practices. It is the home of the AI Hub at McSilver, which investigates how artificial intelligence-driven (AI) systems can be used to equitably address poverty and challenges relating to race and public health. Learn more at and sign up for updates.

Ifeoma Ike, Esq.
McSilver Fellow-in-Residence (2022-2023)
Photo of Hemphill
Chris Hemphill
McSilver Fellow-in-Residence (2022-2023)
Photo of Cathy Nonas
Cathy Nonas, MS, CDN
McSilver Fellow-in-Residence (2022-2023)