Ms. Denault brings almost ten years of experience to Spark in her role as policy and communications manager. Her focus is specifically on identifying and supporting actionable change through in-depth policy research, as well as bringing data and policy to life through stories and visual presentations (and helping others do the same). She has a passion for sharing knowledge, helping develop a series of actionable toolkits as a part of the the widely-used “Tools for Social Innovators” series. In addition, she has developed trainings for both in-house staff and external partners on a wide variety of topics. Ashley’s policy experience includes a broad range of systems and issues such as health reform, unemployment insurance, budgeting, economic development, the social safety net, and education.
Prior to joining Spark, Ashley was the Director of Research at a Rhode Island-based public policy organization where her work led to substantive legislative and policy changes in the state. She worked extensively in education and local government policy and, as a member of the Rhode Island Workforce Alliance, on workforce development issues. Ms. Denault has also variously worked as a copy and style editor, event planner, and daycare teacher.
Ashley has volunteered outside of Spark as a grant writer and fundraiser for nonprofit organizations. She enjoys cooking, entertaining, and spending time outdoors when not running after her twin girls. Ashley holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Economy and Psychology from Pitzer College, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Brown University.