Meet the team of people behind Housing Navigator:
Jennifer Gilbert, HNMI Founder and Executive Director, (she/her) launched Housing Navigator Massachusetts in 2019 driven by a passion to reduce the divides in housing access and equity. Creating housing opportunities is the connecting thread in Jennifer’s career, from her first job at a Philadelphia homeless shelter to her 20 years in developing housing and community spaces.
Most recently, she led the Kuehn Charitable Foundation, overseeing its strategic investments in housing production and the Kuehn Fellowship, which launched the careers of 24 future leaders in community development.
As an active advocate for more housing and simplifying complex systems, she is an educator on real estate development and financing. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in City Planning from MIT, a J.D. from Northeastern University, and an undergrad degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Director of Product and Operations Marlee Chong (she/her) played the leading role in implementing the initial vision for the Housing Navigator. She’s now working on infusing even more value with richer housing data and an intuitive user experience. She brings her agile-focused approach to the organization’s systems and processes with a focus on efficiency and impact.
Outside of work, Marlee is an advocate for amplifying underrepresented groups in Boston’s innovation economy, mentoring rising tech leaders with Hack.Diversity and the First Generation Harvard Alumni group. She holds two degrees from Harvard University, a Master of Education in Technology, Innovation and Education, and a bachelor’s degree in Physics. In 2022, she completed a Certificate in Social Impact Management and Leadership from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice and Tufts.
Bobby Wang (he/his) brings his experience as a research engineer and product designer to the Housing Navigator team. With a sharp focus on UX, he is constantly working with users to understand their lived experiences and how they engage with the tool as he envisions and designs new product features.
Bobby combines his love of design, civic tech, and urbanism with a focus on social equity. He holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University and also studied Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. An active/avid runner, he completed his fourth marathon in fall, 2022.
Navigator Project Assistant Emma Rial (she/her) values the community of her own extended family in Rhode Island and hopes her career will provide opportunities to emulate and build that kind of network in community support systems. Drawn to making a local impact, she was a caseworker at Amherst Community Connections working with families searching for affordable homes. Emma holds a BA in Sociology from Amherst College and traces part of her interest in housing to courses in American housing policy and social movements.
April Ognibene (she/her) leads HNMI’s back office systems and special projects as COO, bolstering HNMI’s institutional capacity and external support. Energized by HNMI’s unique place in the state’s affordable housing ecosystem and the opportunities to expand housing access through technology, April brings a ground-level + big-picture understanding of affordable housing. Her prior positions include Director of Finance and Policy at Beacon Communities and early career roles in operations and capacity-building at behavioral health and education nonprofits in Philadelphia. She holds a master’s degree in City Planning from MIT and an undergrad degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Victoria “Tori” Decker (she/her) is HNMI’s first Community Manager leading engagement across our many user groups and stakeholders. Grounded in her long-time passion for advocacy around improving social determinants of health,Tori draws on both her time as a Senior Customer Support Specialist at HubSpot and a community organizer for the Pennsylvania Health Access Network in rural, underserved counties. Her undergrad work in biochemistry and anthropology at Lafayette College root her mindset in analysis and considering multiple perspectives. She keeps her creativity flowing through dance and as a multi-instrumental music-maker (piano, clarinet, saxophone, and occasionally oboe).
Our Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors draws leadership from the real estate, housing advocacy, and tech sectors.
Laureen Borgatti, COO, Wayfinders
Karin Brandt, CEO & Founder, coUrbanize
Joe Flatley, CEO, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation
Rachel Heller, Executive Director, CHAPA
Elisabeth Ortiz Jackson, CEO, Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Marty Jones, Principal, MLJ Insights
Dara Kovel, CEO, Beacon Communities
Shaw Lupton, Expert Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company
Rachel Madden, CFO, MassHousing
Brian Perry, Principal, Indigo Partners
Angelina Ramirez, Executive Director, Stavros
Taisha Sturdivant, Associate, Nolan Sheehan Patten
Clark Ziegler, Executive Director, MHP