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Our Team

MOST staff

Robert Boone

Executive Director

Robert Boone is the new Executive Director of the MOST Policy Initiative Organization. Robert has been a public servant for over 40 years. His background includes 5 years as the Assistant Director of Administration for the City of Fulton, Mo. Robert also served as the Legislative Coordinator for the Missouri Public Service Commission. Robert’s background includes a working knowledge of topical state and federal public utility regulatory issues, specifically those that involve legislative matters. Robert exercises excellent judgment in handling legislative activities. This crucial ability has been allowed to develop during his years of service in state government.

Prior to working for the Public Service Commission, Robert served as the Director of Policy for Missouri State Treasurer Nancy Farmer. Robert previously worked for Legislative Research as a Research Analyst and got his original start in state government as a Supervising Revenue Agent for the Department of Revenue.
Robert is a member of the Advisory Board for the Harry S. Truman School of Public Policy at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Robert is a 1978 graduate of Hannibal High School. Robert received an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Drury University in 1982 and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1997. Robert is the son of Kathleen Boone Kelley (from Hannibal). Robert is married to Monica Boone, has one daughter and two grandchildren.

Hallie Thompson

Managing Director

Hallie is the principal consultant at Radicle Consulting, LLC. Hallie has advocated tirelessly for students and scientists in Jefferson City and in Washington, D.C. She served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, working with Congress on issues like student debt, visas, and health insurance coverage, and training other students from across the country to advocate successfully for themselves. She was also the Early Career Representative to the American Society of Plant Biologists Science Policy Committee, and represented post-doctoral researchers and graduate students at meetings on Capitol Hill. She served as Research Network Coordinator for the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Plant, Algae, and Microbial Metabolomics Coordination Network and founded the Early Career Ambassadors Program for the International Society of Root Researchers. She is an alumna of the 21st Century Sue Shear Leadership Academy and the University of Missouri’s CAFNR Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders for Science (PTLS), and has worked in various capacities to mentor, connect, and aid skill-building in other young leaders.

most fellows

Sarah Anderson, PhD

Human Services & Public Safety Fellow

Cohort Year: 2022-23

Science Note topic areas: families, the criminal justice system, veterans, the disabled, firefighters, firearms

Sarah earned her B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Campbell University in 2017 and her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2022. Her dissertation researched the potential of dental pulp-derived stem cells, a source of adult stem cells, as a therapy for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Sarah spent her time in graduate school, when not in the lab, serving on the Graduate Student Association committee and volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters. This time taught her that she valued community, learning about science, and talking about science. Her passion for science communication led her to the MOST fellowship, and she is excited to work with legislators and scientists to bring the best information forward for the people of Missouri.

Rieka Yu, PhD

Health Fellow

Cohort Year: 2023-24

Science Note topic areas: health insurance, healthcare, mental health, substance use

Rieka earned her B.A. in Biology from Boston University in 2018 and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) in 2021 and 2023. For her dissertation she researched how pollinators mediate changes in plant mating patterns when land-use change and habitat loss occur. During her time in graduate school Rieka dedicated time to the Biology Graduate Student Association, supporting the graduate student community by fundraising student research grants and holding training workshops. She also spent time working with elementary and high schools through the Jennings-UMSL Mentorship Program, sharing the world of science with students and providing advice for career pathways after high school. As a MOST fellow, Rieka is excited to foster her passion for science and community service, working with legislators to help all Missourians.

Madeleine Roberts, PhD

Social Determinants of Health Fellow

Cohort Year: 2023-24

Science Note topic areas: elections, energy, utilities, housing, environment

Madeleine earned her B.A. in Chemistry from Kalamazoo College in 2018 and her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry with a minor in Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2023. Her graduate coursework in science communication and engagement with Wisconsin state and local policymaking led her to join MOST Policy Initiative. Madeleine looks forward to working with Missouri legislators, scientists, and citizens to ​bring the best science to the state. In her free time, Madeleine enjoys crocheting, reading, and volunteering with Girl Scouts, allowing her to engage with the next generation of civically minded young people.

Isabel Warner, PhD

Education and Workforce Fellow
(573) 340-6663

Cohort Year: 2023-24

Science Note topic areas: education funding, curriculum, school policies, higher education, teacher pay and retention, career readiness, economic development, taxes

Isabel earned her B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from UC Davis in 2015. She then worked as a virologist at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory (CAHFS) performing disease surveillance and outbreak response for livestock and poultry animals in the state of California. She chose to pursue her PhD in Microbiology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where she used genomics to understand the fundamentals of bacterial survival in an effort to identify targets for the development of new antibiotics. During graduate school, Isabel became involved with the National Science Policy Network (NSPN) where she was a Science Diplomacy Fellow and the Chair of Grants and Finance, and currently serves as the National Chair-Elect. Isabel thinks science is for everyone, and her experiences working through disease outbreaks and in science diplomacy cemented her belief in the importance of science communication and scientific expertise in policymaking. As a MOST fellow, she is keen to support the legislature and broader community to help create a bright future for Missouri and its people.

MOST Alumni

Jenny Bratburd, PhD

PhD | Transportation, Public Safety, and Energy Policy Fellow

Brittany Whitley, PhD

Former Executive Director

Jill Barnas, PhD

Human Services, Corrections, and Public Safety Policy Fellow

Josh Mueller, PhD

Deputy Director

Zachary Miller, PhD

Program Coordinator

Elena Bickell, PhD

Agriculture, Conservation, Natural Resources, and Economic Development Policy Fellow

Rachel K. Owen, PhD

Board Treasurer

Hannah Elder, MS

Data Management & Policy Fellow

Ngozi Ndekwu, MBBS

LSEN Coordinator

Dan English, MS

Local Science Engagement Network Coordinator

Tomotaroh Granzier-Nakajima, PhD

Energy and Environment Policy Fellow

Alan Moss, PhD

Education & Workforce Development Policy Fellow

Ramon Martinez III, PhD

Health & Mental Health Policy Fellow
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