Who We Are

Invest in Louisiana, formerly Louisiana Budget Project, is a nonpartisan think tank that drives policy change to advance economic prosperity for all Louisianans through sound analysis, independent research and community engagement.

Invest in Louisiana began in 2006 as an initiative of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations with a vision for a fairer, more inclusive Louisiana economy and became the stand-alone organization Louisiana Budget Project in 2013. In 2024, it transformed into Invest in Louisiana, a name that reflects its deep commitment to creating a state economy that puts the needs of Louisianans first and ensures that all Louisiana communities, families and workers have equal access to economic prosperity.

Meet Our Team

Invest in Louisiana’s team of policy experts offers deep expertise and knowledge of Louisiana’s public policy and advocacy landscape. If you have a question for our experts or are interested in having one speak at your next event, please reach out.

  • Jan Moller
    Executive Director

    Jan Moller has spent more than two decades analyzing, reporting and writing about public policy in Louisiana. Since 2011 he has served Invest in Louisiana as its executive director, where he leads an exceptional team of research, advocacy, outreach and communication professionals devoted to eliminating racial barriers and promoting public policies that give all Louisianans the chance to reach their highest potential. He has an in-depth knowledge of the state’s budget and tax structure, health care policy and the public safety net.

    Before joining LBP, Moller was an award-winning journalist in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Louisiana, where he covered state government for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Born in Sweden, Moller grew up in Pittsburgh and remains a devoted fan of the city’s professional sports teams. A graduate of The American University, Jan lives with his wife and two children in Baton Rouge, where he enjoys coaching soccer and playing the occasional round of golf.

    225.614.9126 ext. 1
    jan@investlouisiana.org

  • Stacey Roussel
    Deputy Director

    Stacey Roussel serves as deputy director at Invest in Louisiana. She brings nearly twenty years of experience in the public, academic and nonprofit sectors working on issues related to economic and community development with experience in fundraising, strategic planning, program evaluation and policy analysis.

    A native of New Orleans, Stacey began her development career in Baton Rouge supporting community engagement in K-12 public schools and went on to serve on an award-winning major gifts team at PBS affiliate, WEDU-TV, in Tampa, Florida. She began working with small businesses as a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional at UNF SBDC, where she provided export assistance to U.S.-based small manufacturers.

    Upon returning to Louisiana, Stacey continued her commitment to community and economic development by supporting entrepreneurship among minority communities in Southeast Louisiana. While working domestically, Stacey maintains a global perspective and has presented papers at the United Nations conference, Our Common Humanity in the Information Age, and at the Roundtable for Entrepreneurship Education (REE Asia) in Hong Kong. She is a graduate of LSU and the University of Maryland, College Park.

    225.614.9126 ext. 2
    stacey@investlouisiana.org

  • Alison Ocmand
    Research Director

    Alison Ocmand serves as Research Director, responsible for managing Invest in Louisiana’s research and publications.

    Alison is a Louisiana native with over 25 years of experience in public policy.  She has led the Governmental Relations programs for both the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers-Pennsylvania.  She also served in various roles within the Louisiana Workforce Commission, including Assistant Secretary of the Office of Occupational Information Services.

    Alison’s professional career began as a civics teacher at Baton Rouge Magnet High School.  An LSU graduate, she earned both Bachelors of Arts (History) and Masters of Education (Curriculum and Instruction) degrees.  Alison has been an active member of AFT Locals 1560 and 8036, and AFSCME Local 421, and has also served on the executive boards of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and the Keystone Research Center.

    An organizer at heart, Alison enjoys cooking, traveling and researching her family’s deep history in Louisiana, America and beyond.

    225.614.9126
    alison@investlouisiana.org

  • Paul Braun
    State Budget & Tax Policy Analyst

    Paul Braun is a tax policy analyst for Invest in Louisiana, studying how the state’s tax structure and spending affect low- and middle-income Louisianans and the services they rely on.

    Paul is a native of Denham Springs, LA, and a lifelong Louisianan. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication, earning a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Print Journalism.

    Prior to joining LBP, Paul worked as a journalist for WRKF and WWNO, Louisiana’s largest National Public Radio member station, where he covered the state’s budget, education system, reproductive rights, and its response to public health crises and natural disasters for local and national audiences.

    225.614.9126 ext. 703
    paul@investlouisiana.org

  • Courtney Foster
    Senior Policy Advisor

    Courtney Foster is a senior policy advisor at Invest in Louisiana specializing in Medicaid eligibility policy. Through advocacy and research, she aims to simplify eligibility and enrollment processes for Louisianans in Medicaid by reducing administrative barriers to coverage.

    Courtney convenes stakeholder groups, provides education and policy analysis, and connects people to resources. Prior to working at Invest, Courtney served as the health policy coordinator at Well-Ahead, Louisiana focusing on tobacco control policies at the state level with an emphasis on reducing disparities.

    Originally from Southern California, Courtney moved to New Orleans for college and hasn’t left since. She graduated from Tulane University with a B.S. in Public Health and then earned a Master's of Public Health in Health Policy.

    225.614.9126 ext. 702
    courtney@investlouisiana.org

  • Danielle Barringer-Payton
    Opportunity Youth Coalition Director

    Danielle Barringer-Payton serves as the director of the Opportunity Youth Coalition for Invest in Louisiana. She is a licensed Louisiana attorney and brings plenty of direct legislative experience to her work.

    Danielle was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. She attended the University of North Florida where she earned multiple degrees, including a B.A. in Political Science, a B.A. in Criminal Justice, and an M.S. in Criminal Justice with a track in Criminology.

    She relocated to Baton Rouge in the fall of 2011 to begin her legal journey at Southern University Law Center. Instead of returning to Florida after graduation, she stayed in Louisiana, passed the bar exam and began her legal career. Her past work experience includes positions as the attorney for the Judiciary Committee with the Louisiana House of Representatives and the legislative liaison for the Louisiana Dept. of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) and Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC). Danielle lives in Denham Springs with her husband.

    225.614.9126 ext. 6
    danielle@investlouisiana.org

  • Christina LeBlanc
    Economic Opportunity Policy Analyst

    Christina LeBlanc is the economic opportunity policy analyst at Invest in Louisiana. Her work focuses on improving the lives of low- and middle-income Louisiana families through economic policy.

    Christina was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia but has called New Orleans home since 2010. She graduated from Tulane with a Ph.D. in History in 2022 and holds a B.A. in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College and an M.A. in Latin American Studies and History from Tulane University.

    Prior to working at Invest, Christina worked in environmental organizations in Louisiana and as a writer and editor while completing her dissertation on the intersections of disaster, debt, and the growth of the U.S. federal state in the mid-twentieth century. She has also worked as a Women’s Congressional Policy Institute Legislative Fellow in the office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Global Green.

    225.614.9126 ext. 704
    christina@investlouisiana.org

  • Kelsey Jenkins
    Criminal Justice Policy Analyst

    Kelsey Jenkins serves as a criminal justice policy analyst for Invest in Louisiana. Born and raised in rural Louisiana, Kelsey has been interested in Louisiana’s criminal legal system since high school. A first-generation college student, Kelsey attended LSU for both undergrad and law school, earning a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology, a Juris Doctor, and a graduate diploma in Comparative Law.

    After graduation, Kelsey completed a one-year judicial clerkship with the Honorable Valerie Gotch Garrett of the 15th JDC, where she became familiar with the inner workings of the court system. She then worked as a JLWOP Staff Attorney at the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights before joining Invest as a Criminal Justice Policy Analyst.

    Her past experiences have allowed her to develop an intimate understanding of corrections in Louisiana and the need for drastic changes in criminal law and policy in order to improve the lives of Louisiana residents. Kelsey lives in Baton Rouge with her husband, her dog Ruth Bader Ginsbark, and her five cats.

    225.614.9126 ext. 705
    kelsey@investlouisiana.org

  • Ada “Sissy” Phleger
    Safety Net Policy Advocate

    Sissy Phleger moved to Louisiana in 2009 to work as a public defender. She worked as a capital defender with the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, and a trial and appellate lawyer with the Federal Defender before turning to policy work. Sissy is passionate about using the law and story-telling to promote social justice. Sissy is a graduate of the University of California at Davis, and New York University School of Law. In her free time, Sissy enjoys working on her house and following the United States Women’s Soccer Team.

    225.614.9126
    sissy@investlouisiana.org

     
  • Davante Lewis
    Chief Strategy Officer

    Davante Lewis serves as the chief strategy officer for Invest in Louisiana working to develop and implement its strategic vision and goals of policy advocacy, coalition building, and outreach. In this role, he also drives Invest's campaign strategies for policy wins and expanding engagement work to center people in the policymaking process.

    He previously served as the organization’s director of public affairs and outreach where he led the organization's legislative advocacy and community outreach activities from 2018 to 2022. Davante was elected in 2022 to serve as Public Service Commissioner for Louisiana’s Third District, representing constituents from 10 Louisiana parishes, including the Baton Rouge and New Orleans greater metropolitan areas.

    Prior to joining LBP, Davante was an elementary school teacher in the Coweta County School System in suburban Atlanta and was deeply involved in politics. Davante is a graduate of McNeese State University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Communications. He resides in Baton Rouge with his beloved dog Sera Harper.

    225.614.9126 ext. 4
    davante@investlouisiana.org

  • Kayla Mims
    Operations & Development Director

    Kayla Mims has served as Invest in Louisiana's director of operations and development since 2019. She oversees the organization’s day-to-day operations, financial responsibilities, and human resources, as well as any event planning needs.

    Prior to joining Invest, Kayla worked as a news producer for WVLA and WAFB, where she provided coverage for their morning segments.

    Kayla hails from the small town of Fordoche, LA. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where she received her B.A. in Communication Studies and will receive her Masters of Public Administration from Southern University in 2024. When she is not juggling the many hats she wears at LBP, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Hillary.

    225.614.9126 ext. 3
    kayla@investlouisiana.org

  • Jamie Carson
    Communications Director

    Jamie Carson is the director of communications for Invest in Louisiana, overseeing the organization’s day-to-day and strategic communications. He also writes the organization's Daily Dime newsletter. Prior to joining Invest, Jamie served as the deputy finance director for Caroline Fayard’s campaign for the United States Senate. Previously, he served as a legislative campaign manager for the Louisiana House Democratic Caucus.

    Jamie is a native of Baton Rouge, LA and a graduate of Louisiana State University, where he received his B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Political Communication. He also holds an MBA from Louisiana State University Shreveport.

    225.614.9126 ext. 5
    jamie@investlouisiana.org

  • TC Nash
    Digital Communications Manager

    Tamiera "T.C." Nash serves as the digital communications manager at Invest in Louisiana. Their work is to develop and implement a digital strategy for the Louisiana Opportunity Youth Alliance (LOYAL). Prior to coming to Invest, she was the communications catalyst at MetroMorphosis, a social enterprise whose mission is to transform urban communities from within.

    Nash is also the founder and lead consultant of an emerging communications consulting firm, Twenty-Four Nineteen, LLC. They hold a Master's of Public Administration from THE Southern University A&M College and a Bachelor’s of Arts from Spring Hill College.

Want to Work With Us?

Check out our open position(s) to join our team.

Board of Directors

  • David W. Robinson-Morris, Ph.D., Secretary
    Owner & Chief Reimaginelutionary, The REImaginelution, LLC
  • Katie Baudouin, Treasurer
    Member, Orleans Parish School Board, District 5
  • Ali Bustamante, Ph.D, Member
    Deputy Director, Roosevelt Institute Worker Power & Economic Security Program
  • Susan East Nelson, Member
    Executive Director, Louisiana Partnership for Children & Families
  • Madison Poche, Member
    Executive Director, The Highland Center
  • Frankie Robertson, Member
    President, The Amandla Group, LLC
They include details about safety-net programs like Medicaid, tax credits for low-income workers and educational scholarships and help promote a better understanding of how safety-net programs affect different communities across our state.
Our new District and Parish Fact Sheets are out!