Kate Brewster, executive director and co-founder of the Economic Progress Institute, is leaving the low-income advocacy and research group after 11 years to become executive director of the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, which provides food and clothing to needy local residents in South County while also engaging in policy initiatives and advocacy.
``It is with tremendous mixed emotions that I leave the institute, an organization that has had a lasting and profound impact on the ability of Rhode Islanders to make ends meet,’’ said Brewster in a statement.
Brewster took over the organization, formerly called the Poverty Institute, after the death of founder Nancy Gewirtz, a legendary Rhode Island College social work professor and relentless Statehouse lobbyist for those who faced economic challenges.
Rachel Flum, a lawyer and the institute’s long-time senior policy analyst, will become the new executive director. Flum has been with the institute for a decade and has also served as the project manager for the RI Health Coverage Project, a joint program of the EPI and Rhode Island Kids Count.
``We are pleased that such a strong leader, with a wealth of knowledge about the issues facing Rhode Islanders, was available on the EPI staff,’’ said Alan Flam, secretary of the EPI board and head of the search committee.