Our Staff

CAE is currently hiring!
Click here to learn more about the search for a Development Manager.


Tracy Hobson, Executive Director

Tracy joined CAE in September 2005, bringing both corporate and nonprofit experience to this role. Before joining CAE as Executive Director, Tracy spent seven years at Credit Suisse, a global financial firm based in New York City. As Assistant Vice President within Diversity & Inclusion, she created Credit’s Suisse’s Employee Networks for women, people of color, working parents, and LGBTQ individuals. A graduate of Smith College, Tracy also completed the Middle Management Program at Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-For-Profit Management.

Jenny DeBower, Program Director

Jenny joined CAE in 2012. She has extensive experience developing and implementing programming for LGBTQ youth, having served as the Director of After-School Programs at the Hetrick-Martin Institute/ Harvey Milk High School for four years, and the Director of Youth and Family Services at the LGBT Community Center for three years. She brings a wealth of program experience to CAE. Jenny earned her MSW in Social Work from Columbia University.

Jewel Cadet, Program Manager, Youth & Community Empowerment

Jewel joined CAE in 2015. Jewel has her B.A from Bay Path University in Massachusetts where she was the President and Founder of The Black Student Association. She brings experience in engaging  intersectional curriculum development and innovative youth group facilitation (she was the Step Team Captain, Cheerleader Captain, an R.A., Student Government member, and Double Dutch Team Performer at her college). Jewel’s work experience has been with youth of all ages working as a Preschool Teacher at Traditional Educational Center and as a Youth Facilitator for  Hip Hop for Life, and the Children’s Aid Society. Jewel is a passionate social justice organizer for the rights of Women, Girls, Femmes and for the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community.

Annie Ellman, Co-Founder & Educational Advisor

Annie is a nationally recognized authority in the field of violence prevention. As CAE’s founder and former Executive Director for 30 years, Annie designed the organization’s curricula, trained over 200 violence prevention and self-defense instructors, guided CAE through 30 years of growth, and consulted with many organizations initiating anti-violence programming. Her vision, skill, and commitment have helped CAE have a positive and life-changing impact on thousands of children, teens, adults, and survivors. Annie received a Gloria Steinem Award from the Ms. Foundation and has been honored by the Stonewall Community Foundation.

Kyli Kleven, Interim Development Coordinator

Kyli joined the CAE community as a Tai Chi student, then as a data entry clerk in October 2013, and now does a range of administrative and event support, photography, filming and video editing. She holds a BFA in Dance with a minor in Gender Studies from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to her work at CAE, she dances, choreographs, and films internationally in the realms of experimental dance and knitwear design.

Rej Joo, Upstander Project Coordinator

With a degree in psychology and a M.P.H. from Columbia Mailman School, Rej has over 14 years of experience working with marginalized communities (LGBTQ homeless youth, HIV/AIDS-affected, TPOC, and those affected by mental illness) in the capacity of community organizing & education, case management, research, social service, and training curriculum development. He is passionate about creating and providing culturally affirming trainings, grounded in cultural humility framework. He loves martial arts and has experience in Tae Kwon Do and Brazialian Jujitsu, but his primary discipline is in Hapkido, where he holds a black belt. He has two Redfoot tortoises and one day wishes to have a miniature pig or a rabbit.

BJ Watkins, Administrator

BJ Watkins joined CAE in July 10, 2013 BJ has 6 years of office management experience both in Brooklyn and Arizona.

Teaching Staff
Coming soon!