The NCPG staff works to implement innovative strategies, provide valuable resources and make a meaningful impact to improve health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling.
Keith S. Whyte became the Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in October 1998. NCPG serves as the national advocate to mitigate gambling-related harm. NCPG was founded in 1972 and is the oldest and most objective organization on gambling issues.
Previously, Mr. Whyte served as Director of Research for the American Gaming Association where he was responsible for research and public policy issues, including problem gambling. His prior experience includes the American Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities where he dealt with policy issues relating to civil rights, human rights, healthcare, and immigration law. He began his career working on healthcare policy in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Keith graduated from Hampden-Sydney College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Certificate in International Relations. He also studied at Leiden University, the Netherlands.
Mr. Whyte has presented in 39 US states and Austria, Bahamas, Canada, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Macau, Malawi, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa and the United Kingdom. He has written numerous articles, studies and book chapters on gaming issues. In addition, Keith has testified four times before the United States Congress on gambling-related legislation. He regularly discusses gaming issues in national and international print, radio and broadcast media, including appearances on ABC News, ABC News Nightline, CBS News, CBS Today Show, Dateline NBC, NBC Nightly News, Fox News, ESPN, CNN, CNN International, Voice of America and the BBC. Keith is an Editorial Board member of Gaming Law Review and Analysis of Gambling Behavior. He is a member of the International Masters in Gaming Law Responsible Gaming Committee. Keith also serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Gambling Issues and the Alberta Gaming Research Institute, and sits on the Advisory Boards of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University and the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University. A longtime resident of Arlington, Virginia with his wife Stacey and son Ian, Keith is an appointed member of the Arlington Community Services Board, precinct captain for the Arlington County Democratic Committee, delegate to the Arlington Civic Federation and longtime volunteer for the Arlington Food Assistance Center. He is an avid cyclist who rides more than 3,000 miles per year and a passionate supporter of the D.C. United soccer team.
Barbara Rollins, MA, CFRE, Deputy Director, works with the Board, staff and stakeholders to expand the Membership program and to seek increased funding for NCPG from individuals, foundations, and corporations, including conference sponsorships and program funding. She was instrumental in creating the new Agility Grants program, which offers groundbreaking national grants to support problem gambling prevention programs in communities across the country. Barbara also oversees business operations and communications for the organization and is an integral part of managing governance implementation.
Barbara previously worked in arts management as the Managing Director at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV; as well as Imagination Stage and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, MD. Earlier in her career, she was a professional stage manager at regional theatres, including ten years with Arena Stage in Washington, DC and other theatres in Utah, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. She holds a MA in Arts Administration from Goucher College and a BA in Theatre from Dartmouth College as well as the Certified Fund Raising Executive professional credential. She joined NCPG in 2011.
Jaime Costello joined the National Council on Problem Gambling in April 2022 as the Director of Programs. In this position, she will oversee the planning, development and evaluation of NCPG programs, support strategic planning efforts through consistent monitoring, and serve as a spokesperson for national problem gambling efforts. Jaime is an experienced addiction and public health professional with nearly fifteen years of experience working in the problem gambling field. In her last position as Bureau Director of Prevention and Training at the New York Council on Problem Gambling, she played an integral role in the development and growth of the Problem Gambling Resource Centers ensuring that professionals, individuals, families and communities have access to prevention and support services throughout the state. She has also spearheaded professional training efforts, prevention programs and coalition development for a variety of causes. Jaime is passionate about engaging the community in change efforts and emphasizing the need for interdisciplinary work among fields to address behavioral and physical health concerns. Jaime received her Master of Public Health from the University of New England, and lives with her family in the Adirondack Park.
Cait Huble, MA, MBA, originally served as NCPG’s first Communications Manager from 2017 to 2019 and returned in December 2021 as Director of Communications. In this role she is responsible for leading communications strategy, including public awareness and education, media relations, and brand partnerships.
Cait has spent the past fourteen years in the nonprofit sector with an emphasis on communications strategy and planning. Most recently she served as the Executive Director at the Sonoran Arts League, a member-based organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the arts. There, she developed and managed award-winning community relations and educational outreach programs to bring awareness to the creative sector. Huble holds an MBA from Concordia University, as well as an MA in Executive Leadership and a BS in Management from Arizona State University.
Birhanu Demissie, CPA, MSAC, is a veteran financial specialist with over 15 years of accounting experience. BMD Professional Consulting successfully serves the financial needs for nonprofit, government contractors, and small business organizations.
Since 1999, Mr. Demissie has been refining his skills. He gained substantial experience with identifying and resolving the challenges faced by nonprofit organizations and small businesses, as well as preparing and reporting accurate and timely financial information to various stakeholders who rely on these reports for decision-making purposes.
Birhanu has worked with several public accounting firms including Raffa and Grant Thornton.
Birhanu founded BMD Professional Consulting, LLC to bring his experience to nonprofit organizations and small businesses in the Northern Virginia Metro area, by providing customized accounting, payroll, and tax services at affordable rates.
Cole Wogoman joined NCPG in November 2021. He focuses on advocating for NCPG’s legislative agenda of problem gambling and responsible gambling policies to both the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch. Cole also works with NCPG’s Board of Directors, state affiliates, and members on proposed state and local legislation and regulations across the country.
Cole is a licensed attorney in the District of Columbia. Previously, he served as legislative counsel for D.C. Councilmember Mary M. Cheh, advising her on a wide range of issues, including sports gambling, transportation, and agency oversight. Before his time in public service, Cole worked as an associate for the law firm of Willkie Farr and Gallagher. He holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, and a BA in Political Science with a minor in Business Economics from the University of Notre Dame.
Lissa Cobetto, Operations Manager joined NCPG in 2014 and oversees the annual conference as well as day to day operations. Prior to NCPG, Lissa was the Executive Director of the American Conservation Film Festival and the Business Manager of the Contemporary American Theater Festival. Lissa holds a Master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and an undergraduate degree in Theater and Business from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. She worked in theater and film in Pittsburgh, PA and multimedia production in New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
Lashawn Brown has joined NCPG as the Business Manager as of May 2023. In this capacity she will manage bookkeeping and support Membership & Development as well as help with general company operations.
Lashawn has over 20 years of accounting experience and has worked with several non-profit organizations throughout the DC area. She has a BS in business administration with a concentration in accounting from the University of Maryland University College. She enjoys volunteering, traveling and spending time with her family.
Sushmita Upadhaya joined the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in May 2016. She holds a degree in Public Health from the University of the District of Columbia. As the Program Administrator at NCPG, Sushmita oversees major programs including the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-GAMBLER). Sushmita is from Nepal and speaks English, Hindi, and Nepali fluently. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
Vicki Linton joined the National Council on Problem Gambling in July 2018. She provides member and conference services using our CRM platform. She has over ten years’ experience providing member services in professional associations in the D.C. area and has worked with several different databases. She previously has worked with science and mental health associations and she is pleased to continue this work with NCPG.
Vicki is a life-long resident of Washington, D.C., and has a degree in Business Administration from Roanoke College in Salem, VA. Among her favorite activities are reading, walking her dog and spending time in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.
Julia Brunson joined the National Council on Problem Gambling in May 2022 as a Communications Administrator. In this position, she assists in the development of multi-channel content, manages social media accounts, and helps execute communications strategy across all NCPG digital channels.
Julia is an experienced communicator with several years of marketing and development experience in a non-profit setting. She has a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has received several leadership certificates and fellowships in DEI and social justice work. She has a passion for all things digital and Gen Z. In her spare time, Julia enjoys writing, hiking and browsing TikTok.
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