Meet Our External Relations Team


Ryan Palmer

Chief External Relations Officer

Ryan Palmer leads the External Relations group at Martha’s Table, which is responsible for development and fundraising, communications, and special events, as well as government and community outreach and engagement.  Ryan is a community advocate with over 10 years’ experience serving youth and families in areas of high need. She began her career in the Early Childhood Education field, with a focus on quality improvement. As a law student, Ryan implemented peer mediation programs and facilitated Constitutional Law and Advocacy classes in Baltimore City Public Schools. She is a certified mediator who has mediated disputes at Baltimore City Small Claims Court and conducted truancy mediations in Baltimore schools. She completed a Clerkship in the Office of the Attorney General for the Maryland State Department of Education, and a Dean’s Fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Key Staff


Alena Kaufman

Alena Kaufman is our Assistant Director of Individual Giving. In this role, she connects individual and family foundation supporters with Martha’s Table’s mission and programs through major gifts, annual support, and special events. Previously, Alena was the Director of Development and Communications at Rock Creek Conservancy in D.C., and prior to that built a public and special events department as Director of Events and Outreach for Glynwood, a nonprofit in the Hudson Valley focused on sustainable agriculture and food culture. In addition, she has worked for the Small Planet Institute and at the Vera Institute of Justice. As a student, her studies focused on writing, education, and sociology; she holds a Bachelor’s in English from Barnard College and completed post-graduate studies in Paris, France.

Rae Davidson

Rae Davidson is the Assistant Director for Institutional Giving at Martha’s Table, working to leverage the support of institutional allies. Most recently, she served as the Corporate Relations Manager for Ford’s Theatre, where she administered a $3 million corporate giving program. Prior to joining Ford’s, Rae worked in development at the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer and Sackler Galleries. She holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Virginia.

Kara Richie

Kara Richie is the Assistant Director of Outreach and Engagement at Martha’s Table, where she manages a variety of stakeholder engagement activities for the organization. Prior to holding this position, Kara worked as Special Assistant to Patty Stonesifer, Martha’s Table’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Kara holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology with a minor in Hispanic Studies from Dartmouth College.