Mary Anne Mosack, SRAST, President/CEO

Mary Anne Mosack serves as the President and CEO of Ascend, a national membership and advocacy organization representing the Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) field. In this role she promotes an accurate understanding and appreciation for Sexual Risk Avoidance as an important primary prevention message for teens. She is dedicated to continuous program improvement, research and public policy impacting the SRA approach.

She is responsible for the ongoing development of educational materials and oversees the Sexual Risk Avoidance Certification training program offered by Ascend throughout the United States.

Mosack is the former Executive Director of Operation Keepsake, a SRA program that served over 27,000 students in 140 schools in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area. As a result of her leadership, rigorous program evaluations provided one of the first peer-reviewed, published studies showing the effectiveness of SRA education for high-risk teens.

Mosack is frequently interviewed by various media outlets regarding SRA education. She has been a conference presenter for the Federal Department of Health and Human Services on effective communication strategies and as a consultant on SRA program evaluation and development for the Administration of Children and Families (ACF). As a project consultant for ACF, Ms. Mosack worked to engage stakeholders throughout the country in partnering to build cohesive community networks to support positive youth development at the local level. She is also co-author of The War on Intimacy, how explicit sex education impacts the ability to develop healthy relationships.

As a strong advocate of Sexual Risk Avoidance education, she is committed to building the protective assets all teens need to insure they are given the opportunity to reach optimal health and life success.


Melissa Walther, SRAS, National Project Director

Melissa Walther has been in the Sexual Risk Avoidance field for 14 years working to help youth achieve optimal health. Melissa began her career as a sex education health facilitator working directly with thousands of youth. From classroom settings to juvenile justice centers to summer camps, Melissa has educated youth across all socioeconomic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds.

Melissa has also managed a statewide collaborative of SRA providers, together serving over 100,000 youth each year. Her work as a Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist focused on strengthening SRA programs to best help youth succeed at avoiding risks.

In her current role, she works to continually improve the SRA model by taking what we know works and pushing it out to the SRA field while also helping to revise what doesn’t work. Melissa’s work with Ascend focuses on supporting states and SRA programs in implementing effective programming to help youth thrive.

Christine Eckley, External Affairs Administrator

Christine Eckley is the External Affairs Administrator for Ascend and is probably one of the first people you will talk to when you contact us. She joined Ascend in 2011 and is the primary point of contact for media requests, educational resources, and Ascend’s SRAS Training Program.

John Lyman, CFO

John Lyman is currently the CFO for Ascend, a role he has held since the founding in 2007. John has years of experience in the non-profit world where he continues to assist other organizations with financial oversight. John operates the Ascend financial office in Atlanta, GA.