Staff & Board

The Georgia Watch team is a dedicated group of advocates who are committed to realizing the goals of Georgia Watch. We work closely with elected officials, government services and agencies, members of the media, and other advocacy groups as we strive to provide a voice for consumers across Georgia.

Liz Coyle

Liz Coyle

Executive Director

Liz Coyle joined the team at Georgia Watch in February 2012. She provides leadership for the organization and fosters an entrepreneurial environment in which the team works collaboratively to achieve its mission. As Executive Director, Liz manages the organization’s operations and staff and oversees all Georgia Watch programs in the areas of Health Access, Consumer Energy, Civil Justice and Financial Protection. She serves as primary liaison to the board of directors and engages the board, staff and stakeholders in implementing the organization’s strategic plan. She brings to her position more than 25 years of experience as a non-profit manager, communications professional and grassroots advocate.

Read more about Liz Coyle

Born in New York City but raised in Atlanta, Liz graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Comparative Literature. She has worked with a broad spectrum of organizations including multi-national consumer products companies, public utilities, non-profit associations, and local governments. Previously, she was director of community education for PEDS, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to making metro Atlanta safe and accessible for all pedestrians. Liz serves on the board of directors of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative.

A champion of community causes, Liz has served in numerous volunteer roles as a neighborhood leader and advocate for children. She is a past president of the Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools (CINS), where she worked to foster the development of safe, quality education in Atlanta Public Schools. Currently, Liz is chairman of the Historic Fourth Ward Park Conservancy board.

From the early days of its inception, Liz has been a follower and supporter of the Atlanta BeltLine. She is a founding member and chair of the BeltLine Network, an alliance of organizations including Park Pride, Georgia Stand-up, Concerned Black Clergy, Trees Atlanta, Georgia Conservancy, Community Housing Resource Center, AHAND, Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, and Sierra Club, all working to ensure the BeltLine lives up to its vision to connect Atlanta and its citizens through transit, trails, parks and economic development. Additionally, Liz was the citizen representative on the board of directors of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. from September 2006 to August 2009.


Berneta L. Haynes

Director of Equity and Access

Berneta L. Haynes is the Director of Equity and Access at Georgia Watch, where she works to make quality healthcare, financial literacy, energy programs and civil justice more equitable and accessible for all.

Read more about Berneta L. Haynes

An attorney and champion of energy equity and healthcare access in particular, Berneta brings a unique mix of legal advocacy work, writing expertise and innovative use of digital journalism to impact pressing consumer issues. Her work centers on ensuring access to healthcare for all Georgians and increasing access to clean energy to improve the health and financial well-being of low-income families and communities.

Prior to joining the Georgia Watch team, Berneta spent years working on environmental and public health issues from diesel pollution reduction and energy efficiency to solar energy access. Berneta recently worked at Southern Environmental Law Center where she engaged in policy work around expanding access to solar energy and energy efficiency to low-to-moderate income families and communities of color. Since graduating from law school, she has engaged in environmental justice, energy equity, and public health work as an attorney in Chicago at Environmental Law and Policy Center and worked on consumer energy issues at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. She currently serves on the South Atlantic Market Leadership Advisory Board at U.S. Green Building Council. Berneta also brings to Georgia Watch significant writing and editing experience, as a published author and previous editor of a nonprofit website.

Berneta received a J.D. from University of Iowa College of Law, a B.A. in English, Psychology, and Writing from Drury University, and a Master’s in English from University of Iowa. Her interest in energy equity, public health, and healthcare access stems from her liberal arts background and research around intersections of race, class, and gender in American culture. 

Beth Stephens

Beth Stephens

Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy

Beth Stephens is the Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Georgia Watch where she works to advance the mission of the organization across all program areas. Beth also oversees the work of the Health Access Program, which seeks to ensure access to safe, quality, affordable healthcare for all Georgians through consumer education, policy development, and advocacy.

Read more about Beth Stephens

Prior to joining the Georgia Watch team, Beth was an attorney in the Health Law Unit at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc. where she represented low-income Georgians in a variety of civil legal matters, including employment, Medicaid, Social Security, private insurance coverage, contract disputes, public and private housing, disability discrimination claims and estate planning.

Beth received a J.D. (magna cum laude) from the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) and a B.A. in English and Political Science from Emory University. At UDC-DCSL, Beth received the LeClercq Award for legal writing, served on the Law Review Editorial Board, and was a Merit Scholarship recipient.

Beth is a member of numerous professional and bar organizations and served as the Chair of the Public Interest Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association from 2013-2014.  She received the Anti-Defamation League’s 2016 Stuart Eizenstat Young Lawyer Award for her advocacy work to protect Georgia’s healthcare consumers.

Nia Brown

Manager of Education and Advocacy

Civil rights attorney Nia Brown is the Manager of Education and Advocacy. In this role, she will develop and support Georgia Watch’s consumer education and advocacy work in the Health Access, Consumer Energy, Financial Protection and Access to Civil Justice Programs.

Read more about Nia Brown

A graduate of Emory University School of Law and Spelman College, Nia has a background in social justice, with a focus on civil rights. Prior to joining Georgia Watch, she served as the Policy and Advocacy Manager for YWCA Evanston-North Shore where she led organizational advocacy focused on gender and racial equity.

Nia was drawn to Georgia Watch because of the organization’s long history leading the fight for consumer rights, civil justice and financial protections for all Georgians. She is excited to use her talents to advocate for equity in the areas of housing, health care and energy.