Alison grew up in New York City and relocated to New Jersey after many years in Massachusetts. Prior to the move, Alison was Congregational Administrator at the Winchester Unitarian Society, and before that she was Assistant Director at the Boston Theological Institute, the Director of Religious Education at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, and she held various program management roles at Public Conversations Project (now Essential Partners). She earned degrees in Sociology from Wesleyan University (B.A.) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (M.A.).