Peter T. Katzmarzyk
Peter T. Katzmarzyk is Professor and Associate Executive Director for Population and Public Health Sciences at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center where he holds the Marie Edana Corcoran Endowed Chair in Pediatric Obesity and Diabetes. Dr. Katzmarzyk is an internationally recognized leader in the field of physical activity and obesity, with a special emphasis on pediatrics and ethnic health disparities. He has over two decades of experience in conducting large clinical and population-based studies in children and adults. Dr. Katzmarzyk has a special interest in global health, and has a record of building research capacity in physical activity and obesity research in developing countries. He has published his research in more than 500 scholarly journals and books, and has delivered 200 invited lectures in 15 countries. He is an Associate Editor for Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and an editorial board member for Pediatric Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. In addition to his research, Dr. Katzmarzyk plays a leading role in national health advocacy initiatives. He chairs the Research Advisory Committee for the U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth for the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance. He also recently served on the 2018 U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Katzmarzyk holds an M.Sc. in human biology from the University of Guelph, and a Ph.D. in exercise science from Michigan State University.
Patricia (Patty) Nece is Vice Chair of the National Board of Directors of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) and chairs OAC’s Weight Bias Task Force. She has also served as a Commissioner on the Lancet Commission on Obesity and a member of the American Psychological Association’s Guideline Development Panel for Childhood Obesity. She has worked on projects with the STOP Obesity Alliance and testified before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ms. Nece advocates for the eradication of weight bias, sound obesity treatments, and insurance coverage for those treatments. She encourages change by sharing her personal experiences with life-long severe obesity. A noted advocate, Ms. Nece has been invited to speak at numerous venues, including Rethink Obesity Forums at the 2016 Democratic and Republican Presidential Conventions, the Obesity Medicine Association, the George Washington University School of Medicine, the Partnership for a Healthier America, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Society for Behavioral Medicine, and Obesity Week 2018 and 2019. Ms. Nece earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Sharon Adams-Taylor - (Ex Officio Member)
Sharon Adams-Taylor, M.A., M.P.H., is Associate Executive Director of the School Superintendents Association (AASA). As such, she is responsible for all children’s initiatives around health, education and youth development, including childhood obesity, competitive foods and school breakfast initiatives in several public school districts. Ms. Adams-Taylor joined AASA as director of the association's Options for Pre-Teens program, a school-based primary prevention and youth development program in three urban school districts. Before coming to AASA, Adams-Taylor was a senior program associate with the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), where she coordinated CDF's adolescent pregnancy prevention clearinghouse. She also provided state and local technical assistance around adolescent issues and developed and managed a national coalition of youth and education organizations focused on positive outcomes for young people. Ms. Adams-Taylor's extensive background in training and research includes leadership positions with the University of North Carolina's Child Health Outcomes Project and Head Start’s Resource Access Project, where she coordinated training and technical assistance for 178 Head Start grantees in six states, and fellowships at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Ms. Adams-Taylor has published several journal articles, books and book chapters related to children's health and well-being, including most recently “Together We Stand: A Shared Vision to Change the Course of Childhood Obesity in African-American and Latino Communities,” and edited “Improving Attendance, Health and Behavior: Moving Breakfast Out of the Cafeteria,” and “Insure Out Children, Ensure Our Future,” all published by AASA and disseminated to 35,000 school system leaders. Ms. Adams-Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science from Howard University, a Master of Arts from the Catholic University of America, and a Master of Public Health in maternal and child health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Katie Adamson - (Ex Officio Member)
Katie Adamson has over 27 years of experience in health policy, partnership development and strategic planning in the non-profit, private and government sectors. She currently serves as the Vice President of Health Partnerships and Policy for YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the nation’s 2700 YMCAs. She provides guidance and consultation on healthy living policy, partnership and program strategies at the national level and for local Ys and the state alliances of YMCAs. She helps advance healthy living legislative and advocacy strategies at the state and federal level, including the drafting and implementation of legislative initiatives and accompanying policy documents; and, assisting with congressional, corporate and health partnerships. Ms. Adamson serves on several national boards and advisory committees. Prior to working at YMCA of the USA, Ms. Adamson spent several years as a managing director of public law and policy strategies at law firms in DC. She represented 25 chronic disease and disability non-profit organizations in their work with Congress and federal agencies. She drafted legislation, lobbied for and secured tens of millions of dollars annually through the health appropriations process for these not-for-profits, including the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation and the Landmine Survivor Network. Ms. Adamson is a graduate of the University of Virginia.
Jamy D. Ard - (Ex Officio Member)
Jamy D. Ard, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention and the Department of Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. He is also co-director of the Wake Forest Baptist Health Weight Management Center, directing medical weight management programs. Following completion of his residency training, he was selected to serve as a chief resident in internal medicine at Duke. He also received formal training in clinical research as a fellow at the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at the Durham VA Medical Center. During this time, he participated in a focused research experience on lifestyle interventions for hypertension and obesity at the Duke Hypertension Center. Dr. Ard’s research interests include clinical management of obesity and strategies to improve cardiometabolic risk using lifestyle modification. In particular, his work has focused on developing and testing medical strategies for the treatment of obesity in special populations, including African Americans, those with type 2 diabetes and older adults. Dr. Ard has participated in several major NIH funded multi-center trials including Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), DASH-sodium, PREMIER, and Weight Loss Maintenance Trial. He has been conducting research on lifestyle modification since 1995 and has received research funding from a variety of federal and foundation sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His work has been published in numerous scientific journals and he has been a featured presenter at several national and international conferences and workshops dealing with obesity. Dr. Ard has more than 20 years of experience in clinical nutrition and obesity. Prior to joining the faculty at Wake Forest in 2012, Dr. Ard spent nine years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. Dr. Ard has served on several expert panels and guideline development committees, including the Institute of Medicine Committee on Consequences of Sodium Reduction in Populations, the AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline Panel on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, and the American Psychological Association Obesity Guideline Development Panel. He is also serving on the editorial board for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the International Journal of Obesity. Dr. Ard received an M.D. and completed internal medicine residency training at Duke University Medical Center.
Robin P. Blackstone - (Ex Officio Member)
Robin P. Blackstone, M.D., FACS, FASMBS, is a leading expert in the medical and surgical treatment of obesity and obesity-related diseases and has performed more than 7,000 bariatric surgical operations and holds the designation of Certified Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine. In 2015, she became a Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona School of Medicine-Phoenix and established the Center for Obesity and Bariatrics at Banner University Medical Center to comprehensively integrate patient care, state of the art research and teaching in collaboration with medical specialties and adolescents. Advocacy for the patient with obesity inspired Dr. Blackstone to help establish the Obesity Action Coalition and she worked extensively on incorporating coverage of obesity within the ACA. Dr. Blackstone is the first woman to have served as President of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in its 30-year history. During her tenure as President she helped to establish one standard for bariatric surgery: the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. She is the author of Obesity: The Medical Practitioner’s Essential Guide (Springer, 2016) and editor of Bariatric Complications: The Medical Practitioner’s Essential Guide (Springer, 2016). She was one of the editors of the first ASMBS Textbook in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (Springer, 2015). Dr. Blackstone earned her M.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio.
Jeanne Blankenship - (Ex Officio Member)
Jeanne Blankenship, M.S., R.D.N., is a registered dietitian nutritionist and the Vice President of Policy Initiatives and Advocacy for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her advocacy work focuses on professional issues for dietitians and nutrition professionals and includes coverage and reimbursement for Medical Nutrition Therapy, Nutrition Informatics, and Work Force Demands. As a nationally recognized expert in obesity, Ms. Blankenship has emphasized the need for comprehensive obesity treatment in her advocacy efforts. Ms. Blankenship also oversees state government relations, including consumer protection and licensure initiatives, grass roots advocacy, and regulatory affairs. She manages the Academy’s Political Action Committee, Legislative and Public Policy Committee and the Consumer Protection and Licensure Subcommittee for the Academy. Prior to working in Policy and Advocacy, she held positions at the University of California Davis Medical Center as a Senior Clinical Dietitian and at the USDA Western Nutrition Research Center as the Principal Dietitian. Her experience also includes positions in long term care, the Women’ Infants and Children Program (WIC) and private practice. Ms. Blankenship received a B.S. degree in clinical dietetics from Arizona State University and an M.S. degree in nutrition sciences at Oklahoma State University.
Heidi F. Burke - (Ex Officio Member)
Heidi F. Burke, M.P.H., directs the Childhood Healthy Weight initiative at the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, which is focused on increasing the percentage of children at a healthy weight in the city of Rochester. The initiative grants funds for school, home, and community programs, and works to support advocacy strategies, the clinical community and manages a countywide communications campaign all to increase healthy weight among children. Her previous work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta focused on physical activity promotion and obesity prevention. While at the CDC, Ms. Burke worked on the VERB Campaign, a national youth social marketing campaign aimed at increasing physical activity among tweens. Most recently, she directed strategic health initiatives and partnerships at the National Recreation and Park Association in Virginia. Ms. Burke obtained her B.S. in sports medicine from Mercyhurst University and her M.P.H. from Emory University.
Jamie Bussel - (Ex Officio Member)
Jamie Bussel, M.P.H., is a Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is deeply committed to discovering, learning, and exploring cutting edge ideas with the potential to help build a culture of health and ensure that all children and families have what they need to thrive. She currently serves as the lead on the Foundation’s efforts to prevent childhood obesity. Through her programming, Bussel helps foster multidisciplinary partnerships and systems-level change strategies to transform the health of people and places. A strong believer in the impact of our physical, social, and educational environments on health, she hopes that her work will contribute to a healthier future for all our children. Ms. Bussel received an M.P.H. in behavioral sciences/health education from Rutgers University, School of Public Health, and a B.A. in English literature from the University of Michigan.
Debbie I. Chang - (Ex Officio Member)
Debbie I. Chang, M.P.H., is President & Chief Executive Officer at Blue Shield of California Foundation. In this role, Ms. Chang leads the Foundation’s work to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence as well as oversees more than $30M in annual grantmaking. Throughout her career she has championed equity and inclusion in health and health care, drawing on a deep personal commitment to building a more just and equitable world. Ms. Chang is a nationally recognized public health, health care financing, and policy expert. For over 30 years she has demonstrated a proven track record of establishing innovative programs and national and regional partnerships – including spearheading a national partnership with Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative to combat childhood obesity in childcare centers. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2020, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Policy and Prevention Officer for Nemours Children’s Health System where she led transformative efforts to focus on value-based care and health outcomes, working with communities to address the social determinants of health. Ms. Chang also leveraged Nemours’ expertise and experience to spread and scale what works through national policy and practice changes to improve the health of children nationwide. She has held key positions in government, including Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, with oversight for Maryland’s Medicaid program, and was the first Federal Director of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Ms. Chang holds a master of public health in policy and administration from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Merry Davis - (Ex Officio Member)
Merry Davis is Program Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina’s Healthy Living focus area. Ms. Davis leads the Foundation’s efforts to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians working in a variety of ways to ultimately ensure that all our communities have access to healthy, local food and safe places to be active. Ms. Davis joined the BCBSNC Foundation in 2016. She is a seasoned strategist, program designer, project manager, evaluator and communicator. She has been working for more than 20 years to improve health and well-being throughout the country with leading foundations, universities and research organizations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, California HealthCare Foundation, Duke University, RTI International and as an independent consultant to foundations, nonprofit organizations and health systems. She has focused on a variety of health issues including long-term care, palliative and end-of-life care, health care quality and consumer health care decision-making. Ms. Davis earned her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jennifer Fassbender - (Ex Officio Member)
Jennifer Fassbender, M.S., CEP-ACSM, is the Director of Program Initiatives at Reinvestment Fund, currently responsible for the national Invest Health initiative, providing strategic planning and program delivery, team management, stakeholder engagement and quality control. Prior to joining Reinvestment Fund in 2017, Ms. Fassbender served in a national leadership role with the American Diabetes Association where she oversaw subject matter content review and development, partnerships, and strategic initiative development related to lifestyle management. Ms. Fassbender’s prior experience includes serving as Program Director for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Healthy Weight Program, overseeing a major program expansion of the clinical, research, educational, and community components of the program. She was also selected to review and recommend childhood obesity prevention proposals for small, mid, and large sized cities as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors grant program. Additionally, as a senior research project manager at the University of Pennsylvania, she managed health behavior change studies supporting underserved populations to reduce health disparities in Philadelphia. Ms. Fassbender is also a certified clinical exercise physiologist and serves on several national boards, councils and committees in support of increasing access and capacity for physical activity and healthy communities promotion. She has contributed editorial review and content to many peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, as well as presenting at national and regional scientific and community meetings. Mr. Fassbender has a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in exercise science and did her graduate work at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health.
Amenda Fisher - (Ex Officio Member)
Mendy Fisher, M.N.Sc., is Senior Manager of Associate Health and Well-being at Walmart, where she is responsible for designing, implementing and evaluating well-being programs for 1.4 million associates across the United States. This work includes programming specific to healthy eating, habit formation, and weight loss initiatives for both Walmart associates and customers. Mrs. Fisher is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Kansas with a focus on behavioral health economics, and her dissertation is dedicated to understanding the weight-related behaviors of overweight working women through an ecological lens. She also leads the Human Capital Analytics Project committed to quantifying the effects of Walmart well-being programs on individuals, business performance, and community outcomes. Mrs. Fisher is a nurse practitioner with a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Gary D. Foster - (Ex Officio Member)
Gary Foster, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers International, Inc. and holds Adjunct Professor positions at the University Pennsylvania and Temple University. Dr. Foster, a psychologist, obesity investigator, and behavior change expert, was previously the Founder and Director of the Center of Obesity Research and Education and Laura Carnell Professor of Medicine, Public Health and Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia. Prior to Temple, he served as the Clinical Director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Foster has authored more than 180 scientific publications and three books on the etiology and treatment of obesity. He has received numerous honors including President of The Obesity Society, Honorary Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association, and the George A. Bray Founders Award from The Obesity Society. Dr. Foster's research interests include the prevention, behavioral determinants, treatments, and effects of obesity in adults and children. His current focus is on bringing scalable, evidence-based approaches to obesity management to life in face-to-face and digital settings. Dr. Foster earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Duquesne University, an M.S. in psychology from University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Temple University.
David D. Fukuzawa - (Ex Officio Member)
David D. Fukuzawa, M.Div., M.S.A., is Managing Director of Kresge's Health and Human Services Programs and has more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy, with a special focus on vulnerable children and youth. His experience as a youth worker and community organizer in Detroit and Chicago taught him that health and well-being are profoundly affected by the condition of the communities, schools and environment in which people live. Those lessons inform the efforts he has led to re-envision and redesign Kresge’s approach to health grantmaking. Mr. Fukuzawa joined Kresge in 2000 and has served as a program officer and senior program officer. Prior to joining Kresge, he was a program officer at The Skillman Foundation in Detroit from 1990 to 1999. At Skillman, Mr. Fukuzawa focused on child and youth health. A Yale University graduate, Mr. Fukuzawa also holds a master of divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and a master of science in administration degree from Central Michigan University.
Allison Gertel-Rosenberg - (Ex Officio Member)
Allison Gertel-Rosenberg, M.S., is Operational Vice President, Practice and Prevention at Nemours Children’s Health System. She has spent her career addressing some of the most important and challenging issues in public health. As Operational Vice President, National Prevention and Practice for Nemours Children’s Health System’s National Office of Policy and Prevention, she is responsible for leading the Office’s efforts to spread and scale promising practices and strategic prevention initiatives designed to curb childhood obesity on a national scale and for initiatives that involve the intersection of population health and clinical care. These efforts have included the highly successful Moving Health Care Upstream, Let’s Move! Child Care, Healthy Kids, Healthy Future and the National Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative initiative with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Ms. Gertel-Rosenberg is widely recognized as an expert on public health and population health and has presented at numerous national conferences on the value of investment in childhood health, patterns of drug abuse, assessments of the efficacy of prevention programs, youth smoking cessation, and the development of statewide anti-tobacco media campaigns. In addition, she has published a number of articles on children’s health issues. Ms. Gertel-Rosenberg received her M.S. in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health and her B.S. in public health from Rutgers College.
Majorie A. Innocent - (Ex Officio Member)
Marjorie Innocent, Ph.D., is the Senior Director of Health Programs of the NAACP. As Senior Director, Dr. Innocent leads the development and management of the NAACP’s policy and programmatic agenda to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes for African Americans and other communities of color in alignment with organizational strategy. Dr. Innocent is responsible for establishing the NAACP health department as a resource and standing expert in national and international health policy and public education arenas in order to advance the NAACP’s policy agenda around health issues. She also collaborates with internal and external colleagues to advance public discourse about the intersection of health and other social issues impacting populations of color, including education, community development and criminal justice. In addition, she leads the health team’s efforts to work with research, technology and communications staff to develop reports and other internal and external narratives and/or analytical documentation relating to program and project activities and results, with careful attention to pursuing program and project goals. As a health policy professional, Dr. Innocent’s experience includes: Vice President, Programs, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., Washington, DC; Evaluation Specialist, Department of Shared Accountability, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD; Research Associate, Center for Applied Research and Technical Assistance, Inc., Baltimore, MD; and Director, Maryland School-Based Health Center Initiative, Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families, Baltimore, MD. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, she is fluent in French and has working knowledge of Spanish and Haitian Creole. Dr. Innocent received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and French literature from Columbia College, Columbia University, New York, NY.
John Jakicic - (Ex Officio Member)
John Jakicic, Ph.D., M.S., FACSM is the director of the Healthy Lifestyle Institute and chair of the Department of Health and Physical Activity at the University of Pittsburgh. Considered a leading authority on the benefits of physical activity for weight management, he has more than 230 peer-reviewed publications and has given more than 200 invited presentations. Dr. Jakicic has been an ACSM member for more than 30 years, serving on the ACSM Board of Trustees, multiple committees and as associate editor for Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ACSM. Dr. Jakicic holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.S. in exercise science from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth A. Joy - (Ex Officio Member)
Elizabeth (Liz) Joy, M.D., M.P.H., FACSM, FAMSSM, is the Senior Medical Director for Wellness and Nutrition at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, UT. Dr. Joy practices Family Medicine and Sports Medicine at the Salt Lake LiVe Well Center. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah School of Medicine in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and in the College of Health Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology. Dr. Joy is the Past President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the Female Athlete Triad Coalition. She serves on the Exercise Is Medicine Governance Committee for the ACSM, chairs the EIM Clinical Practice Committee, and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance. Her research interests lie in the areas of physical activity promotion, diabetes prevention, and the Female Athlete Triad. Dr. Joy earned her M.D. from the University of Minnesota and her M.P.H. from the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Scott I. Kahan - (Ex Officio Member)
Scott I. Kahan, M.D., M.P.H., is the Medical Director of the Strategies To Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance and Chair of the Clinical Committee for The Obesity Society. Dr. Kahan’s clinical practice and research addresses obesity prevention and treatment, chronic disease risk reduction, health behavior change in populations, and clinical aspects of weight management. His public policy work focuses on expanding access to care for obesity treatment services, addressing weight stigma, and training physicians in obesity treatment modalities. Dr. Kahan holds a faculty appointment at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he has served as associate director of the Johns Hopkins University Weight Management Center and as a member of the core faculty of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program. He also holds a faculty appointment at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, is a clinical professor at George Washington University School of Medicine, and previously served as co-director of the George Washington University Weight Management Center. Dr. Kahan is a fellow of The Obesity Society and a Diplomat of the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is board-certified in preventive medicine and obesity medicine. Dr. Kahan is also board certified as a Physician Nutrition Specialist. He received a B.S. in bioengineering from Columbia University and received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, now Drexel University College of Medicine. He completed a residency at Johns Hopkins University, where he served as Chief Resident. Dr. Kahan received his Masters of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Catherine Kwik-Uribe - (Ex Officio Member)
Catherine Kwik-Uribe, Ph.D., is Global Director of Health and Nutrition at Mars, Incorporated. Dr. Kwik-Uribe joined Mars, Incorporated in 2002. Since joining Mars, she has managed various aspects of a research program focused on the phytonutrients in cocoa, a class of compounds collectively known as cocoa flavanols. As a leader of this program, she has taken a multi-disciplinary research approach to understand the role that these compounds can have in supporting human health, with her research spanning from the development of validated analytical methods to human dietary invention trials. Much of her research focus in recent years has been on the potential role of cocoa flavanols in maintaining and improving cardiovascular and cognitive health. As an expert in the field, Dr. Kwik-Uribe has co-authored numerous papers and book chapters. Dr. Kwik-Uribe received her doctorate degree in human nutrition from the University of California, Davis and went on as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Department of Toxicology.
Theodore Kyle - (Ex Officio Member)
Theodore (Ted) Kyle, R.Ph., M.B.A., founded ConscienHealth in 2009. Mr. Kyle is a pharmacist and healthcare innovation professional who works with health and obesity experts for sound policy and innovation to address obesity. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Obesity Action Coalition, advises The Obesity Society on advocacy, and consults with organizations addressing the needs of people living with obesity. His widely-read daily commentary, published at ConscienHealth.org, reaches an audience of more than 10,000 thought leaders in health and obesity. His peer-reviewed publications focus upon weight bias and policy related to health and obesity. Mr. Kyle holds two degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy and a Master of Business Administration.
Lisel Loy - (Ex Officio Member)
Lisel Loy, J.D., has 25 years of experience in law, public policy, and government. Ms. Loy currently serves as the Vice President for Programs at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where she leads the planning and execution of an integrated portfolio of BPC's program work. She also oversees the Prevention Initiative, part of the integrated BPC Health Program, which seeks to reduce obesity and chronic disease, and their associated health care costs. In 2001, Ms. Loy helped establish the Bipartisan Policy Center’s first project, the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP), and served as the Commission’s deputy director from 2002-2006. Prior to that, she was assistant to the president and staff secretary to President Clinton, where she was responsible for overseeing the flow of all information to and from the Oval Office. She was special counsel to the deputy secretary at the Department of the Interior from 1997-1999, where she worked on a variety of issues including water, salmon, dams, and Indian treaty rights. From 1995-1997, she was a staff attorney in the clinical program at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she represented individuals, nonprofit groups, and the Mattaponi Indian tribe in a range of environmental and civil rights claims. She began her career working for a conservation group on nutrition education, land use and community gardens in New York City. Ms. Loy is admitted to the Bar in Washington, DC and New York. She received her B.A. from Yale University, her J.D. from Stanford Law School, and her LLM from Georgetown University.
Kellie May - (Ex Officio Member)
Kellie May, M.T.A., is Director of Health and Wellness at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and has a demonstrated background in helping local park and recreation agencies implement strategies to improve healthy eating and increase physical activity. For the past three years, Ms. May has lead NRPA’s initiative to implement healthy eating and physical activity standards in Out of School time programs at local park and recreation agencies. She also serves as the Project Director for a grant with CDC’s Division of Population to implement arthritis-appropriate evidence-based interventions in local park and recreation agencies. Ms. May has been with NRPA for over six years and oversees the strategic direction of health and wellness programs at NRPA. Prior to joining NRPA, Ms. May worked at SHAPE America, previously the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance where she worked to increase physical activity for young children. Ms. May has more than ten years of experience managing health and physical activity programs and has a master’s degree from George Washington University.
Heidi Michels Blanck - (Ex Officio Member)
Captain Heidi Michels Blanck, Ph.D., M.S., is a United States Public Health Service Officer and serves as Chief of the Obesity Branch in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Captain Blanck oversees CDC’s monitoring of state/territory/tribal obesity prevalence and key nutrition policies, environments, and behaviors. Staff in the branch conduct surveillance, applied research, guidelines development and technical assistance for implementation of standards for early care and education (ECE) and food service venues including worksites and Healthy Hospitals. Staff also work with partners to accelerate the use of electronic health records for obesity reporting and increased access of pediatric weight management programs for low-income families. She has over 18 years of CDC experience and has authored over 120 papers and reports in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, obesity and environmental exposures. Dr. Blanck steered the creation of Healthy People 2020 objectives for healthier nutrition options and led the creation of CDC’s Childhood Obesity Research Demonstrations. She is the Senior Advisor to the agency’s Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network of researchers and practitioners (NOPREN; www.nopren.org) and member of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (www.NCCOR.org) with partners USDA, NIH and RWJF. Dr. Blanck received her Master of Science from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. from Emory University where she serves as adjunct professor.
Myeta Moon - (Ex Officio Member)
Myeta Moon, M.P.H. has spent much of her career in the nonprofit and government sectors, with a focus on improving community health in urban environments. She is currently the Director of Health at United Way Worldwide, where she directs and supports the development and implementation of health impact strategies for mobilizing communities. Previously, Ms. Moon was the Director of City Initiatives at KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all kids have the balanced and active play needed to thrive. In this capacity, she oversaw efforts to encourage cities to utilize play to address urban challenges with program, policy, and infrastructure interventions. As part of her work, she managed the Playful City USA, a national program that recognizes the efforts of cities working to increase play access in their communities. Prior to joining KaBOOM!, she was the Associate Vice President of Health for the United Way of New York City. While there she was instrumental in developing and implementing program to policy initiatives that addressed issues of food and nutrition in low income New York City communities. In 2012, she took a brief leave of absence from United Way to work as a Field Organizer for Organizing for America in Durham, North Carolina. In this role, she recruited, trained and managed community based teams of volunteers to register, persuade and motivate voters to re-elect President Barack Obama. Before United Way of NYC, Ms. Moon was an Assistant Legislative Representative for the New York City Mayor’s Office. She advocated on behalf of the City’s Health and Human Services agencies to the New York State Legislature, Governor’s Office, and New York State agencies. Ms. Moon holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University.
Stephanie A. Morris - (Ex Officio Member)
Stephanie A. Morris serves as Chief Executive Officer at SHAPE America, the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. Since being founded in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and SHAPE America’s National Standards for K-12 Physical Education serve as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country. Previously, she served as a deputy executive director for the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a professional membership organization working to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. In this role, she oversaw the development and implementation of strategies related to the organization’s membership, conferences, professional development programs and resources, corporate partnerships and customer care. Prior to this role, Ms. Morris was the assistant vice president for membership and marketing at the American Council on Education, where she oversaw and directed all marketing, web and membership activities for this higher education association, representing more than 1,800 college and university presidents from all sectors. Ms. Morris holds an M.B.A. from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian and Eurasian studies from Mount Holyoke College.
Joseph Nadglowski, Jr. - (Ex Officio Member)
Joe Nadglowski is President & CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) – a non-profit organization formed in 2005 dedicated to elevating and empowering those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support. A frequent speaker and author, Mr. Nadglowski is especially passionate about access to obesity treatments and tackling weight bias as well as sharing his own experiences with obesity. He has more than 20 years of experience working in patient advocacy, public policy and education and is a graduate of the University of Florida.
Melissa A. Napolitano - (Ex Officio Member)
Melissa A. Napolitano, Ph.D., M.A., is Professor of Prevention and Community Health and Exercise and Nutrition Sciences within the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University. Dr. Napolitano uses behavioral science principles and communication techniques to develop, implement and evaluate physical activity and weight management programs for delivery via digital strategies. Her work focuses across the lifespan, including pregnancy and young adulthood. Dr. Napolitano’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is a current Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Napolitano was a Consultant to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, specifically working with the Physical Activity Promotion Subcommittee. She serves in review and editorial capacities as a standing member of the NIH Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention Study Section and Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. Prior to joining GWU in 2012, Dr. Napolitano was on the faculties of Brown Medical School and Temple University at which she was also a research scientist at the Center for Obesity Research and Education. Dr. Napolitano received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, a Master of Arts and doctorate in clinical psychology from Duke University.
Megan Nechanicky - (Ex Officio Member)
Megan Nechanicky, M.S., R.D., is currently the Nutrition Manager for Canada where she provides strategic direction for business and research & development partners related to health and wellness. She also works externally with government, trade associations and academic institutions to positively position General Mills for future growth. In 2017, Ms. Nechanicky completed a 6-month international assignment in the General Mills Nyon, Switzerland office where she gained experience living and working within the Europe and Australian Region to build and advance nutrition science, research and communications. When Ms. Nechanicky first joined General Mills in 2014, she led health influencer communications for some of General Mills largest brands including Cheerios, Fiber One and Nature Valley. In this role, she delivered cutting-edge science, consumer trends and new product development and marketing to health influencers such as dietitians, physicians, nurses and fitness professionals. Prior to General Mills, Megan was the first dietitian to work at the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. In her role, Ms. Nechanicky led nutrition and physical activity-related initiatives and events. She was also responsible for the Department of Health and Human Services coordination of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. Ms. Nechanicky served on the Federal steering committee to develop the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report and coordinated the communications strategy and report launch in 2013. Megan is a Registered Dietitian and holds a bachelor’s degree in food marketing from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA and a dual master’s degree in exercise physiology and nutrition from San Diego State University.
Courtney P. Paolicelli - (Ex Officio Member)
Courtney P. Paolicelli, Dr.P.H., R.D.N., L.D., CDE, CHES, is Lead Analyst and team lead for WIC Evaluation Research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). In this role, she oversees a multi-million dollar research portfolio of projects examining the impacts and operations of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. In addition to her role at USDA, Dr. Paolicelli is a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and serves on faculty at the U.S. Military-Baylor University Graduate Program in Nutrition. Dr. Paolicelli is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist by training, and began her career as a dietitian for the WIC Program in San Diego, CA. She also worked in a variety of other public health and clinical settings before beginning her tenure with FNS in 2014. She received her doctorate of public health from the University of Texas-Health Science Center in 2012, and her master of public health in nutrition from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2004.
Barbara Picower - (Ex Officio Member)
Barbara Picower, M.A., M.S., is President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the JPB Foundation. JPB’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the United States through transformational initiatives that promote the health of our communities. JPB’s program areas include poverty, specifically in the areas of health and chronic disease, economic opportunity, and democracy; medical research, specifically, collaborative consortiums of scientists investigating Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as brain research on learning and memory (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); and the environment, by enabling healthy and resilient communities. JPB’s values include an evidence-based approach focused on impact, intelligent risk-taking, and addressing challenges of poverty at the root cause level. JPB pursues funding that is highly strategic by working with nonprofits and other funders to collaborate, coordinate, and leverage resources to achieve maximum impact. Ms. Picower serves on The Dean’s Advisory Board of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, The Academies’ Roundtable on Obesity Solutions; Board of Directors of Living Cities and the Advisory Board of the Bridgespan Institute. Ms. Picower earned her B.A. in political science from Hofstra University in 1964, and holds a Master of Arts degree in history and secondary education, and a Master of Science degree in nutrition, both from New York University.
Leslie Platt Zolov - (Ex Officio Member)
Leslie Platt Zolov, J.D., is Senior Director for Alliance Development - Public Affairs at Novo Nordisk. An Attorney by trade, she has extensive experience globally in the public and private sectors. Prior to Novo Nordisk, Leslie was with Helmsley Charitable Trust where she led the development and execution of a $10 million cross-programmatic global grant portfolio focused on access to healthcare and acceleration of medical research. She also spent several years with Pfizer where she led public affairs efforts in the United States and Latin America. Leslie holds a B.A. from Colgate University and a J.D. from the University at Buffalo School of Law.
Sue P. Polis - (Ex Officio Member)
Sue P. Polis is responsible for directing the health and wellness portfolio for the National League of Cities (NLC) as part of the Institute for Youth, Education and Families. The portfolio includes efforts to combat childhood obesity and build a culture of health through the strong engagement of mayors and city leaders. Prior to the National League of Cities, Mrs. Polis led the development and management of the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) external relations and strategic partnership efforts in support of the organization’s public policy goals. She oversaw the development of the web-based Healthy Communities Navigator tool and multi-sector stakeholder efforts to improve community health. Prior to joining TFAH, Mrs. Polis worked at AARP on health and financial security-related issues with an emphasis on legislative advocacy campaigns, strategic planning and evaluation. Mrs. Polis was the first National Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the American Heart Association. She was responsible for the development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan that led to significant growth of the organization’s advocacy capacity in support of public policy objectives at the federal and state levels. Mrs. Polis background also includes consulting on health, environmental and tobacco-related issues campaigns and overseeing political programs for a life insurance industry trade association. Mrs. Polis began her career in New Jersey as a paralegal with the firm of Crummy, DelDeo, Dolan, Griffinger and Vecchione and is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a major in political science.
Amelie G. Ramirez - (Ex Officio Member)
Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., is Director of Salud America! and a Professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she also is founding director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research and associate director of cancer prevention and health disparities at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center. Over the past 30 years, Ramirez has conducted communications research and behavioral interventions that have made tremendous strides to reduce cancer and chronic disease, increase screening rates and clinical trial accrual, and improve healthy lifestyles among U.S. Latinos. She directs Salud America! The RWJF National Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children, which is building an evidence base, creating bilingual multimedia content, developing the field of researchers, and empowering communities to reverse the obesity epidemic among Latino children. In 2014, Salud America! launched a new website to give people policy information, resources, and role-model stories to spur healthy change: http://www.communitycommons.org/salud-america/. She has been recognized for her work to improve Latino health and advance Latinos in health, including: 2014 Making a Difference Award from Latinas Contra Cancer; 2011 White House “Champion of Change”; and 2007 election to the National Academy of Medicine. She is a member of the board of directors or the scientific advisory board for Susan G. Komen, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, C-Change, and others. She is a member of the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council, which has overseen implementation of healthy lifestyle programs that have lowered local obesity rates. Dr. Ramirez is a member of the NAM. She earned her doctorate and Master of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Tom Richards - (Ex Officio Member)
Tom Richards represents the American Council on Exercise as the Director of Stakeholder Engagement. He is responsible for communicating the organization’s vision, mission, and values to current and prospective partners; and understanding the opportunities and challenges facing ACE exercise professionals and health coaches as they are called upon to play a larger, more integrated role in the American health care system. Mr. Richards has served as President of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity and Co-Chair of the Business/Industry Sector of the National Physical Activity Plan, which developed the “CEO Pledge for Physical Activity.” Prior to joining ACE, Mr. Richards served as the Senior Legislative Counsel for the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. He received his B.S. from Fairfield University and his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.
Nancy Roman - (Ex Officio Member)
Nancy E. Roman, M.A., is President and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America. She joined the organization September 5, 2017, following an international career spanning journalism, business, and public service with the U.S. government and the United Nations. Prior to joining PHA, Ms. Roman was the President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), the Washington, DC region’s largest organization working to solve hunger and its companion problems: chronic undernutrition, and diet related health issues like heart disease, and obesity. CAFB annually provides food and nutrition resources to 540,000 people – 12 percent of the region’s total population – through 444 partner nonprofits in the District, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Under Ms. Roman’s leadership, the food bank became a national voice for embedding health and wellness in hunger relief work. During her tenure, the CAFB dramatically increased the health of its food inventory by working with its corporate retail partners; pioneered new delivery models for fruits, vegetables, and nutrition resources; and advocated for access to affordable groceries in low income areas through both existing and innovative models. Roman currently serves on the board of trustees of Global Communities, an international NGO that works on hunger, health, micro-finance and lending to support lives and livelihoods, and of the Millennial Action Project (MAP), which organizes nonpartisan communities to find common ground on the issues facing millennials and future generations. She was recently named one of “The Most Powerful Women in Washington” by Washingtonian magazine. She holds a Master of Arts degree in international economics and American foreign policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and French from Baylor University.
Sylvia B. Rowe - (Ex Officio Member)
Sylvia B. Rowe, M.A. is currently president of SR Strategy, which addresses the science to communications to policy continuum on a broad range of global health, nutrition, food safety and risk issues. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Previously Rowe served as president and chief executive officer of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and IFIC Foundation, in Washington, DC. During her eleven-year tenure, IFIC established itself as a leader in consumer research and consumer-based communications in nutrition, food safety, and health. Ms. Rowe’s leadership resulted in national public-private partnerships and coalitions between IFIC and preeminent government agencies and health organizations committed to developing science-based communications and programs. Ms. Rowe is Chair of the Food Forum and a member of the Food and Nutrition Board. She is also a Contributing Editor of Nutrition Today. Ms. Rowe has served on several Boards and Advisory Committees of the following: American Heart Association, The Obesity Society, Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, American Society for Nutrition, Washington, DC Mayor’s Commission on Food, Nutrition and Health, Grains for Health Foundation, University of Rochester Medical Center, Food and Drug Law Institute, Society for Nutrition Education Foundation, Maryland Title IX Commission and the American Society of Association Executives Foundation. She is also a member of the International Women’s Leadership Forum and the National Press Club among other professional groups. Ms. Rowe's background in media and expertise in issues management are reflected in her professional history as a producer and on-air host of several television and radio talk shows covering social, political, and economic and consumer issues. She also previously held positions in public relations, marketing, and membership development for several diverse associations. Ms. Rowe received a Bachelor's degree from Wellesley College and was awarded a Master’s degree from Harvard University, both with honors.
Laurie Stradley - (Ex Officio Member)
Laurie Stradley leads Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools and Communities Program, which guides schools and out-of-school sites to create and sustain healthier environments where all kids, especially those in greatest need, can thrive. Dr. Stradley is a seasoned senior leader in public health and early intervention health care, serving on numerous local, state, and national coalitions driving the future of health. Prior to Healthier Generation, Dr. Stradley was the director of wellness at Mission Health System in Asheville, NC, where she worked to improve employee health and well-being as well as population health strategies for the regional health care system. In 2010, Dr. Stradley became a founding staff member at the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness at UNC Asheville, serving as the director of state and community collaboration. Here, she became more involved in healthy eating and food access, working with the National Farm to School Network to improve the connection between children, schools, farms, and farmers. At the core of her work in this field is a deep commitment to supporting schools and communities in improving children’s health—complemented by a strong appreciation for policy to improve health outcomes through legislative change. Dr. Stradley holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the College of William & Mary as well as a master’s degree in exercise physiology and a doctorate of public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Susan Z. Yanovski - (Ex Officio Member)
Susan Z. Yanovski, M.D., is Co-Director of the Office of Obesity Research and Senior Scientific Advisor for Clinical Obesity Research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Yanovski received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She completed her residency and fellowship in Family Medicine at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and a post-doctoral fellowship in eating disorders research at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Yanovski has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Archives of Family Medicine, and Eating Behaviors. She has published more than 170 peer-reviewed papers, and was a member of the expert panel that developed the 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Dr. Yanovski’s research interests include behavioral, medical, and surgical approaches for obesity treatment in adults and children and the study of binge eating disorder. She earned her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.