Helena Fruscio Altsman

Assistant Secretary for Program and Performance Management for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Helena Fruscio Altsman is the Assistant Secretary of Program and
Performance Management for the EOHED for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Throughout her career, Helena has worked to develop new and pioneering methods of cultivating and growing
economic ecosystems that support innovators, inventors, and
creative individuals. She has been a policy advisor to governors of
both parties, building off of her experience of leading the Berkshire Creative Economy Council to implement this work on the
community level. A graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of
Government with a Masters Degree in Public Administration and an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts concentrating on arts and
entrepreneurship, Helena has a track record of developing, advising, and executing programs that truly impact the communities
in which they are implemented.

Amanda Beal

Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine

Amanda Beal is the Commissioner of Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF). Before joining DACF, Amanda was the President & CEO of Maine Farmland Trust, and prior to that worked for several years as a consultant on food systems-related projects for a number of fisheries, agriculture, and other food-focused organizations and businesses while also developing a business and generational transfer plan for her own family’s commercial dairy farm, which has guided the transfer of farm ownership from her father to her youngest brother. In addition, she was a co-author of the publication: “A New England Food Vision: Healthy Food for All, Sustainable Farming and Fishing, Thriving Communities.” Amanda holds an M.S. from Tufts University, having completed the Agriculture, Food & Environment program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Hampshire in the Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science program.

Laura Benavidez

Executive Director, Food and Nutrition Services at Boston Public Schools

Laura Benavidez is theExecutive Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Boston Public Schools. She is responsible for the $38 million organization inclusive of all operations and logistics at over 120 locations, with more than 520 support and cafeteria staff combined. Laura’s experience includes 11 years in the LAUSD Food Services Division where she served as Interim-Co Director, Deputy Director and Senior Food Services Supervisor. Her eighteen-year career in the food services industry has equipped her with the knowledge ofall aspects of business but also to focus on customer service and marketing and strategic planning. Over the years, she has been responsible for both logistics (menu, inventory, technology) and operations, managing supervisory teams over each area. Laura is committed to child nutrition and the continuation of a meal program in Boston that can one day be the number one program in the United States. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Food Science and Technology with a minor in Nutrition and a Master’s Degreein Business Administration with a focus on organizational behavior.

Dr. Sara Bleich

Professor of Public Health Policy, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Sara Bleich is a Professor of Public Health Policy at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. She is also the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a member of the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her research provides evidence to support policy alternatives for obesity prevention and control, particularly among vulnerable populations. A signature theme throughout her work is an interest in asking simple, meaningful questions about the complex problem of obesity which can fill important gaps in the literature. Sara is the past recipient of an award for excellence in public interest communication from the Frank Conference, among other awards. Sara was recently appointed as a White House Fellow (2015-2016) where she was a Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. She holds degrees from Columbia (BA, Psychology) and Harvard (PhD, Health Policy).

Kevin Boylan

Co-Founder and Partner, Powerplant Ventures

Kevin Boylan was born and raised on Long Island where he developed an aversion to cold weather. This led to 4 years at Arizona State University graduating with a B.S. in Business promptly followed by a quick sprint to Los Angeles to join Drexel Burnham Lambert. After 10 years of high yield financing, he created Standard Capital Group where he spent 15 years advising small and middle-market companies before co-founding Veggie Grill which has grown to 35 locations, serving in excess of 1 million guests every 90 days, making it the largest plant-centric restaurant company in the United States. Forbes recently named Veggie Grill one of the “25 Most Innovative Consumer Brands”. Kevin is Co-Founder and Partner of PowerPlant Ventures, a venture capital fund, that is committed to helping re-architect our global food system by advancing world-changing companies that deliver better nutrition in more sustainable and ethical ways. Kevin serves on the advisory boards of The Good Food Institute, Tufts University Friedman School for Entrepreneurship, and UCLA School of Law Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy. He enjoys family, friends, good wine, U2, scuba diving and the endless pursuit of perfecting his very imperfect golf game.

Representative Rosa DeLauro

U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd District of Connecticut

Rosa DeLauro is the Congresswoman from Connecticut’s Third Congressional District, which stretches from the Long Island Sound and New Haven, to the Naugatuck Valley and Waterbury. Rosa serves in the Democratic leadership as Co-Chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and she is the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, where she oversees our nation’s investments in education, health, and employment. Rosa also serves on the subcommittee responsible for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she oversees food and drug safety. Rosa belongs to 62 House caucus groups and is the co-chair of the Baby Caucus, the Long Island Sound Caucus, and the Food Safety Caucus. Soon after earning degrees from Marymount College and Columbia University, Rosa followed her parents’ footsteps into public service, serving as the first Executive Director of EMILY’s List, a national organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected office; Executive Director of Countdown ’87, the national campaign that successfully stopped U.S. military aid to the Nicaraguan Contras; and as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd. In 1990, Rosa was elected to the House of Representatives, and she has served as the Congresswoman from Connecticut’s Third Congressional District ever since.

Greg Drescher

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Industry Leadership, Culinary Institute of America

Greg Drescher is vice president of strategic initiatives and industry leadership at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where he oversees the college’s leadership programs for the foodservice industry, including conferences, invitational leadership retreats, digital media, and strategic partnerships.

Mr. Drescher is the creator of the college’s influential Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival, the annual Worlds of Healthy Flavors and Menus of Change leadership conferences (presented in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition), the Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative, and numerous other CIA “think tank” initiatives.

Before joining the CIA in 1995 as the director of education at the college’s Greystone campus in California’s Napa Valley, Mr. Drescher jointly spearheaded a multi-year collaboration of some of the world’s leading health experts and organizations—including the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization—in researching and authoring “The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: A Cultural Model for Healthy Eating.” The cumulative results of this research were published in a special edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, creating a strong platform for much of the academic, public policy, and media interest in the Mediterranean diet that followed.

Dr. Johanna Dwyer

Director, Frances Stern Nutrition Center

Johanna Dwyer D.Sc., RD is Professor of Medicine (Nutrition) and Community Health at the Tufts University Medical School, and Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She is also Senior Scientistat the Jean Mayer/USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and Senior Nutrition Scientist (contractor), Office of Dietary Supplements, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health. She received her D.Sc and MSc from the Harvard School of Public Health, an MS from the University of Wisconsin, and a BS with distinction from Cornell University. She is the author or co-author of more than 350 research and 400 review articles and four books. Her major research interest is in flavonoids, population-based nutrition surveys, especially of children and the elderly, dietary supplement databases, fortification, and nutrition policy. Dr. Dwyer has served on many committees, including the 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee. She is past president of both the Society for Nutrition Education and the ASN, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Chris Economos

Professor and New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, TuftsFriedman School; Co-Founder and Director, ChildObesity180; Division Chair, Nutrition Interventions, Communication, and Behavior Change.

Christina Economos, PhD, is a Professor and the New Balance Chair inChildhood Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science andPolicy and Medical School at Tufts University. She is also the co-Founder and Director of ChildObesity180, where she develops, implements, evaluates, and scales high-impact obesity prevention initiatives. reaching over12 million children in all 50 states.  As the principal investigator of large-scale research studies, Dr. Economos has generated over $50 million in funding with a goal to inspire behavior, policy, and environmental change to decrease obesity and improve the health of America’s children.Dr. Economos is involved in national obesity and public health activities and has served on four National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committees where she is currently Vice-Chair of the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions. In addition, Dr. Economos received a Bachelor of Science from Boston University, a Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and a doctorate in Nutritional Biochemistry from Tufts University.

Dan Glickman

Vice President and Executive Director, Congressional Program, Aspen Institute

Dan Glickman is Vice President of the Aspen Institute and Executive Director of TheAspen Institute Congressional Program. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center where he is co-chair of its Democracy Project. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, he served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in the Clinton administration. He was appointed by former Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack as the Chair of the newly created Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, currently serving on their board. He also represented the 4th Congressional district of Kansas for18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was very involved in federal farm policy on the House Agriculture Committee. He also served on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Science Committee, and as chairman of the House PermanentSelect Committee on Intelligence. In addition, he is the former director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He chairs the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and is a member of the Boards of the World Food Program-USA, Food Research &Action Center and Issue One. He is also a longtime member of theBoard of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He received his Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from George Washington University.

Dr. Timothy Griffin

Associate Professor and Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program, Tufts Friedman School

Dr. Timothy Griffin is the director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment program, as well as an associate professor at the Friedman School. His primary interests are the intersection of agriculture and the environment, and the development and implementation of sustainable production systems. His current research is focused on the environmental impacts of agriculture (nutrient flows, carbon retention and loss, and climate change), and impacts of policy on adoption of agricultural practices and systems.

Dr. Frank Hu

Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Frank Hu is Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Hu received the Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology by the American Diabetes Association in 2010 and was named the American Heart Association’s Ancel Keys Memorial Lecturer in 2018. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Preventing the Global Epidemic of Cardiovascular Disease, the AHA/ACC Obesity Guideline Expert Panel, and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, USDA/HHS. He currently serves on the editorial board of Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Diabetes Care, and Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Hu was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015.

Dr. Howard Koh

Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard Th Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Howard K. Koh is the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School. He previously served as the 14th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009-2014) after being nominated by President Barack Obama, and as Commissioner of Public Health or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1997-2003) after being appointed by Governor William Weld. A graduate of Yale College and the Yale University School of Medicine, he trained at Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, earned board certifications in four medical fields, has been Principal Investigator of research grants totaling $24M, published more than 275 articles in the medical and public health literature and has received over 70 awards, including six honorary doctorate degrees.

Corby Kummer

Senior Lecturer, Tufts Friedman School

Corby Kummer is the author of The Joy of Coffee and The Pleasures of Slow Food, the first book in English on the Slow Food movement. He has been restaurant critic of New YorkBoston, and Atlanta Magazines and food and food policy columnist for The New Republic. He is a senior editor at The Atlantic, to which he has long contributed articles on food and food policy, and is the editor-in-chief of Ideas: The Magazine of the Aspen Institute. Every week he is a featured commentator on food and food policy on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio. He has received five James Beard Journalism Awards.

Dr. Alice Lichtenstein

Senior Scientist, Cardiovascular Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Dr. Lichtenstein’s research has focused on assessing the interplay between diet and cardiometabolic health, and her findings have contributed to current dietary recommendations on healthy eating patterns for the prevention of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Dr. Lichtenstein has served on and chaired the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee and American Society for Nutrition’s Public Policy Committee, and served on the 2000 and 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans AdvisoryCommittees. She currently serves on the Food and Nutrition Board in the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and previously served on the Board’s Panel on Macronutrients, Review of Dietary ReferenceIntakes for Sodium and Potassium, and Examination of Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols. Lichtenstein also serves as the executive editor of the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. She has played a critical role in translating nutrition science into public health recommendations and policies.

Dr. Lichtenstein’s research has focused on assessing the interplay between diet and cardiometabolic health, and her findings have contributed to current dietary recommendations on healthy eating patterns for the prevention of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Dr. Lichtenstein has served on and chaired the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee and American Society for Nutrition’s Public Policy Committee, and served on the 2000 and 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans AdvisoryCommittees. She currently serves on the Food and Nutrition Board in the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and previously served on the Board’s Panel on Macronutrients, Review of Dietary ReferenceIntakes for Sodium and Potassium, and Examination of Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols. Lichtenstein also serves as the executive editor of the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. She has played a critical role in translating nutrition science into public health recommendations and policies.

Amanda Little

Professor of Journalism, Vanderbilt University; Author of The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World.

Amanda Little is a journalist writing about the environment and innovation. She is a professor of investigative journalism and science writing at Vanderbilt University, and has a particular fondness for far-flung and hard-to-stomach reporting that takes her to ultradeep oil rigs, down manholes, into sewage plants, and inside monsoon clouds.

She is the author of The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World (Random House: Crown/Harmony), which explores how we’ll feed humanity sustainably and equitably in the climate change era. She also wrote Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair With Energy (HarperCollins). Amanda has published her writing in the New York Times Magazine, Vanity FairRolling StoneWiredNew York Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, NewYorker.com and elsewhere. A former columnist for Outside magazine and Grist.org, she is a recipient of the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for excellence in environmental journalism. 

Little has interviewed figures ranging from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio. A graduate of Brown University, she serves on the Board of Trustees at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and kids.

Britt Lundgren

Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, Stonyfield

Britt Lundgren is the Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture at Stonyfield, an organic yogurt company based in Londonderry, NH. She has over a decade of experience working to advance agricultural sustainability through policy and supply chain initiatives. Prior to Stonyfield, Britt was an agricultural policy specialist for Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. She holds a Master of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from Tufts University. Britt serves on the boards of the Organic Trade Association and the Sustainable Food Lab, and as an advisor to the AGree, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture, Food Policy Action, and the New Hampshire Conservation Law Foundation. She has worked on several organic farms, and is an avid fiddle player.

Jerold Mande

Professor of the Practice, Tufts Friedman School

Jerold Mande is Professor of the Practice, Friedman School of Nutrition, and a Senior Fellow, Tisch College of Civic Life, at Tufts University. Mande is leading an initiative on advocacy, food policy change, and public health impact. Mande has served in several high-level government positions, including as Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA, Senior Advisor to the Commissioner at FDA, Senior Policy Advisor at the White House, and Deputy Assistant Secretary at OSHA. Mande also served as Associate Director for Public Policy at theYaleCancer Center. Mande began his career as Legislative Assistant for Al Gore in the US House and Senate. Mr. Mande earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Connecticut. He also completed the program for senior government managers at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Among his achievements is the Presidential Award for Design Excellence for his work on the Nutrition Facts food label.

Dr William Masters

Professor of Economics, Tufts Friedman School

Will Masters is a Professor in the Friedman School, with a secondary appointment in Tufts University’s Department of Economics.  His research uses economic methods to inform and improve the food system, especially in developing countries.  From 2011 to 2014 he served as chair of the Friedman School’s Department of Food and Nutrition Policy, and before coming to Tufts was a faculty member in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University (1991-2010), and also at the University of Zimbabwe (1989-90), Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (2000) and Columbia University (2003-04).

He is the co-author of an undergraduate textbook, Economics of Agricultural Development: World Food Systems and Resource Use  (Routledge, 3rd ed. 2014). From 2006 through 2011 he edited Agricultural Economics, the journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists.  In 2010 he was named an International Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists, and he has been awarded both the Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis (2013) and the Publication of Enduring Quality Award (2014) from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA).

André Mayer

André Mayer has held positions in the field of education and workforce development policy, including director of planning for the Massachusetts public higher education system, senior vice president at Associated Industries of Massachusetts, and president of the New England Economic Partnership. Educated at Harvard and Berkeley, he has published books, articles, and reviews in a range of fields, including historical scholarship, agriculture, and detective fiction.

Denise Morrison

Retired President & CEO at Campbell Soup Company

Denise M. Morrison is the Founder of Denise Morrison & Associates, LLC., a Consulting Firm and is a Senior Advisor for PSP Partners. She served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Campbell Soup Company from 2011-2018. Prior to joining Campbell, Ms. Morrison held executive management positions at Kraft Foods, Inc. She started her career with Procter & Gamble and held various positions with PepsiCo and Nestle before joining Kraft/Nabisco.Ms. Morrison is currently a Director on the Boards of Visa, Inc., MetLife Inc., and Quest Diagnostics. She served as a Director of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. from 2005-2010. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Boston College, the Advisory Council for Just Capital, the Advisory Board for Tufts Friedman School and is a member of The Business Council.

Ms. Morrison served on President Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative as well as President Obama’s Export Council. She has been a leader in the Food Industry accelerating the Purpose of “Real Food that Matters for Life’s Moments” with a focus on making Real Food affordable and accessible to all families for better health and wellbeing. She has also been an advocate of Healthy Communities starting with Campbell’s headquarter city of Camden, N.J. She was named to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women’s List from 2012-2018. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Boston College in 1975 and received an Honorary Doctorate from St. Peter’s University in 2018. On a personal note, she resides in Marco Island, Florida and summers in Cape Cod, Massachusetts with her husband Tom. She has two daughters and four grandchildren

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian

Dean and Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition and Medicine, Tufts Friedman School

Dariush Mozaffarian is a cardiologist, Dean and Jean Mayer Professor at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical School.  As one of the top nutrition institutions in the world, the Friedman School’s mission is to produce trusted science, future leaders, and real-world impact.  Dr. Mozaffarian has authored more than 400 scientific publications on dietary priorities for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, and on evidence-based policy approaches to reduce these burdens in the US and globally.  He has served in numerous advisory roles including for the US and Canadian governments, American Heart Association, World Health Organization, and United Nations.  His work has been featured in a wide array of media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and Time Magazine.  In 2016, Thomson Reuters named him as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.

Dr. Mozaffarian received a BS in biological sciences at Stanford (Phi Beta Kappa), MD at Columbia (Alpha Omega Alpha), residency training in internal medicine at Stanford, and fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Washington.  He also received an MPH from the University of Washington and a Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard.  Before being appointed as Dean at Tufts in 2014, Dr. Mozaffarian was at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health for a decade and clinically active in cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  He is married, has three children, and actively trains as a Third Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. The Friedman School pursues cutting-edge research, education, and public impact across five Divisions, a cross-divisional Center, and multiple academic programs.  Areas of focus range from cell to society, including: molecular nutrition, human metabolism and clinical trials, nutrition data science, behavior change, community and organizational interventions, communication and media, agriculture, food systems, and sustainability, hunger and food security, humanitarian crisis, and food policy and economics.  Friedman School graduates are leaders in academia, US and international government, policy, advocacy, industry, public health, community service, and entrepreneurship.  The School’s unique breadth, engagement with the world, and entrepreneurial spirit make it a leading institution for nutrition education, research, and public impact.

Dr. Samuel Myers

Principal research scientist, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Director, Planetary Health Alliance

Samuel Myers, MD, MPH studies the human health impacts of accelerating disruptions to Earth’s natural systems, a field recently dubbed Planetary Health.  He is a Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is Director of the Planetary Health Alliance (www.planetaryhealthalliance.org). 

Sam’s research includes quantifying changes in the nutrient content of staple food crops as a result of rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2, the impacts of global declines in pollinating insects on human health, the impacts of climate shocks on food trade and nutritional outcomes, and the health impacts of biomass fires in SE Asia. As the Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, Sam oversees a consortium of over 230 institutions in 48 countries focused on growing the field of planetary health. Dr. Myers serves as a Commissioner on the Lancet-Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Planetary Health, the Lancet Commission on Arctic Health, and a member of the Lead Expert Group of the Global Panel on Agriculture, Food Systems, and Nutrition. He was the inaugural recipient of the Arrell Global Food Innovation Award in 2018. He has also been awarded the Prince Albert II of Monaco—Institut Pasteur Award for research at the interface of global environmental change and human health. He is editing a first text book on planetary health with Howard Frumkin entitled Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves.

Dr. Marion Nestle

Professor, New York University

Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University, in the department she chaired from 1988 to 2003. She also holds appointments in NYU’s Sociology Department and in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She earned a doctorate in Molecular Biology and an MPH in Public Health Nutrition, both from UC Berkeley. She held previous positions at Brandeis University, UCSF School of Medicine, and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion where she edited the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. She is the author of several prize-winning books, among them Food Politics (2002), Safe Food (2003), What to Eat (2006), Why Calories Count (2012), Eat, Drink, Vote (2013), and Soda Politics (2015). She also has authored or co-authored two books about pet food. From 2008 to 2013, she wrote a monthly Food Matters column for theSan Francisco Chronicle. She blogs almost daily atwww.foodpolitics.com, and her Twitter account, @marionnestle, has been ranked by Science Magazine, Time Magazine, and The Guardian as among the top ten in health and science. Her most recent book is Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat (2018).

Secretary Kara Odom Walker

Secretary, Delaware Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Kara Odom Walker was sworn in as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Services on Feb. 6, 2017. As Secretary, she leads the principal agency charged with keeping Delawareans healthy, ensuring they get the health care they need in a fast-changing world, and providing children, families and seniors with essential social services including food benefits, disability-related services, and mental health and addiction treatment. 

As Secretary, Dr. Walker chairs the Health Fund Advisory Council, and is a member of the Delaware Health Care Commission and the Delaware Center for Health Innovation Board.  Secretary Walker previously worked as the Deputy Chief Science Officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a nonprofit, nongovernment organization in Washington that is authorized by Congress to improve evidence available to help patients, caregivers, employers, insurers and policymakers make informed health care decisions. 

She is a board-certified practicing family physician and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She has worked with several national organizations to advocate for health equity and for access to quality health care in minority and underserved populations. A respected leader, innovator and clinician, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2018, considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. 

Karen Pearl

President & CEO, God’s Love We Deliver

Karen Pearl has been President & CEO of God’s Love We Deliver since 2006. God’s Love provides medically tailored meals and medical nutrition therapy to people living with severe and chronic illnesses. During her tenure, the services at God’s Love have almost tripled, with nearly 2 million meals cooked and home-delivered each year, and the number of volunteers reaching more than 15,000 annually.

Karen has advanced the organization’s food and healthcare policy and advocacy capacity significantly and has led its research projects on HIV/AIDS and other illnesses, and on healthcare cost reduction. She is the Chairperson of the Food Is Medicine Coalition, a national association of nonprofit, medically tailored food and nutrition services (FNS) providers seeking to integrate FNS into healthcare for the critically and/or chronically ill.

Under Karen’s leadership, God’s Love was the winner of a New York Times Nonprofit Excellence award in 2010, and a winner of the New York State Department of Health Social Determinants of Health Innovation Award in 2018.

In 2018, Karen received a City/State Women’s Leadership Award, and in 2019, was named one of Crain’s Notable Women in Health Care.

Karen was previously Interim President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Nassau County. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and an M.A. in Counseling from New York University.

Representative Chellie Pingree

U.S. Representative, 1st District of Maine

Chellie Pingree represents the First District of Maine in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is a member of the Appropriations Committee, serving on three subcommittees: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration; Interior, Environment; and Military Construction, Veterans Administration. In addition, this year she rejoined the House Agriculture Committee. Chellie is an advocate for reforming federal policy to better support the diverse range of American agriculture—including sustainable, organic, and locally focused farming.  

Ron Pollack

Formerly the Founding Executive Director, now Chair Emeritus, of Families USA

For more than three decades, Ron Pollack was the Founding Executive Director, and is now the Chair Emeritus, of Families USA, the national organization for health care consumers. Families USA’s mission is to achieve high-quality, affordable health coverage and care for everyone in the U.S. Pollack played a leading role in promoting the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and President Obama inscribed on the top of that law: “To Ron and Families USA –You made this happen!” Pollack and Families USA also played a leading role in securing the passage and extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Pollack was the Founder and Board Chair of Enroll America, the national collaborative leader that promoted optimal health coverage enrollment for uninsured people seeking insurance through the Affordable Care Act –such as coverage through the expansion of Medicaid as well as coverage with tax-credit premium subsidies for families seeking private health insurance. Pollack has received various honors. The Hill, a publication serving members of Congress and their staffs, named Mr. Pollack one of the nine top nonprofit lobbyists. Modern Healthcare named Mr. Pollack one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Health Care. National Journal named him one of the top 25 players in Congress, the Administration, and the lobbying community on Medicare prescription drug benefits. In 1997, Pollack was appointed by President Clinton as the sole consumer representative on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. In that capacity, he helped prepare the patients’ bill of rights that has been enacted by many state legislatures. Prior to his position at Families USA, Mr. Pollack was the Dean of the Antioch University School of Law (1980-1983).

Laura Reiley

The Washington Post

Laura Reiley is an award-winning food writer, restaurant critic and author. She is currently the business of food reporter at the Washington Post, and she was previously a food critic at the Tampa Bay Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Baltimore Sun. She has been named a James Beard finalist twice, and in 2017 she was a Pulitzer finalist on the strength of an investigative series she did called “Farm to Fable” about the fraudulent claims of locavore restaurants and markets. She has authored four books and has cooked professionally. Since coming to the Post, she has avidly followed the alt-protein revolution, food policy issues in Washington and the effects of climate change on agriculture. Laura received degrees from the University of Virginia, in English, and from the California Culinary Academy. She and her husband, Jonathan Rottenberg, a clinical psychology professor, have an adult daughter studying public health at Johns Hopkins University. 

Dr. Eric Rimm

Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard Th Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Eric Rimm, ScD, is Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He is internationally recognized for his extensive work in the study of diet and chronic disease. He also studies local and national nutrition policy as it impacts the diets of individuals on federal nutrition assistance programs. He serves on the National Academy of Sciences advisory committee for the USDA’s Economic Research Service and previously served on the scientific advisory committee for the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans. He has published 750+ peer-reviewed publications while on the faculty at Harvard and has received several awards for his work including the American Society for Nutrition Innovation Award. 

Walter Robb

An investor, mentor and advisor to the next generation of American food companies, former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market Walter Robb has a long and varied entrepreneurial history, ranging from natural food retailer to farmer to consultant. Robb joined Whole Foods Market in 1991 and in 2010 was named co-CEO along with John Mackey, at which time he joined the Whole Foods Market Board of Directors. In 2017, Robb transitioned his leadership focus to mentoring and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs through the creation of Stonewall Robb Advisors. He is a passionate advocate for greater food access in underserved communities, serving as Chairman of the Board for Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Cities Foundation. Robb is an Executive in Residence at S2G Ventures and serves on the Board of Directors for Union Square Hospitality Group, The Container Store, FoodMaven, HeatGenie, Aphria, and Apeel Sciences. 

Dottie Rosenbaum

Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Dottie Rosenbaum is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research and policy institute that pursues federal and state policies designed to reduce poverty and inequality and to restore fiscal responsibility in equitable and effective ways.  In her nearly 20 years at the Center her work has focused on federal and state issues in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps), as well as on issues that involve the coordination of SNAP and other state-administered health and income security programs, such as Medicaid, TANF, WIC, and child care.

In addition, Rosenbaum has expertise on the federal budget and Congressional budget process. Before joining the Center, Rosenbaum was a budget analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, where she projected federal spending and provided Congress with cost estimates for a variety of programs including: SNAP, Medicaid, Child Nutrition, and Elementary and Secondary Education.

She has a BA from Haverford College and a Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Darshak Sanghavi

Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare & Retirement

Darshak Sanghavi, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare & Retirement business, the largest commercial Medicare program in the country. Most recently, he was Chief Medical Officer at OptumLabs, overseeing a diverse portfolio of innovation-directed projects addressing national health priorities including the opioid crisis, health care affordability, artificial intelligence strategies in health, chronic medical conditions such as dementia and diabetes, and numerous other collaborative programs with an extended stakeholder team spanning over 100 projects. Earlier, he was a member of the Obama administration, as the Director of Preventive and Population Health at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, where he oversaw the development of large pilot programs aimed at improving the nation’s health care costs and quality. In this capacity, he was the architect of numerous initiatives, including the $157 million Accountable Health Communities model, the 3 million-member Million Hearts Cardiovascular Risk Reduction model, and the $1 billion Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program. Dr. Sanghavi was formerly a fellow and a managing director of the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. (where the post-World War II Marshall plan was developed), where he directed efforts to better engage clinicians in health care payment and delivery reform. He is also an associate professor of pediatrics and the former chief of pediatric cardiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, directing clinical and research programs dedicated to children’s heart defects, where he still sees patients. Dr. Sanghavi is an award-winning medical educator, who has worked in medical settings around the world and published dozens of scientific papers on topics ranging from the molecular biology of cell death to tuberculosis transmission patterns in Peruvian slums. A frequent guest on NBC’s Today and past commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered, Dr. Sanghavi is a contributing editor to Parents magazine, a health care columnist with Slate, and has regularly written about health care for the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Washington Post. His best-seller, A Map of the Child: A Pediatrician’s Tour of the Body, was named a best health book of the year by the Wall Street Journal.  He was also a former visiting media fellow of the Kaiser Family Foundation and a winner of the Wharton Business Plan Competition. He previously worked for several years as a U.S. Indian Health Service pediatrician on a Navajo reservation. Educated at Harvard College and Johns Hopkins Medical School, Dr. Sanghavi completed his pediatrics residency and cardiology fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston. 

Dr. Marlene Schwartz

Director, UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

Dr. Marlene Schwartz is a Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences and the Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. During her career, she has studied the potential of nutrition and wellness policies to improve diet quality and health equity, especially among children and low-income families. Her research has taken place in multiple settings, including child care, schools, food banks and food pantries. Dr. Schwartz earned her BA from Haverford College and her PhD in Psychology from Yale University. Prior to joining the Rudd Center, she served as Co-Director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders from 1996 to 2006. Dr. Schwartz has published over 100 scientific papers and has received research grants from government agencies and health foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Institutes of Health. She has presented her work at national and international meetings, including ones convened by the National Academy of Medicine, the White House, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK. Dr. Schwartz received the Sarah Samuels Award from the Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association. 

Dr. Rajiv Shah

President, Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Shah brings over twenty years of experience in business, government, and philanthropy to The Rockefeller Foundation.  Appointed as USAID Administrator by President Obama in 2009, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Shah was charged with reshaping the $20 billion agency’s operations to provide greater assistance to pressing development challenges around the globe. By elevating the importance of innovation, promoting public-private partnerships, rethinking internal practices, and shifting how dollars were spent to deliver stronger results, Shah secured bipartisan support that enabled USAID to dramatically accelerate its work to end extreme poverty.  Despite partisan gridlock on many issues, two significant Presidential priorities – Feed the Future and Power Africa – passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and were signed into law by President Obama, and the Global Food Security Act is the second largest global development legislation after PEPFAR.  Shah’s work delivered results for countries facing democratic transitions, post-conflict situations, and humanitarian crises, and is widely credited with providing life-saving access to food, health, and water for millions of children across the planet.

When Dr. Shah left USAID in 2015, he continued to follow his passion for creating opportunities for communities to thrive in the developing world by founding Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia. He was also appointed a  Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University.

Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business.  Prior to his appointment at USAID, Shah served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture.  He also served in a number of leadership roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he helped launch the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (a joint venture by the Gates and Rockefeller foundations) and the International Financing Facility for Immunization (credited with raising more than $5 billion for childhood immunizations worldwide) and where he supported the creation of the Global Development Program. He and his wife, Shivam Mallick Shah have three children.

Alan Solomont

Dean, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University

Alan Solomont currently serves as the Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. The only university-wide college of its kind, Tisch College studies and promotes the civic and political engagement of young people at Tufts University, in our communities, and in our democracy. Tisch College is the leading authority on youth voting in this country. In addition, Tisch College recently launched the nation’s first major in Civic Studies on any university campus, as well as an innovative first-semester of service and civic engagement for incoming students called the Tufts Civic Semester. Alan’s career has been marked by his commitment to political activism, public service and organizing for the greater good. He was appointed by President Obama to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra from 2009-2013. Alan is the former Chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service. He was first appointed to the board by President Clinton in 2000, reappointed by President George W. Bush in 2007 and elected chair in 2009. He also served as the National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Alan is a dedicated Tufts Jumbo, with experience in the roles of student, Instructor, Tufts parent, Trustee & Board Chair. 

Brooks Tingle

President and CEO, John Hancock Life Insurance

Brooks Tingle has responsibility for and provides strategic leadership of John Hancock’s insurance businesses—focusing on John Hancock Life Insurance, a leading provider of life insurance solutions and Long Term Care Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary responsible for administration of Federal Government Long Term care and benefits plans. Prior to his current role, Mr. Tingle led the Marketing and Strategy teams for John Hancock Insurance and drove the modernization of the company’s marketing function through initiatives such as an ambitious digital strategy, the build out of a strong advanced analytics team, and sharpened focus on customer experience/engagement. Much of his focus is on innovation to enhance the relevance and attractiveness of insurance products to today’s consumers. An example was his leadership in identifying, developing, and implementing the John Hancock Vitality solution, which integrates life insurance with a technology-enabled wellness program. This new kind of life insurance offers customers significant savings and rewards for living healthy. Previously, Mr. Tingle served as senior vice president and chief operations officer for John Hancock Life Insurance Company and was responsible for all operations including new business, underwriting, claims, information technology, policy administration, customer service, and reinsurance administration. Mr. Tingle leads the executive leadership team of John Hancock Insurance and serves on the executive leadership team of John Hancock. He is also a member of Manulife’s Global Leadership team. Mr. Tingle is a member of the Board of The Partnership, Inc., the Board of The Life Insurance Council of New York, Inc. and The Citizen Schools National Advisory Board. He is a member of the ACLI ’s Data Analytics Task Force. Mr. Tingle received an MBA from Boston University and a B.A. in Economics from the University of New Hampshire. 

Dr. Parke Wilde

Professor, Tufts Friedman School

Parke Wilde is a professor at the Friedman School. His general research focus is on U.S. food and nutrition policy; consumer economics and federal food assistance programs. Current and past research includes a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Healthy Incentive Pilot (HIP); the geography of local food retail, federal commodity checkoff programs, and food and beverage marketing to children. You can read more about his work at his blog, U.S. Food Policy.

He is the author of the textbook, Food Policy in the United States: An Introduction, Second Edition (Routledge, 2018).

Dr. Walter Willett

Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Walter Willett is Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the HarvardT.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He served as Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard for 25 years. His work has focused on development of methods, using both questionnaire and biochemical approaches, to study the effects of diet on the occurrence of major diseases. He has applied these methods to large cohort studies, including nearly 300,000 men and women, that are providing the most detailed information on the long-term health consequences of diets. Dr. Willett has published over 1,900 articles, primarily on lifestyle risk factors for cardiometabolic disease and cancer, and has written the textbook, Nutritional Epidemiology. 

Dr. Michelle Williams

Dean of the Faculty, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Michelle A. Williams is Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development, a joint faculty appointment at the Harvard Chan School and Harvard Kennedy School. She is an internationally renowned epidemiologist and public health scientist, an award-winning educator, and a widely recognized academic leader. Prior to becoming Dean, she was Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School and Program Leader of the Population Health and Health Disparities Research Programs at Harvard’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Center. Her scientific work places special emphasis in the areas of reproductive, perinatal, pediatric, and molecular epidemiology. Dean Williams has published over 450 scientific articles. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2016. The Dean has a master’s in civil engineering from Tufts University and master’s and doctoral degrees in epidemiology from the Harvard Chan School. 

Dr. Norbert Wilson

Professor, Tufts Friedman School

Norbert Wilson is a Professor of Food Policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.  His research touches on a number of food issues of such as access, choice, and food waste. He continues to work on food safety and quality issues in international trade and domestic food systems. Additionally, his work is moving to explore equity in food access and health. He loves good coffee and has published analysis of coffee quality and prices. Norbert has published in AEA Papers and ProceedingsWorld DevelopmentAmerican Journal of Agricultural EconomicsJournal of Public HealthFood PolicyAgricultural Economics, among others.

Prior to the Friedman School, Norbert was a professor of agricultural economics at Auburn University (1999-2016). He was an economist/policy analyst in the Trade Directorate (2004-2006) and in the Agriculture Directorate (2001-2002) of the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) in Paris, France. In 2014-2015, Norbert was on sabbatical leave at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.

Norbert earned his doctorate in 1999 in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis. He earned his MSc. in Agricultural Economics from Wye College, University of London, UK in 1994. He was a Rotary International Fellow while in the UK. In 1993, Norbert earned a BSA in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Catherine Woteki

Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University

Dr. Catherine Woteki is Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University. From 2010-2016, she served as Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area. In that role, she developed the office of the Chief Scientist, established the USDA Science Council, and instituted the Department’s first scientific integrity and open data policies. She was called upon to lead scientific delegations to China and the first meeting of the Agricultural Chief Scientists held under the auspices of the G-20. Dr. Woteki is an advocate for building the platforms needed to enhance domestic and international food and agricultural research. Prior to joining USDA, Dr. Woteki served as Global Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for Mars, Incorporated, where she managed the company’s scientific policy on matters of health, nutrition, and food safety. From 2002-2005, she was Dean of Agriculture and Professor of Human Nutrition at Iowa State University, and also head of the Agricultural Experiment Station. Dr. Woteki served as the first Under Secretary for Food Safety at the USDA from 1997-2001 where she oversaw the safety of meat, poultry and egg products.