Speaker Bios



Tia Anzellotti
Tia Anzellotti, BS, MS, is the Executive Director of the San Diego Hunger Coalition. Ms. Anzellotti has over 12 years of non­profit experience with a focus in the areas of anti-hunger and public policy/advocacy. During the past several years, Ms. Anzellotti has worked closely with the County of San Diego and numerous community based organizations to increase Food Stamp participation rates and access to healthy, affordable food.


Richard Atkinson
Richard Atkinson, MD, is a Physician who has worked in obesity research and treatment for over 30 years. His research has focused on the mechanisms of weight loss with obesity surgery and on drug treatment of obesity. He is editor of the International Journal of Obesity and past president of NAASO, ASCN and the American Obesity Association.


Rajni Banthia
Rajni Banthia, PhD, is a Program Associate at PolicyLink where she contributes to projects that increase opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy foods by providing research and technical assistance. Dr. Banthia earned a Doctorate degree in behavioral medicine from the University of California San Diego and San Diego State University joint doctoral program in clinical psychology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Scholars in Health Disparities program.


Sarah Barlow
Sarah Barlow is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.  She has worked for over 10 years in the field of childhood obesity.  Clinical care experience includes the directorship of the Weight Management Program at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, established in 1998.  Currently, Ms. Barlow is the Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Obesity.  Her research interest has been focused on obesity care in the primary setting.  After writing the summary paper for the 1998 Expert Committee Recommendations, she was the lead scientist on a Needs Assessment questionnaire to pediatric providers.  Subsequently, Ms. Barlow was awarded a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (K08) “Treating Obesity in Pediatric Offices,” a project that culminated recently in a study to increase parent’s plan to improve eating or activity through parent-selected handouts during health supervision visits.  Most recently, Ms. Barlow wrote the summary paper for the revision of the Expert Committee Recommendations on the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Obesity, published in December 2007.


Dennis Barrett
With 40 years of management experience in the food service industry, Dennis Barrett is Director of Food Services Branch for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation’s second largest school district.  The Branch has a $350 million annual operating budget, serves 117 million meals a year, and has 5,000 employees working at 650 locations. During his tenure at LAUSD, Mr. Barrett has focused on productivity and quality improvement.  Through his leadership, menus have been refined so that nutritious foods, meeting United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, are more appealing, increased by four percent, resulting in a five percent increase in revenues.  The food cost has declined by 5 cents per meal at a time, when food costs are rising across the nation.  Mr. Barrett was the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) 2003 Silver Plate recipient as “Operator of the Year” in the K-12 Category.


Ameena Batada
Ameena Batada, PhD, is a Child Health Project Manager at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  She advocates for policies to improve child nutrition and to prevent childhood obesity, including local, state, and national legislation to reduce the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.  Dr. Batada monitors food marketing practices by food, restaurant, and media companies.  Current projects include a multi-year assessment of Nickelodeon's food marketing and an analysis of industry policies to limit junk-food marketing to children.  She also coordinates a multi-disciplinary group of advocates concerned about food marketing to children to communicate with industry and policy makers about the importance of more responsible food marketing to children.  Dr. Batada earned her Doctor of Public Health in Health Communication from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Raymond Baxter
Raymond Baxter, PhD, is Kaiser Permanente’s Senior Vice President for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. As a member of Kaiser’s National Leadership Team, Dr. Baxter leads the organization’s activities to fulfill its social mission, including care and coverage for low-income people, community health initiatives, environmental stewardship and support for community-based organizations, as well as research and the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy. He also serves as President of Kaiser Permanente International, and in 2004 he served as interim president for KP’s Southern California Region, serving over three million members. Dr. Baxter has more than 30 years of experience managing public health, hospital, long-term care and mental health programs, including heading the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. Dr. Baxter also led The Lewin Group, a noted health policy firm. Dr. Baxter holds a doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. He serves on the Board of Directors of Grantmakers in Health, the Advisory Board of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and the Technical Board of the Milbank Memorial Fund, National Public Health and Hospital Institute and is a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Expert Panel. In 2001 the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health honored him as a Public Health Hero for his service in the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. In September 2006 he received the Centers for Disease Control Foundation Hero Award for addressing the health consequences of Hurricane Katrina by supporting public health teams in the Gulf Coast, and for his longstanding commitment to improving the health of communities.


Bill Beery
Bill Beery is the Director of Center for Community Health and Evaluation.  He leads the community health and evaluation team within the Center for Health Studies and is an Affiliate Professor in the Health Services Department at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine.  Mr. Beery’s work is focused on the evaluation of community-based health improvement efforts, health promotion in populations, and the evaluation of the efforts of health-related philanthropy.  A former Director of Group Health’s Center for Health Promotion, Mr. Beery has been with Group Health for over 20 years.  He currently serves as PI/Director of multiple projects working in 10 states with 10 different foundations.


Judith Bell
At PolicyLink, Judith Bell oversees policy development, strategic planning, program implementation, and policy campaign strategy. Her work at PolicyLink includes access to healthy foods, transportation, and infrastructure investment. In addition, Ms. Bell leads PolicyLink work with the Healthy Eating Active Living Convergence Partnership, a multi-foundation initiative to support equity focused efforts to advance policy and environmental changes for healthy people and healthy places.


Victoria Berends
Victoria Berends serves as Marketing Director for California Project LEAN. Ms. Berends has been working on nutrition and physical activity issues for over 12 years and has developed several tools and trainings to assist with school wellness policy development and implementation. She has also served as marketing director of the California Grocers Association and the California Nutrition Network. Ms. Berends leads CPL’s work with school board members to encourage the adaptation and implementation of policies that support healthy eating and physical activity. She also manages the Childhood Obesity Conference.


Kimberly Belshé
Kimberly Belshé was appointed Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November 2003. In this capacity, she serves as a member of the governor’s Cabinet and as his chief advisor on health, social services and rehabilitative policies. Ms. Belshé manages an agency that has almost 33,000 employees, with a total state budget of more than $74 billion. The agency oversees 11 state departments and one board that are responsible for providing Californians with health, developmental, mental, rehabilitative, social and other critical services. As Secretary, Ms. Belshé is responsible for providing leadership and oversight of the agency’s efforts to promote the health and well-being of the people of California, particularly those most in need and at risk. Prior to joining the Schwarzenegger Administration, Ms. Belshé served in a number of leadership positions in state government under the administration of Governor Pete Wilson, including deputy secretary of the then-Health and Welfare Agency and director of the Department of Health Services. After a decade of public service in federal and state government, Ms. Belshé served as the program director for The James Irvine Foundation, a multipurpose foundation dedicated to expanding opportunities for the people of California. Throughout her career, Ms. Belshé has served in a number of civic capacities. She is a board member of the Great Valley Center, which is dedicated to promoting the sustainability of California’s Central Valley region and served as a founding commissioner of the California Children and Families Commission. Secretary Belshé is a native of San Francisco and holds a Masters of Public Policy degree from Princeton University and a Bachelors degree in government from Harvard.


Ariel Bierbaum
Ariel H. Bierbaum, MCP, is the Program Director at the Center for Cities & Schools at the University of California, Berkeley.  Ms. Bierbaum serves as a liaison to key national, regional, state and local government agencies; school district; and university partners.  She is leading research examining the reciprocal impacts of infill development and education in the Bay Area.  She also oversees the graduate student fellows program and provides coaching and technical assistance to participants of the PLUS Leadership Initiative, working with six cities and their school districts in the Bay Area on a range of collaborative projects.  Additionally, Ms. Bierbaum manages an area of work focused on engaging students and schools in urban redevelopment and policy-making working with students, teachers, principals, superintendents, and city officials to ensure the legitimate involvement of students in redevelopment projects and the integration of this participation into core curriculum.  She has served on the advisory committee for the Association of Bay Area Governments’ FOCUS Initiative.  She brings over 10 years of experience in city and regional planning, city government, strategic planning and communications, community engagement, and university-community relations.  Ms. Bierbaum holds a Masters of City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelors degree in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania.


Rob Bisceglie
Rob Bisceglie, MA, was appointed Executive Director of Action for Healthy Kids in January 2008, bringing thirteen years of diverse non-profit experience in management, operations, development, strategic and operational planning and research. Mr. Bisceglie has a Masters degree in foreign affairs with a concentration in human rights foreign policy from the University of Virginia and a Bachelors degree in business from the University of Illinois.


Fred Blackwell
Fred Blackwell has been Executive Director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (SFRA) since August 2007, where he oversees housing, economic development and infrastructure investments in the City’s eight major project areas.  Prior to joining the City of San Francisco, Mr. Blackwell was the Director for the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Making Connections Initiative in Oakland, a multi-year, multi-million dollar neighborhood revitalization project aimed at improving outcomes for children and families in East Oakland.  During his tenure, Mr. Blackwell launched a variety of programs and projects including a revolving loan fund for affordable housing development, a countywide Earned Income Tax Credit campaign, and a collaborative effort focused on employment and asset development for low-income families.  Before joining the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Mr. Blackwell worked at The San Francisco Foundation where he was a Fellow in the Foundation’s Neighborhood Community Development program area and manager of a multi-million dollar effort funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to improve the physical, economic, and human conditions in West Oakland, CA.


Branden Born
Branden Born is an Assistant Professor in the department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington.  He studies planning process and social justice, land use planning and regionalism, and urban food systems.  Currently he is working with stakeholders from around Washington State to examine land use regulations with regard to environmental sustainability and agricultural viability. Mr. Born is also working with citizens and elected officials to develop local food policy and a Seattle-King County Food Policy Council, as well as collaborating with researchers and community members on several healthy community initiatives.  Mr. Born recently co-authored “A Planner’s Guide to Community and Regional Food Planning,” through the American Planning Association.


Phyllis Bramson-Paul
Phyllis Bramson-Paul, MPPA, has spent her career in public service focusing on improving maternal, infant/toddler and school nutrition.  Ms. Bramson-Paul is the Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction and Director of Nutrition Services for the California Department of Education.  Prior to joining the Department of Education, she spent six years working for the California State Legislature as a fiscal and policy consultant and 11 years as Director of California’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program.  Ms. Bramson-Paul graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley and has a Masters degree in Public Policy and Administration from California State University, Sacramento.


Hannah Burton Laurison
Hannah Burton Laurison, MA, is a Senior Associate with Public Health Law & Policy, where she specializes in community economic development. Prior to joining PHLP, she staffed a public-private initiative to develop grocery stores in underserved communities. Ms. Laurison holds a Masters degree in urban planning from Tufts University.


Maria Campbell Casey
Maria Campbell Casey, MA, Med, is Director of the Program Office for the local demonstration component of Healthy Eating, Active Communities (HEAC), a program of the California Endowment in partnership with Kaiser Permanente.  Formerly, she was Director of the Program Office for the Partnership for the Public’s Health initiative.  Before joining the Public Health Institute in 1999, Ms. Casey was President and CEO of the Oakland based Urban Strategies Council, a research, policy development and advocacy organization focused on reducing persistent poverty.  While at the Council, she also directed the National Community Building Support Center.  Ms. Casey brings over 35 years of experience working with local community residents and diverse partners in education, government, business, community organizations, public health, the faith arena and philanthropy to build healthy vibrant communities and improve outcomes for our most vulnerable children and families. 


Steve Castaneda
Steve Castaneda was elected to the Chula Vista City Council in 2004.  Mr. Castaneda quickly established himself as a leader on a number of vital issues facing residents throughout the City: health, public safety, energy, environmental and water issues.  He has been tireless in his efforts to shape and promote effective policies that make our neighbourhoods healthier and ensure our food, energy and water supplies are clean, dependable and safe.  Mr. Castaneda is Chula Vista’s representative to the Healthy Eating Active Communities Program (HEAC) a private statewide initiative to prevent childhood obesity. He serves on the board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) California Health Leadership Program to improve the quality of life and wellness of California’s children, particularly in poor, ethnic communities.  As a Councilmember, Mr. Castaneda has successfully sponsored ordinances restricting tobacco use near restaurant entrances and patios, requiring healthy snacks in city vending machines and restricting alcohol use in Chula Vista City Parks, to improve the quality of life for the community’s children.  Mr. Castaneda serves on the City Council Energy Subcommittee and has been instrumental in persuading the California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to soon retire the polluting South Bay Power Plant and to underground transmission lines on our beautiful Bayfront.  In his work on the Interagency Water Task Force, Mr. Castaneda champions policy to keep our region’s water supply safe and reliable. He demanded the use of reclaimed water for irrigation in areas served by the Otay Water District. Mr. Castaneda has a long record of protecting and enriching Chula Vista’s single-family neighbourhoods.


Kumar Chandran
Kumar Chandran, MS, MPH, is a Nutrition Policy Advocate with California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA).  His work focuses mainly on improving and expanding the federal nutrition programs for low-income people in California.  In particular, Mr. Chandran’s work concentrates on the child nutrition programs, such as school meals and child care nutrition.  Prior to his time at CFPA, Mr. Chandran was pursuing his graduate studies in public health and nutrition policy at Tufts University.


Jie Chen
A graduate of San Francisco’s Phillip and Sala Burton High School and University of California, Berkeley, Jie Chen is a young leader in his own right. In 2003, Mr. Chen developed curriculum and served as an instructor for five years thereafter for the middle school program Urban Trail Blazers (UTB). In his current job as Youth Leadership Coordinator at the Crissy Field Center, he encourages new generations to become bold leaders for thriving parks, healthy communities and a more environmentally just society.


Lisa Cirill
Lisa Cirill, MS, is the Acting Chief for the California Center for Physical Activity, a program within the California Department of Public Health which creates opportunities for incidental, everyday physical activity through environmental and policy change. Ms. Cirill oversees numerous state-wide projects to increase physical activity and promote active living for Californians of all ages and abilities.


Mildred Cody
Mildred Cody, PhD, is the Principal Investigator for the USDA Local Wellness Policy Demonstration Project and the former head of the Division of Nutrition at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She has recently served as a Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization Inter-country Technical Consultation on National Food Based Dietary Guidelines.


Deborah Cohen
Deborah Cohen, MD, MPH, is a researcher in the area of the built environment and health, and is the co-author of “Prescription for a Healthy Nation, A new approach to improving our lives by fixing our everyday world,” published by Beacon Press.  Dr. Cohen is Board Certified in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and is currently a Senior Natural Scientist at the RAND Corporation.  Most recently, her research studies have been focused on the role of the built environment in physical activity and dietary behaviors, but she has also done extensive work in STD/HIV control and alcohol policy.  Dr. Cohen has served on several advisory panels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Brazil.  She is the Principal Investigator of several grants to assess how parks influence physical activity.


Larry Cohen
Larry Cohen, MSW, is the Prevention Institute founder and Executive Director and has been an advocate for public health and prevention since 1972.  An important focus of his work has been to develop local policies that support health and wellness and spur legislation at the state and federal levels.  Mr. Cohen established the Food and Nutrition Policy Consortium, whose work led to a county food policy and helped to catalyze the nation's food labeling law.  He has also done extensive work related to health disparities and helped create a web-based tool designed to help communities identify and foster factors in the community environment that will improve health outcomes and reduce disparities experienced by racial and ethnic minorities.  Mr. Cohen received his Masters degree in social work from the State University of New York, Stony Brook.


Tracy Conkey
Tracy Conkey is a Territory Manager at the Dairy Council of California. Ms. Conkey actively works with school districts throughout Orange County and northern San Diego to assist in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Local School Wellness Policies. Ms. Conkey is the Liaison for California Action for Healthy Kids and partners with several community collaborative groups to help prevent childhood obesity and to promote the Coordinated School Health Model in schools.


Diane Craft
Diane Craft, PhD, is on the faculty of the Physical Education Department at State University of New York at Cortland. She has worked for over a decade to improve the physical activity opportunities for preschool children with and without disabilities. Dr. Craft was recognized as the National Professional of the Year in Adapted Physical Education. In 2008 she coauthored Active Play: Fun Physical Activities for Children and produced an accompanying DVD showing children participating in 30 of the books 52 physical activities.


Patricia Crawford
Patricia Crawford, DrPH, RD, is Director of the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health and Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and the Department of Nutritional Services and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Crawford led the 10-year longitudinal NHLBI Growth & Health Study, an epidemiologic study on the development of obesity in African American and white girls. She serves on several advisory boards including the California Legislative Task Force on Diabetes & Obesity and the Institute of Medicine’s Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention.


Erin Delaney
Erin Delaney is a junior at High Tech High School in San Diego.  She has participated in the CS3 Youth Engagement Project which was a collaboration of the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, San Diego County Obesity Initiative, and the City of La Mesa.  This program brought youth, as well as senior volunteers together in an effort to promote healthy neighbourhood environments.  The project focused on advocacy of sidewalk connectivity, was instrumental in obtaining a $550,000 Safe Routes to School Grants, and also received a $10,000 Gold Medal Spotlight Award from the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.  Ms. Delaney has also recently served on the policy team of the California Endowment’s Livewell Initiative as a representative of La Mesa’s Youth Advisory Commission.  Ms. Delaney continues to pursue her interest in government and politics and is currently interning in the chambers of a ninth Circuit Court Judge.


Matthew Diskin
Matthew Diskin, MS, is a Special Education and Physical Education teacher in the Gateway Unified School District in Redding, California. Mr. Diskin gained national attention as a specialist using physical activity with great success in the special education environment. Mr. Diskin won a Carol M. White PEP Grant in 2003 and overhauled Physical Education in the Gateway School District.


Linda Jo Doctor
Linda Jo Doctor is a Program Director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.  In this role, she participates in the development of programming priorities, reviews and recommends proposals for funding, manages and monitors a portfolio of active grants, and designs and implements national grants initiatives and multi-year projects.  Specifically Ms. Doctor helps guide Foundation programming in Food, Health and Well Being and in its home state of Michigan.  Established in 1930, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.  Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Leotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.  Ms. Doctor also serves as co-leader of Food and Fitness – an initiative designed to promote healthy food and activity environments and address disparities that children and families experience.  Previously, Ms. Doctor was deputy director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Allies Against Asthma Program housed at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.  She also directed the Division of Prevention at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she provided leadership for statewide health promotion and prevention programs and interagency initiatives.  She has worked in substance abuse prevention including managing a national training and technical assistance system supported by the federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.  Ms. Doctor has had leadership roles in several professional associations including the Prevention Network and the Association of State and Territorial Health Promotion Directors, and is a member of the American Public Health Association and the Society of Public Health Education.  Ms. Doctor received her Masters degree in public health from Boston University School of Public Health.  She received her Bachelor of Science in social work from the University of Cincinnati, College of Community Services.


Lori Dorfman
Lori Dorfman, PhD, directs Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG), a project of the Public Health Institute, where she oversees BMSG’s research, media advocacy training and strategic consultation and professional education for journalists. With colleagues at the Center for Digital Democracy, Dr. Dorfman has been conducting research on how food and beverage companies are using digital marketing to target children and youth.


Norberto Duenas
Norberto Duenas, MPA, has nearly 25 years of experience in local government administration and management.  Mr. Duenas has enjoyed a variety of opportunities to expand his knowledge and skills, both academically and professionally.  He has spent a lifetime dedicated to public service where his commitment began when he finished college and started work with the City of San Jose as a Council Assistant to former Councilmember James Beall.  Since then, he has held key managerial and project management positions with various departments within the City of San Jose.  Currently, Mr. Duenas is the Deputy City Manager for the City of San Jose with the responsibility of overseeing the administration and management of the Neighborhood Services Community Service Area (CSA).  Overall, his work and efforts strive to strengthen neighborhoods by cultivating responsible residents that are informed and prepared to participate in local government.  Mr. Duenas received his Bachelors degree in Political Science and a Masters degree in Public Administration, both from San Jose State University.


Ginny Ehrlich
Ginny Ehrlich, MPH, is Executive Director of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Ms. Ehrlich led the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program from its inception to reaching over 4,000 schools in all 50 states. She quadrupled the Healthy Schools Program budget in less than two years. Ms. Ehrlich has spent 18 years as a public health and education professional, in capacities ranging from the classroom to national levels, and holds Masters degrees in Public Health and Special Education.


Steve Eldred
Steve Eldred, MPH, is Senior Program Officer in the San Diego/Orange County Border Region office of The California Endowment. In 2008, Mr. Eldred established a partnership with the San Diego Padres to launch the FriarFit Initiative, a collaboration with a high-profile professional sports organization to improve physical activity and nutrition environments in the ballpark, in schools and in the community.


Jonathan Fielding
Jonathan Fielding, MD, MPH, MBA, is the Director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the County Health Officer, responsible for all public health functions including surveillance and control of both communicable and non-communicable diseases, and of health protection, including emergency preparedness, for the County’s 10 million residents.  He directs a staff of 4,000 with an annual budget exceeding $800 million.  He is also a Commissioner of the Los Angeles First 5 Commission, which grants over $100 million per year to improve the health and development of children 0-5.  Dr. Fielding chairs the US Community Preventive Services Task Force and was a founding member of the US Clinical Preventive Services Task Force.  He also chairs the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020 and was appointed to the California Department of Public Health Advisory Board.  Dr. Fielding is a Professor in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health at UCLA, and has authored over 175 peer reviewed publications, editorials and book chapters on public health, health policy, health economics, emergency preparedness and evidence-based prevention and public health practice issues.  He is Editor of the Annual Review of Public Health and Chairman of Partnership for Prevention.  He also serves on the Board of the American Legacy Foundation and is an elected member in the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.  He received his medical and public health degrees from Harvard University, and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business.  He formerly served as Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health and as Vice President of Johnson & Johnson.  Dr. Fielding has received numerous awards, including the Sedgwick Memorial Medal from the American Public Health Association and the Distinguished Alumni Achievement award from the Harvard School of Public Health.


Heng Lam Foong
Heng Lam Foong, MA, joined the Healthy Eating Active Communities (HEAC) project in June 2008, representing the Los Angeles County Public Health Department in this collaborative effort to reduce childhood obesity in South Los Angeles. Prior to HEAC, Ms. Foong managed the Healthy Parks Healthy Communities program at the Trust for Public Land. She received her Bachelors degree in Communication Arts from the College of New Rochelle, and her Masters degree in Health Care Administration from Capella University.


Gary Foster
Gary Foster, PhD, is Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education, and Senior Assistant Vice President for Research and Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Vice President for Research at Temple University. Dr. Foster’s research interests include the prevention and treatment of obesity. He studies a variety of treatment approaches including behavior therapy, pharmacotherapy and surgery. He has authored or coauthored more than 125 scientific publications and three books on the etiology and treatment of obesity. His research on the school based prevention of obesity (Pediatrics, 2008) was cited by the American Heart the American Heart Association as one of the top 10 advances in cardiovascular research in 2008.


David Gallagher
David Gallagher is the National Program Director of Sports4Kids, a non-profit that brings safe and healthy play back to the school day. Sports4Kids currently serves 180 schools in 7 regions across the country. Mr. Gallagher has held a variety of roles in his 12 years with Sports4Kids, most recently as the director of Training and Community Partnerships, overseeing the Sports4Kids Community Training Program and charged with building partnerships within expansion cities.


Robert Garcia
Robert García, JD, is an attorney who engages, educates and empowers communities to achieve equal access to public resources. He is the Executive Director, Counsel and founder of The City Project in Los Angeles. He has extensive experience in public policy and legal advocacy, mediation, and litigation involving complex social justice, civil rights, human health, environmental, education, and criminal justice matters. He graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School, where he served on the Board of Editors of the Stanford Law Review.


Scott Gee
Scott Gee, MD, has worked for The Permanente Medical Group for over 20 years as a Pediatrician at Kaiser Pleasanton and as the Medical Director of Prevention and Health Information for Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Dr. Gee served as the Chair for the Childhood and Adolescent Overweight Initiative, which is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Keith Gilless
J. Keith Gilless, PhD, is the Dean of the College of Natural Resources and Professor of Forest Economics and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the faculty in 1983 and holds joint appointments in the department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.  Dr. Gilless earned his Bachelors degree in Forestry from Michigan State University and worked in forestry jobs in Maryland, Idaho, and Minnesota before undertaking graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from which he earned a joint Doctorate degree in Forestry and Agricultural Economics in 1983. His career includes teaching and research in Europe, Asia and Central America. He won the campus distinguished teaching award in 1988 and the Environmental Science Policy and Management undergraduate teaching award in 2006. He regularly teaches an introductory environmental economics and policy course and is Director of the UC Berkeley’s summer field program in forestry. He represents the College on the Executive Council of the UC Systemwide Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Dr. Gilless’ research is focused on trade in forest products, regional economic analysis of resource-dependent communities, wildland fire protection planning, forestry development and forest management decision analysis. He is particularly well known for his textbooks in forest resource management and his modeling work on the pulp and paper industry and wildland fire protection systems. Dr. Gilless served as Executive Associate Dean prior to his appointment as Dean, in which he played a critical role in the recent growth of the College, which has tripled its undergraduate enrollment over the past five years, and was responsible for general oversight of the College’s space, research centers and facilities, and field properties. He has also served the College as Associate Dean for Forestry, as a divisional chair in the department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, and as chair of CNR’s Executive Committee.


Harold Goldstein
Harold Goldstein is the Executive Director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. CCPHA is most well known for leading the successful campaigns to ban soda and junk food sales in California public schools, to increase funding for physical education and to require menu labeling in chain restaurants in California. Dr. Goldstein has a Bachelors degree in physiology from University of California, Berkeley, and a Doctorate degree in public health from University of California, Los Angeles.


Guillermo Gomez
Guillermo Gomez, MS, is the Chicago Director of the Healthy Schools Campaign and is a social justice activist with over 30 years experience in not-for-profit advocacy organizations focusing on underserved minority communities. Mr. Gomez is nationally recognized for his advocacy on combating childhood obesity in the Latino community and for building strategies with parents to work in schools creating wellness teams.


Jennifer Harris
Jennifer Harris, PhD, is Director of Marketing Initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University where she is also an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Psychology. She is responsible for identifying and coordinating research initiatives to understand the extent and impact of children’s exposure to food advertising. Dr. Harris completed her Doctorate degree in Social Psychology at Yale University and her Masters degree in Business Administration in Marketing from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Peter Havel
Peter Havel, PhD, is currently a Professor at University of California, Davis with joint appointments in the Departments of Molecular Biosciences and Nutrition.  Dr. Havel is investigating the regulation energy homeostasis and carbohydrate/lipid metabolism, and the involvement of endocrine systems in the pathophysiology of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  His laboratory is studying the mechanisms regulating the secretion of pancreatic and gastrointestinal hormones and the production of the adipocyte hormones, including leptin and adiponectin.  Biochemical and molecular studies are conducted using in vitro systems and the role of endocrine, metabolic, and dietary factors in regulating energy balance, insulin action, and lipid/carbohydrate metabolism is examined in vivo in animals and humans.  A major focus of the research is the interaction of diet composition (such as dietary fat and fructose) with the endocrine regulation of energy balance in the development and progression of obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia/atherosclerosis, including studies in animal models and clinical studies in humans.  Dr. Havel is also conducting studies on the effects of bariatric surgery procedures on gastrointestinal, pancreatic and adipocyte hormones and how these endocrine changes are involved in the improvements in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism after bariatiric surgery.  Dr. Havel earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and a Doctorate in Endocrinology from University of California, Davis.


M. Jane Heinig
M. Jane Heinig, PhD, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and an Academic Administrator in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis. She conducts research in the areas of clinical lactation, education, program evaluation and infant nutrition. Dr. Heinig also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Human Lactation and is the Executive Director of the University of California, Davis Human Lactation Center.


Mark Horton
Mark Horton, MD, was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health in July 2007. As Director, Dr. Horton provides leadership for programs responsible for public health, disaster preparedness and disease prevention for all Californians. With more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Horton has a strong background in public health programs and clinical practice. From November 2005 through June 2007, Dr. Horton served as State Public Health Officer and Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Health Services. During that time he advised the Governor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Department of Health Services on public health issues. Dr. Horton previously served as the Deputy Agency Director and Health Officer for the County of Orange Health Care Agency from 1999 to 2005. Prior to that, he was Vice President for Community Programs, Director of the Center for Child Protection and Director of the Center for Healthier Communities for Children at San Diego Children’s Hospital and Health Center from 1997 to 1999. For the preceding six years, Horton served as Director of Public Health for the State of Nebraska. Dr. Horton currently serves on the executive committee of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and is a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Horton received his Medical Degree from Saint Louis University and his Masters of Science degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina.


Gayle Shockey Hoxter
Gayle Shockey Hoxter, MPH, RD, is the Public Health Program Chief for Nutrition and Health Promotion for Riverside County Department of Public Health.  Ms. Hoxter is a recognized leader in promoting nutrition and physical activity in communities most impacted by the obesity epidemic with strategic leveraging of multiple partners such as Women, Infants, and Children(WIC), Network for Healthy California, and Riverside First Five, changing towards healthier communities and families.  Ms. Hoxter has been working for the past six years towards improving nutrition and physical activity in the child care arena.  Currently, they are working on a Health Habit 4 Life training which will reach nearly 3,000 child care providers which compliments with WIC's roll-out of the new food package.


Karrie Isaacson
Karrie Isaacson, RD, is a nutritionist for the Healthy Beginnings program. She has provided numerous trainings to parents/ guardians, childcare staff and healthcare providers on the importance of establishing healthy eating habits at a young age. Ms. Isaacson graduated from University of California, Davis with a Bachelors degree in Dietetics and completed her dietetic internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.


Abby Jaramillo
Abby Jaramillo, MNA, is the co-founder and Executive Director of Urban Sprouts, a nonprofit organization that provides school garden-based education at middle and high schools in San Francisco. She has worked as an educator in the Bay Area teaching at HOME BASE High School, leading youth programs at Enterprise for high school students and coordinating funds development at Streetside Stories. Ms. Jaramillo trained in horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz Farm & Garden. She holds her Bachelors degree in Economics from Haverford College and a Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.


Valarie Blue Jernigan
Valarie Blue Jernigan, MPH, DrPH, is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford School of Medicine.  Dr. Jernigan works in partnership with Indigenous communities, both on reservations and in urban settings in the areas of diabetes prevention and self-management and youth obesity, using a community-based participatory research approach.  She is known for designing and implementing health programs that are community-relevant, embedded within the context of the sociocultural, economic, and physical community environments, and serve not only as health interventions with specified health outcomes but as mechanisms for greater social change.  Dr. Jernigan incorporates documentary photography and filmmaking in her participatory research work with communities.  She has partnered with several Indigenous communities to make documentaries about social justice issues facing Native people.  Her board perspective of health has allowed her to integrate her knowledge in partnership with communities, policy-makers, and other stakeholders to develop more efficacious and participatory approaches to reduce and eliminate health disparities. Dr. Jernigan is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.


Michael Jerrett
Michael Jerrett, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Science, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.  Building on expertise in Health Geography, Geographic Information Science, and Spatial Analysis, Dr. Jerrett assesses the role of the built environment on numerous health risks and outcomes.  His topical areas of focus are: air pollution exposure modeling and health effects assessment, obesity and the built environment (i.e., how the built landscape influences physical activity and food intake), and the social distribution of environmental exposures.  Dr. Jerrett has published some of the most widely cited studies on air pollution health effects, social susceptibility to environmental risks, and environmental inequality.


James Johnson-Piett
James Johnson-Piett, a Principal at Urbane Development, specializes in neighborhood scale development and revitalization of urban commercial and retail amenities.  Mr. Johnson-Piett's work focuses on strengthening neighbourhood commercial and retail enterprises by providing services and expertise that infuses principles of social entrepreneurship, sustainability, and technical acumen into the core of his client’s operations.  Currently, he serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Community Food Security Coalition, is Co-Convener of the National Healthy Corner Stores Network, and a member of the Philadelphia Development Partnership’s Young Entrepreneur’s Advisory Board.


Deborah Kaplan
Deborah Kaplan, MPH, is the Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Bureau has developed a citywide, multilevel breastfeeding promotion strategy including individuals, community, institutional and policy level change. Ms. Kaplan holds a Masters degree in Public Health/Community Health Education from Hunter College and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral in Public Health Program at the City University of New York Graduate Center.


Manel Kappagoda
Manel Kappagoda, JD, MPH, is the Deputy Director of the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN), a program of Public Health Law and Policy in Oakland. NPLAN is part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s childhood obesity prevention initiative. Ms. Kappagoda is an attorney who completed a Masters degree in Public Health after practicing health law at a non-profit community law center for six years.


Katherine Kaufer Christoffel
Katherine Kaufer Christoffel, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and an attending pediatrician at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital. She received her Medical degree from Tufts University and her Masters of Public Health from Northwestern University. At Northwestern, she directs the CTSA-funded Community-Engaged Research Center and is Deputy Director of the Programs in Public Health.


Francine Kaufman
Francine Ratner Kaufman, MD, is Chief Medical Officer of Medtronic Diabetes.  She is a member of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  Dr. Kaufman is a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Communications at the Keck School of Medicine and the Annenberg School of Communications of the University of Southern California, and an attending physician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  Dr. Kaufman has published more than 115 peer-reviewed publications, as well as more than 75 other articles (non-peer reviewed).  She is the author of more than 30 book chapters and books.  In 2005, her book “Diabesity” was published by Bantam.  Dr. Kaufman was study chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded Studies to Treat (the TODAY Trail) or Prevent (the HEALTHY Trail) Type 2 Diabetes in Youth (STOPP-T2).  She was a principal investigator of TrailNet, a multi-national consortium evaluating ways to prevent type 1 diabetes, funded by the NIH.  In 2008, in collaboration with Starbright Foundation, she launched GetFitGetRight.org, a website for overweight and obese teens.  She holds numerous patents on ExtendBar, a nutraceutical designed to help manage diabetes and obesity.  Dr. Kaufman was national president of the American Diabetes Association in 2002-2003. She was chair of the National Diabetes Education Program, and chair of the youth section of the International Diabetes Federation.  In 2005, she was elected membership in the Institute of Medicine.  In 2007, Dr. Kaufman developed and was featured in the Discovery Health documentary “Diabetes: Global Epidemic.”


Laura Kettel Khan
Laura Kettel Khan is currently the Senior Scientist for the Policy and Partnership Team in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.  Dr. Kettel Khan serves on numerous national advisory committees related to evaluation and evidence for community environmental and policy efforts and is the Agency’s representative for our Partnerships with private foundations, which focus on obesity prevention such as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the California Endowment. She is also an adjunct faculty member for the Department of International Health at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University.


Kathryn Kolasa
Kathryn Kolasa, PhD, RD, LDN is Professor and Associate Director of the Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center at East Carolina University. Dr. Kolasa provides leadership for the Dietary Interventions of the Center, including the KIDPOWER nutrition protocol. In 2001­2002 she played a leadership role in the preparation of the North Carolina Blueprint for Changing Policies and Environments in Support of Healthy Eating. She has served on the North Carolina “Fit Families” Study Committee. She received her Doctorate degree from the University of Tennessee and has been working in applied nutrition for more than 30 years.


Dale Kunkel
Dale Kunkel, PhD, is Professor of Communication at the University of Arizona and has studied children and media issues for more than 20 years. He is a former Congressional Science Fellow, and has testified as an expert witness on children’s media issues at numerous hearings before the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives and the Federal Communications Commission. Dr. Kunkel has published studies on the topic of food marketing to children in leading scientific journals, such as Health Communication and Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.


Hannah Burton Laurison
Hannah Burton Laurison, MS, is a Senior Associate with Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP), where she specializes in community economic development.  Prior to joining PHLP, she staffed a public-private initiative to develop grocery stores in underserved communities.  Ms. Laurison holds a Masters degree in urban planning from Tufts University.


Kevin Laugero
Kevin Laugero, PhD, is a Research Nutritionist at the USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center and Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Davis. The overarching objective of Dr. Laugero’s research is to understand the interrelationship between psychological stress and eating behavior. As a USDA scientist, a primary mission of Dr. Laugero’s research program is to expose psychosocial factors and mechanisms that underpin the Nation’s poor adoption of and adherence to the dietary guidelines.


Nancy Lopez
Nancy Lopez, JD, MPH, is a Research Scientist with the Health Policy Department at George Washington University. Ms. Lopez has spent the majority of her research focusing on laws, regulations and policy initiatives relating to childhood obesity. Ms. Lopez’ most recent research focuses on laws, regulations and policy initiatives relating to childhood obesity. Ms. Lopez has worked with Public Health Law & Policy through a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to research and develop legal analysis on school nutrition and physical education laws for all fifty states.


Sandra Tsing Loh
Sandra Tsing Loh is a writer/performer whose previous books include A Year in Van Nuys; Depth Takes a Holiday; If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now; and Aliens in America.  Her new book, MOTHER ON FIRE: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting! was published by Crown Publishers in August 2008.  Her off-Broadway solo shows include “Aliens in America” and “Bad Sex With Bud Kemp”; the original solo stage version of “Mother on Fire” ran for seven months in Los Angeles.  She has been a regular commentator on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” on PRI’s “Marketplace,” and on Ira Glass’ “This American Life.”  Currently, her weekly radio commentary series “The Loh Life” runs on KPCC (89.3 FM) in Los Angeles, as does her daily “Loh Down on Science” (syndicated).  Her awards include a Pushcart Prize in fiction and two National Magazine Award nominations for her work as a contributing editor for The Atlantic Monthly.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.


Monica Lounsbery
Monica A.F. Lounsbery, PhD, is a Professor of Sport Pedagogy and Chair of the Department of Sports Education Leadership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Dr. Lounsbery’s expertise is in school physical education and her research interest is in school policy in relation to children’s physical activity.  Dr. Lounsbery’s current research efforts examine before, during, and after-school physical activity opportunities and the diffusion of evidence-based physical education programs.  Dr. Lounsbery frequently provides testimony for the Nevada Legislature on physical activity related policies and is highly sought for her expertise in developing school physical activity advocacy plans.  Dr. Lounsbery is chair of an ad hoc committee for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance that is examining logistics for implementing and sustaining a plan that targets national school physical education policy change.


Michael  Lu
Michael C. Lu, MD, MPH is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and public health at UCLA. Dr. Lu received his Bachelors degree from Stanford University, Masters degree from University of California, Berkeley, Medical degree from University of California, San Francisco, and residency training in obstetrics & gynecology from UC Irvine. He is widely recognized for his research, teaching and clinical care. Dr. Lu received the 2003 National Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Young Professional Achievement Award and the 2004 American Public Health Association Maternal and Child Health Section Young Professional Award for his research on health disparities. He recently served on the Institute of Medicine Committee (IOM) on Understanding Prematurity, and is currently serving on the IOM Committee to Reexamine IOM Weight Guidelines. He is a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Select Panel on Preconception Care, and a lead investigator for the National Children’s Study in Los Angeles.  Dr. Lu teaches obstetrics and gynecology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and maternal and child health at the UCLA School of Public Health. He has received numerous awards for his teaching, including Excellence in Teaching Awards from the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Dr. Lu sees patients at the faculty group practice in obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA Medical Center, and has been voted one of the Best Doctors in America since 2005.


Robert Lustig
Robert Lustig, MD, is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Lustig is a Pediatric Neuroendocrinologist with a specific research interest in the central control of energy balance. Dr. Lustig is particularly interested in the interaction between behavior and biochemistry in the manifestation of obesity. Dr. Lustig is Chairman of the Obesity Task Force of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, a member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society and is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Endocrine Alliance to Combat Obesity.


Kristine Madsen
Kristine Madsen, MD, is a Pediatrician and Research Scientist with expertise in the design and evaluation of interventions related to pediatric obesity and the promotion of physical activity. She is the principal investigator on grants that assess the impact of after-school programming on youth physical activity and health and builds evidence around existing programs with the promise to increase physical activity among low-income youth. Dr. Madsen is also the PI on a grant to examine the impact of policies related to school-based BMI and fitness screening on child obesity and fitness at the population level.


George Manalo-LeClair
George Manalo-LeClair has been working in the area of welfare and food policy since 1990. He has worked directly with low-income people as a social worker and on their behalf as a lobbyist. He has advocated for low-income people in legislatures of Minnesota, Missouri, Washington, and California. Having previously worked on homelessness, child abuse, juvenile crime, and other social issues, Mr. Manalo-LeClair is now focusing his efforts on ending hunger
and on preventing obesity in California. He is currently Senior Director for Legislation California Food Policy Advocates.


Matthew Marsom
Matthew Marsom, BS, is Director of Public Health Policy and Advocacy for the Public Health Institute (PHI). Mr. Marsom is responsible for monitoring and influencing public health policy, legislation and regulations that effect PHI projectors and interests. Previously, he was Chief of the Policy, Partnerships and Planning Unit of the Cancer Prevention and Nutrition Section of the California Department of Public Health, providing support for policy development, legislative analysis and external relations. He received his Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Stirling in Scotland and his postgraduate certificate in Russian and research methods from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.


Mariah Martin
Mariah Martin, MPH, is passionate about empowering all children to live healthy, successful lives. She has worked with multiple organizations, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, Kaiser Permanente, and the California After School and Healthy Kids Resource Centers to help them develop physical activity programs that focus on health promotion, disease prevention and fun. Ms. Martin has a Masters of Public Health degree and a Graduate Certificate in Maternal and Child Health.


Sarah Messiah
Sarah Messiah, MD, is a Research Assistant Professor and Perinatal/Pediatric Epidemiologist in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Clinical Research at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. Her recent research has focused on the epidemiology and etiology of childhood-onset obesity as a risk factor for adult-onset cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Her currently-funded research projects and publications range from population-based analysis of estimating the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in United States children, including three-to-six year olds, to clinic-based studies of the health consequences of early childhood onset obesity.


Marc Michalsky
Marc Michalsky, MD, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Surgical Director, Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a multidisciplinary center dedicated to the treatment of overweight and obese children and adolescents. In addition, Dr. Michalsky serves as a clinical investigator on several research initiatives examining outcomes following surgical weight reduction in the morbidly obese adolescent population. Dr. Michalsky is the co-chairman of the Pediatric Obesity committee at the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.


Gaelen McAllister
Gaelen McAllister, a parent of four public school children, has volunteered in high poverty schools in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Salem, Oregon for over 20 years. As a member of Stand for Children, a children’s advocacy group, she helped lead a local and statewide effort to improve the nutritional guidelines for food sold in schools. The resulting legislation sets some of the strongest state school nutrition rules in the country.


Michele Mietus-Snyder
Michele Mietus-Snyder, MD, is a Preventive Cardiologist and Associate Professor in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Departments of Pediatric Medicine and Physiological Nursing. She serves as the lipids consultant to the UCSF and Children’s Hospital Oakland weight management programs. Dr. Mietus-Snyder’s current research is focused on the identification of feasible preventive lifestyle strategies to improve metabolic balance and heart health for all children, independent of economic circumstances. Dr. Mietus-Snyder is a member of the American Heart Association Subcommittee on Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, and Obesity in Youth.


Leslie Mikkelsen
Leslie Mikkelsen, MPH, is the Managing Director of Prevention Institute.  She leads a team of Prevention Institute staff focused on environmental and policy approaches to promoting healthy eating and physical activity, especially in communities of color and low-income communities.  Since 1999, Ms. Mikkelsen has directed projects synthesizing academic research and learning’s from the field into a set of tools and materials that delineate best practices and promising approaches for environmental changes, including the Environmental Nutrition and Activity Community Tool (ENACT) and the ENACT Local Policy Database.  Ms. Mikkelsen provides training and technical assistance to government agencies, community collaboratives and foundations and is currently serving as a policy advisor to the Healthy Eating Active Living Convergence Funders Partnership.  Ms. Mikkelsen is also co-founder and Project Director for the Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments, a California coalition promoting a broad agenda that has influenced state legislation and the California Obesity Prevention plan.  She has also sought to build bridges between efforts to promote a sustainable food system and efforts to improve access to healthy food and is co-author of a Prevention Institute reports on this topic, “Cultivating Common Ground and Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Addressing Inequities in Urban Neighborhoods.”  Ms. Mikkelsen served on the Kaiser Permanente Food Policy Steering Committee and was co-coordinator of the Health Care Without Harm Food Work group.  


Kathryn Montgomery
Kathryn Montgomery, PhD, has been a Professor in the School of Communication at American University since 2003.  From 1991-2003, she was President and Co-Founder of the nonprofit Center for Media Education.  Ms. Montgomery’s leadership as a policy advocate during the 1990s left behind a legacy of policies on behalf of children and families, including the first federal legislation to protect children's privacy on the Internet – the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  She was a media studies professor at California State University, Los Angeles, and at University of California, Los Angeles, before moving to Washington.  Ms. Montgomery currently conducts research on the uses of technology by young people and assesses the major technology, economic, and policy trends affecting the future of digital media.  She is a contributing scholar to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation initiative on Digital Media and Learning and a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Eating Research Initiative. She co-authored the 2007 report, Interactive Food and Beverage Marketing: Targeting Children and Youth in the Digital Age, published by the Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG).  In addition to numerous articles, Ms. Montgomery has written two books: “Target: Prime Time - Advocacy Groups and the Struggle over Entertainment Television” (Oxford University Press, 1989); and “Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce, and Childhood in the Age of the Internet” (MIT Press, 2007).  She earned her Doctorate in Film and Television Studies in 1979 from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Raul Morales
Raul Morales is the owner of Vista Hermosa Restaurant & Taqueria, one of seven restaurants that participated in the Smart Menu/La Salud Tiene Sabor menu-labeling project. Through the menu labeling process, Mr. Morales learned about the nutritional content of his menu items and became aware of the important relationship between nutrition and health. He also became more aware of the problem of obesity in his community, an issue he previously had not cared much about. Once Mr. Morales understood that healthy food can still taste good he modified 65 percent of his menu items and has also worked with a registered dietician to develop a low-calorie menu.


Phil Nader
Phil Nader, PhD, is an Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California San Diego and is a “Behavioral Pediatrician” who has been engaged in research in health behavior (nutrition and activity) and the influence of families, schools, and communities on child health since the early 1970’s.  He has led and participated in several multi-disciplinary research teams examining both longitudinal descriptive and randomized population-based interventions regarding activity and nutrition.  A well known 10-year research effort as an investigator on the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) school-based intervention on nutrition and physical activity.  Dr. Nader has participated as an investigator in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Child Care and Youth Development.  He was a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford University Institute for Communication Research, a Fogarty International Fellow, and a UC Investigator on Pacific Rim Indigenous Health.  Dr. Nader continues his active community role in San Diego as a Senior Consultant to the San Diego County Obesity Initiative.  He has recently published a new book for parents called “You CAN Lose Your Baby Fat. New Rules to Protect Kids from Obesity.”  Dr. Nader received his Bachelors degree from Wooster College and his Masters degree from the University of Rochester.


Allen Ng
Allen Ng, MBA, has been Regional Administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Western Regional Office (WRO), based in San Francisco, since September 1997. He served as the WRO Deputy Regional Administrator from 1990 to 1997. During that period he was also Acting Regional Administrator of FNS’s Northeast Regional Office in Boston, from June to September 1995. WRO administers federal nutrition assistance programs (such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, and WIC) in Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Additionally, WRO has a number of agreements with individual Indian tribes, and groups of tribes, who administer their own federal nutrition assistance programs. Nationally, federal expenditures for nutrition assistance totaled $60.9 billion in fiscal year 2008; program expenditures in the Western Region were $10.7 billion. Mr. Ng began his federal service with FNS in 1974 and has worked in both the SNAP and Child Nutrition programs. He served as director of the SNAP from 1984 to 1990. Upon graduation from Harvard University in 1970, Mr. Ng entered the Peace Corps, serving in Nepal from 1970 to 1973 as an agricultural extension agent. While working full-time at FNS, he earned his Masters degree in Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley in 1982.


Jack O’Connell
Jack O’Connell was elected to a second four-year term as State Superintendent of Public Instruction on June 6, 2006. As Chief of California’s public school system and leader of the California Department of Education, Superintendent O’Connell has focused on closing the achievement gap and preparing students for a rapidly changing global economy by holding high standards for all students. As a former high school teacher and author of the legislation creating the California High School Exit Exam, he has led a comprehensive effort to increase rigor and improve student achievement in California high schools. Superintendent O’Connell is a proven team builder with the ability to forge consensus on contentious issues, especially where challenges are strongest. He has worked to fortify California’s world-class academic standards, strengthen California’s school accountability and assessment systems and bolster state funding for public school classrooms. He has also been a leader among State School Chiefs nationwide in an effort to increase flexibility and fairness in the federal No Child Left Behind school accountability system. He is a long-time advocate for smaller class sizes, improved teacher recruitment and retention, comprehensive testing and up-to-date school facilities. Superintendent O’Connell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from California State University (CSU), Fullerton and earned his secondary teaching credential from CSU, Long Beach in 1975. He was elected to the 35th State Assembly District in 1982 and was re-elected by wide margins thereafter. In 1994, O’Connell was elected to the 18th State Senate District on California’s Central Coast and easily won re-election in 1998. As the author of numerous landmark education bills in both the California Assembly and the State Senate, he has made quality education his number one priority. This commitment to the children of California has earned Superintendent O’Connell the praise and respect of colleagues and educators statewide.


Lynne Oudekerk
Lynne Oudekerk, RD, has nearly 20 years of experience in public health nutrition, most recently as Acting Director of New York State’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in the Department of Health. Ms. Oudekerk received her Bachelors degree in Nutrition Education at Cornell University and her Masters degree in Nutrition from Syracuse University. In addition to her work with New York CACFP, she is President-elect of the CACFP National Professional Association.


Valerie Parsons
Valerie Parsons, MA, has almost 13 years experience working in PreK-12 education. Ms. Parsons is currently working as the Program Coordinator for the Network in Monrovia Unified School District. Monrovia’s nutrition education program has been honored with three state awards: two Golden Bell’s from the California School Board Association and the 2008 Nonnie Korten Champion for Children Award from the Network for a Healthy California. Ms. Parsons received a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Masters degree in Educational Administration.


Karen Peters
Karen Peters, MBA, RD, IBCLC, is the Executive Director of the Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles and lead lactation consultant for the Birth and Beyond California project. She is also the Advocacy and Policy Chair for the California Breastfeeding Coalition. Ms. Peters graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health where she completed the Coordinated Undergraduate Program in Dietetics. She received her Masters degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and she is a board certified lactation consultant.


Barbara Polhamus
Barbara Polhamus, PhD, MPH, RD, is a Behavioral Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. Dr. Polhamus has worked extensively in the public health arena and has focused on childhood obesity and surveillance. Since coming to CDC nine years ago, Dr. Polhamus has been involved with numerous activities related to the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS); consulting with states, analyzing PedNSS data to look at obesity related issues, authoring the annual Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance Report and writing sections of the online PedNSS training module.


Amy Porter
Amy Porter, MD, attended New York University School of Medicine. For the last 18 years she has been a full-time, practicing pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente, on both the east and west coasts. In 2004 she became the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Regional Lead for Pediatric Weight Management. In 2005 she was selected as the Baldwin Park Medical Center’s Physician of the Year. In 2007 she received an “Everyday Hero” award for her work with the weight management committee. In 2008 the City of Baldwin Park awarded Dr. Porter the “Healthcare Physician Champion” award for her work with Healthy Eating, Active Communities.


Dwayne Proctor
Dwayne Proctor, PhD, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation directs national programs and strategies towards the Foundation’s highest health priority— reversing the rising trend of childhood obesity in America. His professional background in public health includes designing, implementing and evaluating projects and interventions which reduce youth interpersonal and gang violence, the spread of HIV/AIDS in West Africa and underage drinking in high-risk populations. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2002, Dr. Proctor was Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, where he taught health communications and marketing approaches targeting multi-ethnic populations to public health, medical and dental students. Dr. Proctor received his graduate and undergraduate degrees at the University of Connecticut and was a Fulbright Fellow in Senegal, West Africa. His post-doctorate training at the University of Connecticut Alcohol Research Center was sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. Proctor currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Association of Black Foundation Executives. He is a standing member of the External Advisory Board for the University of Connecticut Center for Health Communication and Marketing and he advises the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation Advisory Network. Previously, he served on the Steering Committee for the Academy for Educational Development’s Innovations in Social Marketing Conference and on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Independent Living in Hartford, CT. His recent publications include: “The Power of Research: We can Reverse the Childhood Obesity Epidemic,” in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, (2008) and “Reliability of a Rating Procedure to Monitor Industry Self-Regulation Codes Governing Alcohol Advertising Content,” in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, (2008).


Suzanne Rauzon
Suzanne Rauzon, MPH, directs community and school based evaluations of initiatives to promote healthy eating and physical activity for the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at University of California, Berkeley. She is currently managing the implementation of the national cross-site evaluation effort of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiative for the Center for Community Health and Evaluation. She is also conducting an evaluation of the School Lunch Initiative in the Berkeley Unified School District. Ms. Rauzon holds a Masters in Public Health from University of California, Berkeley, and is credentialed with the American Dietetic Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.


Lorrene Davis Ritchie
Lorrene Davis Ritchie, PhD, is Director of Research at University of California, Berkeley’s Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health. Dr. Ritchie obtained her Doctorate in Nutrition at University of California, Berkeley and is also a Registered Dietitian. She recently served on the American Dietetic Association’s Pediatric Weight Management Workgroup to formulate evidence-based practice guidelines and California Department of Education’s Child Care Nutrition Standards Workgroup to improve nutrition standards for licensed child care.


Thomas Robinson
Thomas Robinson, MD, MPH, is the Irving Schulman, MD Endowed Professor in Child Health at Stanford University. He is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine in the Division of General Pediatrics and the Stanford Prevention Research Center and Director of the Center for Healthy Weight at Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Dr. Robinson focuses on “solution­oriented” research, developing and evaluating health promotion and disease prevention interventions for children, adolescents and their families. His research is published widely in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Dr. Robinson received his Medical degree from Stanford University and his Masters of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from the University of California, Berkeley.


Robert K. Ross
Robert K. Ross, MD, is President and Chief Executive Officer for The California Endowment and previously served as Director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate,
Masters in Public Administration and Medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and has an extensive background as a clinician and public health administrator. His service includes: Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Public Health; Medical Director for LINK School-Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; instructor of clinical medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and faculty member at San Diego State University’s School of Public Health. He was also a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from 1988 to 1990, focusing on urban child health issues. Dr. Ross has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the local and national levels. He is a Diplomat of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future (1997), and was chairman of the National Boost for Kids Initiative. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the “Youth Advocacy Humanitarian of the Year Award”; the “Outstanding Community Service Award” from the Volunteers of America; the “Leadership Award” from the Hospital Council of San Diego and Imperial Counties; and the National Association of Health Services Executives “Health Administrator of the Year Citation.” Dr. Ross was named by Capitol Weekly as one of California’s most influential civic leaders in health policy in 2006.


Linda Rudolph
Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH, is the Deputy Director for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.  Previously, Dr. Rudolph was the Health Officer and Public Health Director for the City of Berkeley.  She has also been the Chief Medical Officer for Medi-Cal Managed Care, Medical Director for the California Division of Workers' Compensation, Executive Medical Director for the Industrial Medical Council, staff physician in the CDPH Occupational Health program, and a physician for the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers' International Union.  Dr. Rudolph earned her Medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.


Victoria Rogers
Victoria Rogers, MD, is the Director of the Kids CO-OP at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center where she oversees the development, coordination, and promotion of community-oriented, pediatric healthcare initiatives. Over the past few years, Dr. Rogers has focused her efforts on combating the childhood obesity epidemic. Most recently, she has been appointed as the physician advisor to Let’s Go! Let’s Go!, a community initiative funded by local businesses and healthcare partners in the Greater Portland, Maine area. Let’s Go! is working in the healthcare sector, schools, childcare settings, workplace and communities to increase healthy eating and physical activity for youth and families.


Caterina Roman
Caterina Roman, PhD, joined the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University in Fall 2008. Dr. Roman’s research expertise in the social ecology of neighborhoods and crime prevention extends into the area of active living research. In this vein, her multi-level ecological examination of the impact of crime and disorder on the fear of walking was published in 2008 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Her more recent work examining the pathways among perceptions of violence and disorder, fear, physical activity, health and obesity was published in the Journal of Public Health Policy. She is currently examining how school safety policies and programs influence fear and bullying, and in turn, participation in school-based physical activity. She holds a Doctorate degree in Justice, Law and Society, from American University.
Linda Rudolph
Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH, is the Deputy Director, California Department of Public Health, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Previously, Dr. Rudolph was the Health Officer and Public Health Director for the City of Berkeley. She has also been the Chief Medical Officer for Medi-Cal Managed Care, Medical Director for the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, Executive Medical Director for the Industrial Medical Council, staff physician in the CDPH Occupational Health program, and a physician for the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers’ International Union. Dr. Rudolph earned her Medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and a Masters in Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley.


Patti Rundall
Patti Rundall has nearly 30 years experience working within the global network, IBFAN, to ensure transparency and strong consumer representation in all forms where food policy is decided. The aim of this work has been to end the avoidable suffering caused by inappropriate infant and young child feeding. Ms. Rundall represents IBFAN on the European Commission’s Platform for Action on Diet and Physical Activity, challenging Europe’s leading food and advertising companies to halt their unethical marketing of foods for children and highlighting the risks of commercial involvement in health and education services. Baby Milk Action produced an education pack in 2000, called “Seeing Through the Spin,” which helps students understand how companies use public relations to distort health policies.


James F. Sallis
 James F. Sallis, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and the Program Director of Active Living Research.  He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1981 from Memphis State University, with an internship at Brown University.  Dr. Sallis was a post-doctoral fellow in cardiovascular disease prevention and epidemiology at the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention.  Dr. Sallis is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on physical activity interventions and behavioral research. He has made major contributions in the areas of measurement, identifying correlates of physical activity, intervention, and advocacy. He has extensive experience with measurement development, interventions, ethnically diverse populations, school programs, adolescent health, and project management


Mary Sammer
Mary Sammer is the Nutrition Services Director at North County Health Services, a community health center in North San Diego County.  Ms. Sammer has more than 17 years of experience with the California Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, serving as an agency director for the last 12 years.  She is a passionate supporter of breastfeeding, co-founding the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition in 1994. She has been instrumental in educating WIC Programs throughout the county in the implementation of the “No-routine formula policy in the first month of life for breastfed infants” as part of the new WIC Food Package.


Sarah Samuels
Sarah Samuels, PhD, is President of Samuels & Associates, a public health evaluation, research and policy consulting firm. Dr. Samuels has designed philanthropic initiatives, conducted policy related research and multi-site program evaluations. As a program officer at the Kaiser Family Foundation, she was instrumental in developing major foundation initiatives. With Samuels & Associates, Dr. Samuels is the lead evaluator for The Healthy Eating Active Communities and the Central California Obesity Prevention Program Initiative. She received the 2005 Catherine Cowell award from the American Public Health Association.


Jan Sanders
Jan Sanders, MA, RD, is a Registered Dietitian who has worked for Kaiser Permanente for over 20 years. In 2005, Ms. Sanders became the Director of National Nutrition Services. In this position, she is responsible for providing leadership and support to medical center food and nutritional services departments, overseeing and managing national and regional contracts pertaining to food services, supplies and internal products, and leading efforts to implement Kaiser Permanente’s national food policy, including the Healthy Picks Program. Ms. Sanders received her Bachelors degree from Bradley University and her Masters degree from San Francisco State University.


Pamela Schwartz
Pamela Schwartz, MPH, joined Kaiser Permanente in 2001 and became part of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit Program in 2007 as the Director of Program Evaluation. In that position, Ms. Schwartz directs multiple cross-site evaluations of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit efforts, including the Community Health Initiative, a national effort to improve health in Kaiser Permanente communities through multi-sectoral, place-based efforts focusing on environmental and policy change. This effort, Community Health Initiatives for Healthy Eating and Active Living, is a critical element of Kaiser Permanente’s comprehensive approach to preventing obesity and obesity-related diseases. She earned a Masters in Public Health from San Jose State University and has 17 years experience in public health.


Eduardo Sanchez
Eduardo J. Sanchez, MD, MPH, currently serves as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Texas. Before joining BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, Dr. Sanchez served as Director of the Institute for Health Policy at The University of Texas (UT) School of Public Health. Prior to that, Dr. Sanchez served as Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from 2004 to 2006 and the Texas Department of Health from 2001 to 2004. Trained as a family physician, Dr. Sanchez practiced family medicine in Austin from 1992 to 2001. Most of that time he worked in settings that provide medical care to the uninsured and underinsured. He served as the city/county local health officer and Chief Medical Officer for the Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services Department from 1994 to 1998. Dr. Sanchez received his Medical Degree in 1988 from the UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He was a member of the American Medical Student Association and did a summer health preceptorship in Brownsville, Texas on the United States – Mexico border. He holds a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio Branch; a Masters degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University, and Bachelors degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry from Boston University. Dr. Sanchez is serving as Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as Chair of the National Commission on Prevention Priorities, a nationally-recognized entity that uses evidence-based methods to assess the value of preventive services that protect and improve health. Dr. Sanchez served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity, and he is currently serving as co-chair of the National Governors’ Association Childhood Obesity Advisory Council and as a member of the Institute of Medicine Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity.


Richard Simerly
Richard Simerly, PhD, is Director of the Neuroscience Program in the Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), and Professor of Pediatrics at Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC).  He is also Professor of Biological Sciences in the division of Neurobiology at USC.  Dr. Simerly is an internationally recognized expert on hormonal control of brain development and his current research is focused on understanding how forebrain circuits that control body weight and energy metabolism develop in response to endocrine and nutritional cues.  He is a member of the Metabolism Network for The Society for Women’s Health Research and serves as Associate Director of the newly formed Childhood Obesity Research Center of USC.  Dr. Simerly has also served on several National Institutes of Health study section panels and the editorial boards for leading scientific journals, including five years as a reviewing editor for The Journal of Neuroscience.  Before joining the CHLA faculty, Dr. Simerly was Senior Scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and a faculty member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.  He was also a postdoctoral fellow and Senior Research Associate at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Adjunct Assistant Professor in The Neurosciences Department at the University of California, San Diego.  Recent work from Dr. Simerly’s laboratory demonstrated that the fat-derived hormone leptin represents a significant developmental factor for brain development that may mediate the long-term impact of a variety of environmental factors that influence metabolism.  Dr. Simerly is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and received his Doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Alan Sinaiko
Alan Sinaiko, MD, is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Nephrology and Adjunct Professor in the Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He has had a special interest in blood pressure in children for over 30 years and was a pioneer in research studies of antihypertensive therapy in children and adolescents. Dr. Sinaiko has been a member of numerous NIH advisory committees on blood pressure and obesity in childhood. The strong association of blood pressure with obesity and cardiovascular risk led to Dr. Sinaiko’s current longitudinal study of the influence of obesity and insulin resistance in childhood on the development of adult cardiovascular risk.


Wendelin Slusser
Wendelin Slusser, MD, MS, is Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Co-Founder and Medical Director of the UCLA Fit for Healthy Weight program, and Founder and Co-Director of the Community Health and Advocacy Pediatric Residency Training Program. Dr. Slusser received her Medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and her Masters degree in Science from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. She is currently the Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on numerous studies including the evaluation of the Nutrition Network Los Angeles Unified School District Project.


Herbie Smith
Herbie Smith is the Supervisor of Nutrition Education and Marketing with the San Marcos Unified School District. Mr. Smith’s responsibilities in the Child Nutrition Services Department include staff food safety training and ServSafe certification, nutrition education, the development of educational promotions and marketing the program to students, parents, and district staff. Most notably, San Marcos Unified is one of the first districts to organize a community-wide Wellness Policy Fair to highlight the importance of such a policy to the future health of children.


Rosa Soto
Rosa Soto is the Regional Director for the California Center for Public Health Advocacy in Los Angeles.  She supports grassroots advocacy efforts in Los Angeles County that are localized and effective at influencing local and state policy.  Ms. Soto’s efforts focus educating legislators, community leaders, health providers, civil service professionals and the community at large about preventing chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease through childhood obesity prevention efforts.  She has been involved in the advocacy efforts for 15 years focusing on several important public health issues including the prevention of teen pregnancy and relationship violence, advocating for child safety, mentoring, and nutrition and physical activity opportunities for children.  Ms. Soto leads the People on the Move Collaborative in the City of Baldwin Park working to make “the healthy choice the easy choice” in every environment in the city.  People on the Move has successfully advocated for the passage of model local policies including: a snack standards policy and physical activity policy that mirrors state school nutrition standards, a citywide smoke-free ordinance, community input into the City’s Parks Master Plan, a model breastfeeding promotion policy, and conditional use permit requirements for new stores as part of a downtown redevelopment specific plan.   Ms. Soto attributes these advocacy successes to the collaborative relationships built in each community that work toward a common goal of providing a better quality of life for children.    


Donna Spruijt-Metz
Donna Spruijt-Metz is Associate Professor of Research at the Keck School of Medicine’s Department of Preventive Medicine. Her research focuses on pediatric obesity in minority populations. Current studies include a longitudinal study of the impact of puberty on insulin dynamics, mood and physical activity in African American and Latina girls. Together with colleagues in the Viterbi School of Engineering, she is developing the KNOWME Network: a wearable mobile wireless body area network designed to deliver real-time, accurate and synchronized measures of physical activity, stress, heart rate, and geographical position to a secure website for immediate interpretation and viewing.


Jake Steinfeld
Jake Steinfeld is one of the fitness industry’s reigning icons, responsible for creating the personal fitness training industry over 30 years ago. A street-smart entrepreneur, he continues to develop successful products, brands and businesses as Chairman and CEO of Body by Jake Global®. He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve as Chairman of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports®, with the mission of establishing California as the nation’s first “Fitness State”. Mr. Steinfeld’s goal is to inspire kids to have a “Don’t Quit!” attitude while trying to win the Governor’s Challenge that requires them to be active for 30-60 minutes a day, three days a week for a month. He implemented one of the council’s successful initiatives, the Spotlight Awards, which honor individuals, organizations and events that positively impact the physical activity and fitness levels of California’s children and youth.


Marion Standish
As Director for The Endowment’s Community Health and Health Disparities program, Marion leads the foundation’s efforts to develop program and policy initiatives to improve community health and reduce health disparities. In that capacity she has served as lead officer on many of The Endowment’s major funding initiatives, including: Healthy Eating Active Communities, supporting community coalitions to develop and implement policies and programs to reduce obesity; Community Action To Fight Asthma, focusing on reducing environmental triggers for asthma among school-aged children; and, The Partnership for the Public’s Health, a five year program designed to build strong, effective partnerships between local public health departments and the communities they serve.  Marion serves on The Endowment’s management team and provides leadership in strategic planning and staff development. She also provides national philanthropic leadership in the development of partnerships and currently serves as the convenor for the National Convergence Partnership which brings funders together to pursue multi- sectoral policy and program efforts that support healthy people in healthy places.  Previously, Standish served as Senior Program Officer for The California Endowment. In that capacity, she managed The Endowment’s San Francisco office and a portfolio of statewide grants. She was responsible for overseeing all grant-making activity in the Bay Area and developing programs that addressed health disparities. Prior to joining The Endowment, Standish was founder and director of California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA), a statewide nutrition and health research and advocacy organization focusing on access to nutritious food for low-income families. Before launching CFPA, she served as director of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, a statewide advocacy organization focusing on health, education and labor issues facing farmworkers and the rural poor. She began her career as a staff attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance, a federally funded legal services program. Standish serves on the board of directors of the Food Research and Action Center, the San Francisco Community Boards Program, and the Neighborhood Funders Group. She was recently appointed to the Judicial Council’s Legal Services Trust Fund Commission and San Francisco’s Children Youth and Families Commission. Marion received her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and both her M.A. and undergraduate degrees from New York University.


Mary Story
Mary Story, PhD, RD, is a Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.  She is Director of the National Program Office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research program that supports research on environmental and policy strategies to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity.  Dr. Story’s doctorate is in nutrition with interests in the area of child and adolescent nutrition, and childhood obesity prevention.  She has conducted several school and community-based obesity prevention studies.  She has numerous publications in child nutrition and obesity prevention.  Dr. Story was a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Committee on Food Marketing and the Diets of Children and Youth, the IOM committee on Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools, and is currently on the IOM standing committee for childhood obesity prevention and the IOM committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention Actions for Local Governments.


Naomi Stotland
Naomi Stotland, MD, is Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Stotland’s research interest is in nutrition, weight gain and obesity during pregnancy. She has done a series of epidemiologic studies on the relationship between maternal body mass index (BMI), gestational weight gain and birth outcomes. She is co-investigator on a clinical trial of a low-glycemic diet for overweight women during pregnancy to prevent insulin resistance. She is also studying prenatal care providers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices around weight gain counseling. Dr. Stotland is developing interventions to prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy.


Elsie Taveras
Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Ambulatory Care and Prevention at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Taveras is the Associate Director of the Obesity Prevention Program at the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, a joint department of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Harvard Medical School. She is also on staff at Children’s Hospital Boston where she directs a multidisciplinary childhood obesity prevention clinic in General Pediatrics. Dr. Taveras’ main focus of research is understanding determinants of obesity in children and developing interventions to prevent obesity in young children, especially in underserved populations.


Jason Tester, MA
Jason Tester's interests in interactive technology began the old-fashioned way; tinkering one-on-one with the equipment he had at hand.  With his work on technological voting, he saw the possible effects of computer-human interaction on the future of society as a whole.  At the Institute for the Future (IFTF), Mr. Tester focuses on three areas: research into how people use emerging technologies, the application of design to futures research, and facilitating groups to stimulate insights and implications about the future.  He strives to look beneath the surface of society and its artifacts for hidden layers of meaning.  Mr. Tester has long been interested in researching and designing the ways people interact with technology, expertise he brought to IFTF's ongoing effort to broaden the ways in which its findings are visualized and presented.  To this end, he developed one of IFTF's current methodologies called “artifacts from the future.”  Most recently, Mr. Tester has been interested in moving futures thinking out of the think tanks and into the street by developing a platform called human–future interaction.  Such a platform is designed to make futures thinking part of daily life by using immersive experiences and new media tools to provoke and capture citizens' thoughts about the future.  Mr. Tester holds a Bachelors degree in human–computer interaction design from Stanford University, and a Masters degree from the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy.


Joseph Thompson
Joseph Thompson’s, MD, MPH, work is centered at the intersection of clinical care, public health and health policy. He is responsible for developing health policy, research activities and collaborative programs that promote better health and health care in Arkansas. Dr. Thompson works closely with the Governor’s office, the Arkansas legislature and public and private organizations across the state on relevant health policy topics. Nationally, as Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, he is leading a strategic partnership with PolicyLink that serves as the linchpin of RWJF’s strategy to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity by 2015. Dr. Thompson has led vanguard efforts in planning and implementing health care financing reform, tobacco and obesity-related health promotion and disease prevention programs. He was the lead architect of the Tobacco Settlement Act of 2000, at the forefront of Arkansas’s nation-leading efforts against childhood obesity and instituted the Arkansas Health Insurance Roundtable. Under his leadership, ACHI helped pass the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006, documented the state’s success in halting progress of the childhood obesity epidemic, and helped implement ARHealthNetworks, Arkansas’s health care benefits waiver for low-income workers. He currently serves on the Arkansas Board of Health and is past President of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Nationally, Dr. Thompson serves on the board of Academy Health and on the Health Care Financing and Organization National Advisory Panel. He is author of numerous articles and publications that reflect his research interests in the areas of health and health care including access, quality and finance. Dr. Thompson earned his Medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Masters of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as the RWJF Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Luther Terry Fellow in Preventive Medicine advising the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health in Washington, DC and the Assistant Vice President and Director of Research at the National Committee for Quality Assurance in Washington, DC. In 1997, he served as the First Child and Adolescent Health Scholar of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (then the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) before returning to Arkansas.


Tom Torlakson
Assemblymember Tom Torlakson represents California’s 11th Assembly District, which includes a portion of Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area. Assemblymember Torlakson chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Schools and Community and he is a member of the Appropriations, Rules, Transportation and Education Committees. He is also a member of the State Allocation Board. Assemblymember Torlakson’s successful legislative record focuses on policies to improve public education, reduce traffic congestion, and enhance health, wellness and child safety. In 1998, he negotiated the historic Proposition 1A, which provided a ground-breaking $9 billion investment of state-funding to build and improve California schools. In 2006, then–Senator Torlakson worked with Governor Schwarzenegger and authored the landmark Senate Bill 638, which designed the implementation of $550 million in state funding made available for after school programs through Proposition 49. Assemblymember Torlakson is the Chair and Founder of the California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness, a group seeking to raise the profile of health and fitness in the public schools and in the workplace. His career in public service began as a science teacher and coach in 1972. He was elected to the Antioch City Council in 1978, and then served on the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors for 16 years. Assemblymember Torlakson was elected to the California’s 11th Assembly District in 1996, 1998 and 2008. He was elected to the State Senate in 2000 and was reelected in 2004. He earned a Bachelors degree in History in 1971, a Life Secondary Teaching Credential, and a Masters degree in Education in 1977 from the University of California, Berkeley. Assemblymember Torlakson is currently on faculty at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, CA.


Michele van Eyken
Michele van Eyken, MPH, RD, is the Deputy Chief of Nutrition and Local Program Services at the California Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program. She manages the nutrition, breastfeeding and health services provided to WIC families, and the contracts, technical support, policy and evaluation services provided to local WIC programs.  Her 26-year career in public health began by providing consultation services to farm worker health clinics throughout southern California, twelve years serving as a local WIC director and eleven years at the State WIC Program.  Ms. van Eyken obtained her Bachelors degree in Sociology from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and then served in the Peace Corps assisting researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health to conduct a nutrition assessment survey of Cameroon in West-Central Africa.  Returning to the U.S., she completed dietetics coursework at Oregon State University and received her Masters degree in Public Health Nutrition from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.


Shannon Whaley
Shannon Whaley, PhD, is the Director of Research and Evaluation at Public Health Foundation Enterprises WIC, the largest local agency WIC program in the nation. Dr. Whaley’s expertise is in the planning, development and evaluation of programs designed to optimize the healthy development of children and families. Her work spans a broad range of topics including childhood nutrition and obesity prevention, prevention of prenatal alcohol use and promotion of early literacy for low-income children and includes controlled research studies as well as implementation of community-based interventions using evidence-based practices.


Julie Williamson
As Program Director and Leadership Team member for the Partnership for the Public’s Health, Julie Williamson, both designs and manages implementation of PPH projects and initiatives. She is the Director of the California Convergence project, and directed The California Endowment’s Public Health Department mini-grant program. She has been with the Public Health Institute for over 20 years, leading cutting edge programs that have forged new models for public health and community partnerships designed to promote community health equity. She is a graduate of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.


Heather Wooten
Heather Wooten is a Planning and Policy Associate with the Land Use and Health team, Planning for Healthy places, working on land use, economic development, and health. Ms. Wooten’s interest in urban sustainability and healthy community development led her to pursue policy analysis and research in city planning and food systems in her academic and professional work. She has worked with the Sierra Club North Star and with the Institute for Urban and Regional Development at the University of California, Berkeley.


Gail Woodward-Lopez
Gail Woodward-Lopez, MPH, RD, is Associate Director of the University of California, Berkeley Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health. She has nearly 20 years experience developing, implementing and evaluating public health nutrition programs. She serves on the evaluation teams for two multi-sector initiatives to prevent obesity and is lead evaluator for several statewide projects to evaluate school nutrition legislation and school wellness policies. She has served on numerous obesity-related advisory groups, frequently speaks on the topic, and recently published a book on the determinants of obesity.


Antronette K. Yancey
 Antronette K. Yancey, MD, MPH, is currently a Professor in the Department of Health Services, University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, with primary research interests in chronic disease prevention and adolescent health promotion.  She returned to academia full-time in 2001 after five years in public health practice, first as Director of Public Health for the city of Richmond, Virginia, and, until recently, as Director of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.  Dr. Yancey has authored more than 75 scientific publications, including briefs, book chapters, health promotion videos, and among those, more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles.  She has generated more than $14 million in extramural funds, including three National Institutes of Health independent investigator (R01, R24) grants as principal investigator.  Dr. Yancey serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr. Julie Gerberding), Institute of Medicine (IOM) Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity Committee and Health Literacy Roundtable, American Heart Association Physical Activity Sub-committee, and Board of Directors, Public Health Institute.  Dr. Yancey completed her undergraduate studies in biochemistry and molecular biology at Northwestern University, her medical degree at Duke, and her preventive medicine residency/MPH at University of California, Los Angeles.


Daniel Zingale

Daniel Zingale, MPA, Senior Vice President, Policy, Communication & Public Affairs, The California Endowment has been at the forefront of public policy innovation in healthcare reform, human rights, national AIDS policy, Medicaid reform, and California financial solvency issues.  He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Policy, Communications and Public Affairs for The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation working to build healthy communities, with a special focus on systems and policy changes that will result in a prevention‐based health care system and improved community health.  Prior to his January 2009 appointment at The Endowment, Mr. Zingale served for more than three years as Chief of Staff to First Lady Maria Shriver and Senior Advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, during which he was an architect of California’s 2007 bold effort to reform health care.  The plan offers a framework for comprehensive health care reform which has garnered unprecedented agreement among key stakeholders, a Republican governor, and a democratically controlled state assembly.  Mr. Zingale has held numerous high‐profile positions, including a two‐year term as a board member of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB).  In 2003, he served as Cabinet Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Gray Davis, where he was responsible for overseeing the Governor’s Cabinet.  Mr. Zingale was also the Founding Director of the California Department of Managed Care, an agency created in response to an urgent need to better protect Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) patients and promote a more stable and solvent managed health care industry.  In that role, Mr. Zingale was credited as “…an effective, thoughtful regulator, just what the state needed” by the Los Angeles Times.  Mr. Zingale is also nationally recognized as being an effective and innovative champion in the fight against AIDS.  From 1997 to 1999, he served as Executive Director of the Washington, DC‐based national patient advocate organization AIDS Action, which has been credited as the “most powerful AIDS lobby” by the San Francisco Chronicle and ABC News, and “among the nation’s most powerful advocacy groups” by The New York Times. In addition, Mr. Zingale served for three years as the Public Policy Director of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian and gay civil and human rights organization.  His myriad accomplishments in that role include bringing the lesbian and gay civil rights movement into the nation’s larger civil rights community by pioneering partnerships with leaders such as Coretta Scott King and Kweisi Mfume, and through his service on the Executive Committee of Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.  Mr. Zingale served as the Managing Director of Government Relations for the American Psychological Association from 1991 to 1993, and also as Deputy Controller and Chief of Staff in the Office of the California State Controller from 1987 to 1991.  A native and resident of Sacramento, Mr. Zingale attended California State University, Sacramento, and earned his Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, with high honors.  He also graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he earned his Masters degree in Public Administration.