Planning Committee Biosketches
William H. Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prior to his appointment to the CDC, he was a professor of pediatrics at the Tufts University School of Medicine, and director of clinical nutrition at the Floating Hospital of New England Medical Center Hospitals. In addition to his academic responsibilities in Boston, Dr. Dietz was a principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)/Harvard Division of Health Science and Technology, associate director of the Clinical Research Center at MIT, and director of the Boston Obesity/Nutrition Research Center funded by NIDDK. He has been a counselor of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, and past president of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. In 1995 he received the John Stalker Award from the American School Food Service Association for his efforts to improve school lunches. Dr. Dietz served on the 1995 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and was a past member of the NIDDK Task Force on Obesity and former president of the then American Society for Clinical Nutrition. In 1998, Dr. Dietz was elected to the Institute of Medicine. He received a B.A. from Wesleyan University, M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry from MIT. Dr. Dietz is a member of the Institute of Medicine.
Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., is Director of the Nutritional Sciences Program and Professor of Epidemiology and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. He also serves as Director of the
Center for Public Health Nutrition and the UW Center for Obesity Research and is a joint member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Drewnowski obtained his M.A. degree in biochemistry from Oxford University in the United Kingdom and his Ph.D. in psychology from The Rockefeller University in New York. Following post-doctoral training at the University of Toronto, he returned to Rockefeller as Assistant Professor. He later moved to the University of Michigan, where he became Professor of Public Health, Psychology and Psychiatry, and Director of the Program in Human Nutrition at the School of Public Health. Dr. Drewnowski joined the University of Washington in 1998. Dr. Drewnowski’s current research is focused on the relationship between poverty and obesity and the links between inequitable access to healthy foods and disparities in the rates of obesity and diabetes by geographic area. Dr. Drewnowski is the author of over 150 research papers, numerous reviews and book chapters, and is a frequent invited speaker at scientific meetings, conferences, and symposia.
Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., is the Associate Vice President for Health Sciences and a Professor at the Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina in Columbia. He received a B.S. in physical education from Springfield College, and M.S. and Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Oregon. Dr. Pate’s research interest and expertise focuses on physical activity measurement, determinants, and promotion in children and youth. He also directs a national post-graduate course aimed at developing research competencies related to physical activity and public health. Dr. Pate is also involved in the CDC-funded Prevention Research Center at the University of South Carolina. His research includes studies on preschoolers’ physical activity levels and how schools can influence these levels and multi-center trials on the promotion of physical activity among middle and high school-age girls. He is currently a member of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and served on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. He is a past-president of both the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Coalition on Promoting Physical Activity. Dr. Pate served as a member of the IOM Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth, the Committee on Progress in Preventing Obesity in Children and Youth, and the Committee on Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children.
John Edward Porter, J.D., is Partner at Hogan & Hartson, LLP, in Washington, DC. He previously served 21 years in Congress as a Representative from the 10th District in Illinois. In Congress, he served on the Appropriations Committee, as chair of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; as vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations; and as vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Military
Construction. Before his election to Congress, Porter served in the Illinois House of Representatives. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, served in the US Army, and graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was an editor of the Michigan Law Review. He served as an Honor Law Graduate attorney with the US Department of Justice in the Kennedy administration. He was founder and co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, a voluntary association of more than 250 members of Congress working to identify, monitor, and end human-rights violations worldwide. He wrote the legislation creating Radio Free Asia. He served as chair of the Global Legislators Organized for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE USA). Porter is a member of a number of boards, including Research!America (Chair), Public Broadcasting (Chair), the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (Vice Chair), The Brookings Institution, J.S. Kemper Foundation, The Chicago Botanic Garden, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and the RAND Corporation (Emeritus). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bretton Woods Committee, a Trustee Emeritus of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Institute of Medicine, and a former director of the American Heart Association.
Joseph W. Thompson, M.D., M.P.H., is the Surgeon General for the State of Arkansas, the Director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Thompson has led efforts in planning and implementing health care financing reform, tobacco-and obesity-related health promotion, and disease prevention programs in Arkansas, including documenting the state’s success in halting progress of the childhood obesity epidemic. He also helped to implement ARHealthNetWorks, Arkansas’s health insurance waiver for low-income workers. Dr. Thompson earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Master of Public Health 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 in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, 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 US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (then the US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) before returning to Arkansas.