Julie A. Caswell (Chair) is professor of resource economics and department chair in the Department of Resource Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research focuses on understanding the operation of domestic and international food systems, with particular interest in the economics of food quality and labeling, especially for safety and nutrition, and international trade. Dr. Caswell has provided her expertise to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In 2011, Dr. Caswell was elected Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) and received the Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has held numerous senior positions with the AAEA, is currently President-Elect, and has taught graduate courses in Brazil, Italy, Poland, and Spain. Dr. Caswell held a Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship at the University of Tuscia in Viterbo, Italy, April-June 2009. Dr. Caswell has served on the IOM Committee on the Implications of Dioxin in the Food Supply, the Committee on Nutrient Relationships in Seafood, the Food Forum, the Committee on Review of the Food and Drug Administration’s Role in Ensuring Safe Food, and the Committee on Food Safety and Other Consequences of Publishing Establishment Specific Data. Currently she is a member of the National Research Council (NRC) and IOM Committee for the Review of Food Safety and Defense Risk. Dr. Caswell received her PhD jointly in agricultural economics and economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Sara A. Bleich is assistant professor of health policy management at Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on the intersection between public policy and obesity prevention/control. She is particularly interested in disparities in practice patterns of obesity care and novel environmental strategies designed to reduce caloric consumption or increase physical activity. Her past work experience includes the Measurement Group (Research Associate), RAND Corporation (Summer Associate Program), and the Harvard Initiative for Global Health (Research Associate). Dr. Bleich is a current recipient of a K01 Career Development Award from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to explore racial disparities in physician practice patterns and patient self-management of obesity and of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research Award to conduct a store-based intervention to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among low-income, black adolescents. She was recently elected to the Faculty Senate at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and is the Co-Director of the MPH Concentration in Health Systems and Policies. Dr. Bleich earned a PhD in health policy from Harvard University.
Noel Chavez is associate professor of community health sciences and codirector of the maternal and child health program in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests center on the health and nutritional status of Latinos and other underrepresented groups, particularly children and families. She also studies the role of culture in nutrition and health and changes in health and nutrition status that occur with migration, and the effects of such changes on health services usage. Dr. Chavez has a research stream in the area of community food security. She is also an investigator on a National Institutes of Health– funded study to evaluate cultural and ethnic differences in survey responses in four ethnic groups. Dr. Chavez serves on the Food and Nutrition Science Committee and the Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association and the Public Health Nutrition, Research Nutrition, and Hunger and Environmental Nutrition practice groups and the Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition Interest Group of the American Dietetic Association. Dr. Chavez received a PhD from St. Louis University and an MS from Colorado State University.
Jamie Dollahite is associate professor and director of Food and Nutrition Education in Communities in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. She has expertise in the area of nutrition education for limited-resource audiences that is designed to prevent obesity and chronic disease. Dr. Dollahite leads the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program for New York State and works closely with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program-Education, both in the state and nationally. Her research is closely integrated with the outreach provided by these programs. Currently, she leads a community-based intervention study to build parenting skills among limited-resource participants and support healthy lifestyles and prevent childhood obesity. This project also seeks to build the capacity of local extension staff to work with agency partners to make community-level environmental changes. A recently funded study will investigate the impacts of food choices among children resulting from changes to school cafeterias in combination with outreach to parents. Other integrated research includes several projects designed to identify effective, evidence-based practices in nutrition education programming for the limited-resource population. These include an innovative staff training model as well as other studies of program management and delivery practices. Additional areas of interest and recent research include the development of valid outcome measures to assess behavioral change among participants in these programs, and access to nutritional care for low-income people with chronic disease. She is a registered dietitian. Dr. Dollahite received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.
Philip Gleason is a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research in Princeton, New Jersey. He is an expert in evaluation design and random assignment and has directed many studies related to education initiatives and federal nutrition programs. Dr. Gleason’s past research has included a study of the dynamics of participation in the Food Stamp Program and an investigation into the relationship between food stamp receipt and participants’ dietary intakes. He has also directed a number of studies of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. In the area of education, Dr. Gleason directs an evaluation of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) for the KIPP Foundation and recently led a rigorous lottery-based experimental evaluation of charter schools for the U.S. Department of Education. He is currently leading a study of the distribution of highly effective teachers in school districts around the country. Dr. Gleason publishes regularly in peer-reviewed journals, with recent articles appearing in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Evaluation Review, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Journal of Agricultural Economics, and Demography. He is on the board of editors of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and has recently coauthored a series of articles for that journal on the methodological aspects of publishing nutrition research. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Barbara A. Laraia is associate professor in the School of Public Health, Public Health Nutrition Program, at the University of California, Berkeley.
She is a public health nutrition investigator with a special interest in the relationships between food policy, the food environment, and health. She has expertise in qualitative methods, program evaluation, community-based research, and nutritional epidemiology. Her research focuses on household food security status and neighborhood effects on diet, weight, perinatal outcomes, and other maternal and child health issues, especially among vulnerable populations. Dr. Laraia’s current projects include measurement issues of the food and physical activity environments; influences of the food environment on diet and weight among postpartum women; and understanding the role that tiendas (Latino grocery stores) play in diet quality among Latinos. She has previously served on the IOM planning committee for the Workshop on the Public Health Effects of Food Deserts. She is a registered dietitian. Dr. Laraia received her PhD and MPH from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health.
Sheila Mammen is professor of resource economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research interest lies in the economic well-being of families and households with special emphasis on low-income households. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded, multi-state, multi-disciplinary research projects on which she has participated include Rural Low-Income Families: Tracking Their Well-Being and Functioning in the Context of Welfare Reform (1998-2008) and Interactions of Individual, Family, Community, and Policy Contexts on the Mental and Physical Health of Diverse Rural Low-Income Families (2009-2013). She is currently the PI on two USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture–funded projects, Core Health Messages: A Strategy to Improve the Health and Well-Being of Rural, Low-Income Families and Dissemination of Core Health Messages: Using Community Based Participatory Research to Strengthen the Health of Rural, Low-Income Families. Her publications are focused primarily on low-income, rural families in the areas of labor supply decisions, use of the Earned Income Tax Credit, coping ability in light of persistent food insecurity, satisfaction with life, and poverty dynamics. Dr. Mammen holds an MS from Purdue University and a PhD from the University of Missouri–Columbia.
Mary K. Muth is director of the Food and Nutrition Policy Research Program at RTI International in North Carolina. She is also an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University. She has expertise in economic impact analysis as well as applications of industrial organization, applied welfare analysis, econometrics, and statistical analysis in evaluating food, agricultural, and nutrition policy and providing information for policy development. Dr. Muth also specializes in developing computer models and
databases to support economic impact analysis of regulations, developing industry survey instruments, analyzing industry survey data, and analyzing food purchase and consumption data. Dr. Muth has an MS in agricultural economics from Cornell University and a PhD in economics from North Carolina State University.
Bonny O’Neil is retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, where she was Associate Deputy Administrator of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for more than 15 of her 35 years with the program. She worked closely with Congress to craft Food Stamp legislation through the 1977 Farm Bill and has over-seen many changes and improvements in the Food Stamp Program. She implemented many expansions of the program and led implementation of the Electronic Benefit Transfer program that replaced paper coupons. As a member of the senior management team at the Food and Nutrition Service, Ms. O’Neil was involved in the operations of all the nutrition programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and the school feeding programs. Ms. O’Neil holds a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University and is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute’s program for government senior executives.
Diane W. Schanzenbach is an associate professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University and faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her research interests include education policy, child health, and food consumption. She has recently been investigating the impact of school accountability policies and school reform policies on student performance and other outcomes. In addition, she has used the Project STAR experiment to study the impact of classroom composition and class size on student outcomes. Dr. Schanzenbach is also studying the impact of school policies such as school lunches and availability of recess and gym class on child obesity. Her work on food stamps has measured how households alter their consumption of food, leisure time, and other goods when they receive food stamp benefits, and whether the benefits improve the health of recipients. Dr. Schanzenbach received a PhD in economics from Princeton University.
James P. Ziliak is Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics and director of the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky. He served as assistant and associate professor of economics at the University of Oregon and has held visiting positions at the Brookings Institution, University College London, University of Michigan, and University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research expertise is in the areas of labor economics, poverty, food insecurity, and tax and transfer policy. Recent
projects include the causes and consequences of hunger among older Americans; trends in earnings and income volatility in the United States; trends in the antipoverty effectiveness of the social safety net; the origins of persistent poverty in America; and regional wage differentials across the earnings distribution. He is editor of Welfare Reform and Its Long Term Consequences for America’s Poor, published by Cambridge University Press (2009) and Appalachian Legacy: Economic Opportunity after the War on Poverty, published by Brookings Institution Press (2012). Dr. Ziliak received an MA and a PhD from Indiana University at Bloomington.