Deborah Atwood serves as executive director of Meridian’s AGree: Transforming Food and Agriculture Policy. She has more than 30 years of experience in policy and legislative matters regarding food, agriculture, the environment, research, and risk management, including extensive experience working with executives in the private sector, federal government, and nonprofit organizations. Ms. Atwood is a marine resource scientist by training.
Barbara Burlingame, Ph.D., is a nutrition scientist and deputy director at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN), where she has worked since 1998. Her expertise includes food composition, human nutrient requirements, dietary assessment, and the thematic areas of biodiversity for food and nutrition and sustainable diets. She is a member of several scientific advisory boards and international nutrition committees; the author of many scientific papers and UN publications, and several book chapters and reference books; and has served in the role of editor and editorial board member of several food and nutrition journals during the past 25 years, including 12 years as the editor-in-chief of Elsevier’s Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. She obtained her undergraduate degrees from University of California, Davis, in nutrition science and environmental toxicology, and her Ph.D. from Massey University in New Zealand.
Robert Burns, Ph.D., is vice president, health and nutrition policy, at the Grocery Manufacturers Association. In 1982, Dr. Burns joined Mead
Johnson Nutritionals, where he conducted research on nutrient bioavailability and established standards for the content and communication of nutrient aspects of infant formulas, toddler foods, and adult nutritional products. He joined Cadbury Schweppes in 2005, assuming global responsibility for nutrition and scientific issues relating to the beverage, chocolate, candy, and gum product portfolios. In 2011, he joined Grocery Manufacturers Association, where he is responsible for the application of balanced science to health and nutrition policy. His primary interest is the development of sound scientific bases for impactful public health policy. Dr. Burns is actively involved and has held leadership roles in professional societies including the American Society for Nutrition and Institute of Food Technologists. He received a B.S. in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry, both from Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Emily Cassidy, is a graduate research assistant at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. Ms. Cassidy is working with Vitality Group® to quantify the environmental impacts of the HealthyFood benefit subsidy program. Her research has focused on the global environmental impact of dietary preferences. Specifically, Ms. Cassidy’s interests lie in studying the feed and land requirements for meat and dairy production, and how this will change with an increasingly affluent global population. She is co-author on a 2011 Nature publication titled “Solutions for a Cultivated Planet.” She has a B.S. in environmental science and is currently finishing up a M.S. at the University of Minnesota.
Kate Clancy, Ph.D., is currently a food systems consultant, visiting scholar at the Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, adjunct professor at Tufts University, and senior fellow at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Minnesota (she resides in University Park, Maryland). Her resume includes positions at several universities (Cornell, Syracuse, and the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin); the federal government (nutritionist and policy adviser at the Federal Trade Commission); and nonprofits (director of the Wallace Center for Agricultural and Environmental Policy, senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and fellow at the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy). Dr. Clancy has served on numerous boards (the Society for Nutrition Education, Bread for the World, Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, Consortium for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and the Agriculture Food and Human Values Society, among others). She developed a graduate course on food systems in 1982 and since then has published, taught, spoken, and consulted widely on sustain-
able agriculture and food systems with government agencies, universities, and nonprofits around the country. Dr. Clancy’s present interests are the research and policy facets of Agriculture of the Middle, the development of regional food systems, food supply chain analyses, the connections between community food security and regional food security, and the research needed to advance sustainable agriculture and food systems policy. Her B.S. and Ph.D. in nutrition sciences are from the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively.
Lisa Eakman, M.A., serves as the executive director for The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ global agriculture and food projects. Prior to joining the Council in 2007, she worked with the Department of the Air Force’s General Counsel Dispute Resolution division and Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. She holds an M.A. in security policy studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in international studies, political science, and Spanish from Bradley University.
Gail Feenstra, Ed.D., R.D., is the food systems coordinator at the Agricultural Sustainability Institute and University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP). SAREP’s Food Systems Program encourages the development of regional food systems that link farmers, consumers and communities. Dr. Feenstra’s research and outreach includes farm-to-school evaluation, regional food system distribution, food access/food security for low-income populations, food system assessments, and local food policy. Her professional background is in nutrition. She is a registered dietitian and has worked in low-income communities in Boston and New York City as a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program of Women, Infants, and Children/community nutritionist. Dr. Feenstra has a doctorate in nutrition education from Teachers College, Columbia University, with an emphasis in public health.
Martin Heller, Ph.D., is a research specialist with the Center for Sustainable Systems at University of Michigan. His most recent research interest involves integrating nutritional information into environmental impact assessments of food and diet. Dr. Heller has conducted life-cycle assessment studies of short-rotation woody biomass energy crops (upstate New York Department of Energy willow demonstration project), a large-scale vertically integrated U.S. organic dairy (Aurora Organic Dairy), and, as part of an international team, a comprehensive, spatially explicit study of U.S. dairy production for the Dairy Research Institute. He also developed the seminal report on Life Cycle-Based Sustainability Indicators for Assessment of the U.S. Food System. As a researcher at the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University (MSU), Dr. Heller investigated
the ecological services provided by pasture-based and confinement-based dairies, and developed a “community food profile” intended to frame for a general audience the opportunities of a community-based food system. He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from MSU and a Ph.D., also in chemical engineering, from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has spent much of the past 10 years growing organic vegetables and starting and managing market farms/community-supported agriculture. Through a local nonprofit, he is currently developing a Farmer Residency program to assist new farmers in gaining farm management experience.
Cynthia M. Jones, Ph.D., is the Annye L. Morgan Professor of Sciences, professor of ocean, earth, and atmospheric sciences, eminent scholar, and the director of the Center for Quantitative Fisheries Ecology at Old Dominion University. She studies marine fisheries and the quantitative ecology of fish. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been recognized numerous times for faculty excellence. Dr. Jones received a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.
Tim Lang, Ph.D., is professor of food policy at the Centre for Food Policy, City University London, since 2002. He has been advisor to four Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiries and to government groups such as the Expert Group on Obesity (2008-2010). He was formerly chair and a founding member of Sustain, the nongovernmental alliance responsible for national initiatives such as Sustainable Fish City and the Children’s Food Campaign. In 2006-2011, Dr. Lang was Natural Resources and Land Use Commissioner on the UK government’s Sustainable Development Commission. In 2005-2008, he was a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) Food Supply in the 21st Century team. Dr. Lang’s interest is how policy both addresses and responds to the environment, health, social justice, and citizens. He is the author/co-author of 100 journal articles, 46 book chapters, 10 books, and 57 reports. Dr. Lang has written a monthly column in The Grocer since 2000. After receiving his Ph.D. at Leeds University in social psychology, he became a hill farmer in the 1970s, which shifted his academic attention to food policy, where it has been ever since.
Allen S. Levine, Ph.D., is professor and director of the Minnesota Obesity Center at the University of Minnesota. The National Institutes of Health–funded obesity center has more than 70 federal grantees from the university, the Mayo Clinic, the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, HealthPartners, and Hennepin County Medical Center. The center’s grant is now in its 18th year. For more than 30 years, Dr. Levine and his colleagues have explored the neural regulation of food intake, particularly related to the opioid
peptides, oxytocin, and Neuropeptide Y. Dr. Levine has published more than 290 scientific papers and more than 100 review articles, editorials, and book reviews. He is a professor in the departments of food science and nutrition, psychiatry, neuroscience, and surgery, and is a member of the nutrition, food science, and neuroscience graduate faculties at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Levine is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, the Obesity Society, and Sigma Xi. He is a past president of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (2010-2011). Dr. Levine has been a member of a variety of editorial boards, including Pharmacology, Biology, and Behavior (1990-present), the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and the Journal of Nutrition. He has served on advisory groups for various food and pharmaceutical corporations, including the Dannon Institute, Best Foods, and the International Life Sciences Institute. He has received two awards for his work on food intake regulation: the Mead Johnson Award from the American Institute of Nutrition and the Grace A. Goldsmith Award from the American College of Nutrition.
George Loewenstein, Ph.D., is the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University and the director of behavioral economics at the Center for Health Incentives at the Leonard Davis Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Loewenstein’s research focuses on applications of psychology to economics, and his specific interests include decision making over time, bargaining and negotiations, psychology and health, law and economics, the psychology of adaptation, the role of emotion in decision making, the psychology of curiosity, conflict of interest, and “out-of-control” behaviors such as impulsive violent crime and drug addiction. He is one of the early proponents of a new approach to public policy called, variously, “asymmetric” or “libertarian” paternalism, and his most recent research focuses on applications of behavioral economics to public policy, with special emphasis on health. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.
Kathleen A. Merrigan, Ph.D., is former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Dr. Merrigan brought a wealth of knowledge to USDA from a decades-long career in policy, legislation, and research related to the many missions of USDA. She has managed the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food effort to highlight the critical connection between farmers and consumers and support local and regional food systems that increase economic opportunity in rural America. In November 2009, she made history as the first woman to chair the Ministerial Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Recognizing the history and scope of her work, Time magazine named Dr. Merrigan among
the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2010. Before becoming Deputy Secretary, Dr. Merrigan served for 8 years as assistant professor and director of the agriculture, food, and environment graduate program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts. Under an appointment by President Bill Clinton, Dr. Merrigan was administrator of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service from 1999 to 2001. She served for 6 years as a senior staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, working for Senator Patrick Leahy. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental planning and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master of public affairs from the University of Texas, and a B.A. from Williams College.
Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., is professor and air quality specialist in the department of animal science at the University of California, Davis. He is an expert for agricultural air quality, animal–environmental interactions, and agricultural engineering. Dr. Mitloehner is principal investigator of a broad range of studies and has authored 73 publications in refereed journals. He was recently elected chairman of the global United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization project titled LEAP to benchmark environmental footprint of livestock production. He serves as a workgroup member on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and as member on the Institute of Medicine committee on “A Framework for Assessing the Health, Environmental, and Social Effects of the Food System.” Dr. Mitloehner received his M.S. degree in animal science and agricultural engineering from the University of Leipzig, Germany, in 1996 and his Ph.D. degree in animal science from Texas Tech University in 2000.
Erik D. Olson, J.D., has 30 years of experience in public policy and consumer advocacy. He currently is senior strategic director for Health & Food at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which he rejoined in December 2013. He is helping to manage and expand NRDC’s food and environmental health work (including toxic chemicals, air toxics, pesticides, chemicals in food, agriculture, climate change and health, and other issues), and is working with NRDC’s executive director and senior management on developing new strategic directions and approaches for its wide array of work. Previously, Mr. Olson served as senior director of Food Programs at The Pew Charitable Trusts where he oversaw Pew’s food-related work including campaigns on food safety, food additives, school foods, and antibiotics and animal agriculture. He helped lead the coalition effort to enact the first major overhaul of the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety law in over 70 years, signed into law in January 2011. Before joining Pew, Mr. Olson was deputy staff director and general counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Prior to his Senate tenure,
he worked for 15 years at NRDC as advocacy center director, public health program director and senior attorney. Mr. Olson previously served for five years as counsel for the National Wildlife Federation’s environmental quality program, and was an attorney in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of General Counsel. During this public interest career, he helped to lead several successful national legislative campaigns, and litigated environmental cases ranging from the Exxon Valdez litigation to major cases involving natural resource damages, drinking water, food safety, and other issues. Mr. Olson graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif legal honor society and served as an editor of the environmental law journal, and from Columbia College of Columbia University. Mr. Olson is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Food Forum. The views he expressed in the workshop are his alone and should not be imputed to his current or former employer.
Christian J. Peters, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Dr. Peters joined the faculty of the Friedman School in 2010 and teaches primarily in the agriculture, food, and environment program. His research interests lie in the developing field of sustainability science, within the thematic area of food systems. Dr. Peters focuses on three major topics: (1) land requirements of the human diet, (2) capacity for local and regional food systems, and (3) feed needs of livestock systems. He is perhaps most well known for his spatial analysis of potential local foodsheds of New York State, providing a concrete example of a term that has resonated with the local and regional food movements. Dr. Peters received his B.S. in environmental sciences from Rutgers University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in soil and crop sciences from Cornell University.
Barton Seaver is working to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner. As the director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard School of Public Health, his work is unified by the belief that food is a crucial way for us to connect with the ecosystems, people, and cultures of our world. His projects aim to highlight the important connection between environmental resiliency and human health while ensuring the profitability of local food producers. Complementary to his role at Harvard, the New England Aquarium named Mr. Seaver its first Sustainability Fellow in Residence to help relate the aquarium’s conservation messages to our dinner plates. As a National Geographic Fellow, Mr. Seaver has worked with National Geographic’s Ocean Initiative to create the Seafood Decision Guide. The guide compiles sustainability, omega-3, and mercury data in an interactive manner to help consumers make seafood choices
that are best for both personal and environmental health. Mr. Seaver is also helping the State Department with its diplomacy abroad as a member of the American Chef Corps. Mr. Seaver’s second cookbook, Where There’s Smoke, was released in April 2013.
Richard (Ricky) Volpe, Ph.D., is a research economist in the food markets branch of the food economics division in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. His research focuses on the food retail sector, particularly the economic behavior and performance of supermarkets and other store formats. In addition, Dr. Volpe provides monthly retail food price forecasts based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and updates the Food CPI and Expenditures Briefing Room. He holds an M.S. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis.
Parke E. Wilde, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. His research addresses food security and hunger measurement, the economics of food assistance programs, and federal dietary guidance policy. Prior to his position at Tufts, Dr. Wilde worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Food Forum. Dr. Wilde has published numerous articles in leading nutrition science and agricultural economics peer-reviewed journals and is author of Food Policy in the United States: An Introduction (Routledge/Earthscan). Dr. Wilde received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University.
Jennifer Wilkins, Ph.D., R.D., is lecturer and senior extension associate at Cornell University’s Division of Nutritional Sciences. For more than 20 years, her work has focused on the links between food systems, health, and sustainability. In the early 1990s, Dr. Wilkins conceptualized and developed the first regional food guide in the United States—called the Northeast Regional Food Guide. This food guide promotes health, seasonal meal planning, and community food systems. While serving as a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2004 to 2006, she developed newspaper column, The Food Citizen, which appeared monthly in both the Albany Times Union and the Ithaca Journal from 2006 to 2011. Dr. Wilkins has held leadership positions in several professional organizations, including the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society. She is also an occasional visiting professor at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche (University of Gastronomic Sciences) in Pollenzo, Italy.
Derek Yach, M.B.Ch.B., M.P.H., is senior vice president at the Vitality Group®, part of the world’s longest-standing and largest incentive-based wellness program. Prior to joining Vitality, Dr. Yach served as PepsiCo’s senior vice president, global health and agriculture policy. In addition to his role at Vitality, he will continue to work closely with PepsiCo as an advisor on key topics related to the food and beverage company’s ongoing health and agriculture initiatives. Dr. Yach has been a member of the board of directors for Vitality since 2009. He helped place tobacco control, nutrition, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, prominently on the agenda of governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. He led the development of the World Health Organization’s first treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and the development of its Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity. He established the Centre for Epidemiological Research at the South African Medical Research Council, which focused on quantifying inequalities and the impact of urbanization on health. Dr. Yach has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles covering a breadth of global health issues. He received an honorary D.Sc. degree from Georgetown University.