Shari Barkin, M.D., M.S.H.S., is William K. Warren Foundation Chair professor of pediatrics, director of pediatric obesity research in the Diabetes Center, and chief of general pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Barkin was trained as a Robert Wood Johnson clinical scholar in outcomes research and has experience in developing and implementing large randomized controlled trials testing interventions designed to affect large public health issues, such as obesity prevention. Her laboratory studies family-based, community-centered clinical interventions aimed at measurably reducing pediatric obesity during critical windows of childhood. The lab is focused on changing body mass index trajectories in childhood, applying an ecologic model that considers children in the context of their families and families in the context of their communities. Dr. Barkin serves as the principal investigator for the Growing Right Onto Wellness (GROW) Trial, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and part of the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) Consortium. She also serves on the Steering Committee for COPTR and on the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Academies. She has extensive experience in conducting research examining health from a life span perspective, looking at how early exposures lead to later health outcomes. Dr. Barkin received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a doctorate in medicine from the University of Cincinnati.
Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., FACSM, is chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and represents ACE as a national and international lecturer, writer, and expert source. He has written more than 250 articles or columns in fitness trade magazines, as well as sports medicine and exercise science journals, and authored, co-authored, or edited more than 30 books. During his tenure at ACE, Dr. Bryant has played a primary role in the development and evolution of its educational content and certifications, which have helped set the standards for fitness professionals around the world—more than 90,000 professionals having earned ACE certifications over the past 12 years. He has held positions on the exercise science faculties at several prestigious institutions, including the United States Military Academy at West Point, Pennsylvania State University, and Arizona State University. He earned both his doctorate in physiology and master’s degree in exercise science from Pennsylvania State University.
Jamie F. Chriqui, Ph.D., M.H.S., is professor of health policy and administration at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has more than 24 years of public health policy research, analysis, and evaluation experience working in the federal government, in government contracting, and in academia. Dr. Chriqui is considered a national expert on chronic disease policy issues, particularly those related to obesity, diet, and physical activity, as well as tobacco and illicit drug control. She serves on numerous obesity-related advisory boards and panels and previously served as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Committee to Accelerate Progress in Obesity Prevention and Committee to Evaluate Progress in Obesity Prevention. Her research focuses heavily on studying the diffusion of and variability in obesity-related policies at the state and local levels nationwide, and their impact on communities, schools, and individual behaviors and health-related outcomes. Dr. Chriqui earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Barnard College, a master of health science degree in health policy from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in policy sciences from the University of Maryland.
Loretta DiPietro, Ph.D., M.P.H., is department chair for the Department of Exercise at George Washington University. She joined the Milken Institute School of Public Health in 2008 following her tenure at Yale University School of Medicine, where she was associate professor of epidemiology and public health and a fellow at the John B. Pierce Laboratory, which studies how biological systems interact with the built environment and influence health. As chair of the Department of Exercise Science, Dr. DiPietro emphasizes the many collaborative research and educational opportunities that students can pursue across the George Washington Medical Center and the entire university. She holds a bachelor of science degree in health
education from Southern Connecticut State University, a master of science degree in health education and exercise science from Southern Connecticut State University, a master of public health degree from Yale University, and a doctor of philosophy degree in epidemiology from Yale University.
Ginny Ehrlich, Ph.D., is director and senior program officer of the Childhood Obesity team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. From 2006 to 2013, she was CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and she served more recently as founding CEO of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, the Clinton Foundation’s newest initiative focused on reducing preventable deaths and closing gaps in health equity in the United States. While head of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Dr. Ehrlich oversaw the transition of the organization, originally a joint venture of the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association (AHA), to an independent nonprofit. She also positioned the Alliance as a national leader in the childhood obesity prevention arena, as evidenced by its distinction as a founding member of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. In 2013, she helped start the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, setting the vision, strategy, and blueprint for the organization and building partnerships with more than 50 corporations and nonprofits to support access to health and wellness. From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Ehrlich was founding director of the Healthy Schools Program, now the largest school-based obesity prevention effort in the country, active in more than 18,000 schools in all 50 states. She holds a doctor of education degree in education leadership and a master of science degree in special education, both from the University of Oregon; a master of public health degree from Boston University; and a bachelor of arts degree in community health education from the University of Oregon.
Ulf Ekelund, Ph.D., is a professor of physical activity epidemiology at the Department of Sport Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway. He is also a senior investigator scientist at the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Dr. Ekelund’s main research interests are related to measurement and population levels of physical activity, the role of physical activity in preventing noncommunicable diseases, and the biological basis for physical activity and sedentary behavior across the life course. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, in 2002; joined the MRC Epidemiology Unit in January 2003; and assumed his position in Norway in 2012.
Amy A. Eyler, Ph.D., is assistant professor and assistant dean of public health at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Her main research interests are physical activity, community policy, and environmental interventions. She most recently served as principal investigator for the
Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN), a national network of researchers studying the influence of policy on population physical activity. Dr. Eyler is past chair of the physical activity section of the American Public Health Association, a member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and a certified health education specialist. She holds a master’s degree in physical education and adult fitness from Ohio University and a doctorate in public health from Oregon State University.
Linda Fondren is a community leader who transformed her life from poverty and disempowerment to success, and returned to her hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi, determined to make it a healthier place after Mississippi was deemed the “fattest state” in the nation for several consecutive years. In 2009, she spearheaded “Shape Up Vicksburg,” a City Hall–sanctioned weight loss challenge. Ms. Fondren enrolled 2,500 Vicksburg residents in the program, most of whom were taking charge of their health and nutrition for the first time. The challenge resulted in a collective weight loss of more than 15,000 pounds among participants. For her persistent efforts and the impact on her community, Ms. Fondren was chosen a Top Ten CNN Hero of the Year for 2010. She was also selected, among distinguished leaders such as First Lady Michelle Obama, as one of The Grio’s 100 History Makers in the Making and named 2011 Woman of the Year for the City of Vicksburg. Her efforts caught the attention of major national media outlets, including CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Dr. Oz, and CNN. She has been featured in numerous magazines, including Essence, Glamour, Woman’s World, Shape, Success, Jet, and Southwest Airlines’ Inflight Magazine. Radio interviews include the Tom Joyner Show and Bill Bradley. In 2014, Ms. Fondren published her first book, Shape Up Sisters!, to spread her message and tips to a wider audience. Shape Up Sisters! is a practical, inspirational, and accessible guide for everyday women with jobs, families, and real-life obstacles. Ms. Fondren is a certified personal trainer and owns an all-female gym called Shape Up Sisters in Vicksburg.
James O. Hill, Ph.D., is Anschutz professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Colorado Denver, director of the Colorado Clinical Nutrition Research Unit, and executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. He has spent more than 30 years researching the causes of weight gain, adiposity, and obesity and how these problems can be prevented or treated. He has published more than 500 scientific articles and lectures widely on weight management. Dr. Hill is well known as a co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry, which follows more than 10,000 people who have lost weight and kept it off permanently. He is also co-founder of America on the Move, an initiative focused on making
small lifestyle changes to help improve health and manage weight. He was a member of the expert panel that developed the first National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines for Management of Overweight and Obesity and was chair of the first World Health Organization Consultation on Obesity. He has served as president of the American Society for Nutrition and The Obesity Society. Dr. Hill has spent the past few years translating the science of weight management into science-based intervention programs. He is author of the Step Diet Book and The State of Slim. Dr. Hill holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Tennessee and master of science and doctoral degrees in physiological psychology from the University of New Hampshire. He was elected to the IOM in 2014.
Sean Hinkle is program director at DC SCORES. He joined DC SCORES in 2009 after working with Grassroot Soccer in South Africa. There he helped design and implement “11 for Health in Africa,” a public health campaign aimed at African youth that combines soccer with 11 different health, social, and life skills messages. The “11 for Health” program has since expanded to eight other countries. While in Africa, Mr. Hinkle also co-founded Ragball International, a soccer-based income-generation and entrepreneurial development program. Prior to his tenure with Grassroot Soccer, he worked at the U.S. Soccer Foundation, where he helped oversee the Passback Program and manage grants. He received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education in 2007. At the university, he was also a 4-year member of the varsity men’s soccer team.
John M. Jakicic, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Health and Physical Activity and director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. He has also been on the faculty at Brown University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Nebraska–Kearney. He has a national and international reputation as a leading scholar in the area of physical activity and weight control. His work in this area builds on a line of research aimed at determining the appropriate dose of physical activity for long-term body weight regulation. Within this line of research, he studies the interaction between energy expenditure and energy intake and the influence of these factors on body weight regulation. Specifically, his early research was key to the public health recommendation that physical activity can be beneficial when separated into multiple 10-minute sessions per day. Dr. Jakicic is also an expert in the implementation of strategies for improving long-term adherence to physical activity, and in the understanding of behavioral and physiological mechanisms involved in linking physical activity to body weight regulation. In addition, he has been at the forefront of applying technology to physical
activity interventions, including wearable technologies and low-intensity intervention strategies for lifestyle behavior change. Dr. Jakicic has served on various national and international committees developing physical activity guidelines for the prevention and treatment of obesity and other chronic conditions. Thus, he has been influential in the heightened awareness of physical activity as a key lifestyle behavior to improve health. Dr. Jakicic earned his bachelor of science degree in physical education and health and his master of science degree in exercise science from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. He received his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Kathleen F. Janz, M.A., Ed.D., is professor of health and human physiology at the University of Iowa and associate director of the University of Iowa Obesity Research and Education Initiative. Her scholarship centers on the epidemiology of physical activity; specifically, she studies the relationship between everyday physical activity and health outcomes, including heart and bone health. This work is a prerequisite for successfully establishing efficacious public health guidelines, for discerning causal factors for physical activity choices, and for intervening to improve physical activity levels. Dr. Janz also maintains a second area of study—objective monitoring of physical activity, including the statistical modeling of movement data. She was one of the first scholars to publish work using objective monitors to examine cardiorespiratory outcomes (1992) and the first to use objective monitors to examine bone outcomes (2001). She recently completed ad hoc service for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), coauthoring the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report (2013). This report addresses effective strategies for improving physical activity levels for children and adolescents. Dr. Janz is currently a member of the writing committee charged by the National Osteoporosis Foundation with systematically reviewing and updating its statement on lifestyle factors and peak bone health. She is lead author for sections addressing physical activity and exercise as they pertain to bone development and adaptation. Dr. Janz holds a doctor of education degree in community health, exercise physiology and a master of arts degree in exercise physiology, both from the University of Northern Colorado, and a bachelor of science degree in physical and health education from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point.
Abby King, Ph.D., is professor of health research and policy and medicine (the division known as the Stanford Prevention Research Center) at Stanford University School of Medicine. A recipient of the Award for Outstanding Scientific Contributions in the Area of Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association, Dr. King has focused her research on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of public health interventions
to reduce chronic disease risk and enhance health. Her current research focuses on expanding the reach and generalizability of evidence-based interventions through the use of state-of-the-art communication technologies, the application of community-based participatory research perspectives to address health disparities among disadvantaged populations, and policy-level approaches to health promotion. Dr. King has served on a number of government task forces in the United States and abroad, including the U.S. Secretary of HHS’s Scientific Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020. She has been the recipient of a number of NIH research grant awards. She is an elected member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and past president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. In 2003, she received the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Distinguished Research Mentor Award, and she has twice received the Stanford Prevention Research Center’s Outstanding Contributions to Teaching Award. In 2014, Dr. King became 1 of 10 U.S. scientists honored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for outstanding work in support of health equity as part of AAMC’s national initiative highlighting evidence-based solutions to health and health care inequities. She obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
Harold W. (Bill) Kohl III, Ph.D., is professor of epidemiology and kinesiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin, College of Education. He is also faculty at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for the Advancement of Healthy Living in Austin. Dr. Kohl is founder and director of the University of Texas Physical Activity Epidemiology Program, where he is responsible for student training, research, and community service related to physical activity and public health. His previous service includes directing physical activity epidemiology and surveillance projects in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Kohl’s research focuses on the specific area of epidemiology related to physical inactivity and obesity, in adults but also in children. He also studies the effect of the built environment on physical activity and is currently researching a planned development that implements “smart growth” techniques designed to support physically active lifestyles. Dr. Kohl served as chair of the IOM’s Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment and was a member of the IOM’s Committee on Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth and Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention. He received a master of science in public health degree from the University of South Carolina School of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics and a doctorate from
the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health in community health studies.
Andrea Kriska, Ph.D., is professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the Graduate School of Public Health. She led the development of the physical activity component of the original Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) lifestyle intervention curriculum as part of the national DPP Lifestyle Resource Core at the University of Pittsburgh. She continued her involvement in physical activity intervention and assessment in the DPP Outcomes Study, and maintained a similar role in several other multicenter (the STOPP-T2d TODAY trial) and single-site (WOMAN, SAVE, WWF) studies. With a focus on and passion for prevention, Dr. Kriska was principal investigator of a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) study involving the translation of the DPP’s successful behavioral intervention into diverse community settings, ranging from senior centers and worksites to the military. She formerly served as principal investigator of an NIH-funded investigation of activity/inactivity in the DPP using objective monitoring (accelerometry). She was recently funded by NIH to investigate whether the health of sedentary, overweight people can be improved with a program focusing initially on decreasing the amount of time they spend sitting rather than on increasing the amount of time they spend exercising. Dr. Kriska is a faculty member of the Diabetes Prevention Support Center of the University of Pittsburgh, which provides training and support in lifestyle intervention efforts in diverse communities. Much of her research and almost all of her service efforts, including serving on local and national committees and task forces, focus on underserved populations in which prevention efforts are most needed. Dr. Kriska holds a doctorate in epidemiology and a master of science degree in exercise physiology, both from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Dayton.
Linda Meyers, Ph.D., is senior science advisor for the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), where her portfolio includes fostering strategic initiatives to expand the impact and influence of the Society and its foundation. Until June 2013, Dr. Meyers directed the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the IOM, where her portfolio included obesity prevention. She also directed the FNB’s international nutrition program from 1982 to 1986. From 1986 to 2001, she served as senior nutrition advisor, deputy director, and acting director in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS. While there, she oversaw the preparation of technical and policy reports, including the 1990, 1995, and 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans; the U.S. Action Plan on Food
Security; and Healthy People 2010. Her research focused on population indicators of nutritional status. Dr. Meyers has received awards for her contributions to public health, including the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for Healthy People 2010, the Conrad A. Elvehjem Award for Public Service in Nutrition from the ASN, the IOM’s Cecil Award, the National Academies Group Distinguished Service awards for The DRI’s Essential Guide and for the Emmy-nominated The Weight of the Nation and The Weight of the Nation: Kids film series, and the Surgeon General’s Medallion. In April 2013, she was elected a fellow of the ASN. Dr. Meyers holds a bachelor of arts degree in health and physical education from Goshen College in Indiana (1968), a master of science degree in food and nutrition from Colorado State University (1974), and a doctorate in human nutrition from Cornell University (1978).
Marisa Molina, M.P.H., is research core project manager with the San Diego Prevention Research Center (SDPRC) within the Institute for Behavioral and Community Health (IBACH). She has 5 years of public health management experience, working with the SDPRC. As project manager, she led the development of evaluation protocols, the design of the intervention, and community partnerships for implementation. Ms. Molina also maintained the role of communication and dissemination coordinator for the SDPRC, beyond the scope of the main research study. The intervention designed utilized the community health worker (CHW) model to provide free exercise and healthy lifestyle classes to community members in South San Diego County (450 Latina women participated in this research study, which maintained a retention rate of approximately 80 percent at 6 and 12 months postbaseline). During this 5-year project, Ms. Molina led the evaluation team in a comprehensive assessment and designed measurement protocols to create a more efficient process than had been used for previous evaluation strategies within IBACH. The intervention included a 10-ses-sion healthy lifestyle course and the development of training manuals for CHWs and for organizations. In the past 2 years of the study, Ms. Molina spearheaded a pilot project with the county of San Diego and a contractor who provided all employment-related training to participants in CalWorks (California’s version of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF]) to utilize the curriculum and model within this setting. While results from this study have not yet been published, preliminary analysis has shown individual-level improvements in health and improved participation and employment outcomes among participants. Ms. Molina holds a bachelor of science degree in molecular biology from the University of California, San Diego, and received her master of public health degree from San Diego State University.
Aviva Must, Ph.D., is Morton A. Madoff professor of public health and chair of the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is a nutritional epidemiologist who has worked in population-based obesity research since 1988. She focuses on the epidemiology of obesity across the life span, with a particular interest in physical and psychosocial health consequences during adolescence and in vulnerable populations. Additional research foci include the development of valid survey measures and surveillance systems for pediatric obesity and proximal modifiable behaviors (nutrition, physical activity, sedentary behavior). Recent efforts have been directed toward developing the descriptive epidemiology and health promotion for children with developmental disabilities. Dr. Must’s preventive intervention work includes community-based research projects in preschool and primary school populations. She directs the Clinical and Community Research Core of the Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center, a cross-institution NIH-funded obesity center, and is co-director of the Healthy Weight Research Network for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities, funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS. Dr. Must holds a doctorate and a master of science degree in nutrition, both from Tufts University, and a bachelor of science degree in biology from New York University.
Allison Nihiser, M.P.H., is health scientist at CDC’s School Health Branch. She synthesizes research on school-based physical activity and nutrition to produce strategies and guidelines for schools. Much of her work focuses on school-based body mass index (BMI) measurement programs, physical activity, fitness testing, local school wellness policies, out-of-school time, and technical assistance for grantees and partners on obesity prevention policies and practices in schools. Relatedly, she authored CDC’s School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, CDC’s/Presidential Youth Fitness Program’s Monitoring Student Fitness Levels: Is Physical Fitness Associated with Health in Overweight and Obesity in Youth?, and BMI Measurement in Schools. Ms. Nihiser regularly conducts trainings on the aforementioned School Health Guidelines to state and local health department staff, state and local education department staff, and university staff. She has worked at CDC since 2004. She received two bachelor’s degrees from Miami University (Ohio), in exercise science and zoology, and obtained a master’s degree in public health from Yale University, where she focused on chronic disease epidemiology.
Russell Pate, Ph.D., is professor of exercise science at the Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia. His research interests and expertise focus on physical activity measure-
ment, determinants, and promotion in children and youth. He also directs a national postgraduate course aimed at developing research competencies related to physical activity and public health. Dr. Pate is 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, as well as multicenter trials on the promotion of physical activity among middle and high school-age girls. Dr. Pate was a member of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee of the HHS and served on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. He is a past president of both the ACSM and the National Coalition on Promoting Physical Activity. Dr. Pate has served as a member of several IOM obesity-related committees, including the standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention, and was chair of the Committee on Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth. He received a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Oregon.
Nico Pronk, Ph.D., FACSM, is vice president for health management and chief science officer for HealthPartners, Inc. He is also a senior research investigator at the HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research; adjunct professor of social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health; visiting research professor in environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health; member of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services; and founding and past-president of the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion. His research expertise lies in the areas of population health improvement, the role of physical activity in health, and the impact of multiple health behaviors on health outcomes. Dr. Pronk is particularly interested in improving population health in the context of the employer setting; the integration of health promotion with occupational safety and health; and the integration of health promotion, behavioral health, and primary care. He is senior editor of ACSM’s Worksite Health Handbook, 2nd ed. (2009), and author of the scientific background paper for the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan for Business and Industry. Dr. Pronk received a doctorate in exercise physiology from Texas A&M University and completed postdoctoral studies in behavioral medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh.
Robert Ross, Ph.D., R.Kin., FACSM, FAHA, is a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University. His research program focuses on the management of obesity and related comorbid conditions. Dr. Ross has published extensively in these and related areas. He is past-president of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, current vice president of the College of Kinesiology in Ontario, and a fellow of
ACSM and AHA, and is this year’s recipient of the Honor Award from the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology. He has delivered more than 300 lectures to medical, scientific, and lay groups worldwide. Dr. Ross obtained a bachelor’s degree in physical education from McGill University and master’s (1988) and doctoral (1992) degrees in exercise physiology from the Université de Montréal.
James F. Sallis, Ph.D., is distinguished professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego, and director of Active Living Research, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Sallis’s primary research interests are promoting physical activity and understanding policy and environmental influences on physical activity, nutrition, and obesity. He has made contributions in the areas of measurement, correlates of physical activity, intervention, and advocacy. Dr. Sallis’s health improvement programs have been studied and used in communities, health care settings, schools, universities, and companies. He is the author of more than 600 scientific publications, co-author of several books, and a member of the editorial boards of several journals. He is a frequent consultant to universities, health organizations, and corporations worldwide. Dr. Sallis received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Memphis State University.
Gabriel Shaibi, Ph.D., is associate professor and Southwest Borderlands scholar at Arizona State University, where he holds appointments in the College of Nursing & Health Innovation and School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. In addition to his faculty roles, he serves as research director in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and sits on the editorial board of Obesity, the flagship scientific journal of The Obesity Society. Dr. Shaibi’s research examines obesity-related health in high-risk and vulnerable populations, with an emphasis on understanding and preventing cardiometabolic diseases in obese youth. His work applies a translational approach that includes basic, clinical, and community research collaborations that have contributed to more than 65 peer-reviewed publications stemming from more than $12 million in grant funding. Dr. Shaibi earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Occidental College and his doctorate in biokinesiology and physical therapy from the University of Southern California.
Howell Wechsler, M.P.H., Ed.D., is CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the AHA and the Clinton Foundation in response to the rapid increase in childhood obesity rates over the past three decades. He leads a team of more than 120 professional staff in 39 states and
the District of Columbia taking action to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity by making it easier for youth to be physically active and eat healthier foods. Before assuming the role of Alliance CEO in 2013, Dr. Wechsler spent 18 years at CDC, joining as a health scientist in 1995 and most recently serving as director of the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) from 2004 to May 2013. He supervised the management of DASH’s three surveillance systems and oversaw the division’s research and evaluation studies; the development and dissemination of tools to help schools implement evidence-based policies and practices; and the funding of and technical assistance to state and local education agencies and national, nongovernmental organizations. He entered the field of public health during his service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire. Dr. Wechsler earned a doctorate in health education from Teachers College, Columbia University; a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University; and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
James Whitehead is executive vice president of ACSM in Indianapolis, Indiana, a position he has held since 1990. Prior to his appointment at ACSM, he served in executive roles at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in Washington, DC, from 1987 to 1990, and also was a principal with an association management firm that specialized in health and science nongovernmental organizations and political candidates at the U.S. federal level. Mr. Whitehead’s research and practice focus on innovation within planning processes, as well as health policy and administration. He has published articles in the health, public policy, and organizational literature. Mr. Whitehead has received awards from many professional associations, including the International Academy of Sports Vision, the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sports Psychology, the Council for Better Hearing and Speech, and ACSM. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, receiving degrees in political science (public administration) and history (business and medical history).