Ashkan Afshin, Sc.D., M.Sc., M.P.H., M.D., is assistant professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington. In this role, he works on the Global Burden of Disease project, leading the effort to estimate the disease burden attributable to dietary risk factors, obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies. Prior to joining IHME, Dr. Afshin completed a postdoctoral fellowship in epidemiology at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where he focused on nutrition, chronic disease, and dietary policy. He is a physician and epidemiologist with formal training and experience in health policy, population health, decision sciences, public health informatics, and health economics. Dr. Afshin earned an M.D. from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.Sc. in health policy and a dual Sc.D. in epidemiology and global health and population from Harvard University.
Connie Avramis, M.Sc., is research and development director, nutrition and health, for Unilever North America. She is responsible for nutrition science, nutrition communications, and health and wellness. In her prior roles, she has held various positions in research and development with global and regional responsibility in both European and developing and emerging markets across retail and food service business units. She is an effective team builder with a proven track record in partnering with brand marketing/sales and the supply chain to translate and develop innovative
and differentiating concepts that provide competitive solutions and profitable and sustainable growth.
Nicole Tichenor Blackstone, M.S., Ph.D., is assistant professor in the Division of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. Prior to joining the Friedman School faculty, she was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating strategies for improving food system sustainability. Current and recent research projects include linking sustainability to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, quantifying the environmental and nutritional costs of food waste, developing food waste solutions in the northeastern United States, estimating regional self-reliance and environmental impacts of livestock in the northeastern United States, and developing and assessing core competencies in food systems and sustainability science education. Dr. Blackstone also has experience in food policy spanning the local to national levels through previous work with the Douglas County Food Policy Council (Kansas) and National Family Farm Coalition. She is committed to collaborating across disciplines and with stakeholders to bring about transformative change in the food system. Dr. Blackstone earned her Ph.D. and M.S. from the Friedman School, Tufts University, in the Agriculture, Food, and Environment program. During her graduate training, she was the recipient of multiple fellowships, including the Switzer Environmental Leadership Fellowship. She holds a B.A. in philosophy and religious studies from the University of Kansas.
Fergus “Ferg” Clydesdale, M.A., Ph.D., is currently distinguished university professor, Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and director of the University of Massachusetts Food Science Policy Alliance. From 1988 to 2008 he was head of the Department of Food Science. His research involves the role of technology in creating healthy and sustainable diets and its regulation and policy. He is a fellow of five premier societies in the field of food science and nutrition, serves as editor-in-chief of Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, and has published some 375 scientific articles and co-authored or edited 20 books. He has held professorships and has given invited presentations around the globe, as well as being an invited speaker in the National Academies series “Distinctive Voices” at the Jonsson Center. Dr. Clydesdale also has served on or chaired numerous committees of various food organizations and agencies, as well as served on the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies, the Dietary Guidelines 2005 Scientific Advisory Committee, the Board of Trustees of the International Life Sciences Institute, and the International Food Information Council Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards,
including the Institute of Food Technologists’ highest honor, the Nicolas Appert Award; the University of Massachusetts Amherst Distinguished Teacher Award; and the Distinguished Faculty Award from the University of Massachusetts Alumni Association. He also was named the Sterling B. Hendricks Memorial Lecturer by the Agricultural Research Service/U.S. Department of Agriculture for 2008. The University of Massachusetts Amherst established the Fergus M. Clydesdale Professorship and dedicated the Fergus M. Clydesdale Center for Foods for Health and Wellness in his honor in 2011. Dr. Clydesdale received his M.A. in food chemistry from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. in food science and technology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Karrie Denniston, M.P.A., serves as senior director of sustainability with the Walmart Foundation. In this role, she manages strategy and grantmaking for the Walmart Foundation’s efforts to help create environmentally and socially sustainable supply chains globally. Her portfolio includes elevating dignity in work through empowerment of workers and driving market access for smallholder farmers; creating more sustainable product chains from production to end of life; and addressing hunger, food safety, and nutrition issues. Prior to joining Walmart, Ms. Denniston served as vice president of national programs at Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the United States. She also worked in public service as a policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, Child Nutrition Division. Ms. Denniston received a B.A. in international relations from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University, focused on nonprofit management.
Adam Drewnowski, M.A., Ph.D., is professor of epidemiology and director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the School of Public Health, University of Washington. He is a world-renowned leader in the study of obesity and social disparities in diets and health. He is also director of the University of Washington Center for Obesity Research, which addresses the environmental, social, and economic aspects of the obesity epidemic. Dr. Drewnowski is adjunct professor of medicine and is a joint member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He is the inventor of the Nutrient Rich Foods Index, which rates individual foods based on their overall nutritional value, and the Affordable Nutrition Index, which helps consumers identify affordable healthy foods. He has conducted extensive studies on taste function and food preferences, exploring the role of fat, sugar, and salt in food preferences and food cravings. His studies on bitter taste genetics have explored consumer acceptance of bitter phytochemicals in vegetables and fruit. Dr. Drewnowski has been the leader in studies of
the spatial epidemiology of diets and health, using innovative geographic information systems approaches to study the geographic distribution of food spending, diet quality, and obesity rates. His interests are in characterization of dietary patterns; nutrition economics; the spatial distribution of obesity rates; and the development of new metrics for identifying foods that are nutrient dense, affordable, and sustainable. Dr. Drewnowski obtained his M.A. in biochemistry at Balliol College, Oxford, and a Ph.D. in psychology at The Rockefeller University in New York.
Jessica Fanzo, Ph.D., is Bloomberg distinguished associate professor of global food and agricultural policy and ethics at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the Berman Institute of Bioethics, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. She also serves as director of the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program at Hopkins, and plays key advisory roles in Hopkins’ Alliance for a Healthier World on the food security and nutrition theme, as well as the Bloomberg American Health Initiative on obesity and food systems. She is currently serving as co-chair for the Global Nutrition Report, and is team leader for the High-Level Panel of Experts for Food Systems and Nutrition for the United Nations Committee on Food Security. She also serves on the Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets for Sustainable Food Systems. With more than 15 years of research and program experience working in the field in sub-Saharan Africa and South and East Asia, her expertise focuses on multisectoral and system approaches to ensuring better nutrition and diets, concentrated in three areas: (1) the linkages among agriculture, the environment and climate, and health to improve food systems and environments, diversity and quality of diets, and nutrition outcomes; (2) the importance of regaining food security and agriculture-based livelihoods in postconflict regions through better governance and food policy; and (3) the emerging area of equitable, ethical, and sustainable diets and food systems. Dr. Fanzo was the first laureate of the Carasso Foundation’s Sustainable Diets Prize in 2012 for her research on sustainable food and diets for long-term human health. She holds a Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Arizona and completed a Stephen I. Morse postdoctoral fellowship in immunology in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Columbia University.
Martin Heller, Ph.D., is senior research specialist with the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan. His most recent research interests involve evaluating the environmental impact of dietary choices and food waste, and combining nutritional information with environmental assessments of food and diet. A Wellcome Trust–sponsored project in collaboration with nutritionists at Tulane University has provided the first linkage between food-related environmental impacts and National Health
and Nutrition Examination Survey datasets. Dr. Heller has conducted life-cycle assessment studies of short-rotation woody biomass energy crops; a plant-based meat alternative “burger”; a large-scale vertically integrated U.S. organic dairy industry; and as part of an international team, a comprehensive, spatially explicit study of U.S. dairy production. He also developed a seminal report on life-cycle-based sustainability indicators for assessment of the U.S. food system. Dr. Heller currently serves on the Menus of Change Scientific and Technical Advisory Council and has been an invited speaker at multiple National Academies workshops on sustainable diets and the true costs of food. He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Michigan State and a Ph.D., also in chemical engineering, from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Kate J. Houston, M.S., is director, federal government relations/corporate affairs, Cargill, Inc., a global producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services based in Wayzata, Minnesota. Ms. Houston advises Cargill’s food and ingredient businesses on critical issues in food safety and nutrition—two public health imperatives important to Cargill’s long-term success. She also served as deputy under secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services mission area, and as a policy advisor to the House of Representatives’ Education and the Workforce Committee under the leadership of John A. Boehner, where she worked to enact bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children programs; Head Start; and the Older Americans Act. She holds degrees from Tulane University and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and is a board member of the Congressional Hunger Center; the International Food Information Council; and Common Threads DC, a nonprofit organization preventing obesity by teaching low-income children to cook healthy meals. She received a B.A. in political science and communication from Tulane University and an M.S. in U.S. nutrition policy and epidemiology.
David Klurfeld, M.S., Ph.D., has been national program leader for human nutrition in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Research Service since 2004. He is responsible for the scientific direction of the intramural human nutrition research conducted by USDA laboratories. Prior to government service, he was professor and chairman of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, for 12 years. Before that, he was on the faculty of The Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine for 15 years. His research has focused on the relationship of diet to prevention
of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and gallstones. Among his scientific discoveries are the first demonstration that consumption of red wine results in fewer cardiovascular lesions, that the cholesterol-filled cells in human arterial lesions are white blood cells, that reducing calories is more important than reducing fat in the diet for decreasing cancer growth, and that a mediator of this last effect was likely IGF-1. Dr. Klurfeld has published more than 195 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He has been associate editor of the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition for 11 years and is also a member of the National Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases Advisory Council. He is an elected fellow of the American Society for Nutrition. Dr. Klurfeld received his undergraduate degree in general agriculture from Cornell University and both master’s and doctorate degrees in pathology from the Medical College of Virginia.
Jennie Macdiarmid, Ph.D., is professor of sustainable nutrition and health at the University of Aberdeen. Her current research focuses on food and nutrition security and the impact of dietary patterns on climate change, in particular understanding how to shift dietary intakes to those that are healthier, more environmentally sustainable, and acceptable to the population. She leads a large multidisciplinary research team, with international collaborations, to address important questions in food and nutrition security. She worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Food Research (Norwich) and the University of Dundee on research focused on eating behaviors, related in particular to chocolate. She spent 18 months working for the International Obesity Task Force, based at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen. In 1999, she moved to the University of Aberdeen Medical School to run a project studying the long-term health effects of professional diving. In 2006, she joined the Public Health Nutrition Research group at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at the University of Aberdeen, where she is currently a senior research fellow. Professor Macdiarmid graduated from the University of Surrey with a B.Sc. (Hons) in nutrition and food science, and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Leeds on the characteristics of high and low fat consumers.
Frank Mitloehner, M.S., Ph.D., is professor and air quality specialist in cooperative extension in the Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis. He is an expert in agricultural air quality, livestock housing, and husbandry. Overall, he conducts research that is directly relevant to the understanding and mitigation of air emissions from livestock operations, as well as the implications of these emissions for the health and safety of farm workers and neighboring communities. Dr. Mitloehner has served as chairman of a global United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization partnership project to benchmark the environmental footprint of livestock
production. He served as a workgroup member on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and as a member of the National Academies’ Committee on a Framework for Assessing the Health, Environmental, and Social Effects of the Food System. He received his M.S. in animal science and agricultural engineering from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and his Ph.D. in animal science from Texas Technical University.
Erik D. Olson, J.D., is senior strategic director for health and food at the Natural Resources Defense Council. He has more than 25 years of experience in consumer, public health, and environmental policy and advocacy. Prior to joining the Natural Resources Defense Council, he was director of food programs at the Pew Health Group, where he oversaw food-related projects, including programs aimed at improving food safety, strengthening safety and nutrition standards for foods served in the nation’s schools, and reviewing the adequacy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s programs regulating chemicals added to food. Prior to joining Pew, he was deputy staff director and general counsel for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works until November 2008. During his Senate tenure, he worked on environmental issues and on health threats from toxic chemicals, playing a key role in major legislation and hearings on global warming, toxic chemicals, children’s environmental health, clean air, drinking water, clean water, and environmental justice, among other issues. He also helped negotiate the key provisions enacted in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and the green buildings and green schools provisions of the Energy Independent Security Act of 2007. He received a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Janet Ranganathan, M.Sc., is vice president for science and research at the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization that works at the intersection of environment and development in more than 50 countries. She works to strengthen the impact of research and data across WRI’s six global programs: Food, Forest, Water, Climate, Energy, and Cities. She plays a lead role supporting WRI Brazil, WRI’s sustainable investment project, and WRI’s open data platforms. During her tenure, she has held diverse positions across WRI’s programs and rolled out numerous initiatives, including Resource Watch, Better Buying Lab, and Creating a Sustainable Food Future. Ms. Ranganathan also founded the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative, an international multistakeholder partnership convened by WRI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to develop international greenhouse gas accounting and reporting standards. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard is now the international accounting and reporting standard for business. Ms. Ranganathan received her master’s degree in environmental technology from Imperial College London.
Diego Rose, M.P.H., Ph.D., is professor and director of nutrition at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. His research explores the social and economic side of nutrition problems, with a focus on nutrition assistance programs, food security, the food environment, and the environmental impacts of dietary choices. He has studied disparities in access to healthy food and has developed a framework for how the neighborhood retail food environment influences dietary choices and obesity. His current research examines the environmental and health consequences of individual self-selected diets in the United States and the effects of simulated dietary changes on these outcomes. Dr. Rose has served on various panels at the National Academies related to food security and public health, and as a consultant to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme. He teaches graduate courses in nutrition assessment and food and nutrition policy. Prior to joining the faculty at Tulane, he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service on domestic food assistance policy and in Mozambique and South Africa on food security and nutrition. He began his nutrition career as the director of a local agency Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children in a farmworker clinic in rural California. Dr. Rose received his B.S. in nutritional sciences, M.P.H. in public health nutrition, and Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mark W. Rosegrant, Ph.D., is research fellow emeritus at the International Food Policy Research Institute. He has extensive experience in research and policy analysis in agriculture and economic development and the future of world food security, with an emphasis on water resources and other critical natural resource and agricultural policy issues as they impact food security, rural livelihoods, and environmental sustainability. He is the author or editor of 15 books and more than 100 refereed papers in agricultural economics, water resources, and food policy analysis. Dr. Rosegrant has won numerous awards and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. He received a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Michigan.
Barbara O. Schneeman, Ph.D., is emeritus professor of nutrition at the University of California, Davis (UCD). From 2004 to 2013, she served as director of the Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In that position, she oversaw the development of policy and regulations for dietary supplements, labeling, food standards, infant formula, and medical foods and served as U.S delegate to two Codex committees (Food Labeling and Nutrition and Foods
for Special Dietary Uses). Prior to 2004, she was a faculty member at UCD in the Food Science and Nutrition departments; she also served in several administrative roles, including dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Her professional activities include serving as higher education coordinator for the U.S. Agency for International Development on dietary guidelines advisory committees and on the International Life Sciences Institute board as a public trustee, as well as on committees for the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization. Dr. Schneeman’s professional honors include awards from the Institute of Food Technologists; she is also a fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is recognized for her work on dietary fiber, gastrointestinal function, the development and use of food-based dietary guidelines, and policy development in food and nutrition. Her education and training include a B.S. in food science from UCD; a Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley; and a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship.
Marco Springmann, M.Sc., M.S., Ph.D., is senior researcher in the Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention in the Nuffield Department of Population Health, and leads the Centre’s program on environmental sustainability and public health. He is interested in the health, environmental, and economic dimensions of global food systems. He often uses systems models to provide quantitative estimates on food-related questions. Dr. Springmann joined the Centre in December 2013. Between 2013 and 2017, he was a James Martin fellow of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, working with researchers from the Nuffield Department of Population Health, the Department of International Development, and the Environmental Change Institute to develop an integrated model of environmental sustainability, health, and economic development. Since 2017, he has been working on extending the health and environmental aspects of that model as part of the Wellcome Trust–funded project Livestock, Environment and People, working closely with different departments across Oxford as well as with international collaborators. He maintains international research collaborations and has conducted regular placements, including at the International Food Policy Research Institute (United States), Deakin University (Australia), Tsinghua University (China), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States), Resources for the Future (United States), the European Investment Bank (Luxembourg), and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (Germany). He is a junior research fellow at Linacre College and an honorary research associate in the Food Systems Group of the Environmental Change Institute. Dr. Springmann holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Oldenburg
(Germany), an M.Sc. in sustainability from the University of Leeds (United Kingdom), and an M.S. in physics from Stony Brook University (United States).
Maha Tahiri, Ph.D., is adjunct professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Previously, she served as vice president, chief health and wellness officer at General Mills, Inc., for more than 6 years. She also headed the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, which integrates nutrition science, regulatory expertise, and communications to deliver strategic innovation in health and nutrition for all General Mills businesses globally. Her 20-year career spans roles at the intersection of scientific research, innovation, and health communication in multiple food categories and companies covering several regions, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Dr. Tahiri serves on the advisory council on nutrition and food choices at the Foundation of Food and Agricultural Research. She is a trustee of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation. She also serves on the Strategic Oversight Committee of the American Society of Nutrition. In her current and previous leadership roles, she has held several board and scientific advisory board positions in International Life Science Institute branches, IFIC, and the European Food Information Council. Dr. Tahiri is active in developing partnerships across industry, academia, government, and nongovernmental organizations to tackle complex issues related to nutrition and health.
David Tilman, Ph.D., is Regents’ professor and McKnight presidential chair in ecology at the University of Minnesota, where he also serves as director of the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. He is best known for his experimental and theoretical work on competition and on the mechanistic causes of multispecies coexistence, and for demonstrating via rigorous field experiments and theory that biodiversity is of central importance to the functioning of ecosystems. A major goal of his current research is the pursuit of ways to preserve the world’s biodiversity, slow the rate of climate change, and still meet human needs for food and energy. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of The Royal Society (London). He was awarded the International Prize for Biology in 2008, the Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences in 2010, the Balzan Prize in 2014, and the BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Knowledge Award in 2015. He has received the Cooper and MacArthur Awards from the Ecological Society of America, the Centennial Award from the Botanical Society of America, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was named an honorary member or fellow of both the British Ecological Society and the Ecological Society of America. Dr. Tilman received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Michigan in 1976.
Parke E. Wilde, Ph.D., is professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. He conducts research on topics in U.S. food and nutrition policy, including federal food assistance programs and the geography of local food retail. He authored the textbook Food Policy in the United States: An Introduction (Routledge, 2018), now in its second edition. Dr. Wilde was a member of the National Academies’ Food Forum from 2011 to 2014, and served on the planning committee for a workshop on Sustainable Diets: Food for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet (2013). He holds a B.A. in political science from Swarthmore College and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University.
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