Olivia Barata Cavalcanti, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., M.I.A., has almost a decade of experience in public health, with a special focus on obesity and public–private partnerships to fight noncommunicable diseases. As director of health systems and professional education for the World Obesity Federation, she leads the organization’s training and certification program in obesity care, and is responsible for monitoring obesity prevention and treatment in health systems across the globe and strengthening policy and guidelines. She has worked for different international and nonprofit organizations in Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom, where she was in charge of all aspects of the design and implementation of health programs on diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease for both low-income children and adults. Dr. Barata Cavalcanti also has deep knowledge of and experience with the United Nations system, having worked at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in Mozambique, for the U.S. Fund for United Nations Children’s Fund, and as a fellow at the Italian Mission to the United Nations. She has experience teaching public health, community health, and research methods courses in various universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels (Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and the City University of New York [CUNY] Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy). She earned her doctorate of public health (Dr.P.H.) from CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. She also holds master of public health and master of international affairs degrees from Columbia University.
Simón Barquera, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., is director of the Nutrition and Health Research Center at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, where
he also leads the Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease research line. He has been a consultant for the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the International Atomic Energy Agency in the fields of nutrition, obesity, and chronic diseases. He has published more than 251 research papers and chapters, and has more than 9,000 citations to his work. He is associate editor of Public Health Nutrition and editorial board member of Global Health Epidemiology and Genomics. Dr. Barquera is co-researcher of the Mexican Health and Nutrition Surveys (1999–2016); member of the Ministry of Health Chronic Diseases advisory board, the PAHO Expert Group on sodium reduction, and the World Obesity Federation Scientific Advisory Board; and fellow of the Obesity Society. He has been recognized as a top-level national researcher by Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology, and a fellow of the Mexican National Academy of Medicine and the Mexican Academy of Sciences. Among many other distinctions, he has received the PAHO Fred L. Soper Award for Excellence in Health Literature (2003), the Tufts University Nutrition Impact Award (2016), the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) Distinguished Alumni Award (2016), and the 11th Michael and Susan Dell Lectureship Award in Child Health (2017). He received his M.D. from UAM, Mexico City, and holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in nutrition epidemiology from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
Fiona Bull, M.B.E., Ph.D., M.Sc., is programme manager in the Department of Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) at the World Health Organization (WHO), based in Geneva, Switzerland. She leads WHO’s global work on physical inactivity, healthy eating, and prevention of obesity, in addition to providing leadership for global monitoring and surveillance of NCDs and their risk factors. Dr. Bull joined WHO in January 2017 after 25 years in applied research in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Her recent positions include professor of public health and director of the Centre for Built Environment and Health at the University of Western Australia and professor of sports science and director of the National Centre of Physical Activity at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. Throughout her career, Dr. Bull has focused on developing scientific evidence and understanding on healthy lifestyles to inform public policy and implementation of practical programs in community settings. Her work is multidisciplinary and includes contributions in the areas of the global burden of disease, national initiatives in worksites, primary health care, the built and natural environments, national surveillance initiatives, and policy evaluations across many settings. Dr. Bull has co-authored more than 180 scientific publications and reports. Her interest is in bridging the knowledge–policy practice gap, and she has been actively
involved in civil society and is immediate past president of the International Society of Physical Activity. In 2014, Dr. Bull was named a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to public health.
Fabio da Silva Gomes, Ph.D., has worked as a Ministry of Health senior officer in Brazil for 10 years, developing strategies for promoting healthy eating practices in multiple settings; mobilizing regulatory measures to reduce the demand for unhealthy products; and protecting health, food, and nutrition public policies from the interference of opposing commercial actors. He served on the Working Group on Implementation, Monitoring and Accountability of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity of the World Health Organization, and has advised and supported United Nations agencies; governments; social movements; and professional, scientific, and civil society organizations worldwide, including the World Public Health Nutrition Association and the World Obesity Federation. Dr. Gomes is now regional advisor on nutrition and physical activity for the Americas at the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, supporting countries in designing and implementing food and nutrition public policies as well as protecting such policies from opposing interests. He is a nutritionist (Rio de Janeiro State University) with a master’s degree in population studies and social research from the National School of Statistical Sciences of Brazil and a Ph.D. in public health from the Institute of Social Medicine of the Rio de Janeiro State University.
Bill Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., is a consultant to the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and chair of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University. He was director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity in the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1997 to 2012. Prior to his appointment to CDC, he was a professor of pediatrics at the Tufts University School of Medicine and director of clinical nutrition at the Floating Hospital of New England Medical Center Hospitals. Dr. Dietz has been a counselor and is past president of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, and is also past president of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. From 2001 to 2003, he served as a member of the Advisory Board to the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism, and Diabetes of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. In 2000, Dr. Dietz received the William G. Anderson Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and was recognized for excellence in his work and advocacy by the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors. In 2002,
he was made an honorary member of the American Dietetic Association, and received the Holroyd-Sherry award for his outstanding contributions to the field of children, adolescents, and the media. In 2005 Dr. Dietz received the George Bray Founders Award from the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. In 2006 he received the Nutrition Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding research related to nutrition of infants and children. In 2008 Dr. Dietz received the Oded Bar-Or award from the Obesity Society for excellence in pediatric obesity research. In 2012 he received a Special Recognition Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics Provisional Section on Obesity and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Dietz is the author of more than 200 publications in the scientific literature and the editor of 5 books, including Clinical Obesity in Adults and Children and Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1966 and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970. After completing his residency at Upstate Medical Center, he received a Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Dietz is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Christina Economos, Ph.D., is co-founder and director of ChildObesity180 and is professor and New Balance chair in childhood nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. As the principal investigator for large-scale research studies, Dr. Economos’s goal is to inspire behavior, policy, and environmental change to reduce obesity and improve the health of America’s children. At ChildObesity180, she blends scientific evidence and rigor with innovation and experience from the private sector to develop, implement, evaluate, and scale high-impact obesity prevention initiatives. She led the groundbreaking Shape Up Somerville study, demonstrating that it is possible to reduce excess weight gain in children through multiple leverage points within an entire community. Dr. Economos is involved in national obesity and public health activities and has served on four Institute of Medicine (now Health and Medicine Division) committees, including the Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention and the Committee on an Evidence-Based Framework for Obesity Prevention Decision Making. In addition, she serves on the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health, and has authored more than 130 scientific publications. Dr. Economos received a B.S. degree from Boston University, an M.S. degree in applied physiology and nutrition from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry from Tufts University.
Lindsay Jaacks, Ph.D., is assistant professor in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and visiting professor at the Public Health Foundation of India in Delhi. Prior to her appointment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Emory Global Diabetes Research Center in Atlanta. The overarching vision of Dr. Jaacks’s research program is to advance knowledge of the intersection between the food system and the health system with respect to cardiometabolic health, and to apply that knowledge in developing interventions to halt the increase in obesity and diabetes, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Dr. Jaacks has served as a consultant to the UK Department for International Development on addressing overweight/obesity in low-income countries, and is currently serving as a consultant to RTI International on estimating the impact of food and nutrition policies on diabetes. She is a fellow for the Lancet Commission on Obesity.
Harriet Kuhnlein, Ph.D., L.L.D. (hon.), F.A.S.N., F.I.U.N.S., is emerita professor at McGill University, Montreal. Dr. Kuhnlein has held professorial appointments at the University of British Columbia, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and McGill University. She taught and conducted research at McGill’s School of Human Nutrition in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine, and the McGill School of the Environment. She is founding director of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment, an internationally recognized center for interdisciplinary participatory research and education related to Indigenous Peoples’ food systems. Having engaged with communities of Indigenous Peoples in many parts of the world for more than 40 years, she is recognized for unique pioneering expertise that has led to the identification, characterization, and preservation of traditional food systems of Indigenous Peoples throughout the world, and to growing recognition that these ecosystems are important for health and well-being. Her publications include nearly 400 journal articles, books, book chapters, abstracts, and conference proceedings. Notably, Dr. Kuhnlein has inspired a new generation of nutrition scientists who are champions of participatory research and Indigenous Peoples’ nutrition and food security. She is a fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and honorary member of the Canadian Nutrition Society, fellow of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS), and member of the IUNS Task Force on Traditional and Indigenous Food Systems and Nutrition. Recently, she was a 2017 Fulbright Global/Public Health Specialist Grant recipient at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. She is active with the Board of Trustees of the International Foundation for Science (Stockholm), the Lancet Commission on Obesity, and the Planning Committee of the Native American Nutrition Conferences
(United States). Dr. Kuhnlein has contributed to many consultancies and served on several national and international committees, especially those related to food data and nutrition of Indigenous Peoples. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Western Ontario.
Shiriki Kumanyika, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.W., is research professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University, and emeritus professor of epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kumanyika has a unique interdisciplinary background that integrates epidemiology, nutrition, social work, and public health methods and perspectives. The main themes of her research concern prevention and control of obesity and other diet-related risk factors and chronic diseases, with a particular focus on reducing the prevalence and health burdens of obesity in black communities. In 2002, she formed the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN), a national network of academic scholars and community research partners who generate and translate research on nutrition, physical activity, and weight issues in African American children and adults. AACORN, now known as the Council on Black Health, has its national office at the Drexel Dornsife School. Dr. Kumanyika is a past president of the American Public Health Association and has served in numerous advisory roles related to public health research and policy in the United States and abroad. She is currently co-chair of the Policy and Prevention Section of the World Obesity Federation, a member of the Lancet Commission on Obesity, and a nutrition advisor to the World Health Organization. She has served on the Food and Nutrition Board and a number of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study committees, such as the Committee for Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth (member), the Committee on Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity (volunteer consultant), the Committee on an Evidence-Based Framework for Obesity Prevention Decision Making (chair), and the Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention (member). Dr. Kumanyika also chaired the Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention from 2009 until its retirement in 2013. She received her M.S. in social work from Columbia University, an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in human nutrition from Cornell University. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Tim Lobstein, Ph.D., is a United Kingdom and United States dual national with policy expertise in the field of obesity and diet-related disease. He is policy director for the World Obesity Federation, based in London, and an occasional consultant to the World Health Organization, the Euro-
pean Commission (EC), the UK government’s Public Health England, and various other international authorities and nongovernmental organizations. Dr. Lobstein is a visiting professor at the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia, Curtin University, and at the Boden Institute, University of Sydney, New South Wales. He is the author of chapters on food policy and obesity in international textbooks, the author or co-author of more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and the author of several popular books on food and nutrition. Dr. Lobstein has undertaken research projects funded by the EC on health inequalities and income disparities and on marketing of food and beverages to children, and has been a work-package leader on six EC-funded FP6, FP7, and H2020 projects related to nutrition, the prevention and management of obesity, and health impact assessment. He has extensive experience in policy analysis, policy dissemination, evidence reviews, and knowledge transfer.
Vasanti Malik, Sc.D., is a research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on evaluating risk factors for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, with an emphasis on diet quality. Among her research areas, Dr. Malik is most known for her work related to sugary beverages, which has had an important role in shaping dietary recommendations and policies for reducing intake. She also studies nutritional drivers of the global obesity and diabetes epidemics in countries undergoing epidemiologic transition, and currently directs the Global Nutrition and Epidemiologic Transition Initiative, a collaborative project involving 13 low- and middle-income countries that aims to reduce diabetes risk by improving diet and lifestyle. She is an associate editor for BMC Obesity and a review editor for Frontiers in Public Health. The ultimate goal of Dr. Malik’s work is to inform future large-scale community-based interventions and policy strategies for reducing the risk of obesity and related chronic diseases nationally and internationally. She obtained an M.Sc. in nutritional sciences from the University of Toronto and a dual doctorate in nutrition and epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Karlijn Meeks, Ph.D., M.Sc., is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center-University of Amsterdam (AMC-UvA), the Netherlands. Her work focuses on the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors contributing to noncommunicable diseases in African populations. Between 2013 and 2017, she was a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Public Health, AMC-UvA. Her Ph.D. work was embedded within the multicenter Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants (RODAM) study. That study collected data among African migrants in three European countries, as well as among Africans in
urban and rural Africa. In 2015, Dr. Meeks won the AMC Young Talent Fund Award, which provided her the opportunity to be trained in the field of (epi)genetics at the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, National Institutes of Health. In 2017 she successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis, entitled “Epidemiology and Epigenetics of Type 2 Diabetes among African Migrants in Europe.” After completing her Ph.D., she obtained a grant to continue her work on African populations at AMC-UvA for 1 year as a postdoctoral research fellow. As part of this postdoctoral position, she spent some time as a visiting research fellow in the Global Health and Populations Department, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, United Kingdom. Dr. Meeks received her B.S. (2010) and M.S. (2012) in nutrition and health from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and her Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam.
Rachel Nugent, M.Phil., Ph.D., is vice president for global noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) at RTI International. She joined RTI in February 2016 to lead a global initiative to prevent and reduce the health and economic burdens of NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. Prior to this position, Dr. Nugent was associate professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington and director of the Disease Control Priorities Network. She has advised the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. government, and nonprofit organizations on the economics and policy environment of NCDs. She is a member of WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Management of NCDs, the Abraaj Health Care Fund Social Impact Committee, and the Lancet Commission on NCDIs of the Poorest Billion. She led a Lancet Task Force and Series on NCDs and Economics (2018). She served on the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) (now Health and Medicine Division) Committee on Economic Evaluation for Investments in Children, Youth, and Families (2015–2016), was co-chair of the IOM Workshop on Country-Level Decision Making for Control of Chronic Diseases (2012), and was a member of the IOM Committee on Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World (2008–2010). Dr. Nugent focuses on using economic analysis for priority setting in health, and has worked with global and national institutions to increase the use of evidence for decision making. Her recent work includes tracking donor funding on NCDs, and assessing costs and benefits of NCD policies and interventions. She received her M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Neena Prasad, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., joined the Public Health team of Bloomberg Philanthropies (BP) in 2008. She directs BP’s Global Obesity Prevention and Maternal & Reproductive Health Programs. Dr. Prasad is also a key member of the Tobacco Control team, overseeing activities in India. Previously, she worked as a primary care physician serving inner-city
populations at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and concurrently held the rank of assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto. She holds an M.Sc. in psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences from McMaster University, an M.D. also from McMaster University, and an M.P.H. with a concentration in international health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Bill Purcell, J.D., is chair, Roundtable on Obesity Solutions at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; an attorney in Nashville, Tennessee; and an adjunct professor of public policy at Vanderbilt University. While he was serving as Mayor of Nashville (1999 to 2007), his accomplishments as a civic leader earned him Public Official of the Year honors in 2006 from Governing Magazine. Elected to five terms in the Tennessee House, he held the positions of majority leader and chair of the Select Committee on Children and Youth. After retiring from the General Assembly, Mr. Purcell founded and became director of the Child and Family Policy Center at the Vanderbilt Institute of Public Policy Studies. From 2008 to 2010, he served as director of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He was then appointed special advisor and co-chair of the Work Team for Allston in the Office of the President at Harvard University. He previously served in various capacities on obesity-related committees of the National Academies, including the Committee on an Evidence-Based Framework for Obesity Prevention Decision Making (member), the Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention (vice chair), and the Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention (member). He graduated from Hamilton College and Vanderbilt University School of Law.
Nancy Roman, M.A., president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), joined the organization in September 2017 following an international career spanning journalism, business, and public service with the U.S. government and the United Nations. Prior to joining PHA, Ms. Roman was president and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), the Washington, DC, region’s largest organization working to solve hunger and its companion problems: chronic undernutrition and diet-related health issues such as heart disease and obesity. CAFB annually provides food and nutrition resources to 540,000 people—12 percent of the region’s total population—through 444 partner nonprofits in the District, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Under Ms. Roman’s leadership, the food bank became a national voice for embedding health and wellness in hunger relief work. During her tenure, it dramatically increased the healthfulness of its food inventory by working with its corporate retail partners; pioneered new delivery models for fruits, vegetables, and nutrition resources; and advocated for access to affordable
groceries in low-income areas through both existing and innovative models. Ms. Roman currently serves on the board of trustees of Global Communities, an international nongovernmental organization that works on hunger, health, microfinance, and lending to support lives and livelihoods, as well as on the board of trustees of the Millennial Action Project, which organizes nonpartisan communities to find common ground on the issues facing millennials and future generations. She holds an M.A. in international economics and American foreign policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in journalism and French from Baylor University.
James F. Sallis, Ph.D., is distinguished professor emeritus of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego, and professorial fellow at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. His research interests are promoting physical activity and understanding policy and environmental influences on physical activity, nutrition, and obesity. He co-leads the International Physical Activity and Environment Network, which coordinates international studies with more than 20 countries. He has authored 700 scientific publications and is one of the world’s most cited authors in the social sciences. Dr. Sallis is past president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Meera Shekar, Ph.D., is global lead for nutrition with the World Bank’s (the Bank’s) Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice. In this capacity she provides leadership, support, and policy advice on the Bank’s nutrition portfolio across the spectrum of undernutrition and obesity, managing key partnerships such as the Power of Nutrition and the Japan Trust Fund, and firmly positioning nutrition within the Global Financing Facility for Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child, and Adolescent Health and the Bank’s new initiative on human capital. She is also responsible for building cross-sectoral linkages with the agriculture, water and sanitation, education, and social protection Global Practices. During the past several years, she led a repositioning of the nutrition agenda that resulted in the establishment of the new global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative and was a key partner in the discussions on the Catalytic Financing Facility for Nutrition, developed in partnership with the Milken Institute, which evolved into the Power of Nutrition. Dr. Shekar serves on the SUN executive committee and has been one of the principals for the emerging SUN aid-architecture and the G8 and G20 agenda-setting process for food security and nutrition over the past several years. She leads the global and country-level costing and financing analyses at the Bank and the first-ever global Investment Framework for Nutrition, and is leading the Bank’s analytics on obesity prevention. She has also worked on the demographic dividend and popu-
lation and development issues. Dr. Shekar has lived and worked across the globe and has extensive policy and operational experience in India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Vietnam, Bolivia, Guatemala, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. Before joining the Bank in 2003, she led United Nations Children’s Fund’s Health, Nutrition, Water and Sanitation, and Early Childhood Development teams in Tanzania and the Philippines. Among other publications, she is the author of the health chapters in the Bank’s flagship reports eTransform Africa: The Transformational Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Africa (2012); Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development (2006); Scaling Up Nutrition: What Will It Cost? (World Bank, 2009); and most recently, An Investment Framework for Nutrition: Reaching the Global Targets for Stunting, Anemia, Breastfeeding and Wasting (World Bank, 2016). Dr. Shekar serves as a commissioner for the forthcoming Lancet Commission on Obesity. She has been an adjunct professor at Tufts University and a guest speaker at several G8 preparatory events, including the G8 parliamentarians’ conference in Canada. She serves on several advisory boards. She holds a Ph.D. in international nutrition, epidemiology and population studies from Cornell University and has consulted extensively, including with Johns Hopkins University Population Communications Services and Population Services International.
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