Kathryn Dewey, Ph.D. (Chair), is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on maternal and child nutrition in both low-income and higher-income populations, particularly infant and young child feeding, growth during infancy and early childhood, micro- and macronutrient status of infants and young children, maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation, risk factors for early lactation difficulties, and the short- and long-term consequences of interventions to improve nutrition of mothers and their children. She has conducted clinical and community-based research in Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Malawi, Mexico, Peru, and the United States. Her professional service includes consultation for the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, Pan American Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, and March of Dimes; scientific advisory committees for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Medical Research Council; and serving as president of the Society for International Nutrition Research and of the International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board, the U.S. 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the WHO Guidelines Development Group on Complementary Feeding, and several technical advisory groups. She has a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Michigan.
Stephanie A. Atkinson, Ph.D., D.Sc. (Hon), is a professor and a nutrition clinician-scientist in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University
and McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. Her research focuses on investigations of the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) designed to explore the environmental (nutrition), genetic, and biochemical factors during fetal, neonatal, and early childhood life that play a role in defining the offspring phenotype and as risk determinants for noncommunicable diseases such as obesity and osteoporosis. This includes conducting randomized clinical trials and epidemiological investigations in Canada and globally under the Canadian Institutes of Health Research–funded Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (HeLTI) as well as leading the DOHaD birth cohort harmonization project ReACH. In knowledge translation activities, Dr. Atkinson has served as an expert advisor to many projects by Health Canada; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health that involved development of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), dietary guidelines for Canadians and Americans, and feeding practice guidelines for premature and term infants. Recent recognition honors include election as the president and also a fellow of the American Society of Nutrition; a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences; a Doctorate of Science, honoris causa, from Western University; and the Khursheed Jeejeebhoy Award for Best Application of Clinical Nutrition Research to Clinical Practice from the Canadian Nutrition Society. Dr. Atkinson received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and completed postdoctoral training at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.
Susan Baker, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. Her specialties includes hepatology, nutrition, pediatric gastroenterology, and pediatrics. Dr. Baker has been awarded the American Physiological Society’s Distinction in Scholarship in Physiological Genomics award, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Murray Davidson Award, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Pediatric Advisory Committee Recognition Award. She received her M.D. from the Temple University School of Medicine and her Ph.D. in human nutrition from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She completed a residency in pediatrics at Buffalo Children’s Hospital and a fellowship in gastroenterology and nutrition at Boston Children’s Hospital. One of her research focuses is nutrition support for infants and children. Dr. Baker was also appointed to and served on the editorial boards of Pediatrics and the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.
Sara Benjamin-Neelon, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., R.D., is the Helaine and Sid Lerner Professor in Public Health Promotion and an associate professor
in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Benjamin-Neelon is a child nutritionist trained in dietary intervention research and a licensed attorney. Her focus is on policy and environmental approaches to obesity and chronic disease prevention in vulnerable populations. Her studies target young children and women during pregnancy, with several focusing on early care and education. Her research takes place in India, Kenya, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Dr. Benjamin-Neelon completed a Ph.D. and an M.P.H. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a J.D. from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. She is an Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research at the University of Cambridge.
Lisa Bodnar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., is the vice-chair of research and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Her research interests include maternal nutritional status and birth outcomes, nutritional epidemiology, and perinatal epidemiology. Her research goal is to discover the healthiest weight, nutrition, and behavioral practices to promote the health of pregnant women and their children. Dr. Bodnar has contributed to scientifically advancing our understanding of optimal weight gain recommendations during pregnancy, the reproductive consequences of maternal obesity, and the role of vitamin D deficiency in adverse birth outcomes. In addition, her research has been used in nine reports of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine as well as key recommendations, practice guidelines, or action statements from national and international societies and agencies. She has contributed her experience to several national panels that set guidelines for nutrition during pregnancy, including the Institute of Medicine Committee to Reevaluate Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines. Dr. Bodnar received her Ph.D. in nutrition with an epidemiology minor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and shortly thereafter completed her postdoctoral fellowship in reproductive biology with the Magee-Women’s Research Institute and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Ronette Briefel, Dr.PH., R.D., is a senior fellow with Mathematica. Dr. Briefel is an expert in nutrition, public health, and population-based strategies to prevent disease and promote health. Her expertise covers childhood diet and obesity, food security, maternal and child health, and analysis of national survey data to study low-income and high-risk populations. Dr. Briefel has led national studies on the food consumption patterns and nutrient intakes of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers as reflected by the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study; evaluations of interventions to reduce child food insecurity; and evidence-based reviews of children’s dietary guid-
ance. She has served on numerous expert panels including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Expert Panel on Complementary Feeding Practices in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrition Evidence Library Technical Expert Collaborative for the Dietary Guidance Development Project for Infants and Toddlers from Birth to 24 Months and Women Who Are Pregnant, and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Dietary Risk Assessment in the WIC Program and Committee on Evaluating Obesity Prevention Efforts. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Nutrition. She earned her Dr.PH. in chronic disease epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is a registered dietitian.
Frank Greer, M.D., is a professor of pediatrics (Emeritus) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and a professor (Affiliate) of nutritional sciences at the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and a past chairman of the AAP Committee on Nutrition. He is a fellow in the American Society for Nutrition. Dr. Greer’s professional experience includes clinical work in neonatology and the Director of the Neonatology Fellowship Program at the University of Wisconsin. He has held offices in many pediatric research organizations and groups, including the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research, the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation, and the North American Pediatrics Bone and Mineral Working Group. He has served on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Subcommittees on Infant Formula and the Pregnancy, Birth to 24 project. Dr. Greer is the author or co-author of 145 published articles and papers, as well as 27 books or book chapters, and served as the co-editor of the 7th and 8th editions of AAP’s Pediatric Nutrition Handbook. He also is the recipient of numerous research grants in the fields of neonatal nutrition, bone mineral content, bioavailability of calcium, and a myriad of other topics. He has served on the editorial boards of both the Journal of Nutrition and Pediatrics. He is a winner of the Faculty Development Award for University of Wisconsin Systems and the Founders’ Award of the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research, the Douglas Richardson Memorial Award from the New England Association of Neonatologists, and President’s Award and Callan-Leonard Award from the Wisconsin Association of Perinatal Care. Dr. Greer received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Debra Haire-Joshu, Ph.D., M.S.N., M.S.Ed., is a scholar of health behavior who develops, tests, and disseminates population-wide interventions to reduce obesity and prevent diabetes, particularly among underserved women and children. She is the Joyce Wood Professor of Public Health
and Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, with a joint appointment to the Brown School and School of Medicine and is a senior scholar in the Washington University Institute for Public Health. Dr. Haire-Joshu is the director of the Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research and the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Center for Diabetes Translation Research, which supports a network of researchers addressing health equity among rural, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and African American populations. She currently serves as the principal investigator of NIH studies that focus on the dissemination of evidence-based interventions embedded within the routine practice of a national home-visiting program, designed to prevent weight gain among women during pregnancy and throughout the child-bearing years. Dr. Haire-Joshu was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, which informs her work linking evidence to policy, including the development of a bistate obesity policy tracking database. She has served on numerous advisory boards and NIH review groups. Dr. Haire-Joshu has published extensively in peer-reviewed literature and authored textbooks addressing diabetes management across the life span and transdisciplinary public health, as well as numerous chapters on obesity prevention.
Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Ph.D., is a professor of public health, the director of the Office of Public Health Practice, and the director of the Global Health Concentration at the Yale School of Public Health. His global public health nutrition and food security research program has led to improvements in breastfeeding programs, iron deficiency anemia among infants, household food security, and maternal, infant, and young child nutrition counseling programs. He has led major research studies assessing the effect of community health workers on behavioral and metabolic outcomes among Latinos with type 2 diabetes. He has published more than 250 research articles, 3 books, and numerous journal supplements, book chapters, and technical reports. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (elected in 2019) and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (elected in 2020). He is a former member of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board. He served on the 2010 and 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees. He has been a senior advisor to maternal–child health and nutrition programs as well as household food security projects funded by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and governments across world regions. From 2015 to 2016, he served as the chair of the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Healthy Eating Research Panel on Best Practices for Promoting Healthy Nutrition, Feeding Patterns, and Weight Status for Infants and Toddlers from Birth to 24 Months, which authored the report Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers: A Responsive Parenting Approach. He obtained his B.S. in chemical engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and his M.S. in food science and Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of California, Davis. He was awarded the 2020 American Society for Nutrition Kellogg Prize for Lifetime Achievements in International Nutrition.
Charlene Russell-Tucker, M.S.M., R.D.N., is the deputy commissioner of education for the Connecticut State Department of Education, a role in which she oversees educational supports and wellness priorities. Prior to her appointment as deputy commissioner in November 2019, she served as the chief operating officer and the division chief for the Department’s Office of Student Supports and Organizational Effectiveness. She also served as an associate commissioner of education and the bureau chief within the Department overseeing a portfolio of programs and services that included student health, nutrition and safety, family engagement, afterschool programs and services, adult education, special education, and magnet and charter schools. She is a performance-driven and visionary education leader with more than 20 years of experience in successfully leveraging the interconnectedness of the social, emotional, physical, and mental health of students and their families as foundations for positive school and life outcomes. She supports family and community engagement in education as well as equity and diversity initiatives. Ms. Russell-Tucker participates on various state and national committees; she is the co-chair of the Connecticut General Assembly Committee on Children Strategic Action Group on Chronic Absenteeism and has served on National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine expert panels. She currently serves as the president of the Connecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Finally, Ms. Russell-Tucker has extensive teaching experience as an adjunct faculty member at the Albertus Magnus College School of New Dimensions.
Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez, Ph.D., R.D.N., L.D., is a research associate professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine and the College of Population Health and the director of Envision NM at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. She is also the director of the Nutrition Research Network for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Yakes Jimenez has expertise in design, implementation, and analysis of clinical and community-based nutrition research studies. She conducts research focused on the implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, and to test interventions to improve maternal and child health, to
better prevent and treat chronic disease, and to address access to care and social determinants of health issues in underserved populations. She is a pediatric registered dietitian with an M.S. in public health nutrition from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of California, Davis.
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