Cardiovascular Policy Advisory Group

Cardiovascular Policy Advisory Group

Jill Birnbaum

Vice President, Global Advocacy & Strategic Opportunities American Heart Association

Jill Birnbaum is the Vice President of Global Advocacy & Strategic Opportunities for the National Center of the American Heart Association, a national nonprofit organization with a mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In this role, she is responsible and accountable for supporting the CEO and other executive leadership in key policy-oriented international assignments and collaboration opportunities, and advances priority public policy objectives in target counties consistent with the Association’s policy agenda and international plan. In addition to the global duties, Ms. Birnbaum serves as the Executive Director of Voices for Healthy Kids, which is the Association’s collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reverse the nation’s childhood obesity that builds upon the American Heart Association’s extensive advocacy capacity and experience. The initiative is focused on changing public policies to help children and adolescents eat healthier foods and become more active.

Richard Black, PhD

Principal, Quadrant D Consulting

Richard is a Principal at Quadrant D Consulting, working with not-for-profit organizations and for-profit Food & Beverage companies and retailers, helping clients to take leading positions in the Health & Wellness space. Richard is also CSO of Care4ward, a startup focused on nutrition for people undergoing chemo-therapy, and Chief Nutrition Officer of Thrive 365, a startup focused on helping people with type II diabetes manage their diet and regain their love of food.

With over 30 years in academics, non-profits and the food industry, he has worked for The Kellogg Company, Nestlé, Novartis and ILSI North America. At Kraft/Mondelēz and PepsiCo he was VP of Global Nutrition Sciences (Chief Nutrition Officer). Richard is an Adjunct Professor at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, and has authored or co-authored over 60 scientific articles, book chapters and abstracts. In 2014 the United States Department of Agriculture awarded Richard the John A Milner Lectureship, “In recognition of outstanding contributions to nutrition science,” and in 2012 the Institute of Food Technologists awarded him the Babcock-Hart Award, “To honor an IFT member who has attained distinction by contributions to food technology which result in improved public health through nutrition or more nutritious food.”

Francesco Branca

Director, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD), World Health Organization

Francesco Branca is the Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development in the World Health Organization, Geneva. During his tenure, WHO has established a new nutrition guideline development process and has developed a Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition with six global targets. He has been leading the preparation of the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition. He has been a Senior Scientist at the Italian Food and Nutrition research Institute where he was leading studies on the effects of food and nutrients on human health at the different stages of the life cycle and on the impact of public health nutrition programmes. He has been President of the Federation of the European Nutrition Societies in 2003-2007. Dr. Branca graduated in Medicine and Surgery and specialized in Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases at the Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma and obtained a PhD in Nutrition at Aberdeen University.

Harold Goldstein

Executive Director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy

Harold Goldstein, DrPH, is the founder and executive director of Public Health Advocates.  For almost 20 years, Public Health Advocates has been promoting health equity by helping cities, counties, and schools become places that nurture health and wellbeing for everyone. Dr. Goldstein has been at the forefront of solving the obesity and diabetes epidemics through state and local policy change, working closely with a wide array of partners to establish groundbreaking programs and policies to build healthier communities and eliminate health disparities.

Robert Greenwald

Clinical Professor of Law, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Harvard Law School

Robert Greenwald is a Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the faculty director of the Law School's Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI). In addition to teaching seminars in health and public health law and policy, for over 25 years Robert has been engaged in state and national research, policy development, and advocacy to expand access to high-quality health care, reduce health disparities, and promote more equitable and effective health care systems. Robert is currently serving as a co-chair of the Federal Chronic Illness & Disability Partnership and the HIV Health Care Access Working Group. From 2000-2006, Robert served as member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and as the co-chair of its Access to Care sub-committee. Robert has served as a consultant to the federal government’s Health Resources Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Community Advisory Board as well as numerous state governments and community-based organizations. Robert received his B.A. from Vassar College in 1980 and his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 1986.

Michael Jacobson, PhD

Co-founder and immediate past Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., is the co-founder of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health-advocacy organization. He was the long-time executive director and is now a senior scientist at CSPI. CSPI is a key player in battles against obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems, using education, legislation, litigation, and other tactics. Jacobson has led CSPI’s campaigns on sugar drinks, salt, trans fat, and several food additives. He has written numerous books, reports, and scientific papers, including Six Arguments for a Greener Diet, “Salt: the Forgotten Killer,” and “Liquid Candy: How Soft Drinks are Harming Americans’ Health.” His book Salt Wars: The Battle Over the Biggest Killer in the American Diet, will be published in October 2020. Jacobson has received such awards as the 2010 Hero Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation and the American Public Health Association’s 2011 David P. Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health.

Jim Krieger, MD, MPH

Executive Director, Healthy Food America

Jim Krieger, MD, MPH is founding Executive Director of Healthy Food America (HFA) and Clinical Professor at University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Public Health, and was chief of the Chronic Disease Prevention at Public Health-Seattle & King County. He is a nationally recognized expert in obesity and chronic disease prevention using scientific evidence and advocacy to change food policy and industry practices and promote health equity. His work has led to adoption of sugary drink taxes, improvements in school nutrition and physical activity, implementation of the nation’s second menu labeling regulation, reduction in exposure to sugary drinks, and increased access to healthy foods for low income people. His current work is focused on promoting healthy food consumption by using policy to reduce added sugars in the American diet. He has provided support to cities, states and tribes across the US that are considering and working on sugar reduction policies, with an emphasis on adoption of sugary drink taxes.

He has led numerous healthy community initiatives, including Steps to Health, Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), Transforming the Health of South King County (CTG), and King County Partnerships in Community Health (PICH).

His work has been funded by NIH, CDC, and many private foundations. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Local Government Action to Prevent Childhood Obesity and its Committee on Evaluating Progress in Obesity Prevention. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the US Secretary of Health and Human Services Innovation in Prevention Award. He has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. He received his undergraduate degree at Harvard, MD at the University of California, San Francisco and MPH at University of Washington.

Jerold R Mande, MPH

Senior Advisor to the President at the Center for Science in the Public Interest

Jerold Mande is Senior Advisor to the President at the Center for Science in the Public Interest; Adjunct Professor of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and a Visiting Fellow, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University.

Professor Mande has a wealth of expertise and experience in national public health and food policy. He served in senior policymaking positions for three presidents at USDA, FDA, and OSHA helping lead landmark public health initiatives. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama as USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. In 2011, he moved to USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, where he spent six years working to improve the health outcomes of the nation’s $100 billion investment in 15 nutrition programs. During President Clinton’s administration, Mr. Mande was Senior Advisor to the FDA commissioner where he helped shape national policy on nutrition, food safety, and tobacco. He also served on the White House staff as a health policy advisor and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Health at the Department of Labor. During the George H.W. Bush administration he led the design of the iconic Nutrition Facts label at FDA, for which he received the Presidential Design Award.

Mr. Mande began his career as a legislative assistant for Al Gore in the U.S. House and Senate, managing Gore's health and environment agenda, and helping Gore write the nation's organ donation and transplantation laws.

Mr. Mande earned a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science in nutritional sciences from the University of Connecticut. Prior to his current academic appointments, he served on the faculty at the Tufts, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Yale School of Medicine.

Sharon Natanblut

Principal, Natanblut Strategies

Sharon Natanblut is a public policy and strategic communications consultant, specializing in nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. In her tenure at the Food and Drug Administration, she served as Associate Commissioner for Strategic Initiatives, Deputy Director of the Tobacco Office, and Director of Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Engagement for the Foods Program. She was instrumental in the design of the iconic Nutrition Facts food label in the 1990s and its redesign in 2017. She co-led the development of the 2018 FDA-EPA seafood advice for pregnant women. She played a lead role in the investigation and regulation of the tobacco industry. She built and directed an extensive stakeholder engagement program that played a major role in the development, implementation, and public support of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act rules. Sharon also has experience outside of government, as Vice President for Communications and Marketing for the American Legacy Foundation and at Burson-Marsteller, a worldwide public affairs/public relations firm.

Neena Prasad

Director of Global Obesity Prevention and Maternal and Reproductive Health Programs, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Neena Prasad joined the Public Health team of Bloomberg Philanthropies (BP) in 2008. She directs BP’s Global Obesity Prevention and Maternal & Reproductive Health Programs.  Neena is also a key member of the tobacco control team, overseeing activities in India. Previously, Neena 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 MSc in Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences from McMaster University, an MD also from McMaster and an MPH concentrating in International Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Lynn Silver, MD, MPH, FAAP

Senior Advisor, Public Health Institute, and Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco

Dr. Lynn Silver, a pediatrician and public health advocate, is Senior Advisor at the Public Health Institute and Clinical Professor at University of California San Francisco. She focuses on policies to prevent chronic disease, its risk factors and inequitable impact, including unhealthy diet, at home and globally.

Silver was Assistant Health Commissioner of New York City under Mayor Bloomberg, leading groundbreaking work such as the nation’s first trans-fat ban, calorie labeling law, public food procurement standards and the National Salt Reduction Initiative. In California she worked on the Berkeley coalition that lead the nation’s first significant soda tax, Oakland’s successful campaign, and collaborated on soda tax in other cities, states and countries. She has published an evaluation of the Berkeley tax and is evaluating San Francisco’s SSB tax, as well as researching food regulatory policy issues in Latin America. She also co-chairs the California Alliance for Funding Prevention. Lynn was previously Visiting Scholar of International Health at the Karolinska Institute, Associate Professor at University of Brasilia, and Visiting Professor Brazil’s National School of Public Health. She has worked widely on health policy as a researcher, educator, government official, consultant and advocate. She has served as consultant to PAHO, WHO, the World Bank, and to the Low-Income Investment Fund, and on numerous boards including CSPI. She received her MD and MPH degrees and pediatric training from the Johns Hopkins University. Lynn has published widely and was honored to be the recipient of several public health awards. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and has two daughters and three stepsons .