LEANN L. BIRCH, Ph.D. (Chair), is distinguished professor of human development and nutritional sciences and director of the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at The Pennsylvania State University. She also holds an appointment in the university’s Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Birch’s research interests include developing controls of food intake during infancy, childhood, and adolescence; the development of disordered eating; and risk and protective factors for childhood obesity. She is internationally recognized for her work in this area and is the author of more than 170 publications. She has served on the Council of Scientific Advisors to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Children’s Nutrition Research Center. Dr. Birch served as a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth and is a current member of the IOM’s Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention. She has received the Lederle Award for Human Nutrition from the American Society for Nutrition. She has also been awarded the Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award from The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Birch received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
ALICE AMMERMAN, Dr.P.H., R.D., is director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and professor in the Department of Nutrition, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, at the University of North Carolina
(UNC), Chapel Hill. Her research involves the design and testing of innovative clinical and community-based nutrition and physical activity intervention approaches for chronic disease risk reduction in primarily low-income and minority populations. Her most recent research interests focus on school nutrition policy associated with childhood obesity, sustainable agriculture as it relates to improved nutrition, and social entrepreneurship as a sustainable approach to addressing health disparities. Dr. Ammerman is engaged in research and practice collaborations across North Carolina addressing childhood obesity and has served on several statewide advisory boards regarding childhood obesity and sustainable local food systems. Dr. Ammerman is principal investigator for 1 of 10 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Health Disparities Centers, with a focus on cardiovascular disease. She is co-principal investigator of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded Center of Excellence for Training and Research Translation at UNC, charged with the identification, translation, and dissemination of evidence-based interventions for the control and prevention of obesity and cardiovascular disease. In 2000, Dr. Ammerman received the Greenberg Award for excellence in public health research, service, and practice, and in 2011 the Ned Brooks Award for Public Service. She received her doctoral degree in nutrition from UNC, Chapel Hill.
BETTINA M. BEECH, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., is professor of public health sciences, pediatrics, and internal medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and co-director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity. Dr. Beech’s research focuses on the role of nutritional factors in the primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases, with a particular focus on childhood obesity and related problems such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Her current studies involve the development and evaluation of interventions to prevent or treat childhood obesity in family- and community-based settings, particularly among African Americans. Dr. Beech has been an active member of the American Public Health Association and the Obesity Society and currently serves on two national advisory councils focused on the clinical management of childhood obesity. She served as an external reviewer for the IOM report WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change; is a member of the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN); and is lead editor of Race and Research in Focus: Perspectives on Minority Participation in Health Studies, published by the American Public Health Association. Dr. Beech has served as a member of the board of directors for the Memphis Chapter of the American Diabetes Association and recently
served as chair of the Child Health and Wellness Advisory Council for the State of Tennessee. She holds a B.A. from Temple University, an M.P.H. from Temple University, and a Dr.P.H. in community health from the University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral science at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
SARA BENJAMIN NEELON, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., is assistant professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Global Health Institute. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research fellow for the Obesity Prevention Program in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Benjamin Neelon’s research focuses on nutrition and physical activity interventions for children from birth to 5 years of age, evaluation of the nutrition and physical activity environment in child care settings, early childhood predictors of obesity, feeding practices as predictors of later obesity, and nutrition policy and regulation in child care. She has published a book on nutrition for children in child care: Making Food Healthy and Safe for Children: How to Meet the National Health and Safety Performance Standards—Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs. Dr. Benjamin Neelon received both her M.P.H. and Ph.D. in nutrition from UNC, Chapel Hill.
LAUREL J. BRANEN, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., is professor of family and consumer sciences in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Idaho. Dr. Branen is a nationally recognized expert on issues associated with feeding young children in group settings, and lectures at workshops and seminars across the country. She co-developed Feeding Young Children in Group Settings, an educational program designed for child care professionals, educators, food service workers, and others who train staff or parents on issues related to feeding. She also co-developed Mealtime and Active Play Partnerships, a website that includes childhood obesity prevention training materials. She received her B.S. in food science and technology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; her M.S. in home economics (nutrition education) from Washington State University, Pullman; and her Ph.D. in education, cognate in counseling, from the University of Idaho, Moscow.
DAVID V. B. BRITT, M.P.A., is past president and chief executive officer of Sesame Workshop. Mr. Britt’s earlier professional experience includes executive positions with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He has presented to various congressional committees and the Federal Trade Commission on children’s education, obesity, and media issues. Since his retirement, Mr. Britt has consulted on food marketing issues for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and on leadership development for nonprofit organizations. He is currently board chair of The Education Trust, a nonprofit organization working for quality education for all, pre-K–16, and is a board member of INMED Partnerships for Children, a nonprofit organization working to promote children’s health, education, and well-being. Mr. Britt is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Initiative for Social Enterprise at Harvard Business School and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a former member of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Academies. He served on the IOM Committee on Food Marketing and the Diets of Children and Youth and is currently serving on the Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention. He received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
DEBRA HAIRE-JOSHU, Ph.D., is professor of public health and medicine and associate dean for research at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Haire-Joshu directs the Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research and also serves as associate director of the Diabetes Research and Training Center. Her current research on obesity prevention and policy interventions among underserved populations in early childhood and youth has been supported by a number of NIH agencies, including the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the CDC, as well as the Missouri Foundation for Health. Dr. Haire-Joshu served as a health policy fellow in the office of former Senator Barack Obama and as a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow for the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of Senator Edward Kennedy. Her work as chair of the Health Policy Committee led to her appointment as a distinguished fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. She is also a member of Delta Omega, the honorary society for public health. She completed her Ph.D. at Saint Louis University.
RONALD E. KLEINMAN, M.D., is physician in chief of Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, chief of the Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Charles Wilder professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. His major areas of research interest include gastro-
intestinal immunology, nutritional support of infants and children, and nutrition and public health policy. He has been a member of the Medical Advisory Group on Diet and Nutrition Guidelines in Cancer for the American Cancer Society and the National Cholesterol Advisory Committee (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development), and a member of the board of trustees for the International Child Health Foundation, the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, the Massachusetts General Hospital Physicians Organization, and Project Bread. Dr. Kleinman served as chair of the Committee on Nutrition for the American Academy of Pediatrics and is editor of the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh editions of the Academy’s Pediatric Nutrition Handbook. He served on the National Research Council (NRC)/IOM Committee on the Impact of Pregnancy Weight on Maternal and Child Health and the IOM Committee on Nutrition Standards for National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Dr. Kleinman earned his M.D. from New York Medical College, completed his residency and a postgraduate fellowship in molecular biology at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in New York, and completed a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
SUSAN LANDRY, Ph.D., is Albert and Margaret Alkek Chair in Early Childhood and Michael Matthew Knight professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. She is director and founder of the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas, which includes the Texas State Center for Early Childhood Development (SCECD) among its many programs. The SCECD works with early childhood educators across the state and the nation. Dr. Landry served on the Shaping a Healthier Generation Advisory Council of the National Governors Association Centers for Best Practices. She is past chair of the Head Start National Reporting System Advisory Panel, 2005–2006, an appointment made by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and was a member of the National Early Literacy Panel. Dr. Landry’s research targets parent–child and early childhood classroom intervention studies. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications; 19 book chapters; and a monograph, Effective Early Childhood Programs: Turning Knowledge into Action, that describes the findings of these research studies. She holds a Ph.D. in applied developmental psychology from the University of Houston.
LYNNE OUDEKERK, M.A., R.D., C.D.N., is director of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) at the New York State Department of Health. Ms. Oudekerk also serves as principal investigator for USDA-funded Team Nutrition Training Grants, which provide funding for innovative obesity prevention programming for youth attending child care centers and organized after-school programs. As part of her current position, she directs the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/U.S. Department of Education–funded Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings (EWPHCCS) initiative. EWPHCCS provides funding to government and nonprofit agencies in the state for the implementation of nutrition education and physical activity interventions in low-income child care centers targeting preschool children, their families, and their caregivers with obesity prevention messages. Ms. Oudekerk oversees program evaluation activities for CACFP obesity prevention projects by collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data and reports on the success of nutrition and physical activity interventions in New York communities. She also directs outreach activities designed to increase the participation of underserved day care centers and family day care homes. Ms. Oudekerk is president of the CACFP National Professional Association. She received a B.S. in nutritional sciences from Cornell University and an M.A. in human nutrition from Syracuse University.
RUSSELL R. PATE, Ph.D., is professor of exercise science at the Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia. Dr. Pate’s research interests and expertise focus on physical activity measurement, 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 and served on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. He is a past president of both the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Coalition on Promoting Physical Activity. Dr. Pate served as a member of the IOM Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth and Committee on Accelerating Progress in Preventing Obesity in Children and Youth, and is a current member of the Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention. He received a B.S. in physical edu-
cation from Springfield College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Oregon.
DAVID A. SAVITZ, Ph.D., is professor of community health (epidemiology) and obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University. He served as Carey C. Boshamer distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health until the end of 2005 and was Charles Bluhdorn professor of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 2006–2010. Dr. Savitz’s teaching is focused on epidemiologic methods, and he authored a book entitled Interpreting Epidemiologic Evidence. He has served as editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology and as a member of the Epidemiology and Disease Control-1 study section of NIH, and currently is an editor of Epidemiology. He was president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research, and North American regional councilor for the International Epidemiological Association. Dr. Savitz’s primary research activities and interests are in reproductive, environmental, and cancer epidemiology. He has served on seven IOM or NRC committees, most recently on the Committee on Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune and the Committee to Reexamine IOM Pregnancy Weight Guidelines. He is a member of the IOM. Dr. Savitz received his undergraduate training in psychology at Brandeis University, a master’s degree in preventive medicine at Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
WENDELIN SLUSSER, M.D., M.S., FAAP, is associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Schools of Medicine and Public Health, co-founder and medical director of the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA Fit for Healthy Weight program, founder and co-director of the Community Health and Advocacy Pediatric Residency Training Program, and founder and director of the UCLA Breastfeeding Resource Program. She worked on the conception and implementation of the National Breastfeeding Policy Conference, which brought together more than 100 national leaders from different sectors and formulated a series of breastfeeding policy recommendations. This policy conference triggered the preparation of the Surgeon General’s “HHS Blue Print for Action on Breastfeeding” and provided the framework for the U.S. National Breastfeeding Committee’s Strategic Plan. Dr. Slusser has also provided technical assistance at the local, national, and international levels. She is board certified in
pediatrics; is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics; and practices and teaches general pediatrics and health promotion at the Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the United States. She was honored with the Beverllee Myers Award of Excellence in 2008 and the Robert F. Allen Symbol of H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People through Empowerment) Award in 2010. Dr. Slusser graduated cum laude from Princeton University, and received her medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and her master’s of science degree from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. She completed her internship and residency in Pediatrics at Babies Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, in New York City.
ELSIE M. TAVERAS, M.D., M.P.H., is assistant professor of both population medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Population Medicine (DPM). She works with DPM’s Center for Child Health Care Studies and co-directs DPM’s Obesity Prevention Program. She is also director of the One Step Ahead clinic, a multidisciplinary childhood overweight prevention and early management program at Children’s Hospital Boston. Her research interests include nutrition and physical activity as they affect child health and childhood obesity prevention. Dr. Taveras was selected for the Physician Faculty Scholars Program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine opportunities for childhood obesity prevention among underserved populations. She trained in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston and Boston Medical Center and received her M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health.
ROBERT C. WHITAKER, M.D., M.P.H., is professor of public health and pediatrics at Temple University. Prior to joining the Temple faculty, he was a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. in Princeton, New Jersey, and a visiting senior research scholar at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. His research has focused on the childhood antecedents of adult chronic disease and has included studies on school nutrition, obesity prevention strategies in preschool children, parent–child feeding interaction, the epidemiology of childhood obesity, and the determinants of social and emotional well-being in children. Dr. Whitaker served on the IOM Committee on Dietary Risk Assessment in the WIC Program and the Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth. He received a B.A. in chemistry from Williams College, an M.D. from The Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine, and an M.P.H. from the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Dr. Whitaker completed his residency and fellowship in pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and he received postdoctoral training as a Robert Wood Johnson clinical scholar.