Bruce N. Calonge, M.D., M.P.H. (NAM) (Chair), is an associate professor of family medicine at the Colorado School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, and an associate professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. He most recently served as the president and chief executive officer of The Colorado Trust, a private grant-making foundation dedicated to achieving health equity for all Coloradans. Nationally, Dr. Calonge chairs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Task Force on Community Preventive Services; chairs the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; and is a member of the National Academies’ Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity. He is the past chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the past chair of the CDC’s Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention Working Group, and a past member of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. Prior to coming to The Colorado Trust, Dr. Calonge was the chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. He received his B.A. in chemistry from Colorado College; his M.D. from the University of Colorado; and his M.P.H. from the University of Washington, where he also completed his preventive medicine residency. Additionally, Dr. Calonge completed his family medicine residency at the Oregon Health & Science University.
Laura Anderko, Ph.D., RN, is an environmental health nurse consultant and the co-director of the Federal Region 3 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment at the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, Villanova University. Prior to joining Villanova University, she held the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care and was a professor at the School of Nursing & Health Studies at Georgetown University. Dr. Anderko is an educator, clinician, and scholar in public health, nursing, and environmental health. Over the past 8 years in her role with the Region 3 PEHSU, she has consulted with and educated local governments, communities, families, and health professionals about potential health impacts and risk-reduction strategies for PFAS. She has published extensively on PFAS, focusing on the clinicians’ role in addressing health impacts and strategies for reducing risks. Dr. Anderko has served on several federal advisory committees, including the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and is a founding member and steering committee member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. She currently serves as a special advisor for the National Environmental Health Partnership Council, coordinated by the American Public Health Association. Dr. Anderko was recognized by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change for her efforts in climate change and public health. She received her M.S. in nursing from Northern Illinois University and her Ph.D. in public health from the University of Illinois Chicago.
Erin M. Bell, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health of the University at Albany. She joined the faculty at the University at Albany after completing her postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute’s Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch. Dr. Bell has taught
epidemiology and environmental health to undergraduate and graduate students for almost 20 years, serving most recently as the faculty director of the undergraduate program in public health at the University at Albany. She is also an affiliate with the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis. Her research studies focus on environmental exposures as they relate to reproductive, immune, and cancer outcomes. Dr. Bell is currently the co–principal investigator of two cohort studies: the Upstate KIDS study, which follows more than 6,000 children to identify potential risk factors for developmental health effects, and the Health Study of New York State Communities Exposed to PFAS Contaminated Drinking Water, funded by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry as one of seven sites participating in the Multi-site PFAS Health Study. She has served on several committees with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, including the Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides: Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth Biennial Updates. Dr. Bell received her M.S. in epidemiology and biostatistics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dana Boyd Barr, Ph.D., is a research professor at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, where she co-directs the Laboratory for Exposure Assessment and Development in Environmental Research and leads research within the National Institutes of Health–funded Human Exposome Research Center: Understanding Lifetime Exposures (HERCULES). Her research focuses on using analytical chemistry techniques to assess exposure to toxicants, primarily related to maternal and child health. Prior to joining the faculty at Emory, Dr. Boyd Barr worked for 23 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she devoted much of her time to the development of methods for assessing human exposure to a variety of environmental toxicants. She is the past president of the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES), former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, and the current deputy editor for Environmental Health Perspectives. Dr. Boyd Barr has received many awards for her research, including ISES’s Daisy Award for Outstanding Investigator, two awards from the Secretary of Health and Human Services for exposure-health investigations involving diethylene glycol and methyl parathion poisoning, the 2004 Federal Scientific Employee of the Year award, the CDC’s Mackel Award for outstanding collaboration among epidemiology and laboratory, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Silver Medal for outstanding service to environmental health. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, she was designated by Thomson Reuters as a Highly Cited Scientist in environment/ecology, representing the top 1 percent of scientists in her field. She recently became a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Division on Earth and Life Studies’ Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. Dr. Boyd Barr received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Georgia State University.
Kevin C. Elliott, Ph.D., is a professor at Michigan State University (MSU) with joint appointments in the Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy. His research lies at the intersection of the philosophy of science, research ethics, and environmental ethics, exploring the roles of ethical and social values in scientific research on environmental pollution, as well as ethical issues related to science communication, science policy, and team science. Dr. Elliott has authored a wide range of articles and book chapters and has published two books with Oxford University Press: Is a Little Pollution Good for You?: Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research (2011) and A Tapestry of Values: An Introduction to Values in Science (2017). He has also co-edited two books: Exploring Inductive Risk: Case Studies of Values in Science (with Ted Richards, Oxford University Press, 2017) and Current Controversies in Values and Science (with Dan Steel, Routledge Press, 2017). Dr. Elliott served as the program committee chair for the 2018 meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association and is the associate editor for the journal Philosophy of Science. He served as a member of the advisory council for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences from 2014 to 2018 and is currently a member of the MSU Center for PFAS Research. Dr. Elliott has served on organizing committees and workshops with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and
Medicine, including the Committee on the Use of Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in history and philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame.
Melissa Gonzales, Ph.D., M.S., is a professor and the chair in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She formerly was a professor in the Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Preventive Medicine at the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Medicine. At UNM she was the co-director of UNM’s Center for Native Environmental Health Equity Research; director of evaluation for the vice chancellor’s Office of Diversity; and associate vice chancellor for research and evaluation in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the UNM Health Sciences Center. As an environmental health scientist with expertise in exposure assessment and epidemiology, Dr. Gonzales’s community-engaged, translational research focuses on understanding the contribution of environmental exposure to health disparities, rural and minority health, and the translation of research for improved health equity through informed policy. Her research and leadership roles at UNM include serving in the Metal Exposure Toxicity Assessment on Tribal Lands in the Southwest Superfund Center, and the Transdisciplinary Research, Equity, and Engagement Center for Advancing Behavioral Health. Her work includes the Albuquerque Hispanic Moms Study, the Zuni Exposure Study, the Colorectal Disease Prevention Study, and the UNM–University of Texas at El Paso ARCH study of asthma and air pollution among children living on the U.S.-Mexico border. Dr. Gonzales has previously served on two committees with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: the Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides: Tenth Biennial Update, and the Committee to Evaluate the Potential Exposure to Agent Orange/TCDD Residue and Level of Risk of Adverse Health Effects for Aircrew of Post-Vietnam C-123 Aircraft. She received her M.S. in toxicology/industrial hygiene at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and her Ph.D. in environmental health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.
Erin N. Haynes, Ph.D., is the Kurt W. Deuschle Professor in Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health and the chair of the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health within the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Public Health. She is the deputy director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ (NIEHS’s) UK Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences; associate director of the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science; co-chair of the NIEHS Disaster Research Response Committee; and senior associate editor of the Journal of Appalachian Health. Her current research, funded by NIEHS, focuses on investigating the effects of neurotoxicant exposure, particularly metals, on neurodevelopment in rural adolescents, and development and validation of a real-time, lab-on-a-chip sensor for blood metals detection. Dr. Haynes works with community members to address environmental health issues and develops citizen science tools to enable environmental health research. She also serves on the NIH/NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences study section and as an academic counselor for the International Society of Exposure Science. Dr. Haynes received her M.S. in environmental genetics and molecular toxicology from the University of Cincinnati, and her Dr.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan.
Jane Hoppin, S.M., Sc.D., is a professor of biological sciences and the deputy director of the Center for Human Health and the Environment at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on how epidemiologic evidence can inform mechanisms of disease from environmental exposures. Dr. Hoppin is currently leading a National Institutes of Health–funded study of PFAS exposures in the Cape Fear River basin, as well as a study evaluating the impact of pesticide exposure to residents in the banana-growing region of Costa Rica. She has authored more than 200 publications related to exposure assessment for chemicals in the environment and health outcomes. Dr. Hoppin previously spent almost 15 years at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, working on the Agricultural Health Study. She
received her S.M. and Sc.D. in environmental health and epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Tamarra James-Todd, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Environmental Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, an associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research expertise is in reproductive and developmental outcomes following exposure to environmental risk factors. Specifically, she evaluates the impact of pregnancy as a sensitive period of environmental chemical exposure for women’s cardiometabolic health across the reproductive life course. Dr. James-Todd is the principal investigator (PI) of the Environmental Reproductive and Glucose Outcomes (ERGO) Study, which evaluates the impact of environmental chemicals and glucose metabolism during the perinatal period. She is also the PI of a study evaluating the effects of PFAS exposure on maternal cardiometabolic health across the reproductive life course within the Project Viva pregnancy/birth cohort. Dr. James-Todd has a particular focus on racial and ethnic disparities in environmental exposures and women’s reproductive health outcomes. She has served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board for the Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee and on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee for Gulf War and Health: Volume 11: Generational Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War. Dr. James-Todd received her M.P.H. in international health from the Boston University School of Public Health and her Ph.D. in epidemiology from Columbia University.
Alex R. Kemper, M.D., is the division chief of primary care pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. The focus of his research is the evaluation of preventive services delivered in the primary care setting. Dr. Kemper currently serves as the chair of the Evidence Review Workgroup for the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children and as the deputy editor of Pediatrics. He is a former member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and has served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Planning Committee on Examining Special Nutritional Requirements for Disease States. Dr. Kemper received his M.D. from Duke University, where he also completed his pediatric residency training, followed by combined fellowship training in health services research and medical informatics, and residency training in preventive medicine at the University of North Carolina.
Brian Linde, M.D., M.P.H., is an assistant professor in the Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program at the Yale School of Medicine, where he oversees medical education and training and has designed curricula for physicians in training. He is also the chief of occupational health services at the Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, where he oversees more than 3,000 employees, offering services including medical surveillance, work injury evaluation and management, infection prevention, and employee health and well-being. As a board-certified occupational and environmental physician, Dr. Linde also provides patient consultations to evaluate health effects of occupational and environmental exposures. He received his M.P.H. in occupational and environmental medicine from the Yale School of Public Health and his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University.
Marc-André Verner, Ph.D., M.S., is an associate professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Université de Montréal (Canada). He is also a member of the Centre for Public Health Research. Dr. Verner’s expertise is in human health risk assessment, toxicology, biological modeling, and environmental epidemiology. His current research projects focus primarily on developmental exposure to environmental chemicals in the womb and postnatally through breastfeeding in the context of epidemiologic studies and risk assessment, including estimating gestational and lactational exposure to PFAS. Namely, he participated in the Minnesota Department of Health reevaluation of water guidance values for perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonic
acid. In 2016, Dr. Verner received the Joan M. Daisey Outstanding Young Scientist Award for his studies using pharmacokinetic modeling to assess exposures during hypothesized windows of susceptibility to contaminants. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Veronica M. Vieira, D.Sc., M.S., is a professor in and the chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine), Program in Public Health. Her current work includes evaluating birth defects and infant morbidity in relation to air pollution using generalized additive models, and she has worked with the Boston University Superfund Research Program. She works extensively with reconstructing historic environmental exposures using geographic information systems and has experience with groundwater modeling and perfluorooctanoic acid. Dr. Vieira collaborated on the C-8 Health Project, contributing to several health and exposure studies, and is currently an investigator on the UC Irvine PFAS Health Study, part of a multisite study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She has served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee to Review Possible Toxic Effects from Past Environmental Containment at Fort Detrick. Dr. Vieira received her M.S. in environmental engineering from Stanford University and her D.Sc. in environmental health from the Boston University School of Public Health.
Xiaobin Wang (NAM), M.D., M.P.H., is the Zanvyl Krieger Professor in Children’s Health, the director of the Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and an American Board of Pediatrics–certified pediatrician at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her work unites biomarkers, clinical medicine, epidemiology, and disease prevention. Dr. Wang served as the principal investigator in a number of molecular epidemiological studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and led multiinstitution, multidisciplinary teams to investigate environmental, nutritional, genetic, and epigenetic factors during critical developmental windows (preconception, in utero, infancy, and childhood). Her team has conducted a series of studies in three unique study cohorts (Boston Birth Cohort, Chicago Family Cohort, and Chinese Twin Cohort). Dr. Wang has served on two committees with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: the Committee on Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention, and Public Policy, and the Committee on Understanding Premature Birth and Assuring Healthy Outcomes. She is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Wang received her M.D. from Beijing Medical University, her M.P.H. from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University, and her Sc.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She completed a 3-year research fellowship in environmental epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a residency in pediatrics at the Boston University Medical Center.
Chris J. Wiant, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the founding president and the former chief executive officer of the Caring for Colorado Foundation, serving from 2000 until his retirement in 2020. Previously the executive director of Colorado’s Tri-County Health Department, Dr. Wiant is experienced in risk assessment and communication, exposure science, and environmental policy, as well as in collaborating with communities dealing with environmental contamination. He also served as the chief of the Environmental Chemistry Section of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Dr. Wiant was appointed to five terms on the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission and has served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council, the federal advisory committee for development of regulations for disinfection by-products in drinking water (Stages I and II), and he was the chair of the National Science Foundation’s International Council of Public Health Consultants. Dr. Wiant is also the past president of both the National Environmental Health Association and the Colorado Public Health Association, and was a key participant in the negotiation of the cleanup (Record of Decision) at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Superfund site. He has been appointed to and recognized for his service on a variety of other local, state, and national advisory committees and boards, and as a facilitator of solutions to community public health challenges. Dr. Wiant received his M.S. in health services administration,
M.P.H. from the University of Illinois, and Ph.D. in public policy with an emphasis in environmental policy from the University of Colorado.
Elizabeth Barksdale Boyle, M.P.H., is a senior program officer in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Health and Medicine Division’s Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. She previously served for several years as a program officer with the National Academies’ Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. Formerly, she was an environmental health scientist at Westat, where she supported the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Cancer Institute. Before her tenure at Westat, Ms. Boyle was a student epidemiologist at the Minnesota Department of Health and an industrial hygienist at a consulting firm in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a fellow of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she is pursuing a Dr.P.H. in environmental health. Ms. Boyle has an M.P.H. in environmental health from the University of Minnesota and a certificate in risk sciences and public policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and is a certified industrial hygienist.
Marilee Shelton-Davenport, Ph.D., is a senior program officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, where she serves as the director of the innovative, cross-institutional Environmental Health Matters Initiative. Since 1999, Dr. Shelton-Davenport has worked to guide the country’s best scientists and practitioners in providing authoritative advice to agencies and other organizations interested in biomedical research and regulatory issues. Specifically, she has experience developing and executing impactful activities that serve the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Her work with the National Academies’ Board on Life Sciences and Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology has focused on emerging science related to the impact of environmental exposures on human health and defense. A leader of multidisciplinary and multisector teams, Dr. Shelton-Davenport is skilled at guiding experts in drilling down to the root of issues, generating strategies, and developing creative solutions. She has a B.S. in biochemistry from Clemson University and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of North Carolina.
Kate Guyton, Ph.D., is a senior program officer with the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology within the Division on Earth and Life Studies at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She has more than 20 years of experience applying her expert knowledge in mechanistic toxicology and carcinogenesis, and has been certified as a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology since 1998. Her prior experience includes service as a senior toxicologist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer with the World Health Organization in Lyon, France (2014–2020). Previously, Dr. Guyton served as a toxicologist in the Office of Research and Development at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2005–2014) and as the director of scientific affairs at CCS Associates (1998–2005), a woman-owned small business. She has authored more than 90 scientific articles in her areas of expertise with an overall h-index of 46. Dr. Guyton received her B.A. (cum laude) in biology from Johns Hopkins University, her Ph.D. in toxicological sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health.
Kaley Beins, M.P.H., is a program officer with the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology within the Division on Earth and Life Studies at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Previously, she worked as a federal contractor for Abt Associates, where she supported the development of toxicological profiles for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, as well as green chemistry and product labeling programs for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ms. Beins focuses on the intersection of public health and toxicology, and has conducted research and led
community engagement initiatives with nongovernmental organizations and local health departments, including service as a Fulbright Research Fellow. She is a board member for DC EcoWomen and the vice president of the Washington, DC, chapter of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society. Ms. Beins has a B.S. in environmental biology from Georgetown University and an M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of Maryland.
Alexis Wojtowicz is an associate program officer who has supported the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice since 2016. She has also supported the Roundtable on Health Literacy, an action collaborative on preventing firearm violence, and consensus studies about Medicare payment and the public health effects of e-cigarettes. Before joining the National Academies, Ms. Wojtowicz conducted recruitment and intake at a culinary job training program in Washington, DC, and prior to that, coordinated an AmeriCorps VISTA program that placed summer associate members at anti-hunger nonprofit organizations across the United States. Ms. Wojtowicz has a B.A. in art history from the University of Maryland and is currently pursuing an M.P.H. at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she is a Bloomberg American Health Initiative fellow.
Alexandra McKay, M.A., is a senior program assistant in the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. During her graduate and undergraduate careers, she worked in museums and cultural heritage institutions, focusing on public education and assisting in database creation and exhibit curation. Ms. McKay also has experience working for the National Park Service as an interpretation ranger, concentrating on science education and public engagement. She received her M.A. in archaeological studies from Yale University.
Laurene Allen is a resident of Merrimack, New Hampshire, who co-founded the community group Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water after learning, in March 2016, that the water she and her family drank for decades was contaminated by PFAS. She has been an advocate for the needs of her PFAS-impacted community for the past 6 years, engaging local, state, and federal officials, and bringing together residents to work together on both a local and national level. After working to gather health data in her community, Ms. Allen co-authored an article in the journal Environmental Health titled “Making the Invisible Visible: Results of a Community-Led Health Survey following PFAS Contamination of Drinking Water in Merrimack, New Hampshire.” Additionally, she co-founded and continues to serve in leadership of the National PFAS Contamination Coalition, composed of community members from across the nation working together to attain mutual federal needs.
Andrea Amico is the co-founder of the Testing for Pease community action group at the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In 2014, after learning her husband and two small children were impacted by drinking water highly contaminated by PFAS, she began advocating for her community and others, raising awareness and providing education, to achieve a common goal of reducing PFAS exposure to impacted communities. Ms. Amico testified at U.S. Senate hearings on PFAS in September 2018 and again in December 2021. She received the Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 1 in November 2018. Ms. Amico attended the President’s State of the Union Address as Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s guest in February 2019 to raise awareness of PFAS contamination. She is the co-founder of the National PFAS Contamination Coalition, formed in June 2017 to bring PFAS advocates from around the country to organize for change at the federal level. Additionally, Ms. Amico helped organize the first two National PFAS Conferences held at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, in June 2017 and June 2019. She has given a TEDx talk on PFAS and presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s first Public Health Grand Rounds on PFAS in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Amico serves on the
Pease Community Assistance Panel with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and is community co-chair of the Pease Restoration Advisory Board with the U.S. Air Force. She is also a community co-chair on the City of Portsmouth Safe Water Advisory Group. Ms. Amico has a master’s degree in occupational therapy.
Stel Bailey is the chief executive director of Fight For Zero and the co-facilitator of the National PFAS Contamination Coalition, is certified in wildlife monitoring, and is a content administrator behind several online publications. Her life took a dramatic turn in 2013 when she and her father, brother, and uncle, as well as the family dog, were diagnosed with cancer. Her family’s case was so unique that a genetic counselor invited them to do genetic testing, which showed no mutation genes, indicating they did not have an increased risk of developing the disease. Determined to find answers, Ms. Bailey began to crowdsource information about other cancer cases in her hometown on Florida’s space coast. As she spoke out about her family’s case, she connected with many others affected by diseases in unusual ways. As a cancer survivor and military dependent, Ms. Bailey is passionate about helping families and veterans prevent disease by sharing her insights about harmful toxins, including PFAS, and their health effects. Her broad knowledge in coordinating community engagement projects has resulted in various opportunities to share environmental health information, such as contributing to local publications and speaking at events. She has led additional efforts focused on harmful contaminants, such as assisting in getting a state health assessment, collecting water samples for countywide projects, and developing partnerships that will help improve understanding of the burdens of PFAS contamination and related chronic diseases.
Kyla Bennett, Ph.D., is the director of science at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a national nonprofit service organization for environmental and public health professionals, land managers, scientists, enforcement officers, and other civil servants dedicated to upholding environmental laws and values. Prior to working at PEER, Dr. Bennett was an environmental scientist and attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 10 years. Her work at PEER includes the investigation of sources of PFAS contamination in artificial turf and pesticides, and of impacts on endangered species, such as the North Atlantic right whale, manatee, and Louisiana black bear. Dr. Bennett is currently working on exposing the effects of aerial pesticide spraying and investigating faulty risk assessments of pesticides and other chemicals at EPA. She has a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Connecticut, and a law degree with a certificate in environmental and natural resources law from Lewis and Clark Law School.
Karen Blondel is an environmental organizer/advocate for the Fifth Avenue Committee. She has conducted field trainings and has a background in health and engineering. A native of Brooklyn, Ms. Blondel has led the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice activist group to demand the city include the neighborhood’s New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) houses in its development plan. During her tenure with AmeriCorps, she coordinated a women’s history event at the Red Hook Library; started a volunteer program to escort seniors on their errands; and launched a summer Safe Streets program, facilitating a shutdown of local roads for recreational use for local residents. In 2018, Ms. Blondel began a “Know Your Rights” workshop for Red Hook public housing residents to inform them on bylaws, requirements, and deadlines. In her current role as an environmental organizer, she educates public housing residents on environmental burdens within and near NYCHA housing developments that are often overlooked by the city.
Phil Brown, Ph.D., is a university distinguished professor of sociology and health science at Northeastern University, where he directs the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute and co-directs its PFAS Lab, which has grants from the National Science Foundation to study social policy and activism concerning PFAS, and from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to study children’s immune responses and community’s responses to PFAS contamination, and
to develop a nationwide report-back and information exchange. He directs an NIEHS T-32 training program, “Transdisciplinary Training at the Intersection of Environmental Health Science and Social Science,” heads the Community Outreach and Translation Core of Northeastern’s Children’s Environmental Health Center (Center for Research on Early Childhood Exposure and Development in Puerto Rico, orCRECE), and is the research translation director and the community engagement core co-director of Northeastern’s Superfund Research Program (Puerto Rico Testsite to Explore Contamination Threats, or PROTECT). Dr. Brown is a past member of the NIEHS Council. His books include No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action; Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement; and Contested Illnesses: Citizens, Science and Health Social Movements. Dr. Brown earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Brandeis University.
Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., is a public health board-certified faculty member in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami with an educational background in medicine, epidemiology, and public health and more than 10 years of domestic and international practice and research experience. He is the assistant provost for research standards and an associate professor of public health sciences and physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; the deputy director of the Firefighter Cancer Initiative at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center; and the co-director and principal investigator of the national Federal Emergency Management Agency–funded Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study. He is a former fellow of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program, and in 2014, he was appointed to the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Gulf War and Health for 2 years to provide scientific expertise on occupational exposures and work-related health conditions. He also served on the National Occupational Research Agenda committee of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), helping to set the national research agenda on worker health and safety. He served 4 years as a standing member of the NIOSH study section and 1 year as the chair. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and shared more than 215 scientific presentations on a wide range of occupational health and safety topics.
Cheryl Cail is a small business owner in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the vice chief of the Waccamaw Indian People, and the chair for SC Idle No More, a committee within the South Carolina Indian Affairs Commission. In December 2018, after her 20-year-old son was diagnosed with testicular cancer, Ms. Cail became aware of PFAS contamination in the groundwater at the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, and later learned of the extent of contamination from the use of aqueous film-forming foam at other U.S. Department of Defense sites throughout the state. She joined the National PFAS Contamination Coalition in 2019, and is currently working to raise awareness of the impact of PFAS contamination of both the environment and people in South Carolina. Ms. Cail received associate degrees from Horry-Georgetown Technical College in both legal studies and human services and received the Phi Theta Kappa Society’s All-State Academic Team award.
Courtney Carignan, Ph.D., is an exposure scientist and an environmental epidemiologist at Michigan State University (MSU). Her research helps protect reproductive and child health by investigating exposure to contaminants in food and water, and consumer and personal care products. She currently helps lead biomonitoring studies (PFAS UNITEDD and PFAS REACH) funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health, investigating PFAS exposure and immunotoxicity for communities impacted by drinking water contamination. Dr. Carignan is on the organizing committee for the National PFAS Conference and helps lead MSU’s Center for PFAS Research. She received her Ph.D. in environmental health from the Boston University School of Public Health and completed postdoctoral training at Dartmouth College and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Tracy Carluccio is the deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), where she has worked as an environmental advocate since 1989. DRN is a nonprofit membership organization working throughout the entire length and breadth of the Delaware River Watershed to defend its outstanding values and restore them where needed. Ms. Carluccio works for the Watershed’s protection in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware, addressing issues that include water quality; healthy habitats and communities; environmental regulation and policy; clean, efficient, and renewable energy; and biodiverse ecosystems. She has also worked on PFAS issues since 2005 and has commented and written extensively on community and regulatory matters related to these compounds in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Ms. Carluccio serves on the New Jersey Department of Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Biomonitoring Advisory Committee on PFAS.
Jamie DeWitt, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Her research focuses on the effects of environmental contaminants on the adult and developing immune systems, as well as on interactions between the immune and nervous systems. She is the principal investigator, co–principal investigator, and co-investigator on several funded studies concerning the immune effects of PFAS, especially those considered novel or understudied. Dr. DeWitt received her Ph.D.s in environmental science and neural science from Indiana University Bloomington and completed postdoctoral training in immunotoxicology at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under a cooperative training agreement with the University of North Carolina.
Emily Donovan is the co-founder of Clean Cape Fear. She is a tireless advocate for clean water, spending her free time educating the public on the dangers of PFAS and other toxins in drinking water and the environment. Ms. Donovan has testified before Congress twice regarding the influence of the DuPont/Chemours facility in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is contaminating the downstream drinking water supply for 250,000 residents, including giving testimony during the first-ever congressional hearing on PFAS contamination. She participated in a Washington Post Live panel discussion with actor Mark Ruffalo and lawyer Rob Bilott. Most recently, Ms. Donovan worked to secure reverse osmosis filling stations in 49 public schools impacted by PFAS contamination in Brunswick and New Hanover counties. She regularly travels the country sharing her personal impact story, as well as those of her friends and neighbors. Ms. Donovan frequents Washington, DC, and Raleigh, North Carolina, pressuring lawmakers and regulators for swifter responses to the growing PFAS public health crisis.
Alan Ducatman, M.D., M.S., is a Mayo Clinic–trained internist and occupational physician, and a professor emeritus in the West Virginia University School of Public Health and School of Medicine. His clinical career has focused on medical screening related to environmental exposures, with research addressing environmental disease and disease prevention, including health communications to affected populations. He has designed community studies and actively published on population aspects of exposure to PFAS, and many of his more than 30 publications concerning PFAS are highly cited. As a clinical consultant to industry, labor, nonprofit organizations, and government organizations, Dr. Ducatman has also worked with a variety of community groups to provide information concerning PFAS clinical science. In addition, he has an active research program in quality assurance concerning clinician laboratory orders and interpretation, which informs his community service. His other public service has included serving as the chair of the external science advising committee to the National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as the chair of the Residency Review Committee in Preventive Medicine for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
Patrick Elder is the director of Military Poisons, an organization that works to draw attention to the role of the military in the environmental contamination through the use of PFAS in firefighting foams and other applications. Two hundred of his articles on PFAS have been published in several dozen publications, including Global Geneva, Truthout, Consortium News, Common Dreams, and LA Progressive. Mr. Elder seeks to draw public attention to food, especially seafood, as the primary pathway of human exposure to PFAS. He receives support from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF); WILPF US Earth Democracy; the Patagonia Foundation; the Peace Development Fund; and the Center for Health, Environment & Justice. Mr. Elder is presently working on campaigns in several New England states and Maryland, as well as in Germany and Japan, to influence policy makers to take steps to protect public health from the scourge of PFAS. He has toured the United States and Europe several times, speaking on contamination at military bases. Mr. Elder holds an M.A. in government from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in political science/education from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Teresa Gerade is an advisory member of a Vermont-Canadian volunteer organization in the Northeast Kingdom known as DUMP (Don’t Undermine Memphremagog’s Purity), which came into being in June 2018 to appeal the application for a 51-acre expansion of Vermont’s only permitted, privately owned landfill. The group’s goal is to restore and protect the waters and watershed of Lake Memphremagog, an international lake located in the northeast corner of Vermont. The appeal was unsuccessful because of a lack of funding for legal representation. However, the group participated in a mediation session with the owners of the landfill and achieved a 4-year moratorium on the discharge of landfill leachate (the garbage juice that is created in landfills) into the Lake Memphremagog watershed. DUMP is now actively pursuing a state legislative designation of “Lake in Crisis” to garner funding and additional support for restoring and protecting the waters of Lake Memphremagog.
Hope Grosse is the co-founder of Buxmont Coalition for Safer Water and serves on the National PFAS Contamination Coalition, working to establish enforceable federal and state drinking water standards for this chemical class. She acts as the community liaison for outreach and leads social media efforts, updating residents about PFAS water contamination and related issues. Ms. Grosse has been featured on WHYY’s Radio Times, Live with Marty Moss-Coane, discussing PFAS chemicals health and regulations. She also serves as a community representative on the Warminster Naval Airbase Technical Review Committee, which is charged with oversight of the environmental cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Ms. Grosse grew up directly across the street from Warminster Naval Base and worked on the base after high school graduation. Her father died of cancer at age 52, and she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at age 25, which quickly spread to her lymph system. Other unexplained tumors have also been removed from her body over the years. After learning that the Warminster Naval Base was named a Superfund National Priority site, she began to get involved in environmental advocacy and is committed to bringing awareness of PFAS and other contaminants to others in her community.
Loreen Hackett has been advocating for families in Hoosick Falls, New York, since the discovery of severe contamination more than 6 years ago led to issuance of the first National Priorities List Federal Superfund Site declarations for PFOA. Through biomonitoring, her family exhibited some of the highest levels of perfluorooctanoic acid tested in the area. In June 2016, she created #PfoaProjectNY, which has gone worldwide, and continues to share information on PFAS. Ms. Hackett is the co-chair of the Hoosick Falls Community Action Working Group established for the superfund sites, serves on the Community Action Partnership Committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–awarded site study, and is on the Committee of the National PFAS Contamination Coalition. She has attended and submitted testimony in two congressional hearings in Washington, DC, and continues working with elected officials on bills regulating PFAS, as well as with various environmental organizations. She survived cancer that may have been linked to PFAS exposure.
Ayesha Khan worked at Vitamin Water in New York City for a decade before moving to the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, where she worked for a local surgeon. Currently, she is a stay-at-home mom for her two young children. Her husband Nate, who works as a firefighter, was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer and is in remission. As Ms. Khan researched about her husband’s cancer, she learned about PFAS and their connections to aqueous film-forming foam and firefighter gear. She co-founded Nantucket PFAS Action Group as an educational resource about the hazards of PFAS and as a space for local community members to openly discuss concerns, thoughts, and experiences. Ms. Khan holds a B.A. in applied mathematics and statistics from Boston University.
Rainer Lohmann, Ph.D., is a professor of oceanography and the director of the University of Rhode Island Superfund Research Center, where he and his group conduct research into the sources, transport, and bioaccumulation of anthropogenic pollutants, often relying on the use of passive samplers. In addition to PFAS, his research covers dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, legacy pesticides, and emerging contaminants. Dr. Lohmann is a scientific counselor for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities Subcommittee and a speaker at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Environmental Health Matters Initiative on PFAS. He was selected as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow, and as a Fulbright fellow for the 2021–2022 Arctic Initiative. Dr. Lohmann serves as the editor for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and is on the editorial boards of publications including Environmental Science & Technology and Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
Samraa Luqman works in social services with the federal government. A native of Dearborn, Michigan, she has experience working in public schools and serving in community hospitals and cultural centers, including the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services and the American Yemeni Women’s Association, where she is the secretary and a board member. Ms. Luqman has observed a multitude of community members becoming ill with cancers, asthma, and other illnesses attributable to pollution, and has become involved in pursuing environmental justice, speaking at community meetings and town halls. In 2019, she joined the Environmental Health Research to Action Steering Committee, which educates high school students about the impacts of pollution, and the PFAS Alliance shortly thereafter. By 2020, Ms. Luqman also joined the Clean Air Council and presented to multiple audiences on the effects and existence of PFAS in both air and water. She has also worked with the Concerned Residents for South Dearborn, the University of Michigan’s Environmental Interpretive Center, and Friends of the Rouge to raise awareness on the environmental issues of her community. Her most recent endeavors include providing input on the enactment and enforcement of a fugitive air dust ordinance; fighting for cumulative health impact studies; and partnering with organizations, universities, and other entities to add greenspace, trees, and rain gardens to the area. Ms. Luqman completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Michigan.
Beth Markesino is the founder of North Carolina Stop GenX in Our Water, advocating for regulations on GenX, PFAS, and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid in North Carolina. She is a participant in the first ever GenX human health study. Ms. Markesino has multiple endocrine issues associated with PFAS, including a thyroid tumor, an adrenal tumor, and placenta problems during her pregnancy that resulted in the death of her son. She actively advocates in her community for clean water and regulatory action addressing endocrine disruptor chemicals. With a grant from Hydroviv, she provided 120 filters for low-income residents in the Lower Cape Fear region. Additionally, she has lobbied against DuPont scientist Michael Dourson’s appointment to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Aaron Maruzzo worked as a water lab analyst for a public utility company in the Northern Mariana Islands, serving the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. He is currently working toward an M.P.H. in environmental health science at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. In 2020, Mr. Maruzzo coauthored a report for the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry to identify nontoxic alternatives to short-
chain PFAS in molded fiber food packaging. His current interests are in community exposure to PFAS in drinking water, green technology, environmental epidemiology, and environmental justice, where he aims to leverage academic resources at UC Berkeley to benefit science and policy actions toward a PFAS-free future in the Western Pacific U.S. territories. Mr. Maruzzo received his B.A. in biology and comparative literature, with a concentration in public health, from Williams College, where he developed a strong interdisciplinary approach to diverse public health issues.
Tobyn McNaughton is a resident of Belmont, Michigan, who has been affected by PFAS. She is a former elementary teacher and now stays home with her two sons. Ms. McNaughton has become an activist and voice for people affected by PFAS.
Kristen Mello, M.S., is the director of Westfield Residents Advocating for Themselves (WRAFT), a community group formed in response to PFAS contamination of the drinking water in Westfield, Massachusetts, caused by the use of aqueous film-forming foam at the Barnes Air National Guard Base. With WRAFT, Ms. Mello has led efforts to get PFAS blood testing for Westfield residents and has served on the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s PFAS MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level) Stakeholder Group. Her advocacy work on PFAS, in large part, led to her being elected a Westfield City Councilor At-Large in 2019 and 2021. Ms. Mello has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in analytical chemistry, specializing in chemometrics.
Pamela K. Miller is founder and Executive Director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT). ACAT is an environmental health and justice research, policy, and advocacy organization. She brings more than 30 years of research, education, and advocacy experience to her present work. She serves as Principal Investigator for community-based participatory research projects funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Ms. Miller received a Meritorious Service Award from the University of Alaska and Alaska Conservation Foundation’s Olaus Murie Award in recognition of her “long-term outstanding professional contributions to the conservation movement in Alaska.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wittenberg University and a master’s degree in environmental science from Miami University. Prior to coming to Alaska, she served as Ocean Issues Technical Coordinator for the Washington Department of Ecology and Director of a marine science education center at Nisqually Reach in southern Puget Sound. She received the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Washington State.
Elizabeth Neary, M.D., is a pediatrician, as well as an educator and scholar in public and environmental health. Having practiced general pediatrics for 15 years, she has devoted herself to educating students, residents, legislators, and the general public about environmental health issues. Dr. Neary is the co-president of the Wisconsin Environmental Health Network, part of Physicians for Social Responsibility–Wisconsin. She is an adjunct assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and the Wisconsin representative to the Region 3 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit. For the past 5 years, she has taught environmental health to pediatric residents. Dr. Neary has testified on the health effects of PFAS to the Wisconsin state legislature and to the Madison Water Utility Board.
Laura Olah is the executive director and the co-founder of Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger, a community-based group that organized in 1990 when the community learned that a plume of cancer-causing chemicals had poisoned private drinking water wells near Wisconsin’s Badger Army Ammunition Plant. A member of the Sokaogon Ojibwa Community Mole Lake Band, Ms. Olah defines her role as part of a community “undefined by geography” that shares a deep concern for the human environment and the need to empower affected tribes and stakeholders in the decision-making process, ensuring powerful, long-term solutions to military and industrial toxins in our rural communities. She
views the past 30 years of accomplishments not as hers alone but as shared with the many individuals who have and who continue to be at her side in the work for environmental justice.
Jacob Park, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Castleton University College of Business. He specializes in innovation, entrepreneurship, and community health issues, with special focus and expertise in emerging and developing economies in Africa, Asia Pacific, and the Caribbean islands. Dr. Park is also a visiting professor at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa); a former Kevin Ruble fellow in conscious capitalism at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations; the Edmond J. Safra Network Fellow at Harvard University; and a research fellow in the Oxford University Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. He has served as the coordinating lead author of the report for the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme’s Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6); as lead author for the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment initiative; and as an expert reviewer for a number of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change publications, including the Sixth Assessment Report. Dr. Park is a former member of the Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies Investment Committee of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, and the chair of the U.S. Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum’s International Working Group Steering Committee. He received his master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in social sciences/public administration from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.
Sue Phelan1 was the co-founder and the volunteer director of GreenCAPE, a nonprofit community advocacy organization formed to educate Cape Cod residents about the hazards of pesticides and other harmful chemicals (including PFAS) being used above the Cape Cod’s vulnerable sole source aquifer. The focus of GreenCAPE’s work is the community’s exposure to PFAS via the public drinking water system and other as-yet-unidentified sources. Its major concerns include that PFAS-exposed Hyannis residents have not been provided with blood testing and the lack of health-protective PFAS regulations nationwide. Ms. Phelan was a board member of the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow/Boston and Clean Water Action/Mass, as well as a member of the Cape Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Sierra Club Toxics Team, and the National PFAS Coalition. She served as a community project partner and a member of the Cape Cod Advisory Committee for the Sources, Transport, Exposure, and Effects of PFAS Research Center and was one of only two community representatives invited to be on the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s PFAS MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level) Stakeholder Group. After working as a medical microbiologist/virologist, Ms. Phelan returned to the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture, graduated from the environmental horticulture program, and worked in research and development on insect pheromones and light-mediated changes in plant growth and development.
Andrea Rich is an active participant in fighting for clean water in Wisconsin. She works with S.O.H2O (Save Our Water) to bring the impacts of PFAS to light, and share relevant information with the community in Marinette. Marinette is the third-largest PFAS contamination site in the nation. Ms. Rich has been researching PFAS and its health impacts, as well as filtration methods, for several years. She has been an active participant in public hearings and Department of Natural Resources presentations, and has provided testimony to Senate and Assembly committees on multiple bills proposed to regulate PFAS. Ms. Rich was also instrumental in bringing into the spotlight the contamination of farm fields and dozens of contaminated wells in rural Marinette County, some of which may otherwise still be unidentified. Her current focus is trying to get testing for PFAS in the agricultural goods coming from the contaminated farm fields, and blood testing for the community to determine exposure levels, and possibly identify additional sources of exposure. She is an honors graduate of Lakeland College, with a double major in business administration and marketing.
1 Deceased January 2022.
Dana Sargent is the executive director of the environmental nonprofit Cape Fear River Watch (CFRW), based in Wilmington, North Carolina, where she works to protect and improve the water quality of the Cape Fear River basin for all people through education, advocacy, and action. Her work on PFAS began in 2017 when her community learned that DuPont and then Chemours had polluted their drinking water supply for more than 40 years. Her organization sued the polluter and the state regulatory body, which culminated in a Consent Order, parts of which she, along with her CFRW partners and their legal counsel, maintain oversight, ensuring the polluter and the regulatory agency are upholding the requirements of the Order. In addition, CFRW partners with academia on several PFAS research grants including the GenX exposure study, along with several ecological studies and outreach grants. She works among a coalition of advocates in North Carolina pushing for strong PFAS legislation and regulatory action and her organization is one of six that has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after it refused to hold a PFAS polluter accountable for funding health and toxicity studies. Ms. Sargent has published two websites and numerous articles and op-eds on PFAS, including an op-ed in which she questions whether PFAS exposure caused the brain cancer that took her brother’s life in December 2019. He had been exposed for decades in the line of duty as a Chicago firefighter and a former U.S. Marine. She holds an M.S. in environmental sciences and policy from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in journalism with a music minor from San Diego State University.
Laurel Schaider, Ph.D., M.S., is a senior scientist in environmental chemistry and engineering at the Silent Spring Institute, where she leads water quality research on PFAS and other contaminants of emerging concern. Her research focuses on characterizing PFAS exposures from drinking water, diet, and consumer products; understanding health effects associated with PFAS; investigating socioeconomic disparities in exposures to drinking water contaminants; and working with communities to develop research studies and resources to address their concerns. Dr. Schaider is the principal investigator for the PFAS-REACH (Research, Education, and Action for Community Health) study, a researcher–community partnership that is evaluating PFAS exposures and immune system effects in children in communities with PFAS water contamination, and developing an online resource center for PFAS-affected communities. She is also the principal investigator of the Massachusetts PFAS and Your Health Study, one of seven projects within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention PFAS Multi-site Health Study. Dr. Schaider co-leads the Community Engagement Core for the STEEP (Sources, Transport, Exposure, and Effects of PFAS) Superfund Research Program at the University of Rhode Island, including a study to evaluate PFAS levels in private wells on Cape Cod and identify contamination sources. Before joining the Silent Spring Institute, she was a research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she currently holds an appointment as a visiting scientist. Dr. Schaider served as a member of the planning committee for the 2020 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Workshop on Federal Government Human Health PFAS Research. She earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Linda Shosie, a proud Latina woman, is a mother, grandmother, wife, and the founder and organizer of the grassroots community organization Mothers for Safe Air & Safe Water Force in Tucson, Arizona. In her fight for the human right to clean and safe water she has dedicated her entire life to protecting public health. Ms. Shosie has become one of the leading voices nationally regarding PFAS exposures in Latino barrios. In 2007, she lost her child to a rare disease she believes was caused by exposures to numerous toxic chemicals in the drinking water in the Tucson South-Side barrio. More recently Ms. Shosie has begun initiating a community-led PFAS health study in her community to assess for PFAS in human blood. She is also part of the National PFAS Contamination Coalition.
Lenny Siegel is the executive director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight, where he has been serving since 1994. He is one of the American environmental movement’s leading experts on both military facility contamination and the vapor intrusion pathway. Mr. Siegel runs two Internet newsgroups for his organization: the Military Environmental Forum and the Brownfields Internet Forum, as well as activist discussion lists on trichloroethylene and PFAS. He has served on several Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council work teams on environmental remediation, as well as a dozen National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committees addressing military environmental issues. In July 2011, Mr. Siegel was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Citizen of the Year award. In 2018, he served as mayor of Mountain View, California.
Mike Watters is a community organizer in the Fayetteville, North Carolina, area. After learning his well was contaminated with more than 16 PFAS, Mr. Watters set up a community outreach group. He created a Facebook group with more than 2,700 members and actively provides information to the community, ensuring wells are tested in a rapidly growing area around the Fayetteville Works Facility in North Carolina. Mr. Watters provides input at all North Carolina Science Advisory committee meetings, leads teams in assisting in research with the NC PFAS Testing Network, and works actively with North Carolina State University research teams. Additionally, he engages with state and federal authorities to ensure that violations and spills are documented and action is taken; two notices of violation are directly tied to his actions. Mr. Watters also works with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, having participated in the Granular Activated Carbon Pilot Test. He currently has a state PFAS air monitoring station on his property and assists the state in gathering information. While in the military, Mr. Watters was trained and certified as a U.S. Department of Defense hazardous materials handler. He has college degrees in information technology and firearms technology.
La’Meshia Whittington is a professor in the Division of Sociology at Meredith College. She is also the deputy director for Advance Carolina and the campaigns director for the North Carolina Black Alliance. She is the co-convener of the North Carolina Black and Brown Policy Network, a former national democracy campaigner for Friends of the Earth, the chair of the FRENC Fund Administration, a founding member of Democracy Green, a member of the Burke Women’s Fund in Western North Carolina, and a former North Carolina spokesperson on fair courts for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. A leader in intersectional democracy and environmental justice, Ms. Whittington was the coauthor of North Carolina Senate Bill 673, prioritizing environmentally contaminated communities of color in voting rights, and the co-author in several Pro-Democracy North Star legislation bills. She is a member of the NC PFAS Testing Network, anchoring legislation on aqueous film-forming foam, and she is a convener of the Black Firefighters Fighting PFAS Collective. Ms. Whittington has created and co-convened national, regional, and statewide tours and workshops on environmental justice, focusing on chemical contaminants and dirty corporations. She works continually with the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other government agencies to ground community needs and strategies in alleviating health disparities in Black and Brown communities. Ms. Whittington led the development of a statewide map to highlight the intersection of environmental justice contamination zones and the frequency in which they are located within gerrymandered Black majority voting districts. She is a petitioner in two active petitions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ms. Whittington is an Afro-Indigenous woman from North Carolina, hailing from a former environmental justice settlement: The Kingdom of the Happy Land. She received her education at Western Piedmont Community College and Meredith College.
Alan Woolf, M.D., is a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, a board-certified pediatrician and medical toxicologist, and a senior attending physician at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). He is the director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Center at BCH, directing its fellowship training program in pediatric environmental health and the Region 1 New England Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit. Dr. Woolf is a member of the Executive Committee of the Council on Environmental Health of the
American Academy of Pediatrics and a past president of both the American Association of Poison Control Centers and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology. He is the editor and author of two books: The Children’s Hospital Guide to Your Child’s Health and Development (Perseus Publishers) and History of Modern Clinical Toxicology (Academic Press) and has authored or co-authored more than 300 scientific publications.
Cathy Wusterbarth is a registered dietitian nutritionist, and the co-leader and founder of NOW (Need Our Water) in her hometown, Oscoda, Michigan. NOW was created in 2017 to give Oscoda-AuSable and surrounding communities a voice. Its mission is to be a reliable resource and catalyst for education and communication while advocating for long-term health and environmental welfare plans on behalf of those affected by water contamination from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, Michigan. Ms. Wusterbarth and other NOW members have consistently demanded that the State of Michigan and the Air Force address the PFAS contamination that affects her community, as well as more than 700 military installations. She was invited to the 2019 State of the Union by Congressman Dan Kildee to represent communities affected by PFAS contamination and support the newly created Congressional PFAS Task Force. In addition to testing and monitoring the health of Oscoda residents, Ms. Wusterbarth believes the federal government should conduct the necessary epidemiological studies to correlate health outcomes among veterans and their families.
Sandy Wynn-Stelt is a clinical psychologist in private practice. In 2017, she learned that her groundwater had been contaminated by PFAS from a landfill that had been used by Wolverine Worldwide to dispose of Scotchgard-laden tannery waste. Since then, Ms. Wynn-Stelt has become an advocate for preventing similar contamination in other communities. She has spoken with several state and local legislators and the Michigan attorney general, and has testified in Washington, DC, at hearings on PFAS contamination. Ms. Wynn-Stelt currently participates on the leadership team of the local Wolverine Community Advisory Committee, as well as on the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team. She also participates in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Study as a stakeholder for both the state PFAS study and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s Multisite PFAS Study. Ms. Wynn-Stelt participates in training with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff on effective communications with community members. In 2020, she was awarded the Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award by the EPA for her work in the community and state in advocating for stronger regulation of this class of chemicals.