Meet Our Experts

Yeva Avakyan Yeva's photoYeva is a Senior Gender and Evaluation Advisor at World Vision, where she is privileged to work with communities around the world to address gender-based inequities. Her extensive travels and her passion for justice have led to a particular interest in a plant-based diet as a vehicle for healthy and cruelty-free living.
Nicole Burda
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Nicole Burda is the manager of Government Relations at the American Public Health Association. Burda's fascination with public health and advocacy stems from her desire to understand the interaction of people with their environment and policies that govern their communities. She also has a background in strength and conditioning, working with people of all ages and abilities to help motivate and teach them how to achieve their strength and fitness goals. Nicole holds a Master's of Public Health from Oregon State University.
Tanisha Burford
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Tanisha Burford is a research psychologist whose research focuses on stress and cardiovascular disease outcomes. She is a native of the tropical paradise, Jamaica, West Indies. She enjoys food, good company, nature, reading, and traveling. In her free time, she enjoys being the numero uno Como Water new recipe test taster.
Inger Burnett-Zeigler
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Inger Burnett-Zeigler, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology at Cornell University and doctorate degree in clinical psychology at Northwestern University. Dr. Burnett-Zeigler has several years of clinical experience and is trained in a number of evidence based psychotherapy interventions including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness meditation. Dr. Burnett-Zeigler is a former ballet and modern dancer, and is currently an avid runner, cross training athlete and yogi. Dr. Burnett-Zeigler has a deep appreciation for the ways in which establishing a routine of healthy activities can positively impact one's mood and physical body.
Keyla Carr
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Keyla Carr is co-Founder and Executive Vice President of TrueLine Publishing, an international publishing firm that specializes in business-to-business trade journals (including US Builders Review, US Business Executive, Canadian Business Executive, and Australian Business Executive). Keyla received her Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Communication from American International College in Springfield, MA, is the mother of four, and an avid veg-centric advocate.
Omni Cassidy
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Omni Cassidy is a medical and clinical psychology doctoral student. She is interested in the underlying psychological and cultural factors that may promote obesity and overeating in Black/African American youth. She loves to experience new things, ask questions, read, write, bike, dance, listen to music, and watch political dramas.
Courtney Cogburn
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Courtney D. Cogburn's research aims to understand the function of toxic social environments in producing racial disparities in health and disease. Dr. Cogburn is an interdisciplinary scholar who utilizes multiple methodologies and integrates principles from psychology, sociology and social epidemiology to understand the role of "race" in health. Dr. Cogburn also works with a local community health center and national non-profit organization to educate and build community activism around structural racism and health. Dr. Cogburn is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. in Education and Psychology as well as her MSW focusing on Interpersonal Practice and Children, Youth and Families in Society from the University of Michigan. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia.
Tiffany M. Griffin
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Dr. Tiffany M. Griffin is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a PhD in Psychology, and of Boston College with BAs in Psychology and Communications. Dr. Griffin currently works at the US Agency for International Aid (USAID) in the Bureau of Food Security as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. Prior to her work at USAID, Tiffany worked in the US Senate on food, nutrition, and health policy for Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico. Before that, Dr. Griffin worked for seven years as an academic in psychology, focusing on health, education, and decision-making.
Kanika Harris
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Kanika Harris Fluellen, MPH is a mother, doula, and health expert based in Washington DC. As a former small business owner of a successful detox center, she specializes in nutritional counseling and birth work. Her passion is sharing the miracles of food as medicine.
Francesca Hyatt
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Francesca Hyatt is a plant lover, sometimes activist, a bit of a dreamer, ever striving for social justice and always lover of delicious things. Born on the move and raised between Southern Germany, Dayton, Ohio and Budapest Hungary, she is now grateful to be making home in Durham, North Carolina. Francesca works for the Rural Advancement Foundation International, a non-profit dedicated to supporting the livelihood of family farmers across the country. She directs a project called "Come to the Table," an initiative that promotes solutions to hunger which strengthen local and sustainable agriculture. Her favorite vegetable is whatever Tiffany just served up.
Chickaro Martin
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Chickaro Martin is an accomplished fitness professional, health and wellness consultant, and founder of Project Fitness, an innovative Washington, D.C. based fitness company dedicated to promoting and fostering healthy lifestyles through fitness and exercise. Committed to a fitness approach with an eye toward civic engagement, Chickaro specializes in creating awareness and community around physical activities and wellness options, while connecting his clients with the resources they need.
Ahmed Kablan
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Ahmed Kablan is an AAAS Science Policy and Technology Fellow, a Health and Nutrition advisor at the Bureau of Food Security/Agriculture Research Policy-USAID. Dr. Kablan earned his PhD in Biotechnology & Pharmacology from the University of Bologna, Italy and his PharmD degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan. After his Ph.D., Ahmed was junior faculty at the University of Jordan/faculty of Pharmacy and in 2006, Ahmed completed postdoctoral training at the University of Toledo-OH and at the National Institutes of Health/NIDDK. In his free time Ahmed enjoys long walks with his dog Lucky.
Amanda Northcross
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Dr. Amanda Northcross is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University. Northcross uses her background in environmental chemistry and engineering to identify exposures to air pollution constituents that can be linked to ill health and to help communities monitor and reduce air pollution. Prior to joining the GW faculty, Northcross worked as a researcher in the Department of Environmental Health Science at University of California Berkeley's School of Public Health. Amanda received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Robyn Osborn
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Robyn Osborn, PhD is a clinical health psychologist who specializes in the cognitive, behavioral and emotional aspects of weight management. She is the Assistant Director of the National Center for Weight and and Wellness located in Washington DC. In addition to clinical work, Dr. Osborn has conducted clinical research in academic and community settings for multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research projects exploring the prevention and treatment of obesity. Dr. Osborn has numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications, has presented her research at both national and international scientific conferences, and currently serves as an advisory board member for the MOVE program at the Mautner Project in Washington DC.
Tatiana Pulido
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Tatiana Pulido has worked on overseas food security development programs since 2009. A passionate vegetarian and foodie, she is always on the lookout for interesting ingredients and dishes in her travels.
Chris Russo
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Christopher Russo has a Bachelors Degree from University of Connecticut in Management Information Systems, has worked in web technology since 2007, and has been freelancing/self-employed since 2009. Clients have included Hunter Boots, Cision, UMASS, Sacred Heart University, Tufts University, MIT, and the University of North Carolina. Russo, an avid advocate for sustainability, opened his second business, Tilthy Rich Compost, a composting enterprise in North Carolina in March 2013.
Sandra WilknissSandra's photoWilkniss earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia. Before completing a fellowship in the Senate in 2010, she served as director of the Thresholds Institute, the research and training arm of the Chicago-based community psychosocial rehabilitation organization, Thresholds. In this role, she led the research and training efforts around adopting, implementing and refining evidence-based practices for people with serious mental illness. Wilkniss is a mother of two and a strong advocate for mental and physical health.
Courtney Woods
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Dr. Courtney Woods is a Lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the School of Public Health. She received her PhD in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from UNC in 2007 and her bachelor's and master's degrees in Chemical Engineering. With expertise in toxicology and systems biology modeling, Courtney's current research focuses on chemical and energy industry impacts on community health. In her "free" time, Courtney enjoys spending time in the garden, playing capoeira, and engaging in environmental and food justice advocacy.