2011 Global Summit Speakers


Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA is the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. As America’s Doctor, she provides the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation. Dr. Benjamin also oversees the operational command of 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, and protect the health of the American People.  

Dr. Benjamin is Founder and Former CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama, former Associate Dean for Rural Health at the University Of South Alabama College Of Medicine in Mobile, and Past Chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. 

Dr. Benjamin is a member of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She was a Kellogg National Fellow and a Rockefeller Next Generation Leader.  

Dr. Benjamin has a BS in chemistry from Xavier University, New Orleans; attended Morehouse School of Medicine, and received her MD degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham; she also has an MBA from Tulane University and fifteen honorary doctorates.

Jean-Michel Borys, MD, EPODE European Network Director & General Secretary, EPODE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK, NGO. He is a medical doctor, specialised in Endocrinology, Metabolic Diseases and Nutrition. He was the promoter and manager of “Fleurbaix Laventie Ville Santé Study”, a community-based intervention aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle in Northern France (1992-2004). He then founded EPODE in 2004 and the EPODE European Network in 2008. He has been an expert member in ANAES (National Agency for Health Evaluation and Accreditation) participating in the working group on “childhood obesity management recommendations”.

Dr. Borys is a member of scientific associations including the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the European Association for Study of Diabetes. He has written and published several books and relevant publications in the field of obesity prevention, diabetes, cardio vascular diseases and public health. He has a medical practice (diabetes and obesity) and is the scientific director of Proteines’ Group, health and consulting agency.

Hugh Dugan, Economic and Social Affairs Adviser, U.S. Mission to the United Nations. He has developed a distinguished career in diplomatic representation,
negotiation, and corporate governance.  

Mr. Dugan serves as adviser to the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a US Delegate to United Nations sessions.  In the course of interfacing with the 192 Member States and the Secretariat, he has managed a broad range of matters related to strategic engagement with the United Nations Organization.  Through effective assessment of political dynamics as played out there, Mr. Dugan has initiated and negotiated many significant UN agreements since 1989, including the evolution of North-South relations, breakthrough measures in support of the private sector in developing countries leading to, among other things, the UN Global Compact www.unglobalcompact.org.  Other areas include UN institutional and managerial modernization, payment of US arrears to the United Nations involving senior US Congressional involvement, and management of all US campaigns to elected UN bodies and developing the UN’s work in sport for development and peace.  He is an international affairs scholar and an expert on the UN Economic and Social Council.

Laura Fernández Celemín, Ph.D., Director Nutrition and Health, Deputy Director General – European Food Information Council (EUFIC)

 Having read a degree in Dietetics & Human Nutrition, Dr. Fernández Celemín successfully completed a PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.  She joined EUFIC in 2002 as Scientific Affairs Adviser and was appointed Director Nutrition and Health and Deputy Director General in 2011. As part of her functions Dr. Fernández Celemín supervises EUFIC activities in European Commission-funded projects, has a leading role in coordinating a 3-year project on nutrition labelling (FLABEL) and contributes in several other research projects EUFIC partners in. Laura has published numerous scientific papers, and lectured worldwide. 

Madelyn H. Fernstrom, PhD, CNS.  Professor of Psychiatry, Epidemiology and Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Founding Director, UPMC Weight Management Center.

Madelyn H. Fernstrom, PhD, CNS is a Professor of Psychiatry, Epidemiology, and Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and the Founding Director of the UPMC Weight Management Center. She is also a Senior Advisor for Health Management at the UPMC Health Plan. Her career has focused on the integration of biological and behavioral factors in developing strategies for both the treatment of obesity, and for effective lifestyle habits supporting health and wellness promotion. As a researcher, she has published more than 100 papers on the biological and behavioral basis of appetite regulation and weight control. As a clinician, she has treated thousands of patients struggling with their weight, from just a few pounds to several hundred. Dr. Fernstrom trained in Boston, earning a PhD in the field of nutritional biochemistry and metabolism and neuroscience at MIT, and completing a post-doctoral fellowship in endocrinology and behavior at the Harvard Medical School. She is also a Board Certified Nutrition Specialist from the American College of Nutrition. An established media resource, she is also the Diet and Nutrition Editor for NBC’s TODAY Show, and the Health Editor-at-Large for iVillage.com. 

Lisa Guillermin Gable, President, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a business-led initiative aimed at helping to reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity, in America.

In August 2004, President George W. Bush appointed Gable as U.S. Commissioner General of Section of the United States Exhibition to the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan.  She held personal rank of Ambassador.
Gable’s career includes extensive leadership in global brand management, fundraising, philanthropy and political strategy.  Gable is Chairman Emeritus of the Pacific Research Institute; serves on the board of Girl Scouts of the USA; serves on the editorial board of the Diplomatic Courier, and is a member of Women Corporate Directors.  

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Executive Director, European Food Safety Authority 
Throughout her career, Ms Geslain-Lanéelle has held several positions of responsibility within the food sector. In 2000, she was appointed Director General of the Food Department within the French Agricultural Ministry at the height of the BSE crisis in France. In this post, she was responsible for managing health risks related to food, animal health and welfare, and plant protection as well as risk communications.

Ms Geslain-Lanéelle remained in this post until April 2003 when she became Regional Director of Agriculture and Forestry for the Ile de France region.

She has held a number of international positions, notably as Chair of the Codex Alimentarius Committee on General Principles in 2001 and 2002, as well as Deputy Director of the French Department of International Trade from 1998 to 2000, managing French food aid. Here she worked closely with the European Commission and several other international organizations, working to promote the European agricultural model.

She also worked at the European Commission from 1991 to 1993 as a National Expert at DG III (DG Industry and Internal Market) in the area of food safety.

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle has a Master of Science from the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon and from the Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts.

Robert B. Gravani, Ph.D., Professor of Food Science, Cornell University, and President, Institute of Food Technologists where he is actively engaged in Extension/Outreach, Teaching and Research activities. He received his B.S.  degree in Food Science from Rutgers University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University.

Dr. Gravani works with all sectors of the food system and has developed innovative programs for constituents in production agriculture, food processing, food retailing, and food service, as well as for regulatory agencies and consumers.  He has published many scientific and popular articles, and developed numerous education programs for constituents.  

Peter Greenwald, MD, DrPH, Associate Director for Prevention, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this position he assesses cancer prevention and early detection all across NCI.  His major research interests include basic and pre-clinical chemoprevention studies through first-in-human to phase III clinical trials, biomarker discovery and validation, basic nutritional science, biometry and systems approaches to cancer prevention.  In March 2011, he retired as director of the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention, which he established and led for 30 years to take this new position.  When he retired, he was Assistant Surgeon General (Rear Admiral) in the U.S. Public Health Service. 

Dr. Greenwald received his medical degree from the State University of New York College of Medicine in Syracuse, and his Master degree and Doctorate in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He is Board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine.

Elisabeth Hagen, MD, Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Hagen was sworn-in as Under Secretary for Food Safety on Friday, August 20, 2010.  In this position, she oversees the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), USDA's public health regulatory agency that ensures the nation's commercial meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.

Since joining federal government in 2006, Dr. Hagen has served in a number of leadership roles and has advanced a science-based, public health agenda at USDA.  Prior to her appointment as Under Secretary, she served as USDA's Chief Medical Officer, advising FSIS and other USDA mission areas on a range of human health issues, such as food safety, nutrition, and zoonotic diseases.

Before joining public service, Dr. Hagen taught and practiced medicine in both the private and academic sectors. In addition to several hospital and university appointments, her experience includes research and publications in infectious diseases and providing medical care to underserved populations. Dr. Hagen holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and is board certified in infectious diseases.

James O. Hill, Ph.D. is the Founding Executive Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  He also holds the Anschutz Endowed Chair in Health and Wellness.

He is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and Director of Healthy Kids for the Children’s Health Advocacy Institute of The Children’s Hospital.  He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of New Hampshire in Physiological Psychology.  He served as Chair of the first World Health Organization Consultation on Obesity in 1997.  He is Past President of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) and The Obesity Society (TOS).  He was a member of the Expert Panel on Obesity of the National Institutes of Health that developed first U.S guidelines for the treatment and prevention of obesity. 

Dr. Hill has published more than 400 scientific articles and book chapters in the area of obesity and nutrition.  Many of these focus on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity in weight management. He is the recipient of the 2007 TOPS award from The Obesity Society. He has received the Centrum Center and McCollum awards from the American Society for Nutrition.  Dr. Hill is a cofounder of the National Weight Control Registry, a registry of individuals who have been successful in maintenance of a reduced body weight.  He is co-founder of America on the Move, a national weight gain prevention initiative that aims to inspire Americans to make small changes in how much they eat and how much they move to prevent weight gain.  He is the author of the Step Diet Book, published in June 2004.  He lectures widely throughout the world on obesity, health and wellness.

John A. Milner, Ph.D., Chief, Nutritional Science Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention ,National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From 1989 to 2000, he was Head of and a Professor in the Department of Nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University, where he also served as Director of the Graduate Program in Nutrition.  Before joining Penn State, he was a faculty member for 13 years in the Food Science Department and in  The Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. While at the University of Illinois he served as the Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences and as an Assistant Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.

Dr. Milner earned a Ph.D. from Cornell University in nutrition, with a minor in 
biochemistry and physiology and a B.S. in Animal Sciences from Oklahoma State University.  Dr. Milner is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society for Nutrition, American Association of Cancer Research, American Chemical Society’s Food and Chemistry Division, the Institute of Food Technology and the International Society of Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics.  He is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists, and an Honorary Member of the American Dietetic Association.

Kimberly Reed, J.D., Executive Director of the International Food Information Council Foundation.  She also serves as Senior Vice President for Membership, Communications, and Strategic Initiatives at the International Food Information Council (IFIC).

In addition to leading the development of the Foundation, Ms. Reed oversees IFIC's Media Relations, International, and Trends and Consumer Insights Programs.  She also serves on several boards, including the National Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association and Board of Trustees of West Virginia Wesleyan College.  She has more than fifteen years of experience at senior levels in both the public and private sectors, including as Senior Advisor to two U.S. Treasury Secretaries; Director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund; Counsel to the U.S. Congress; and Vice President for Financial Markets Policy Relations at Lehman Brothers, Inc.

David Schmidt was elected as President & CEO of International Food Information Council (IFIC) in Washington, DC  January 1, 2006.  Schmidt also serves as President & CEO of the International Food Information Council Foundation.  Previously, he held the positions of executive vice president, vice president and director and has been a frequent speaker on a wide range of food safety and nutrition issues. 

Prior to joining IFIC in 1993, Schmidt served as the first Bush Administration's director of external affairs for the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  There he addressed a number of controversial food safety and nutrition issues, and managed the inspection agency's media, legislative and consumer education programs.  Schmidt also gained a thorough understanding of the food industry in previous sales positions with leading food and beverage firms, Oscar Mayer Foods, Pepsi-Cola USA and Canada Dry Corporation.

David also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Center for Risk Communication Research at the University of Maryland, on a steering committee for America’s Heartland, and participated on the steering committee on Reinventing Agricultural Education for the Year 2020.  He also served the Town of Leesburg, Virginia from 2000-2004 and in 2008 as a Town Councilmember.

Schmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee and has completed graduate business studies at the University of New Orleans.

Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, Senior Vice President, Nutrition & Food Safety for the International Food Information Council (IFIC) in Washington, DC, a nonprofit organization that effectively communicates sound, science-based information on nutrition and food safety to health professionals, educators, government officials, journalists and consumers. 
In her role at IFIC, Smith Edge is responsible for directing the nutrition and food safety initiatives of the organization as well as serves as IFIC’s spokesperson on various nutrition, food safety and health issues.
In addition to being a registered dietitian, Smith Edge is also an experienced communicator, strategic planner, and facilitator with over 25 years of experience. Prior to joining IFIC, she has been the owner of MSE and Associates, LLC providing strategic nutrition consulting services for the food and healthcare industry, as well as commodity groups. Smith Edge’s expertise includes strategic positioning of nutritional products/services, nutrition communications, healthy aging and food allergies. She is a nationally recognized speaker in health, wellness and farm-to-table issues.  

Nancy Snyderman, MD, Chief Medical Editor, NBC News joined NBC News as the Chief Medical Editor in September 2006. Her reports appear on “Today,” “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Dateline NBC,” MSNBC, and MSNBC.com. 

Snyderman has reported on wide-ranging topics affecting society and has traveled the world extensively, reporting from many of the world's most troubled areas. Snyderman also serves as the Medial Director of GE’s healthymagination initiative and serves on the board of directors of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. She is on staff in the Department of the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeffrey L. Sturchio, Ph.D., Former President and CEO, Global Health Council, and Visiting Scholar, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University.

The Global Health Council is the world’s largest membership alliance of public health organizations and professionals (in more than 100 countries on six continents) dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world.

Dr. Sturchio joined the GHC in August 2009, after two decades at Merck & Co., Inc. As Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, he managed a portfolio of activities including Merck’s corporate philanthropy, the Merck Institute for Science Education, the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, global health partnerships (including the Merck MECTIZAN Donation Program), global HIV/AIDS access programs, corporate responsibility reporting and the Merck Archives.  He also served as President of The Merck Company Foundation.

Dr. Sturchio is a member of the Global Agenda Council on Health of the World Economic Forum, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In September 2011, he will join RabinMartin, a global management consultancy working at the crossroads of health, as Senior Partner.

Nigel Sunley, Global Governing Council, International Union of Food Science and Technology, has a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Leeds and an MSc in Food Science from the University of Natal. He spent 32 years in R&D and manufacturing in the food industry in the UK and South Africa before starting his own consulting business Sunley Consulting in 2007, which specializes in the areas of product development, nutritional enhancement of foods, technical trouble-shooting and the management of food safety, nutrition, scientific communication and regulatory issues. He consults to a wide range of large and small food companies and NGO’s and has worked in countries as diverse as Ghana, Bangladesh, El Salvador and Afghanistan. 

Nigel is a past president of the South African Association of Food Science and technology (SAAFoST). During his presidency, he led a successful bid to the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) to hold their World Congress in Africa for the first time and subsequently chaired the organizing committee for the Congress, which was held in Cape Town in August 2010. He was then appointed to the Global Governing Council of IUFoST, where consumer communication is part of his portfolio of responsibilities.

Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, Owner, BTD Nutrition Consultants, Author of Read It Before You Eat It, and Blogger for USA Today. She is a specialist in behavior and lifestyle modification, medical nutrition therapy, and obesity and weight management and is a spokesperson for various corporate clients.

Ms. Taub-Dix is a regular guest on national television and radio programs and in the press, providing practical advice on healthy living to publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and WebMD and shows including CNN, CBS Early Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, FOX 5 News, and The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. She’s worked with the Discovery Channel and Lifetime TV as an on-air consultant for several nationally broadcast shows. As a consultant to the Cartoon Network, she collaborated on designing a program for the Food and Drug Administration regarding food labeling for children. As a liaison between industry and the public, she holds a position on the editorial advisory boards of Family Circle Magazine, HealthyWomen.com and Environmental Nutrition Newsletter. In 2003, she was named Outstanding Nutrition Entrepreneur of the Year by the American Dietetic Association, and the following year she received the New York State Dietetic Association’s Media Excellence Award.

Janet Voûte, Vice President, Global Head of Public Affairs, Nestlé S.A., and Co-Chair of the International Food and Beverage Alliance. She joined Nestlé in September 2010 and became responsible for Global Public Affairs as of 1 December 2010. Before joining Nestlé, Janet Voûte designed and led a new multi-stakeholder network to combat non-communicable diseases at the World Health Organization. 

From 2000-2008, Mrs Voûte served as CEO of the World Heart Federation, a global NGO with member organizations in 100 countries, dedicated to the prevention and control of heart disease and stroke with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. 

Janet Voûte began her career in strategy consulting with the Boston Consulting Group in Munich followed by Bain & Company in Paris, Zürich and Geneva. There she became Vice President/Partner focusing on the food and health sectors, while opening and leading the Swiss practice.

Mrs Voûte studied at Smith College in Massachusetts, USA, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC.

 Nancy Wellman, Ph.D, RD, FADA, Chair, Board of Trustees, International Food Information Council Foundation, Former Director, National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Aging and Professor (retired) of Dietetics and Nutrition, Florida International University. She recently retired as the professor of dietetics and nutrition in the School of Public Health at Florida International University, the public research university in Miami. She is the former director of the National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Aging, <nutritionandaging.fiu.edu>, which was funded primarily by the US Administration on Aging. Wellman’s areas of nutrition expertise include aging, public policy, nutrition screening, communications, and marketing, as well as consumer education and food labeling. 

Registered dietitian Wellman is past president of the 70,000-member American Dietetic Association (ADA), the nation's largest group of food and nutrition professionals. As one of its first national spokespersons (1982-90), she was regularly in the national press and on TV and radio. During her high profile ADA presidency, the Nutrition Screening Initiative, a national campaign against malnutrition in older adults backed by a coalition of 35 prominent aging organizations, was launched; the National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics, ADA's public information center, opened; and collaboration with professional and trade associations was strengthened. Dr. Wellman served as national chair of the Nutrition Screening Initiative for its 15-year time-span.