Chief Executive Officer
Stop Foodborne Illness
Mitzi Baum joined the team at Stop Foodborne Illness as the chief executive officer in May 2019. She is motivated by the mission to create a new strategy for Stop and its constituency that will drive change through advocacy, collaboration and innovation.
Prior to beginning her tenure at Stop, Mitzi cultivated a 23-year career at Feeding America beginning as a network services representative rising to the senior level position of managing director of food safety. As managing director of food safety, Mitzi guided the continued development of food safety initiatives including development and execution of the food safety strategic plan; oversight of third-party food safety audit program; food safety educational summits; development of food safety resources; and coordination with donors and regulatory agencies to support food donations.
Mitzi holds a Master of Science in Food Safety and a certificate in Food Law from Michigan State University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. She has earned certificates in Non-Profit Management from the University of Chicago, Quality Management from DePaul University and Food Safety Management from Cornell University.
She is a certified seafood HACCP instructor and is a certified PCQI. Mitzi is a member of the International Association of Food Protection, the Conference for Food Protection and the Association of Food and Drug Officials.
Dr. Cynthia Baur
Endowed Chair and Director
Horowitz Center for Health Literacy
School of Public Health
University of Maryland
Dr. Cynthia Baur is a health literacy and health communication expert focused on improving health literacy at the individual, family, community and organizational levels. She directs the University of Maryland Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, the nation’s first academic health literacy center, and is a professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health.
In 2022, Dr. Baur and other advocates worked with Maryland Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk, who sponsored Maryland HB1082, to designate the Horowitz Center as the state’s consumer health information hub. Dr. Baur is the Principal Investigator on multiple federal and state funded projects on health literacy, clear communication, digital health, diabetes prevention and organizational health literacy improvement.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center provided communications support to Maryland local health departments and coalitions, and pre and post-pandemic, the Center supports the Maryland Department of Health and local health departments on the state’s diabetes action plan. Dr. Baur provides training and expert advice to local, state and national committees and initiatives.
Before coming to UMD, she served for almost 20 years in the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was CDC’s Plain Language and Health Literacy Lead from 2011 to 2016.
Dr. Baur earned a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California San Diego.
Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety
Office of Food Safety
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Sandra Eskin was appointed Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety on March 24, 2021. In this role, Mrs. Eskin leads the Office of Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, overseeing the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which has regulatory oversight for ensuring that meat, poultry and egg products are safe, wholesome and accurately labeled.
Prior to joining USDA, Mrs. Eskin was the Project Director for Food Safety at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C., a position she held since November 2009. She also served as the Deputy Director of the Produce Safety Project (PSP), a Pew-funded initiative at Georgetown University from 2008-2009. While at PSP, she was a senior scholar with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.
Mrs. Eskin spent nearly 20 years as a public-policy consultant to numerous consumer advocacy and public-interest organizations, providing strategic and policy advice on a broad range of consumer-protection issues, in particular food and drug safety, labeling, and advertising. She has served as a member of multiple federal advisory committees related to consumer information on prescription drugs, meat and poultry safety, and foodborne illness surveillance. During her career, she has written numerous reports and articles on food-safety topics. Mrs. Eskin received her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law, and her B.A. from Brown University.
Dr. Ellen Evans
ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Dr. Ellen Evans is a Research Fellow at the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre. As a qualified professional chef, and after completing a Ph.D. focusing on the food safety risks associated with listeriosis among older adults at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Dr. Evans has conducted numerous cognitive and behavioral food safety research projects. The relationship between people and food fascinates her. Dr. Evans states that she is intrigued by the influence of knowledge and perceptions upon behavior, and the impact this has on food safety. This interest spans from food handlers in the food sector through to the consumer in the domestic environment. Consequently, she is involved with innovative research utilizing novel research technologies regarding numerous critical areas of food safety research including consumer food safety in the domestic setting; food safety culture and compliance in the food manufacturing industry and food service sector, and; food safety education and communication in healthcare settings. Dr. Evans is particularly active with the International Association for Food Protection and is past president of the UK Association for Food Protection. She attended the 2019 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference, and she’s looking forward to participating again this year.
Dr. Garth Graham
Director and Global Head of Healthcare and Public Health Partnerships
Google/YouTube and Google Health
A cardiologist, researcher and public health expert, Dr. Garth Graham joined Google/YouTube and Google Health in 2021 as Director and Global Head of Healthcare and Public Health. He previously served in two United States administrations as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, and he was Assistant Dean for Health Policy and Chief of Health Services Research in the department of medicine at the University of Florida School of Medicine. Most recently, he served as President of the Aetna Foundation as well as Vice President & Chief Community Health Officer at CVS Health. He currently sits on several boards, including the National Heart Lung, the Blood Institute Advisory Council, the Institute of Medicine Board on Population Health, and the board of the National Quality Forum.
An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Graham obtained his MD at Yale University School of Medicine, MPH at Yale School of Public Health, Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins. He holds three board certifications including internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology. He also holds an honorary doctorate of laws from Regis College. In 2021, the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine inaugurated the Garth N. Graham Distinguished Lectureship Award, which spotlights trail blazers who are leading the creation and advancement of health equity.
Dr. Shauna C. Henley
PFSE Board Member
Dr. Shauna C. Henley is a family and consumer sciences educator with the University of Maryland Extension. She works in the Northern Maryland Cluster (Baltimore County, Harford County, Carroll County, and Baltimore City), delivering programs that center on nutrition, food safety, and physical activity. Dr. Henley has been involved with teaching food preservation workshops throughout the state, as part of the “Grow It, Eat It” series.
Dr. Henley’s current work, focuses on nutrition and food safety education for community members. Her more current teaching activities involve GAP, FSMA grower training, food entrepreneurship with Food for Profit, as well as bridging consumer knowledge and behavior gaps with produce safety. Dr. Henley’s previous work focused on interdisciplinary research to identify a unique and unsafe poultry mishandling practice among minority racial and ethnic consumers. The unsafe behavior identified to be addressed in a food safety education campaign, “Don’t Wash Your Chicken!,” receiving national attention on NPR, Nightly News, Slate blog, the TODAY show, ABC’s the CHEW, ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, and many other news outlets. Creating the educational materials was in collaboration with New Mexico State University.
Dr. Henley’s master’s research focused on investigating rural Vermont, and the food environment and cooking practices as an implication for health. This was part of a larger ethnographic study looking at the urban, suburban, and rural food environment.
She earned her B.S. in Biology at Muhlenberg College, an M.S. in Nutrition & Food Science at the University of Vermont, and her Ph.D. in Biology with a concentration in Human Nutrition from Drexel University.
Dr. Devlon Jackson
Assistant Research Professor
Behavioral and Community Health
University of Maryland
Dr. Devlon Jackson is a health communication scientist who examines how digital health can improve the health of vulnerable populations. She explores how consumers access and use these tools within and outside clinical settings and how providers use these tools to improve care. Within this work, Dr. Jackson identifies communication inequalities contributing to access and use. She also understands that mental health impacts physical wellness; therefore, she assesses how digital health can support mental wellness. Dr. Jackson earned a Master of Public Health, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Florida International University. She earned her Ph.D. in Communications and Culture, Health Communication at Howard University.
Vice President Corporate Food Technology and Regulatory Compliance
The Kroger Company
Howard Popoola serves as Vice President of Corporate Food Technology and Regulatory Compliance of The Kroger Company. Popoola started at Kroger in January 2017.
Popoola develops and oversees successful programs, standards and processes across large and complex food product lifecycles and supply chains.
He is a pioneer in food safety, quality and regulatory compliance executive, who has mitigated risks and generated positive brand images through highly effective leadership in food safety, non-food product safety, quality, and associated operating standards and compliance programs at leading food service distributors.
Popoola’s educational background includes a Master of Science degree in Microbiology, an Advanced Master’s Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management, and numerous industry certifications and memberships.
The Food Science Babe
Social Media Influencer
Erin Seidl, widely known as the Food Science Babe, is a food scientist who has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. She has worked in the food industry for over a decade, both in the conventional and natural/organic sectors. Ms. Seidl is committed to combating misinformation about the food we eat by providing evidence-based information on various social media platforms.
Dr. Robert Tauxe
Director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Robert Tauxe is the director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a recognized authority on food safety, he has overseen responses to hundreds of foodborne disease outbreaks, working with colleagues to apply ever-improving laboratory and epidemiologic methods to detect, characterize, and contain the spread of a vast array of foodborne pathogens.
Dr. Tauxe graduated cum laude from Yale University and received his medical degree from Vanderbilt Medical School. In addition, he holds a master’s in Public Health from Yale. He completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Washington and is certified in internal medicine. He joined CDC as an EIS officer in 1983 and has since held several leadership positions at the branch and division levels. Most recently, he served as deputy director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases and its predecessor, the Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases.
Dr. Tauxe has participated in a number of CDC’s responses to disease outbreaks. For example, during the response to the 2010 cholera epidemic in Haiti, he led a CDC team in developing a comprehensive clinical education course on cholera for healthcare providers. During CDC’s Ebola Virus response, he helped to coordinate a three-day experiential training course for more than 600 nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers planning to work in Ebola treatment units in Africa.
Dr. Tauxe’s memberships include the American Epidemiology Society, American College of Physicians, American Society for Microbiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America; Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbial Criteria for Foods. He has investigated outbreaks in Belgium, Mali, Rwanda, Peru, and Guatemala, and has supervised numerous domestic and overseas epidemiologic investigations. His faculty appointments include the Rollins School of Public Health’s Division of International Health; and the Department of Biology, both at Emory University. Dr. Tauxe has authored or co-authored more than 280 scientific journal articles, letters, and book chapters.
Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Frank Yiannas is the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a position he assumed in December of 2018. He is the principal advisor to the FDA Commissioner in the development and execution of policies related to food safety, including implementation of the landmark FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). His leadership role within the Agency covers a broad spectrum of food safety priorities, such as outbreak response, traceback investigations, product recall activities, and supply chain innovation across the full spectrum of FDA-regulated products.
Mr. Yiannas is, in effect, the Agency’s chief ambassador to reduce food safety risks and achieve high rates of compliance with FDA food safety standards, working to develop innovative collaborations with external partners and stakeholders and effective relationships with government and industry leaders, as well as consumer groups.
A renowned food safety expert and author, Mr. Yiannas came to FDA from leadership roles with two industry giants: Walmart and the Walt Disney Company. Through his career, he’s been recognized for his role in elevating food safety standards and building effective food safety management systems based on modern science and risk-based prevention principles.
At Walmart, which he joined in 2008 and served for over a decade, Mr. Yiannas was the Vice President for Food Safety. In this role, he led the effort to make Walmart the first U.S. retailer to require suppliers to achieve certification against one of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked food safety schemes. More recently, he has become a globally recognized pioneer in using blockchain technology to create a more digital and transparent food system. His work has shown that by leveraging technology, the amount of time taken to trace the origin of a food back to source can be reduced from weeks and days down to seconds. Based on his work, other major food companies are now exploring the use of this technology.
His experiences in the food safety arena have also made him an advocate for the promotion of a Food Safety Culture to protect the world’s food supply, arguing that science and policy alone are not enough. Advancing food safety also requires an understanding of organizational culture and principles of human behavior. Engaging on this level to help shape an organization’s culture is the subject of his books Food Safety Culture, Creating a Behavior-based Food Safety Management System, and Food Safety = Behavior, 30 Proven Techniques to Enhance Employee Compliance.
At Disney, where he worked for 19 years, he was the Director of Safety and Health. During his tenure, Disney received the prestigious Black Pearl Award for corporate excellence in food safety from the International Association for Food Protection.
The recipient of numerous awards, in 2007, he received the National Science Foundation’s International Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Food Safety. He is also the recipient of the Collaboration Award by FDA in 2008 and he was named the 2015 Industry Professional Food Safety Hero Award by STOP Foodborne Illness, a consumer advocacy group.
Mr. Yiannas is a past president of the International Association for Food Protection and a past vice-chairman of the Global Food Safety Initiative. He is also an adjunct Professor in the Food Safety Program at Michigan State University, and in 2017 was awarded the MSU Outstanding Faculty Award.
A microbiologist, Mr. Yiannas received a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of South Florida.
Dr. Ian Young
School of Occupational and Public Health
Toronto Metropolitan University
Dr. Ian Young is an Associate Professor in the School of Occupational and Public Health at Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, Canada. He obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Health and Safety from Ryerson University in 2007 and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Guelph in 2010. He then worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Epidemiologist with the University of Guelph and Public Health Agency of Canada. In 2015, he worked as a food safety expert with the Food Safety and Quality Unit of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy, before starting his current academic appointment at Toronto Metropolitan University. Dr. Young’s research group focuses on reducing the burden of food-borne, water-borne and zoonotic diseases through behavior change research, epidemiology, evaluation of control measures, and knowledge synthesis.