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Shawn McKenzie

Shawn McKenzie


Shawn has long been intrigued by the interrelationships between people and natural, social and built environments. He studied human ecology as an undergraduate and later pursued an MPH, finding that his interests in nutrition, behavior, anthropology and environmental sciences matched well with an interdisciplinary career in public health.

Fumi Agboola

Program Officer

Fumi joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2023 as a Program Officer, bringing expertise in research, analysis, and evaluation. Prior to joining the Center, she was a  Research Associate II at NORC at the University of Chicago, where she assisted in conducting interviews, leading small group discussion, and analyzing survey data for projects related to early childhood care, nonprofit community development, and arts & culture.

Daphene Altema-Johnson

Daphene Altema-Johnson

Program Officer, Food Communities & Public Health

Daphene joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2019 as a Program Officer with the Food Communities & Public Health Program, following a year-long dietetic internship that led to her becoming a registered dietitian/nutritionist (RDN). Before that, she was an epidemiologist and lead evaluator at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Oral Health Department. While there, she performed all data collection, analysis and reporting activities, and served as the chief evaluator for the HRSA workforce grant and CDC’s Cooperative Agreements oral health grant.

Patti Truant Anderson

Senior Program Officer, Food Systems Policy

Patti joined the Center in 2021 as the Senior Program Officer for the Food Systems Policy Program.  In this position, she plays a central role in developing, implementing, and evaluating activities that engage the public health field in agriculture and food system policy at domestic and global levels.

Karen Banks

Karen Bassarab

Senior Program Officer, Food Communities & Public Health

Karen is a senior program officer with the Food Communities and Public Health Program, primarily responsible for managing the Food Policy Network project, a national resource hub for local and regional councils from across the United States and Canada. Karen enjoys the dynamic work of this role to support the development of lasting policy solutions that account for regional environmental, political and cultural variations, and can affect all aspects of the food system.

Pamela Rhubart Berg

Academic Program Manager

Pam has been at the Center for a Livable Future since she came on as a research assistant in 2002. Pam's first meeting at the Center, as an MPH student researching topics for her thesis, turned into a job coordinating the school's role as science advisers to the national Meatless Monday campaign. Her current role directing the Center’s Education Program spans multiple education and outreach activities, with the goal of communicating the issues the Center works on to a variety of audiences.

Tiffani DeFreitas

Program Officer

Tiffani joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2023 as a Program Officer, supporting the Education and Events teams. A trained social worker, she brings to the Center experience in research coordination and clinical evaluations.

Kiauna Dorsey

Budget Specialist

Kiauna joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2019 as a budget specialist, building on skills acquired as a patient access specialist while at the Johns Hopkins call center at Keswick. She also has prior experience as a medical office coordinator and an executive assistant. Previous employers include Wexford Health Sources and Corizon.

Veronica Greene

Sr. Administrative Coordinator

Veronica joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2013 as the administrative coordinator. With a background in customer service and administrative support, Veronica enjoys working as the Center’s “motor” and ensuring everything is running smoothly.

A native of Baltimore, Veronica enjoys spending time outdoors, watching movies, and cooking healthfully for her family, especially her grandchildren. “As you get older, you realize how important it is to take care of your vessel,” she says.

Christine Grillo

Contributing Writer

Before joining the Center for a Livable Future in 2011, Christine spent several years as senior writer and associate editor for Johns Hopkins Public Health, the Bloomberg School's magazine. She’s taught writing at universities in Baltimore and New York, and before that she wrote and edited content for print publications and multimedia firms in New York.

Ruchira Gupta

Ruchira Gupta

Web Designer

Ruchi manages all of the Center’s web properties, maintaining both the front-end and back-end implementation and upkeep, as well as overseeing off-site server contracts and relationships. Properties include the main CLF site, the Livable Future Blog, the Food Policy Networks site/database, the Maryland Food Map site/database and more. She also plays a key role in the creation and supervision of the Center’s social media properties (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more).

Jamie Harding

GIS Specialist, Food Communities and Public Health

Jamie has worked in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) field for over 20 years, working on a wide range of projects, from tracking deforestation rates in Southeast Asia, to predicting groundwater recharge rates in Southern Arizona, to mapping bike routes in Baltimore City. Jamie joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2010 and sees his GIS skills as a natural fit in advancing the Center’s mission.  

Darriel Harris

Cynthia and Robert S. Lawrence Fellow

In 2021, Darriel was named the inaugural Cynthia and Robert S. Lawrence Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. As a fellow for the next two years, he will advance CLF’s mission and join the next generation of leaders working to improve food systems.

Christopher Heaney

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Christopher Heaney joined the Center in 2020, collaborating on several fronts related to our research, practice, and education portfolios. His primary role at the Center is to lead the Community Science and Innovation for Environmental Justice (CSI-EJ) Initiative.

Leo Horrigan

Food System Correspondent

Leo worked in the newspaper industry for 20 years as a copy editor and reporter. In 1998 he received a Master of Health Sciences in Health Policy degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. From 1998 to 2002, he was a community liaison for Center for a Livable Future and helped initiate several urban agriculture projects aimed at improving community food security in Baltimore.

Brent Kim

Program Officer, Food Production & Public Health

Brent is a Program Officer for the Center’s Food Production and Public Health Program. His research spans issues from farm to fork, with published works on sustainable diets, climate change, industrial food animal production, food and agricultural policy, soil safety, and urban food systems. Brent is also a frequent speaker, educator, and writer on these topics, translating the science for policymakers, journalists, and other key audiences. His work has been featured in Popular Science, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, NPR, Newsweek, and Civil Eats.

Carolyn Kowalski

Program Specialist

Carolyn joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2023 as a Program Specialist to help promote sustainable, climate-friendly diets and to collaborate with the Meatless Monday team. She brings with her experience and expertise in nutrition, global public health, and environmental science.

Bob Lawrence

Bob Lawrence

Founding Director

In 1996, together with a team of people both inside and outside the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Bob established the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) and began recruiting staff. From its modest beginnings in 1996 to its burgeoning staff today, the Center has continually focused on using the best science available to bring to light the relationships among agriculture, diet, environment and public health.

Dave Love

Senior Scientist, Seafood, Public Health & Food Systems Project

Dave’s work focuses on aquaculture and fisheries and the environmental, social, health and food system issues related to those industries. He also engages in a wide range of food-related topics including food waste, veterinary drugs and drug residues in foods, antimicrobial resistance, and CAFO worker and community health. In 2012 he founded a research and teaching farm at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore and oversaw the facility from 2012 to 2015. The farm is now called the Food System Lab, and is a place where students of all ages learn about urban agriculture.

Bob Martin

Senior Advisor

While Bob will tell you modestly that he's not an academic or a scientist, his extensive expertise in public policy and knowledge of agriculture, environmental and health issues ultimately brought him to the Center for a Livable Future in 2011, where he is now the director of the Food System Policy Program. During his years working for members of Congress from the Midwest, Bob gained a knack for strategizing and "bringing the right people together," he says. 

Phil McNab

Education Program Specialist

Phil joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2020 as the Education Program Specialist, in which capacity he collaborates closely with colleagues to strengthen the Center’s dynamic education portfolio, including coursework and experiential learning opportunities that build on the Center’s strong partnerships with community-based organizations. He will serve as CLF’s education ambassador and the key contact for the Center’s current and future students, while also enhancing the Center’s growing alumni network.

Mike Milli

Digital Assets Manager

Mike joined CLF’s communications team in 2011 to manage existing digital assets and to produce new publications, photos, videos, graphics, presentations, and other digital materials. In his role, Mike specializes in helping scientists and researchers to communicate visually.

Keeve Nachman

Associate Director

Dr. Keeve Nachman is the Robert S. Lawrence Professor and Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. He is also the Associate Chair of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Co-Director of the Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute. Keeve has more than 20 years of experience conducting research and teaching in the field of food systems, environmental health and risk assessment.

Roni Neff

Program Director, Research Program and Food System Sustainability & Public Health

Roni is an Associate Professor in the Bloomberg School’s Environmental Health & Engineering and Health Policy & Management departments. She also directs CLF's Food System Sustainability and Public Health program. Roni’s research is driven by concern about global environmental challenges, including the opportunity for mitigation through food system interventions addressing waste and consumption patterns; the need to adapt food systems in order to improve resilience to climate change and other threats; and the need for attention to equity issues throughout.

Liz Nussbaumer

Liz Nussbaumer

Project Director, Seafood, Public Health & Food Systems Project

Liz joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2019 as a Program Officer in the Seafood, Public Health and Food Systems Project, following nearly seven years at Food & Water Watch in Washington, D.C., where she worked most recently as a senior researcher. Previously, Liz earned a Master of Public Policy, focusing on environmental policy and international development, at American University, where much of her research investigated the root causes and impact of industrial monoculture farming.

Anne Palmer

Director of Practice

Anne Palmer is an Associate Scientist in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society and the Director of Practice at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. She contributes to the Food Policy Networks project, which seeks to improve the capacity of food policy councils and similar groups to advance food system policies at the state, local, regional and tribal level. Her research interests include the role of food retail in public health, food system governance and equity, and community food systems.

Tom Philpott

Senior Research Associate

Tom Philpott joined the Center in 2022 as senior research associate, after nearly 30 years in journalism, most recently as the former food and agriculture correspondent for Mother Jones (2011-2022). Back in 2006, the environmental magazine Grist became the first national publication to assign a regular staffer to the food politics beat when it hired Tom as a columnist.

Becky Ramsing

Senior Program Officer, Food Communities & Public Health

Becky is a senior program officer with the Food Communities and Public Health Program, primarily responsible for managing the Center’s science advisory role with the Meatless Monday Campaign. At CLF, she oversees research, communication, evaluation and programming that facilitate a shift to sustainable, healthy diets that are plant-centric and lower in meat.

Joci Raynor

Director of Operations

Joci Raynor, the Center for a Livable Future's financial specialist, is instrumental in keeping the organization's operations running smoothly.  Prior to joining the Center in 2008, she spent 16 years at the School's Center for Communications Programs.  In both positions, Joci says she was fortunate to work for an organization with causes she believes in. 

Joci said she appreciates the people at the Center and the fact that their commitment to a sustainable food system and healthy environment extends beyond job duties. "It's a part of your life, and it's fun," she said.

Richard Semba

Richard Semba

Affiliated Faculty

Richard Semba, MD, MPH, joined the center as Affiliated Faculty in 2019. He has been with Johns Hopkins University since 1984 and is currently the inaugural W. Richard Green Professor of Ophthalmology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In his role at The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, Richard provides expertise on dietary protein and micronutrients in vulnerable populations such as preschool children, pregnant women and the elderly.

Kinyasha Session

Budget Analyst

Kinyásha joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2016 as a budget specialist, bringing many years of experience as a specialist in both accounts payable and accounts receivable, as well as experience in customer service. Some of her previous employers include Advanced Radiology, Verizon Wireless and Provident Bank.

Bryan Sobel

Bryan Sobel

Senior Program Officer

Bryan joined the Center in 2021 as a Senior Program Officer with a primary focus on Food Systems & Agriculture Policy Solutions. He brings diverse experience as a systems practitioner in program implementation, production agriculture, research, and extension.

Andrew Thorne-Lyman

Affiliated Faculty

Andrew Thorne-Lyman, ScD, MHS, joined the center as Affiliated Faculty in 2019. He is an associate scientist at the Center for Human Nutrition in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In his role at The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, Andrew provides expertise on human nutrition, including in the context of seafood consumption, and he brings an international health background to the Center, as well.

Allie Wainer

Program Officer

Allie joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2023 as a Program Officer to work on projects at the intersections of climate change, community-driven food policy, and food systems. They bring experience working with local governments and organizations as a climate resilience consultant, creating and implementing climate change plans and policies. They have also worked in positions to preserve affordable housing in New York City and as a research assistant for a community-based participatory research project with the City of Somerville, Massachusetts.

Polly Walker

Polly Walker

Senior Fellow

Polly is a Senior Fellow and former Associate Director at Center for a Livable Future and a Research Associate in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

In 1996, Polly joined the Center, shortly after its creation.  As part of a two-person team, Polly helped Founding Director Bob Lawrence launch the Center by initiating the interdisciplinary collaboration, research, education and community outreach that continue to be a hallmark of the Center today. Polly served as Associate Director of the Center until 2010.

D’Ann Williams

Assistant Scientist, Industrial Food Animal Production

D’Ann joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2020 as a Senior Program Officer, following a position as Chief of the Center for Food Emergency Response and Defense at the Maryland Department of Health (MDH).  At MDH she also was the Rapid Response Team Coordinator and worked with multidisciplinary, multi-agency teams to investigate and stop foodborne illness outbreaks. Prior to her time at MDH she served as an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Bloomberg School.

Paulette Wilson

Social Media Manager

Paulette joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2022 as a social media manager, building on experience composing social media campaigns for the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Kennedy Krieger Institute and the University of Baltimore. She is a certified Social Media Strategist (SMS) with the National Institute of Social Media (NISM), and serves as a member of the NISM Advisory Committee.

Natalie Wood-Wright

Director of Public Affairs

Prior to joining the Center in December 2013, Natalie served 5 years as associate director of public affairs in the Bloomberg School's Office of Marketing and Communications where she worked to increase public awareness of the school's research and faculty. Her background, besides JHSPH, includes stints as a television reporter at an ABC affiliate on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and handing public relations at Baltimore's prestigious Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital.

Dwain Worsley

Senior Grants & Contracts Analyst

Dwain joined the Center for a Livable Future in 2018 as a senior grants and contracts analyst, on the heels of a position at the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology. He has also worked in the Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Radiology, the controller’s office and at JHPIEGO. He’s been with the University since 2004.