Senior Research Analyst, Agriculture and Livelihoods
DIANNA BARTONESenior Research Analyst, Agriculture and Livelihoods
Dianna Bartone is the Senior Research Analyst for Agriculture and Livelihoods. In this role, she conducts data analysis and quantitative research that informs the Foundation’s global strategy to help tobacco farmers transition to alternative livelihoods and crops.
Dianna is a skilled quantitative researcher with several years of experience in international nutrition, food security, and agricultural research. She has worked on projects led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University School of Medicine, World Vision International, and the USDA Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.
In 2017, Dianna received the Tufts Public Health and Professional Degree Programs Delta Omega Award for demonstration of academic achievement and leadership in public health. She is also a 2015 World Vision International Global Health Fellow, and an Aid for Africa Scholar.
Dianna is based in New York. She holds an MS in Food Policy and Applied Economics from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, as well as an MPH in Epidemiology/Biostatistics, and in Global Health from the Tufts University School of Medicine. Dianna also holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame.
Director, Global Scientific Communications
Ramla BenmaamarDirector, Global Scientific Communications
As the Director, Global Scientific Communications, Dr. Benmaamar reviews, analyzes, and disseminates key scientific data that are critical to the success of the Foundation’s research and innovation programs, which are aimed at accelerating smoking cessation and harm reduction. She develops scientific communication strategies and ensures accurate scientific messaging.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Benmaamar was Manager of Global Publications and Scientific Communications, Oncology Business Group, at Eisai Pharmaceuticals. She managed the global communication of the results of clinical trials, and the review process of scientific and medical documents prior to their publication in peer-review journals and their presentation at scientific meetings.
Before working at Eisai, Dr. Benmaamar was Senior Researcher at New York University, Langone Medical Center, Radiation Oncology. She managed pancreatic cancer research. She helped design innovative research projects to better understand the various molecular, immunological, and metabolic aspects of pancreatic cancer. In earlier years, Dr. Benmaamar was Associate Director of Medical Communications at medical communication agencies, partnering with pharmaceuticals to develop scientific content for presentations at conferences and advisory boards, and for patient and healthcare provider websites.
In addition to her scientific experience, Dr. Benmaamar worked at the United Nations as a Conference Manager. She facilitated and coordinated a wide range of conferences such as those of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Human Rights Committee, General Assembly, Indigenous Peoples’ Forum, and Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She speaks four of the six United Nations official languages (English, French, Arabic, and Spanish), as well as Italian.
Dr. Benmaamar is a seasoned freelance writer for The Lancet Oncology, mainly communicating groundbreaking results of clinical trials on several types of cancer. She holds a PhD in Pharmacology from Univerisité Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.
Senior Manager, Communications
NICOLE BRADLEYSenior Manager, Communications
Nicole Bradley is the Senior Manager of Communications, responsible for helping to shape and manage the Foundation’s media relations strategy development and execution. In this role, she develops communications materials, manages media interactions, and oversees PR agency partners.
A skilled communications professional with more than 15 years of experience in corporate, consumer products, sports marketing and entertainment, Nicole has developed and managed PR campaigns for high-profile brands while also acting as a national communications advisor and spokesperson on behalf of corporations.
Nicole’s communications background includes positions at Pepsi, Nickelodeon, VH1 and Edelman, where she was responsible for developing and executing strategic plans that supported business goals and drove positive corporate reputation. During her six years at Pepsi, she created and implemented media relations strategies for Pepsi-Cola North America’s marketing campaigns and brands, and managed the public relations for Pepsi’s partnerships with the NFL, MLB and MLS.
Nicole is based in New York and holds a BA in Communications from Penn State University.
BRIAN ERKKILA, PhD
Director of Regulatory Science
BRIAN ERKKILA, PhDDirector of Regulatory Science
As Director of Regulatory Science, Dr. Brian E. Erkkila spearheads the Foundation’s efforts to support actionable research about tobacco, nicotine, cessation, and harm reduction. This involves an assessment of the absolute and relative risks of conventional and emerging nicotine products, as well as determining the most effective methods to communicate reduced-risk options to smokers.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Erkkila served for seven years at the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), where he was instrumental in the development of the tobacco product review process and CTP research priorities, with a particular focus on developing a tobacco product quantitative risk assessment program. As an expert in evaluating scientific data concerning tobacco products and their impact on individuals and populations, Dr. Erkkila was responsible for providing the scientific basis for the development of tobacco policy, guidance, and regulation.
A neurobiologist by training, Dr. Erkkila did his post-doc examining hippocampal function and development at the National Institute of Child and Human Development’s (NICHD) Laboratory of Cellular and Synaptic Neurophysiology under the mentorship of Dr. Chris McBain.
Dr. Erkkila is based in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a BA in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University.
Director, Health Science and Technology
Charles GardnerDirector, Health Science and Technology
As Director of Health Science and Technology, Dr. Charles A. Gardner manages the Foundation’s investments in innovation to catalyze and accelerate the development of higher-efficacy smoking cessation products and services, and to ensure that options to quit and reduce harm are accessible in low- and middle-income countries.
Dr. Gardner has over two decades of experience creating and managing international health R&D programs and partnerships in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. He has served as the Program Officer for Africa and the Middle East at the US National Institutes of Health; Science Attaché at the US Embassy in India; Associate Director for Health Equity in the Rockefeller Foundation; Senior Advisor on Research Strategy to the WHO; and Director of Child Health in the UBS Optimus Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland.
A seasoned leader in global health innovation, Dr. Gardner has served on the boards of the University of Michigan’s Center for Global Health, the Rockefeller Foundation’s pioneering impact investment fund (ProVenEx), and international non-profits. He currently serves on the board of a non-profit that promotes an innovative approach to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) training in low-income countries.
After completing his PhD, Dr. Gardner was awarded a Congressional Science Fellowship to advise the US Congress on health and science policy issues. He has also taught healthcare ethics as an Associate Professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and has over 90 publications.
Dr. Gardner is based in New York City. He holds a PhD in Developmental Neurobiology from the University of Michigan Medical School.
Director of Meetings and Global Operations
Claire HohltDirector of Meetings and Global Operations
As the Director of Meetings and Global Operations, Claire Hohlt oversees the planning and execution of the Foundation’s special events and meetings worldwide. Her responsibilities include managing budgets, negotiating vendor contracts, as well as securing and cultivating relationships with the Foundation’s key partners.
An experienced event producer, Claire launched her own company, Evoke Mgmt, in 2017. She has created and supervised a wide range of corporate programs, seminars, product launches and festivals. Previously, Claire was Senior Manager of Events and Client Relations at Time Out North America, where she managed special projects and national events, while overseeing a $2 million budget. Claire also collaborated with editorial and creative on design for the website and various communications materials.
Earlier in her career, Claire held a communications position at Skanska USA Inc., and worked in luxury menswear for Ermenegildo Zegna and Brioni.
Claire is based in New York and holds a BS from Purdue University.
David JanazzoDirector, Finance
David Janazzo, an expert across multiple financial disciplines, is Director of Finance. In this role, David conducts data analysis associated with the relevant industry issues and financial analysis of the related companies in support of the Foundation’s objectives toward the advancement of smoking cessation and harm reduction.
David’s extensive work experience includes positions at Fortune 100 companies, where he managed the following disciplines: Financial Planning and Analysis; Treasury; Pension and Investments; and Investor Relations. As Senior Director, Treasury at Time Warner Cable, David directed the pension and investments oversight process and capital structure decision-making. Prior to his role at Time Warner Cable, David was Director of Investor Relations at Verizon.
At Merrill Lynch, David was a fundamental stock analyst covering U.S. Telecom Services. He generated stock recommendations, produced financial models, and published industry and company research. David was recognized as a knowledgeable industry resource and sound financial analyst by internal and external polls. Earlier in his career, David held technical and management positions at AT&T.
David resides in New Jersey and holds a MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of Business, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. He is active in his local community through charitable organizations.
Director, Social and Digital Media
LOURDES LIZDirector, Social and Digital Media
As Director of Social and Digital Media, Lourdes Liz creates and implements the Foundation’s integrated marketing strategies on digital and social media platforms.
Lourdes is a seasoned marketing executive with expertise in brand marketing, mission communications, donor development and content creation. She has been a member of senior management, has led and managed teams, strategic partnerships as well as operating budgets.
Throughout her career she has been a member of the following global retail, and entertainment companies: Macy’s, Style Network, HBO, Warner Bros Animation, MTV Networks, as well as small startups (e.g. Fútbol Mundial and nonprofit organizations) the United Nations and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Lourdes resides in New York City and holds a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish Literature from Colgate University, and an MBA from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.
Senior Strategic Research Analyst
MADELEINE SMITHSenior Strategic Research Analyst
As Senior Strategic Research Analyst, Madeleine Smith is responsible for developing and coordinating strategic alignment across the Foundation’s functions. In this role, she provides research, report and data analysis; manages the evolving processes related to the Foundation’s work; and cultivates the grant portfolio and programs.
Madeleine is experienced in designing, leading and implementing diverse business strategies, and realignment initiatives that deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits. Previously, she worked for VF Corporation’s Sustainability Operations Group in Thailand, where she identified opportunities to improve their Sustainable Living Environments project and conducted research. Her findings were used to create a governance framework and partnership structure.
Madeleine’s experience also includes volunteer work with the Support for International Change organization, teaching HIV/AIDS education in Swahili, and offering HIV/AIDS testing.
Madeleine is based in New York. She holds a Master’s of Health Science in Environmental Health and Engineering from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Bachelor’s of Public Health with a concentration in Engineering for Sustainable Development from Johns Hopkins University.