President and Board Member
Derek YachPresident and Board Member
Dr. Derek Yach, a global health expert and anti-smoking advocate for more than 30 years, is the president of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. Throughout his career, he has supported and led smoking cessation research and policy development and has been a strong proponent of harm-reduction policies, calling for a greater emphasis on harm reduction as early as 2005. He is also a passionate advocate of health promotion and disease prevention, and is advancing his career’s work at the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.
Chief Health, Science, and Technology Officer
Farhad RiahiChief Health, Science, and Technology Officer
As the Chief Health, Science and Technology Officer, Dr. Riahi leads the Foundation’s scientific research and innovation effort to accelerate smoking cessation and harm reduction.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Riahi was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he worked with senior healthcare leaders in government; payors and providers; life sciences companies; the World Health Organization (WHO); and other global public health organizations. He has worked in a broad range of health systems, leading strategy, capability building, and advanced analytics efforts to improve population health outcomes. His work particularly focused on:
- Making the best scientific and clinical evidence accessible to inform strategy, policy and resource allocation decisions
- Building effective partnerships across professional boundaries (e.g., clinical and operational leaders; analytics experts and healthcare leaders; public and private sector healthcare leaders).
Previously, Dr. Riahi was the founding Head of Healthcare Systems at Novartis International, where he built the first health systems expert group in the life sciences industry. He and his team designed and supported partnerships with governments to improve population health outcomes; partnered with the Harvard School of Public Health to deliver a health systems leadership development program for Novartis’ senior leaders; and brought a health systems approach to support product and therapeutic area strategy.
Dr. Riahi maintains a part-time clinical practice, working in urgent care and with indigenous populations in northern Canada. He holds a B.S. from the University of Toronto; an M.D.,C.M. from McGill University; and an MBA from the Wharton School.
Program Director, Health and Smoking Control
Ehsan LatifProgram Director, Health and Smoking Control
As program director, Dr. Ehsan Latif is responsible for overseeing the strategy and execution of global initiatives that support smoking cessation and harm reduction.
Dr. Latif has more than 20 years of experience managing the development and implementation of cohesive strategies to achieve public health gains by linking global health priorities to the needs on the ground. Previously, he served as senior adviser for non-communicable diseases and director of tobacco control at the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, managing global teams across India, China, Singapore, Mexico, Bangladesh, Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan, Brazil and Chad. His work entailed providing leadership for planning, organizing and prioritizing focused interventions for tobacco control to ensure delivery of strategic goals through collaboration.
In his early career, he was responsible for the development of the National Health Policy for Pakistan and served as a main contributor of the non-communicable diseases debate in the early 2000s. His work has since involved capacity building and provision of grants to governments, civil society organizations, universities and researchers. He recently led and managed US$10M program to support policy development for tobacco control in low- and middle-income countries faced with highest burden of disease caused by tobacco use.
Dr. Latif has served on the boards of several public health entities, including The Framework Convention Alliance, the Non-Communicable Disease Alliance, and the Global Smoke Free Partnership. He is also a member of various international groups working on lung health and tobacco control setup under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control secretariat and the World Health Organization.
Dr. Latif is originally from Pakistan and now resides in Scotland. He holds an MD from Punjab Medical College and an MPH from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Vice President, Strategic Partnerships
Elizabeth ThompsonVice President, Strategic Partnerships
Elizabeth Thompson, vice president of strategic partnerships, is responsible for fostering the Foundation’s relationships with corporate and individual partners across public health, academia and the private sector. She has more than 20 years of non-profit advocacy experience.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Elizabeth served as the vice president of US political affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund, a global non-profit organization focused on addressing environmental problems through advocacy and public policy. While with the Environmental Defense Fund, she directed advocacy campaigns on high-profile legislative and regulatory efforts, including the 2016 reform of the Toxics Substance Control Act (TSCA) law in the United States, which improved the protection of families from the health effects of toxic chemicals. She was also part of the executive leadership team responsible for the non-profit’s governance, fundraising and strategic planning. Previously, Elizabeth worked at the Meridian Institute, United States Climate Action Partnership and the Clean Air Network.
Elizabeth lives in Maryland, United States. She received a BA from Wellesley College, a JD from Boston College Law School, and an LLM in Tax Policy from the New York University School of Law.
Vice President, Global Services
Heather MajewskiVice President, Global Services
In her role as vice president of global services, Heather Majewski oversees the Foundation’s long-term strategy and values to ensure the Foundation remains innovative as it helps smokers who want to quit cigarettes. She has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry managing and transforming health and wellness organizations.
Before joining the Foundation, Heather was assistant vice president and head of wellness innovation for John Hancock Insurance, where she was instrumental in the development and launch of the John Hancock Vitality insurance solution that rewards people for making healthy choices, such as quitting smoking. She was responsible for identifying growth opportunities for John Hancock through collaboration with academia and corporate partners.
Prior to her wellness innovation role, Heather held numerous strategic actuarial positions at John Hancock where she created and managed wellness solutions designed to improve public health. She also held various leadership and actuarial roles at Swiss Re North America and The Hartford, two global insurance companies.
Heather is from Boston and has a bachelor’s of actuarial science and a master’s of mathematics from the University of Connecticut.
Vice President, Agriculture and Livelihoods
Jim LutzweilerVice President, Agriculture and Livelihoods
Jim Lutzweiler, a public policy and market development expert, is the vice president of agriculture and livelihoods. He has more than 20 years of experience developing public-private partnerships to reduce food insecurity globally, and spent a decade working and living in West and Central Africa while focused on agriculture program design and implementation, market development and policy formulation.
Before joining the Foundation, Jim was senior director of global public policy at PepsiCo where he developed strategies to encourage consumer uptake of healthier food and beverage alternatives. As part of this work, he implemented a shared value partnership business model to promote sales of healthy products by driving positive consumer choice.
Prior to his position at PepsiCo, Jim served as vice president of AARP Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit that provides people age 50 and over with programs and services related to housing, hunger, income and isolation. In this role, he focused on addressing the systemic causes of elderly hunger, devising public-private partnerships with the healthcare and retail grocery sectors designed to increase nutrition and reduce food insecurity among older adults. He was also a founding member of the Root Cause Coalition, a diverse group of hospital systems, nonprofits, and corporate partners dedicated to making hunger a health issue embedded within the social determinants of health.
Jim has also served in leadership roles with Joint Aid Management, World Vision and Catholic Relief Services. At Joint Aid Management, he was responsible for oversight of U.S. government grants, corporate and foundation grants, and philanthropic funding, as well as expanding school feeding programs in Ghana and Nigeria. During his time at World Vision, he led the efforts for a unified food advocacy strategy focusing on issues of foreign aid, trade and food aid policy, with an emphasis on policy reform in recipient countries. Jim lived in West and Central Africa while at Catholic Relief Services developing and implementing emergency response food distribution programs, supplemental feeding for vulnerable groups and agricultural recovery.
Jim is originally from New Jersey, United States, and has an MA from Duquesne University in policy analysis, as well as a BA in political science and philosophy from Hope College.
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Tom HardingChief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer
As the chief operating officer and chief financial officer, Tom Harding ensures the Foundation’s operations enable it to achieve its mission of reducing death and disease from smoking. Tom oversees all financial and operational functions of the Foundation, including asset management, financial planning and analysis, and accounting.
Tom is a senior financial executive with more than 25 years of experience working for major corporations. His diverse financial experience includes debt and equity capital markets, asset management, financial planning and analysis, financial risk management, and cash management.
Most recently, Tom was the acting treasurer of Time Warner Cable through its merger period with Charter Communications. In this role, he was responsible for the company’s capital structure, direction of debt and equity capital markets activity, interest rate risk management and treasury operations. Previously, he held leadership positions in finance at Time Warner, Inc. and Macmillan, Inc.
Tom is based in Connecticut, United States. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in finance.
Board of Directors
Dyborn ChibongaBoard Member
Dyborn Chibonga is the regional head for Malawi and Mozambique at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an alliance aimed to catalyze and sustain inclusive agriculture transformation for smallholder farmers in Africa. He has more than 25 years of experience advocating for product diversification away from tobacco into other cash and food crops, as well as policy and regulatory reforms that promote food security and rural development.
Mr. Chibonga previously served as the CEO of the National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM) for 18 years. During this time, Mr. Chibonga grew the organization to more than 165,000 farmers, making it the largest smallholder-owned membership organization in Malawi. He transformed NASFAM from a small association into a sustainable business and a model for other countries to follow. Under Mr. Chibonga’s leadership, NASFAM established the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa, a platform designed to encourage competitive bidding processes for smallholder farmers when selling their crops.
Mr. Chibonga is from Malawi and is a board member of the Cooperative Insurance Company of Malawi, the Jubilee University Council and the Commercial Agriculture Support Services. He holds a BS degree from the Bunda College of Agriculture at the University of Malawi and an MSc in landscape ecology design & maintenance from the University of London, where he also holds a master’s certificate in NGO management.
Lisa GableBoard Chair
Lisa Gable is a former US ambassador and chairman emeritus of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to reduce obesity among children in the United States.
Lisa serves as a national trustee for the Boys and Girls Club of America, a member of the International Advisory Council and the International Republican Institute, and as an advisory board member of the Diplomatic Courier and FriendsLearn, Inc.
As president of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, Lisa led a public-private partnership between 16 food and beverage companies, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Partnership for a Healthier America – a nonprofit created in conjunction with United States First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. The Foundation’s work led to the companies removing 6.4 trillion calories from their products over five years, exceeding the initial goal by nearly 5 trillion calories.
Lisa has extensive experience working with government organizations and corporations to improve public health. Her background includes tenure as senior vice president of global public policy at PepsiCo, a member of the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Obesity Prevention, a board member of Girl Scouts of the USA, a member of the Governor’s Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission, a trustee of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, a commissioner of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, a delegate to the United Nations, vice chair, Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, global brand identity manager for INTEL Corporation and a member of the Reagan White House staff.
She has also served at senior levels of the United States federal government under four United States presidents. During this time, she was appointed the first female U.S. Commissioner General to the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan.
Lisa lives in Washington, D.C. She holds a BA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a MA in national security studies from Georgetown University.
Martin SkanckeBoard Member
Martin Skancke is the founder and general manager of Skancke Consulting, an independent consultancy advising on the design and management of sovereign wealth funds and other long-term investment vehicles. Before launching Skancke Consulting, he served the government of Norway in a variety of positions over two decades, advising on economic policy issues. During this time, he developed and headed the asset management department of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for the management of the government pension fund, with assets of more than US$800 billion.
Martin began his career in the Norwegian Ministry of Finance advising on macroeconomic policy as an executive officer, deputy director general and head of the section for monetary policy and public finances. He then joined McKinsey & Co. for two years advising international companies on business strategy issues before returning to the public sector. Martin served as director general of the Office of the Prime Minister from 2002 to 2006, and then as director general of the Ministry of Finance from 2006 to 2011.
He also served as chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Public & Institutional Investors Industry Agenda Council from 2010 to 2011. He is currently chair of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and a board member at Storebrand ASA, Kommunalbanken AS and Norfund.
Martin lives in Norway where he received his undergraduate degree from the Norwegian School of Economics. He earned his master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Michael SagnerBoard Member
Dr. Michael Sagner is a physician who specializes in sports medicine and preventive medicine. He is a chairman of the European Society of Preventive Medicine, a non-profit charity dedicated to clinical preventive medicine and the prevention of chronic diseases, a member of the European Union Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, a partner of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, and member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) OpenLab. Dr. Sagner is a member of the board of directors of the International Society for P4 Medicine, which is dedicated to applying systems medicine in clinical practice.
As a clinician, Dr. Sagner is the medical director of the SARENA Clinic, a not-for-profit clinic and research institute dedicated to preventive, predictive, personalized and participatory medicine (P4 medicine). He was the founding chief physician of the section for preventive and lifestyle medicine at the University Medical Center UKE.
Dr. Sagner promotes a proactive approach to preventing and treating diseases, and advocates for collaboration between private, non-profit and government agencies to address chronic diseases. He works on the convergence of systems biology, the digital revolution and consumer-driven healthcare, with a focus on interdisciplinary research that looks at the systems of the human body as part of an integrated whole, incorporating biochemical, physiological, and environmental interactions, and translating these systems biology principles into clinical practice.
Dr. Sagner collaborates with the world’s leading organizations in the medical and public health field. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and the European Society of Preventive Medicine and member of the Royal College of Physicians. Dr. Sagner is the editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Progress in Preventive Medicine and is the editor of several textbooks on preventive medicine.
He lives in Europe and the United States and received his MD from Technical University Munich.
Zoe FeldmanBoard Member
Zoe Feldman is the Managing Director at Almanac Investments, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on the food, hospitality and agricultural tech sectors based in NYC.
Prior to Almanac, Zoe acted as the Managing Director for CPG Ventures and Investments at Cleveland Avenue, a Chicago-based venture fund and accelerator. Zoe co-created the venture-backed services group to support the development of emerging food and beverage companies. Prior to Cleveland, Zoe spent eight years at PepsiCo as a senior scientist for global research and development. She co-authored a paper that became the basis for the company’s Global Nutrition Group (GNG), a group focused on breakthrough innovation in the areas of fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy, and functional nutrition. She later became the senior associate of business innovation for the GNG, where she focused on new category development and strategy. She also co-led the company's early efforts in venture capital.
A New Jersey native and graduate of Smith College, Zoe holds an MPH from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business.