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.
Alastair Bradstock, PhD
Director of Nicotine Pricing and Taxation
Alastair Bradstock, PhDDirector of Nicotine Pricing and Taxation
Dr. Alastair Bradstock is the Director of Nicotine Pricing and Taxation. He leads the Foundation’s work on nicotine and tobacco economics-taxation.
Dr. Bradstock has worked in international development for the last 25 years. He has held positions at three NGOs: FARM-Africa, a development NGO; the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), an international development policy research think tank; and Cancer Research UK, the UK’s leading charity.
While working as FARM-Africa’s Research Director in South Africa, Dr. Bradstock managed the livelihoods research program, which generated pioneering research results on the effectiveness of the government’s land reform program. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Bradstock developed and directed an international tobacco control program for Cancer Research UK which focused on tobacco taxes.
Dr. Bradstock is based in the UK. He holds a PhD in Land Reform and Livelihoods from the University of East Anglia, an MSc in Resource Management from the University of Edinburgh, and a BA in Economics and History from the University of York.
Research Manager, Agriculture and Livelihoods
Romita DasResearch Manager, Agriculture and Livelihoods
As a Research Manager for Agriculture and Livelihoods, Romita conducts research and analysis that informs the Foundation’s strategy to help smallholder tobacco farmers transition to alternative livelihoods in tobacco-dependent economies, with an initial emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa.
Romita’s experience in global risk analysis and policy development includes roles at public and private organizations in Singapore, India, and New York. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as a Senior Analyst at Control Risks where she developed customized in-region advisory services and mitigation strategies for global corporations, international institutions, and government agencies, with a focus on emerging markets in South and Southeast Asia.
While serving as a contributor to The Economist Intelligence Unit, Romita assisted with the delivery of in-depth research reports and country risk analyses for the company’s consulting clients and subscribers. Earlier in her career, Romita worked for the Singapore government, the United Nations Association of Singapore, and General Electric.
Romita is based in New York. She obtained her Master of Science in South Asian Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with Honors from the National University of Singapore. Romita is fluent in several South Asian languages, including Hindi and Bengali.
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.
Senior Research Analyst, Agriculture and Livelihoods
Chris GraySenior Research Analyst, Agriculture and Livelihoods
Chris Gray is a Senior Research Analyst for Agriculture and Livelihoods. In this role, he is responsible for quantitative and qualitative research that informs the Foundation’s global strategy to transform agricultural value chains in developing countries.
Chris is a public policy researcher specializing in the microeconomic impacts of poverty programs in developing countries. As a Research Analyst at the International Food Policy Research Institute, he collaborated with government and private donors to design and evaluate agricultural production programs in East Africa and Southeast Asia. Chris’s research experience has spanned various industries, including agriculture, education, tax policy, financial inclusion, and nutrition.
Chris has served as an independent consultant on projects with the World Bank, Mercy Corps, Innovations for Poverty Action, as well as several local food security nonprofits.
Chris is based in Washington, D.C. He holds a Master of International Development Policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Director, Agriculture and Economic Diversification Programs
ROB HENNINGDirector, Agriculture and Economic Diversification Programs
As the Director of Agriculture and Economic Diversification Programs, Rob Henning spearheads the Foundation’s work to help prepare smallholder tobacco farmers for a smoke-free future by designing, funding, and managing programs that will drive diversified and inclusive economic growth in tobacco-dependent economies.
Rob has 20 years of experience at all levels of emerging economies with expertise in promoting investment and economic growth in developing countries. He has worked at all levels of frontier markets from the grassroots to the boardroom to help create prosperity with a focus on entrepreneurship, value chain strategy development, frontier market investing and market research. Prior to joining the Foundation, Rob was a Director at Chemonics International where he developed and set the strategy for new business efforts in the agricultural sector for a range of clients including USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and corporate clients.
Earlier in his career, Rob co-founded and led ESPartners, an advisory and investment firm focused on entrepreneurship, private sector development, and SME investment in developing countries. Rob also worked at OTF Group, where he led long-term competitiveness initiatives in multiple fragile economies such as Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Haiti. His first foray into international development was as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin and Guinea-Conakry, West Africa where he was small enterprise development advisor.
Rob is based in Washington, DC. He has an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and a BA from the University of Vermont. Rob speaks fluent French.
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.
Manager, Grant Database
Kim HookManager, Grant Database
As Manager of the grant database, Kim Hook is responsible for developing and maintaining the Foundation’s grant records and reports. In this role, Kim engages with stakeholders to maintain an active community, creates database solutions, and oversees the communications with grantees.
Kim has extensive experience designing tailored software for non-profit organizations, creating streamlined platforms for seamless work processes and grant making activities. Her expertise includes rolling out new modules and system set-up reviews, designing application forms, developing complex templates, producing customized reports, and providing tailored training.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Kim worked with a number of global clients, including Barclays Bank, BBC Children in Need, The Arts Council of Wales, London Councils, The Cripplegate Foundation, and other organizations based in Brussels, Amsterdam, Ireland and Switzerland. Earlier in her career, Kim spent several years as a Client Relations Manager and Computer Consultant at Buzzacott, an accounting firm in the U.K.
Kim is based in London.
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 Executive Assistant, Agriculture and Livelihoods
Karen NewmanSenior Executive Assistant, Agriculture and Livelihoods
Karen Newman is the Senior Executive Assistant to the VP of Agriculture and Livelihoods. In this role, she provides administrative support to the Agriculture team by managing financial activities, international travel, schedules and facility operations at the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office.
Karen’s extensive non-profit work experience includes supporting C-level executives, spearheading business process analysis, and providing software application support. Prior to joining the Foundation, Karen served for 15 years at The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF), most recently as Executive Assistant to the CEO, a retired two-star army general. She was the CEO’s primary point of contact for internal and external constituencies, ensuring all engagements met mutual goals.
Earlier in her career at HJF, Karen coordinated the first phase of a company-wide records and information management initiative, increased efficiencies in workflows, developed training guides, ensured best practices were followed and generated support for new procedures.
Karen is based in Washington, D.C. She studied Cell, Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Maryland at College Park.
Senior Executive Assisstant
Mary RossettiSenior Executive Assisstant
Mary Rossetti is a Senior Executive Assistant. In this role, she provides administrative support to the President of the Foundation by managing schedules, correspondence, extensive domestic and international travel, and facility operations at the Connecticut office.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Mary worked for a high-level executive at HARMAN International Industries, which is known for its connected car systems, audio and visual products, connected services, and enterprise automation solutions. Preceding HARMAN, Mary spent 11 years at Time Warner Cable supporting the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Mary is a seasoned executive assistant with more than 25 years of experience. She has held executive administrative positions at several Fortune 500 companies including The Thomson Corporation (now Thomson Reuters) and Hewitt Associates (now Aon).
Mary is based in Westport, CT.
Financial Assistant and Office Manager
Linda RuffFinancial Assistant and Office Manager
As Financial Assistant and Office Manager, Linda Ruff supports the Foundation’s CFO, managing accounts payable, expenses and international travel for the staff. She also oversees facility operations, including IT and vendor partnerships.
Linda is an IT and facility management professional with expertise in accounting, developing operational procedures, as well as various computer platforms. Prior to joining the Foundation, she held operational management positions at Precision IT Group and Trident Global, respectively. In both roles, she was responsible for vendor relations, accounts payable and overseeing all facility functions.
Earlier in her career, Linda spent several years at Ramp Up Technology, holding a number of positions. While in her final role as the company’s Manager of Operations, she revamped the client ticketing database, created effective accounting procedures, and managed client office expansions.
Linda is based in New York and is fluent in Swedish. She holds a BBA in International Business from Berkeley College, White Plains, N.Y.
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.
Senior Research Analyst for Ethics and Human Rights
Alexandra SolomonSenior Research Analyst for Ethics and Human Rights
As the Senior Research Analyst for Ethics and Human Rights, Alexandra (Allie) Solomon is responsible for shaping and managing the Foundation’s research on the ethical and human rights challenges in global tobacco control practices, policies, and scientific research. She is primarily focused on analyzing tobacco production and use, smoking cessation, and harm reduction from a gender perspective.
Allie is an experienced researcher, specializing in advocacy at the intersection of human rights, gender, and media. Prior to joining the Foundation, she successfully implemented international projects for a number of organizations, including the U.S. Peace Corps in Azerbaijan, Beilink Business Consultancy in Israel, Transparency International in Ghana and Zimbabwe, and the Natural Resource Governance Institute in New York.
Earlier in her career, Allie held international media reporting, insights, and marketing roles. She worked as a human rights reporter in Berlin, a consultant in Data and Audience Insights at The New York Times, and a content strategist for a New York-based digital media marketing agency.
Allie is based in New York. She earned her Master of International Affairs degree at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, concentrating in human rights and specializing in gender and public policy. She also holds a B.S. in Psychology from Louisiana State University.