Event speakers

 

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Olamide Hakeem Adejumo

Co-Founder, the Nigeria Diabetes online community

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Stephanie AineS

Director of Organizing, Right Care Alliance

Olamide Adejumo is a social media enthusiast, diabetes advocate and one of Africa’s leading voices on prevention & care of diabetes with other related non-communicable diseases on social media. He completed his MD program at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, an ISCOMS research fellow of the University Medical Center, Groningen, Holland. Olamide is the co-founder of the Nigeria Diabetes Online Community (NGdoc) a non-governmental organization that provides social peer support for people living with diabetes through adequate awareness, empowerment and care.

Stephanie Aines is an activist and trainer from the Boston area, now serving as Director of Organizing for the Right Care Alliance and Lown Institute. Steph recruits new leaders and facilitates coaching and mentoring, along with team-building and strategizing for members of the Right Care Alliance. She's been in the fight for more accessible, equitable and better health care for 6 years, and previously taught organizing to college and graduate students. Some of her past lives include being a tour guide, historical reenactor, waitress, and after-school teacher.

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Colin Baillio

Director of Policy and Communications, Health Action New Mexico

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Merith Basey

 

Executive Director, UAEM

Colin Baillio is the Director of Policy and Communications at Health Action New Mexico. He focuses on advocacy and research on Medicaid, the health insurance marketplace, prescription drug prices, and dental care. He is currently leading the organization's work on a Medicaid buy-in. In 2013 he served as a Fred Harris Congressional Intern and temporary Legislative Correspondent in the Office of US Senator Martin Heinrich (NM) in Washington D.C. There, he focused on issues related to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, reproductive rights, and education. He received his B.A. from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico. His goal is to help shape a health system that serves all New Mexicans with integrity.

Merith Basey has over 15 years of experience in global public health, advocacy and youth empowerment. Following her postgraduate studies on Latin America at La Universidad Complutense, the UK native spent many years leading AYUDA, where she was responsible for fostering new partnerships, growing youth-led programs and strengthening local capacity in type 1 diabetes communities across Latin America and the Caribbean. After a Master’s degree at the LSHTM, she worked with the World AIDS Campaign. Frustrated by the continued inaction by the global community in the area of access to insulin, in 2012 she co-founded and launched the 100 Campaign to address insulin affordability and reframe access to insulin as a human rights issue. Since 2014, Merith has lead the global non-profit organization Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) and also remains an active member of the Advisory Team for the ACCISS Study.

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Bobbette Bond

Senior Director of Health Policy, UNITE HERE HEALTH

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Heather booth

Board Member, People's Action

Bobbette has worked on health care access and quality through member advocacy, policy and legislative initiatives, coalition building, and community initiatives for over 30 years. In the 2017 Nevada legislative session, she led the Health Services Coalition in passage of Nevada SB539 and SB265; legislation for transparency in the pharmaceutical industry for manufacturers, PBMs, pharmacy representatives, and organizations that receive PHRMA funding. Since then she has supported PHRMA legislation introduced in several states, as well as responding to the PHRMA lawsuits filed to prevent implementation of state statute. Bobbette is responsible for the strategic implementation of the Affordable Care Act nationally for 220,000 people covered under UNITE HERE HEALTH. She serves as the legislative liaison for the 340,000 member Health Services Coalition and for UNITE HERE HEALTH/Culinary Health Fund. Previously, Bobbette has worked at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. and the Southern Nevada Health District in Las Vegas.

Heather Booth is a leading progressive issue campaign strategist, starting in the civil rights, anti-Vietnam war and women's movements of the 1960s.  She was the founding Director and now President of Midwest Academy. She has managed political campaigns and was Training Director of the DNC. In 2000, she was the Director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which helped increase African American election turnout by nearly 2 million voters.  She was the Co-Director of Citizen Action, fighting for health care reform. In 2008, she was the director of the Health Care Campaign for the AFL-CIO. In 2009, she directed the campaign passing President Obama’s first budget. In 2010 she was the founding director of Americans for Financial Reform. She was the national coordinator for the coalition around marriage equality. She was strategic advisor to the Alliance for Citizenship. She was Field Director for Americans for Tax Fairness. She is on the board of the People’s Action Institute.

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Kaitlin Brown

Government relations associate, network lobby for catholic social justice

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Reginald T. Brown

Board Member, VOCAL-NY

Kaitlin Brown is a Government Relations Associate with NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice where her portfolio includes healthcare and housing policy. Kaitlin graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with dual degrees in Global Studies (concentrating in Human Rights and Latin America) and Political Science. After graduation, she did a year of service with Mercy Volunteer Corps in Baltimore, working as a Social Justice Coordinator for a Catholic school and parish.

Reginald Thomas Brown, M. Ed, joined VOCAL-NY’s board of directors in 2017, but has been a leader in VOCAL-NY’s Positive Leaders Union since 2010. They are a long-term HIV survivor, a Mayoral Appointee to the HASA Advisory Board, and a participant in the National Minority AIDS Council’s Building Leaders of Color Program.  They are a national trainer with the People’s Action Network, and is a fierce advocate of abolishing HIV criminalization laws. Reginald is a former professional dancer and in their spare time volunteers for public television.

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Rachel M. Cohen

Regional Executive Director, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), North America

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Alexis Danzig

Organizer, Rise and Resist

Rachel Cohen is the Regional Executive Director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), North America. DNDi, an international nonprofit R&D organization, discovers and develops new treatments for neglect patients. Prior to joining DNDi in 2011, Rachel worked for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for more than 10 years. She served as Head of Mission for MSF in South Africa and Lesotho for four years, overseeing numerous HIV and TB programs, and before that as the US Director of MSF’s Access Campaign. From 2009-2015, she was a member of the Board of MSF’s Operational Center in Brussels. Before joining MSF, Rachel was the Director of Foundation & Corporate Giving at Housing Works and the Program Coordinator at the US+Cuba Medical Project. Rachel earned her Master’s in Public Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs.

When her father died of AIDS in 1988, Alexis Danzig joined ACT UP and began participating in nonviolent disruption to oppose government inaction, the indifference of the pharmaceutical industry, and to call attention to the needs of women and people of color in the AIDS crisis.  Alexis works as a grant writer and as a direct action community organizer, offering marshal (how to run a demonstration) and civil disobedience trainings. She organizes with Rise and Resist NYC, a direct action group formed in 2016 in opposition to the right-wing agenda; Alexis can be reached directly for trainings at (212) 810-7400. She is the mother of a fourth generation New Yorker.

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Paul Davis

National Advocacy Director, Housing Works

 

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Rachel Rosen DeGolia

Executive Director, Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN)

Paul Davis is the National Advocacy Director for Housing Works, the nation's largest AIDS service and advocacy organization. Paul has been a leader in campaigns to end HIV for 20+ years, as a member of ACT UP, co-founder of Health GAP, and strategy and tactics advisor to groups including Partners in Health, UAEM, and Knowledge Ecology International. Paul led grassroots and legislative campaigns that dramatically lowered the cost of HIV drugs, and subsequently, launched the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). As a result, almost 22 million people in impoverished countries are receiving life-saving ARVs. He lived in Kenya for 5 years, accompanying front-line HIV groups to win more from global health initiatives like PEPFAR, as well as local governments. Currently, Paul is co-leading a team of birddogger activists nationwide that helped stop the repeal of the ACA, and are now pushing for universal, high-quality, low-cost healthcare.

Rachel is the Executive Director of the Universal Health Care Action Network headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio and has served with UHCAN in several positions since its founding in 1992. UHCAN supports and collaborates with a wide diversity of organizations and advocates organizing at the local, state and national levels around multiple approaches to achieve comprehensive health care for all. From 2013-2017, Rachel was a part-time Enrollment Navigator for the Affordable Care Act working with the Cuyahoga Health Access Partnership in Cleveland. Previously, she directed the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights and served in several positions with the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation (formerly the National Committee to Abolish HUAC). Rachel graduated from the University of Chicago and earned a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

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Lauren deluca

president, chronic illness and advocacy group, inc.

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Vincent Demarco

President, Maryland Citizen’s Health Initiative

Lauren Deluca, CPCU, API, AINS, is the Founder & President of Chronic Illness Advocacy & Awareness Group, Inc., a National Non-Profit fighting for the human rights of individuals suffering from chronic illness pain. As the Founder and a chronic illness patient herself, she is dedicated to raising awareness of the false narrative which impedes access to life-sustaining medication that is vital for those suffering with painful, incurable illnesses, diseases and intractable pain. Chronic Illness Advocacy & Awareness Group envisions a world where those with chronic illnesses/painful conditions are guaranteed appropriate care and access to prescription opioid medications without stigma, fear or push-back, particularly from the medical community. It's time for the public, lawmakers and other groups to differentiate between the issue of opioid addiction/misuse and the responsible and necessary use of opioids by patients.

Vincent DeMarco is a long time advocate for public health causes including reducing teen smoking and gun violence and expanding health care access.  As President of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, he is working to guarantee quality, affordable health care for all Marylanders.  And, as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, he is working to educate public health students from around the world on effective methods of advocating for public health policies.  He has been recognized for his work by organizations such as the Baltimore Sun which declared him “Marylander of the Year” in 1988 and the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council which awarded him its 2002 “Ecumenical Leadership Award”.  Vinny is also the subject of Michael Pertschuk’s 2010 book entitled, “The DeMarco Factor: Turning Public Will into Political Power.”  In addition to serving as the President of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, Mr. DeMarco is chairman of the board of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative  and also works with Faiths United Against Tobacco, Faiths United to Prevent Childhood Obesity, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, and Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

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Stan Dorn

Senior fellow, FamiliesUSA

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Emma Einhorn

Washington Campaigner, MoveOn

Stan Dorn is widely seen as a leading national expert on Medicaid, CHIP, and the Basic Health Program; the individual insurance market; innovative strategies for enrollment and retention; coverage for children, laid-off workers, justice-involved populations, and people with disabilities; state options for coverage expansion and delivery-system reform; and the intersection of tax and health coverage systems. Mr. Dorn has worked at both the state and federal levels for more than 30 years on health care issues, typically focusing on low-income and other vulnerable populations. Policies he has helped shape include streamlined enrollment provisions in the Affordable Care Act; federal payment rules for the Basic Health Program option under the ACA; Express Lane Enrollment for children in Medicaid and CHIP; state fiscal relief for Medicaid programs during the Great Recession; Health Coverage Tax Credits for workers displaced by international trade; and legislation preserving Medicaid for families losing cash assistance under welfare reform.

Emma Einhorn is the Washington Campaigner at MoveOn where she leads campaigns on issues ranging from healthcare to promoting diplomacy with Iran. In 2017, she led the creation of ResistanceRecess.com which garnered over 1 million site visits and enabled over 100,000 people to engage with their members of Congress during the week-long February Congressional Recess. Previously, Emma worked at USAction, now known as People's Action, focusing on multi-issue progressive campaigns and trainings for state and local organizations. Her experience also includes multiple state and federal electoral campaigns, grassroots issue organizing, and voter registration drives.

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Sernah essien

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines

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Jennifer Flynn Walker

Director of Mobilization and Advocacy, Center for Popular Democracy

Sernah Essien is a recent graduate from Boston University, earning a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In her undergraduate career, she was a student activist with Partners in Health Engage and later, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines. She uses her voice to speak on issues such as the intersection between race and health equity. She aspires towards receiving both an M.D. and an MPH, in hopes of becoming a primary care physician- advocate.

Jennifer is the Director of Mobilization and Advocacy for Center for Popular Democracy. She served 10-years as a co-founder and Executive Director of VOCAL-NY.  She was the director of Health GAP, a global AIDS advocacy organization, expanding the organization to 3 countries on 2 continents. Jennifer was the first US-based and focused human rights activist selected for Columbia University's Human Rights Advocates Training Fellowship, a recipient of the Union Square Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Award, and New York City Council Hero Award.  She also received a NYC Council proclamation in 2016 for her leadership on LGBT issues. She was named one of the most promising AIDS activists in 2001 by Poz Magazine and most was highlighted as one of the leading 25 LGBT AIDS Activists in 25 years by HIV Plus Magazine in 2009. Jennifer serves on the board of directors for Met Council on Housing (MCREF), Health GAP and the North Star Fund.

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Kassandra Frederique

New York Director, Drug Policy Alliance

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Clifton Garmon

Senior Policy Analyst, VOCAL-ny

Kassandra Frederique is New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). In addition to working for policy solutions to reduce the harms associated with drug use, Frederique works with communities throughout the state to address and resolve the collateral consequences of the War on Drugs – state violence. As a co-author of "Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy" and as technical advisor to Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick’s The Ithaca Plan, Frederique cultivates and mobilizes powerful coalitions in communities devastated by drug misuse and drug criminalization to develop municipal strategies that foster healthier and safer communities. Frederique’s professional focus includes building a reparative justice framework that positions Black and Latinx leaders to create solutions that not only end and repair the harms of the drug war, but also create accountability structures between policymakers and people who use drugs.

Clifton Garmon, MSW, is a Senior Policy Analyst at VOCAL-NY where he monitors, examines, and promotes policies designed to improve the quality of life for marginalized communities, while engaging and educating elected officials across the state through grassroots lobbying. Clifton’s work is particularly focused on advocating for the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs, and on hepatitis C elimination throughout New York State.

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Annette Gaudino

Hepatitis C Virus Project Co-Director, Treatment Action Group

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bryn gay

Hepatitis C Virus Project Co-Director, Treatment Action Group

Annette Gaudino joined TAG after four years with ACT UP New York where she represented the group in the Safe Injecting Facility (SIF) NYC Coalition.  She helped connect ACT UP to Hepatitis C advocates, leading to the formation of the NY State Hepatitis C Coalition in late 2014. Prior to becoming TAG’s HIV/HCV Project Co-Director, Annette served as Statewide Coordinator for the Campaign for NY Health, where she worked with legislators and coalition partners to successfully pass a universal single-payer health care bill in the State Assembly two years running. She has over 25 years of direct action organizing experience in the HIV/AIDS, LGBT, women's, and harm reduction movements.

Bryn Gay is the Hepatitis C Virus Project Co-Director at Treatment Action Group. Bryn has previous policy, advocacy, and humanitarian experience with the United Nations Development Programme, Doctors of the World, and The North-South Institute focusing on intellectual property, access to affordable medicines, and health care barriers in developing countries. She has led ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) campaigns to address high HIV and HCV medicine prices and failures in the R&D system.

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Dana Gill

External Affairs, Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge     (I-MAK)

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Gregg Gonsalves

Assistant Professor, Yale School of public Health

Dana Gill directs External Affairs for the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK.) Gill leads U.S. stakeholder engagement strategy for the organization, and directs national and state public policy and partner relations. Previously, Gill served as the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Michigan Association of Counties, working on strategic lobbying and providing policy expertise for health and human services legislation and appropriations.

Gregg Gonsalves is an Assistant Professor of the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale School of Public Health and an Associate Professor (adjunct) at Yale Law School. He currently the co-director of the Yale Global Health Justice Partnership, an initiative of the Yale Law School and Yale School of Public Health and the Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency, an initiative of YLS, YSPH and Yale School of Medicine. Gregg has worked on public policy on AIDS, tuberculosis and other health issues since 1991 with a series of non-governmental organizations in the USA and abroad, including the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, the Treatment Action Group, Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa. In 2008, he was the inaugural recipient of the John M. Lloyd Foundation’s AIDS Leadership Award and was an Open Society Foundation Fellow and a Fellow in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2011-2012.

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Rep. Will Guzzardi

State Representative,   IL-39

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Mark Hannay

Director, Metro New York Health Care for All

Will Guzzardi is a progressive Democrat representing the Northwest Side of Chicago in the Illinois Legislature. In his four years in office he has championed a $15 minimum wage, free college and university tuition, criminal justice reform, and universal health care. In 2018, he sponsored legislation to fight price gouging of generic and off-patent prescription drugs. The bill passed the House but stalled in the Senate. Before winning election, Will worked in journalism and communications, and he was active in community organizations fighting for public education equity in Chicago. His victorious campaign in 2014 is the subject of the documentary film “The 39th.”

Mark Hannay is Director of Metro New York Health Care for All, a coalition of community groups and labor unions that advocates for universal health care. He serves on the leadership teams of Health Care for All New York, and the Campaign for New York Health, chairs the board of the Universal Health Care Action Network, and coordinates the New York City Organizing Committee of Health Care for America Now. Mark began his health activist career in 1991 as a member of ACT UP/New York, and worked as a Public Policy Associate at Gay Men’s Health Crisis during the Clinton health reform era. Mark co-hosts “Health Action” on WBAI/Pacifica radio. He was a 2016 recipient of the Health Advocate of the Year given by Families USA, and of the 2012 Tisch Community Health Prize given by the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Since 2015, he serves on the Steering Committee of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Population Health Improvement Program.

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Tim Horn

Deputy Executive Director, Treatment Action Group

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Perry Hopkins

Leader, communities united

As TAG’s Deputy Executive Director of HIV & HCV Programs, Tim oversees and assists in the coordination of the HIV Project and HCV/HIV Project portfolios. These include antiretroviral and direct acting antiviral (DAA) research, development, and regulatory issues; the advancement of novel biomedical prevention technologies, including antiviral drug products and vaccines; fair drug pricing and access mechanisms; and advocating for the science and policies necessary to address medical, structural, and social barriers to comprehensive HIV and HCV prevention and care services.

Perry Hopkins is a leader with Communities United, where he helped lead the campaign that won in 2016 restoration of voting rights for all Marylanders with felony convictions on release from prison. Perry served over 15 years in the Maryland prison system as a result of his struggle with Opioid addiction. He recently completed six month residency recovery program at the Weisman-Kaplan House in Baltimore. Perry's organizing with Communities United in Baltimore also sparked the successful 2015-16 class action lawsuit filed by women residents in public housing who were abused by maintenance workers demanding sex in exchange for needed repairs to their homes.

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Elena Hung

president and co-founder, little lobbyists

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Meg Jones-Monteiro

Program Director - Health Equity, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

Elena Hung is the President and Co-Founder of Little Lobbyists, a parent-led organization that advocates for children with complex medical needs. Her daughter Xiomara was born with a number of medical issues. Elena, Xiomara, and families like them have been visiting Capitol Hill and speaking with lawmakers and their staffers, talking about what is possible with access to quality, affordable health care, and what is at stake without it. Elena is also one of the national co-chairs of Health Care Voter, and in her day job, Elena work as an immigration lawyer in Washington, DC.

Meg Jones- Monteiro, MPH is the Program Director for Health Equity at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), where she leads shareholder engagement and advocacy on global and domestic health issues. Meg has worked in the field of public health for 20+ years as a teacher, health educator, advocate, community researcher, and health consultant. Prior to joining ICCR, she designed tools and trainings to scale access to palliative care in community settings. During her tenure as a consultant, she focused on building public-private partnerships to support efforts to improve access to healthcare. As a community researcher, she collaborated with the education, health, government, and spiritual/faith sectors to form a coalition to target systems-level changes linked to reduced transmission of HIV among youth. In addition to coalition-building, Meg brings expertise in capacity-building, research and program design in HIV/STIs, reproductive health and chronic disease prevention.

Matthew Kavanagh

Director, global health policy and governance initiative

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Eagan Kemp

Health Care Policy Advocate, Public Citizen

Matthew M. Kavanagh, PhD is a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center and director of the Global Health Policy and Governance Initiative at the O’Neill Institute. A political scientist by training, with extensive policy experience, he works at the intersection of global health, law, and political economy. He currently serves on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for UNAIDS, as an advisor to the Health Global Access Project, and has previously advised the WHO, U.S. State Department, and various NGOs on human rights and global health policy.  His policy work seeks to understand how government institutions help or hinder population health, and he has led transnational efforts focused on access to HIV treatment, community participation in global health programs, international trade, financial industry regulation, and water rights. This work has included drafting legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives; presenting before the U.N. Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and the U.S. Trade Representative; and leading a successful policy change effort that secured expanded HIV treatment access in East and Southern Africa.

Eagan Kemp is the Health Care Policy Advocate for Public Citizen. Prior to joining Public Citizen in June 2017, Eagan worked for nearly a decade at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). While much of his time is now devoted to fighting against cuts to health care and pushing for Medicare-for-All and lower drug prices, he previously led and published analyses on a variety of health policy topics, including Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance, the Veterans Health Administration, and the Food and Drug Administration.

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Steven Knievel

Access to Medicines Advocate, public citizen

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Alex Lawson

Executive Director, Social Security Works

Steve Knievel is an access to medicines advocate for Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program. His work focuses on policies relating to U.S. drug pricing and making medicines affordable for everyone. Knievel's work has also included advocating on international access to medicines issues, including compulsory licensing and preventing access-restricting proposals from being advanced through trade agreements. Knievel’s writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The New York Times. He received a B.A. in philosophy from University of Colorado. Previously, Knievel worked with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

Alex Lawson is the Executive Director of Social Security Works, the convening organization of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition — a coalition made up of over 340 national and state organizations representing over 50 million Americans. Lawson has appeared on numerous TV and radio outlets including FOX News, FOX Business, and C-Span and is a frequent guest host of The Thom Hartmann Program, one of the top progressive radio shows in the country. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Lawson is also the owner of We Act Radio, a media corporation that combines broadcast and new media to deliver independent progressive voices in the formats people use most.

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James Love

Director, Knowledge Ecology International

 

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Suraj Madoori

U.S. and Global Health Policy Director, Treatment Action Group

James Love is Director of Knowledge Ecology International. His training is in economics and finance, and work focuses on the production, management and access to knowledge resources, as well as aspects of competition policy. The current focus is on the financing of research and development, intellectual property rights, prices for and access to new drugs, vaccines and other medical technologies, as well as related topics for other knowledge goods, including software, other copyrighted works, and data, and proposals to expand the production of knowledge as a public good.

Suraj is TAG’s U.S. and Global Health Policy Director, leading the organization's domestic/federal and global policy work across the TB, HIV and HCV projects. Prior to joining TAG, Suraj was the associate director of the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA) and associate director of national/federal policy at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) - where he strengthened and managed a 13,000-member national advocacy and community mobilization network working at an intersection of health, human rights, and social justice issues in the domestic HIV epidemic. He is a recipient of the 2009–2010 Albert Schweitzer Fellowship for public service and was named a U.S. Human Rights Network’s 2014 Fighting Injustice through Human Rights Education fellow.

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Laura Marston

Patient Advocate for Affordable Insulin

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Peter Maybarduk

access to medicines Director, Public Citizen

Laura Marston is a relentless patient advocate for affordable insulin in the United States. Laura has lived with type 1 diabetes for 22 years, since she was 14. She lives in Washington DC and serves as Assistant General Counsel for an international video gaming company.

Peter Maybarduk directs Public Citizen's access to medicines and knowledge economy group, which helps partners around the world overcome high-price pharmaceutical monopolies and secure the benefits of science, technology and culture for all. Maybarduk has provided technical assistance to international organizations and to public agencies and civil society groups in more than three dozen countries. He is an intellectual property expert and presently a visiting fellow with the Information Society Program at Yale Law School. Maybarduk’s work has yielded HIV/AIDS medicine price reductions, new state access to medicines policies and global shifts toward anti-counterfeiting policies that safeguard generic competition. His analysis and strategy helped eliminate many harmful measures from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. Maybarduk studied technology law at Berkeley Law School (University of California) and anthropology at The College of William & Mary in Virginia. His prior work includes ethnography in South America’s Orinoco river delta and organizing campaigns for voting rights and living wages, among others. He is the co-founder of International Professional Partnerships for Sierra Leone, dedicated to supporting public sector development in one of the world’s least developed countries. Maybarduk is a composer and performer of music.

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Claire Mcandrew

director of campaigns and partnership, families usa

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Justin Mendoza

Access to Medicines Organizer, Public Citizen

Claire McAndrew is the Director of Campaigns and Partnerships at Families USA. Ms. McAndrew oversees organizational strategy and advocacy work focused on the organization’s mission to ensure high quality, affordable health coverage and care for all. Her portfolio includes federal and state advocacy to protect access to affordable health coverage and care and to address high and rising prescription drug costs. She also leads Families USA's state and federal advocacy on network adequacy, surprise medical bills, and other consumer health issues. Ms. McAndrew provides strategic assistance to state and national health care advocacy organizations and serves in a leadership capacity for multiple Families USA coalitions. She is a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and Vice-Chair of the Standing Advisory Board to the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange.

Justin Mendoza is the organizer for Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program. He works to build constituent power and amplify the voices of the people most affected by monopoly practices and pharmaceutical corporations' behavior on the market. He forms partnerships with organizations and individuals to advance and build a movement for affordable medicines. Justin earned his Masters of Public Health, with a focus in health policy and regulatory affairs, from the Yale School of Public Health and completed a B.S. in biomedical sciences and neuroscience at Central Michigan University. Prior to joining the Public Citizen team, he worked as a community organizer and policy analyst for Partners In Health, a global health delivery organization with offices in Boston, MA. Justin also serves on the board of directors for Universities Allied for Essential Medicines.

Ranit Mishori

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Ola Ojewumi

Founder & Director, ProjectASCEND

Bio coming soon

Ola Ojewumi is a writer and a community organizer based in Washington, D.C. She is the founder of the global education nonprofit organization, Project ASCEND. The Clinton Global Initiative, MTV, Intel, Glamour Magazine, and The Huffington Post have praised her charitable initiatives. Ola is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and a champion for higher education in marginalized communities.

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Laura Packard

Co-Chair, Health Care Voter

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Elizabeth Pfiester

Founder & Director, T1International

Laura Packard is a stage 4 cancer survivor (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), health care and voting rights activist, co-chair of Health Care Voter, and small business owner in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been blocked by President Trump on Twitter, thrown out of a town hall with U.S. Senator Heller, and her story has reached millions of people worldwide. Laura worked for the AFL-CIO in 2009-10 to help get the Affordable Care Act passed, and now it is saving her life.

Elizabeth is the Founder and Director of T1International. She was born in the United States and has lived with type 1 diabetes for 26 years. Elizabeth moved to London in 2011 to complete her Master’s degree in International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science and has worked with non-profits, diabetes and health organizations ever since. She believes fervently that access to insulin, diabetes supplies and healthcare is a human right.

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Fran Quigley

Coordinator, People of Faith for Access to Medicines

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Emily Sanderson

US National Grassroots Organizer, Health GAP and Student Global AIDS Campaign

Fran Quigley is the coordinator of People of Faith for Access to Medicines, www.pfamrx.org and a clinical professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he directs the Health and Human Rights Clinic. A longtime human rights activist and active member of faith-based advocacy groups, Fran is the author of four books, including Prescription for the People: An Activist’s Guide to Making Medicines Affordable to All, published in October 2017 by Cornell University Press. Fran is also the author of dozens of mass media and academic articles focusing on access to medicines. Those articles have been published in the New York Times, The New Republic, and Foreign Affairs, among other publications.

Emily is the U.S. national grassroots organizer for both Health GAP and the Student Global AIDS Campaign. Using her background in political science and student organizing, Emily brings together students, youth, and people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. to learn about the global HIV pandemic, share advocacy tools, and build winning campaigns to hold decision-makers accountable for delivering universal access to HIV treatment.

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Jawanza James Williams

Statewide Organizer, VOCAL-NY

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Sondra Youdelman

Strategic Advisor, People's Action

Jawanza James Williams is a Black, radical Queer, Prison Abolitionist, Socialist, Community Organizer. He is a native of Beaumont, Texas. After he received a BA in English from Schreiner University in 2012, he moved to New York City, where he now works with the political organization Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL-NY). Williams is an alumni of Public Allies of New York, and Center for Neighborhood Leadership, organizations dedicated to training professional Organizers, and increasing the capacity of nonprofit community based organizations. Williams is also a writer and film maker.

Sondra has 25+ years of experience as a grassroots organizer. She is now a Strategic Advisor for People’s Action, supporting Family Economic Security work, including defense- & offense-oriented health care organizing & work to address the overdose crisis. Her earlier organizing time was at Community Voices Heard, a membership organization of low-income NYers that organize to influence policy change, where she focused on building campaigns around welfare & workforce development, public housing improvement & preservation, civic engagement & participatory democracy, and more. As ED, she helped grow CVH from a one city, one issue shop into a multi-chapter, multi-issue organization. She then worked with the Peoples Climate Movement, helping coordinate their April 29, 2017 mass mobilization; then coordinating a dialogue with mass-based resistance groups to reflect on learnings; and finally working to develop multi-sectoral collaborative partnerships & plans in states.