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The Advisory Committee
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Policy Research Network Co-Chairs:

Paula Keller, M.P.H.


Paula Keller, M.P.H. is the Director of Cessation Programs for ClearWay MinnesotaSM, and is on the Advisory Committee. ClearWay MinnesotaSM is an independent, non-profit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco through research, action and collaboration. Paula Keller administers QUITPLAN® Services (Minnesota’s free population-based cessation services), oversees ClearWay Minnesota’s cessation policy work, and manages cessation evaluation activities. She has over 15 years of tobacco control experience including work with quitlines, health systems change, cessation policy and increasing utilization of evidence-based treatment.

 Olivia Maynard, PhD

Olivia Maynard, PhD, is an Economic & Social Research Council Fellow, University of Bristol. Olivia’s interests are in healthy behaviour change and choice architecture interventions, with a focus on tobacco and alcohol use. She uses a wide range of experimental techniques including eye-tracking, EEG, fMRI, randomised controlled trials and naturalistic field studies. Olivia’s work was some of the first to use neuroscience techniques to examine the effectiveness of plain packaging for tobacco products and she has recently been awarded funding to develop this experimental work and examine how self-efficacy interventions can encourage behaviour change among smokers. Olivia works closely with academics and policy makers and in the past has worked in the UK Government Cabinet Office and is currently conducting a fellowship at the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology examining issues related to tobacco control.




Policy Research Network Committee Members:

Deborah Arnott 

Deborah Arnott is Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health (UK), honorary associate professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Nottingham, honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and a member of the RCP’s Tobacco Advisory Group. She is a recognised national and international expert on tobacco control and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). She has been a member of a number of the English National Institute of Health and Care Excellence committees developing guidelines on tobacco and behaviour change and is a member of the NICE panel of Expert Advisers. She is a member of the UK Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency’s expert working group on the medicinal licensing of e-cigarettes. 
Desmond Jenson, JD

Desmond Jenson, JD, is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Public Health Law Center, and a member of the Advisory Committee and Education Subcommittee. Desmond Jenson’s focus is federal tobacco control policy, primarily the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of tobacco products. An administrative law expert, Desmond closely monitors the FDA and other agencies and leads the public health community in identifying opportunities to strengthen federal tobacco regulation. He coordinates with local, state, tribal, national, and global public health leaders, keeping them apprised of important regulatory changes and litigation impacting federal tobacco control efforts. Desmond drafts comments to the FDA, helps to coordinate the filing of Amicus curiae briefs in important litigation, develops educational materials explaining federal law, and speaks to public health audiences about tobacco control. Desmond also works closely with scientists, consulting on the development of research as well as writing manuscripts, to build an evidence base for legally-defensible tobacco control policies.

Sara Hitchman, MASc, PhD


Sara is a lecturer (assistant professor) at King's College London, and a member of the Advisory Committee. Sara's research focuses on global tobacco control policy, cigarette health warnings, electronic cigarettes and vapourised nicotine products, and standardised packaging of tobacco products. Her current research work is funded by Cancer Research UK, NIH (US), and the European Commission.
Barbara Schillo, PhD

Barbara joined the Truth family on November 29th as Vice President, Schroeder Institute® where she provides leadership for our policy research efforts.  Prior, Barbara was a Vice President at ClearWaySM Minnesota for 17 years where she was instrumental in developing a nationally-recognized research grant-making program and leading research efforts to advance policy. She had also developed highly innovative cessation programs that have served as a model for other states. She currently Chairs the Board of Directors for the North American Quitline Consortium. 

Elise Stevens, PhD 

Elise Stevens, PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard University, and chair of the Communications Subcommittee. Elise's primary focus is on the cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses to health messages. Her research examines two areas of health communication:  1) identifying communication techniques and features that promote the use of unhealthy products (e.g., advertising of tobacco products) and 2) developing  health messages aimed at decreasing risky health behaviors (e.g., anti-tobacco messages) in order to better understand how to inform tobacco product  regulations and policies and encourage behavior change. Elise has recently received a NIH Career Development Award (K) to examine if restrictions to e-cigarette advertising reduce the use of e-cigarettes among young adults. 

Hollie Tripp, PhD, MPA

Hollie Tripp, PhD, MPA is a postdoctoral fellow at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Hollie earned her PhD in Public Policy and much of her work is centered around health policies. Her research interests include examining how those who use tobacco products respond to different policy scenarios and evaluating tobacco regulatory policies. Her current work is focused on the interaction of individual decision-making and tobacco-related communications.

Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH


Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont, and is on the advisory committee. Andrea's primary focus is on young adult tobacco use, including predictors and patterns of use and interventions to reduce tobacco use in young adults. She also has expertise in translational research to improve tobacco control policy and program decision-making, including tobacco regulatory science.


Network Operations Coordinator:

Allison M. Glasser, MPH

Allison is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at NYU's College of Global Public Health while earning her PhD in Health Behavior & Health Promotion at Ohio State's College of Public Health. Allison's primary research focus is on patterns of use of emerging tobacco products, particularly electronic cigarettes. She also has expertise in conducting systematic evidence reviews and tobacco regulatory science.


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