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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 Vice President, ClearWay Minnesota. ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, non-profit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco through research, action and collaboration. As part of the executive management team, she guides the organization’s strategic and operational direction, oversees research and cessation programs and coordinates dissemination efforts. She has over 15 years of tobacco control and management experience including work with quitlines, health systems change, cessation policy and increasing utilization of evidence-based treatment.

 Olivia Maynard, PhD

Olivia Maynard, PhD, is a Lecturer in Psychology at the 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 Advisory Committee Members:

Andrew Barnes

Andrew J. Barnes, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Research Associate in Cancer Prevention and Control at Massey Cancer Center, and affiliate faculty in the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, Center on Society and Health, and Center for Health Disparities. His research interests include: 1) substance use policy, 2) tobacco regulatory science, and 3) behavioral economics. He is the co-author of Healthcare Systems in Transition: United States of America and co-editor of Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors: Key Concepts and Current Research. He completed his doctoral training in health policy with a concentration in economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, holds a Masters of Public Health from Tulane University, and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Biology from Pitzer College.

Richard Edwards

Richard Edwards is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington and co-director of ASPIRE 2025 research collaboration. His main research interests are in tobacco use epidemiology, tobacco endgames, and tobacco control policy. He focuses particularly on research to help achieve the Tupeka Kore vision of ending significant tobacco use in Aotearoa/New Zealand by 2025. He is a deputy editor of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, and co-principal investigator on the New Zealand arm of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Evaluation project and co-director of the Whakahā o te pā harakeke research programme.

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.

Martin Dockrell


Minal Patel, PhD, MPH 

Minal Patel, PhD, MPH, is a Director at the Schroeder Institute, Truth Initiative, on the Policy Research Team, where she examines the impact of tobacco control policies on health behaviors, with an overarching goal of understanding and reducing related health disparities. Dr. Patel’s research includes understanding tobacco use and cessation in adolescents and young adults and among vulnerable and underserved populations. Her research also examines the use of emerging tobacco products, including JUUL and other e-cigarettes. Prior to the Truth Initiative, Dr. Patel was a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Patel has a broad spectrum of research interests, with a particular focus on the impact of social, built, and policy environments on lifestyle behaviors related to cancer.


Emily Donovan, MPH

Emily Donovan, MPH, is a Research Associate at Schroeder Institute at Truth Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. As Research Associate, Emily manages and contributes to foundational research studies which characterize and evaluate timely tobacco control policies including Tobacco 21, tobacco retail licensing, smoke-free air, and school tobacco policies. Emily is passionate about understanding how policy and systems change can facilitate healthy behaviors and promote health equity.

Shannon Gravely, PhD; SRNT-U Liaison


Shannon Gravely, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor within the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Gravely’s role in tobacco control research within the ITC Project is in systematic evaluation of key tobacco control policies at the population level. She is involved in the development and implementation of international research studies including cohort surveys, data analyses, and dissemination of research findings. Her research includes examining the impact of policies in several domains of the FCTC, including health warnings, smoke-free policies, cessation (particularly the role nicotine vaping products may play in harm reduction), and plain packaging. Her research interests also include studies on how cannabis regulatory policies may play a role in problematic patterns of cannabis and tobacco use, whether cannabis legalization is associated with an increase in co-use of cannabis and tobacco, and whether cannabis legalization results in a decrease in smoking cessation. Gravely previously held a 3-year Canadian Cancer Society Career Development Award in Prevention (2015-2018).


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.



Education Subcommittee: Desmond Jenson (Chair), Hollie Tripp, Barbara Schillo, Allison Glasser

Communications Subcommittee: Elise Stevens (Chair), Minal Patel, Emily Donovan


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