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Speakers

Check out our great lineup of speakers for the 2024 Policy Action Institute. More coming soon!


Lili Farhang headshotLILI FARHANG, MPH

Lili serves as one of Human Impact Partners’ two co-directors, leading the overall strategic direction of the organization, in alignment with its mission, vision, values, and its strategic plan. For 20+ years, she has visioned, developed, and implemented policy and systems change to advance health equity in the government and nonprofit sectors. She helped launch the practice of Health Impact Assessment in the United States, and has helped establish HIP as a well-regarded example of what it means to bring social justice and public health practice together. She’s excited by the prospect of making public health a more meaningful and engaged partner in social movements, and in supporting public health institutions to realize their full potential. She lives in Oakland, CA with her partner and two kids.

Katrina ForrestKATRINA FORREST, JD

Katrina currently serves as the co-executive director of CityHealth. CityHealth is a national health policy initiative and Katrina collaborates with local elected leaders, policy experts, and other key stakeholders to expand the understanding of health beyond healthcare and drive municipal policy change to improve the conditions that most influence people’s health. Before joining CityHealth, Katrina served as both legislative director and deputy chief of staff for At-Large D.C. Councilmember David Grosso. In that role, she drafted more than 50 pieces of original legislation and was responsible for leveraging community and business relationships to drive the Councilmember’s legislative agenda and policy priorities. In 2020, she received the District of Columbia’s Behavioral Health Association’s Community Champion Award for her advocacy on behalf of D.C. residents experiencing mental illness or addiction, and for her commitment to advancing behavioral health issues. Katrina holds a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from George Mason University and a law degree from UIC’s John Marshall Law School. She is a self-proclaimed “music maven,” and enjoys spending time with her husband, dog and family, traveling, and shopping.

Lori Fresina headshotLORI FRESINA, MPP

Lori Fresina is the national vice president and executive director of Voices for Healthy Kids, American Heart Association. Through her leadership, direction and dedication, Lori has made a significant contribution to making communities healthier and more equitable through effective public policy. As co-creator of the Power Prism® advocacy framework, Lori’s expertise includes campaign planning, equitable coalition practices, community mobilization, training, grassroots development, and media advocacy. Before joining the American Heart Association in March 2019, Lori had long stints in public interest advocacy as senior vice president and New England office director for M+R Strategic Services, Northeast Regional Advocacy Director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and a variety of roles with American Cancer Society. Lori received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Emerson College and a master’s degree in public policy and citizen participation from Tufts University.

Josh Harris headshotJOSHUA HARRIS

Joshua Harris is the senior manager of communications for Voices for Healthy Kids. Joshua is a long-time advocate for equitable systemic and community change. He has more than a decade of experience in government relations and communications experience, with a specialty in crisis communications at the intersection of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Working with organizations in civil rights, social justice, and women’s rights he has remained committed to social justice and empowering people towards equitable policy solutions and institutional change. Joshua is dedicated to creating attainable solutions for the challenges of urban cities around the nation. Before joining Voices for Healthy Kids, he was the director of communications for Black and Brown People Vote and works actively with the NAACP. He understands that effective communication helps to build and extend the brand of an organization and helps to tell the story of who they are, what they do, and how it impacts the world around them. Joshua is an alumnus of Augsburg University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in communications focusing on journalism and marketing. Joshua also studied at the University of Oslo, in Norway.

Don Hoppert headshotDON HOPPERT

Don Hoppert is the director of government relations at the American Public Health Association where he leads the association's federal government relations and grassroots advocacy activities. He previously served as director of federal and congressional affairs at APHA from 1998 through 2004. Don is a long-time former member of the board of directors of the Coalition for Health Funding, the oldest and largest nonprofit alliance working to preserve and strengthen federal public health funding. He served as president of the coalition in 2015 and 2016. From 2004 through 2006, Don was a public policy and public affairs consultant in San Francisco, where he worked for both corporate and nonprofit clients on a variety of public policy issues, including prescription drug access, tobacco control and emergency health services. Don served as a congressional aide to U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown from 1994 through 1998. He advised Brown on several legislative issues including the environment, financial services, education and crime and judiciary matters. He received a BA in Environmental Policy and Analysis from Bowling Green State University.

Camara Jones headshotCAMARA JONES, MD, PhD, MPH

Camara Phyllis Jones is a family physician, epidemiologist, and past president of the American Public Health Association whose work focuses on naming, measuring, and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of our nation and the world. Her allegories on "race" and racism are celebrated for illuminating topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss: that racism exists, racism is a system, racism saps the strength of the whole society, and we can act to dismantle racism. Dr. Jones taught six years as an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, developing the school’s first course on “Race” and Racism, and served fourteen years as a medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading the development of the six-question Reactions to “Race” module for use on CDC’s surveillance systems. As president of APHA in 2016, she launched the association on a National Campaign Against Racism that catalyzed the first of what are now 262 declarations by local jurisdictions across 41 U.S. states and the District of Columbia that “Racism is a public health crisis.” She has since shared her expertise on “race”, racism, and anti-racism in extended residencies as a Radcliffe Fellow, Harvard University (2019-2020), Presidential Visiting Fellow, Yale School of Medicine (2021), Presidential Chair, University of California, San Francisco (2021-2022), and Leverhulme Visiting Professor in Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London (2022-2023), while continuing as an Adjunct Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

LaDon Love headshotLADON LOVE

LaDon is the founding executive director of SPACEs In Action/SIA, a membership-based community organization in D.C. and Maryland. Members are primarily Black, Latine, and immigrants. SIA’s campaigns include equity in pay for the early childhood education workforce, reducing the cost burden for families, access to quality health care - including mental health, economic opportunity for families, language justice, and climate justice. The organization’s wins include changing the tax law in D.C., yielding over $75 million for early learning, resulting in a $5k-14k pay supplement for early childhood educators, and the Healthcare for Child Care program. SIA was instrumental in expanding perinatal support and health services for pregnant people and for the first year after giving birth, including Medicaid reimbursements for doulas. LaDon has over two decades of experience in community organizing, narrative creation, leadership and organizational development. She uses grassroots organizing to engage in local, state, and national campaigns to affect public policy. LaDon is a published photographer and the lead trainer for the Latin Economic Development Corp’s Entrepreneurs Training for Success program. She has trained over 100 women business leaders who wrote business plans and pitched their businesses to graduate.

Marc Morial headshotMARC MORIAL, JD

Marc Morial, one of the few national leaders to possess “street smarts,” and “boardroom savvy,” is the transformative president and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization. He served as the highly successful and popular mayor of New Orleans as well as the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Marc previously was a Louisiana state senator and was a lawyer in New Orleans with an active, high-profile practice. He is a leading voice on the national stage in the battle for jobs, education, housing, health, voting rights, equity, and entrepreneurship. Marc is a published author; his leadership book, Gumbo Coalition: 10 Leadership Lessons That Help You Inspire, United, and Achieve has been widely acclaimed, and his column entitled To Be Equal, reaches hundreds of thousands. He is the host of the weekly syndicated television show, America’s Black Forum. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics and African American studies, he has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the top 50 Non-Profit Leaders by the Non-Profit Times, one of the 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in America and he has also been inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, GA.

Oluwatosin Olateju headshotOLUWATOSIN OLATEJU, DrPH, MSN-CPHN, BSN, RN

Dr. Oluwatosin Olateju is an assistant professor of nursing at Coppin State University. In 2019, she founded Food and Care for All Inc (FCFA) – a non-profit organization that promotes food security and access to health services for underserved populations. She holds a doctor of public health degree from Morgan State University. Dr. Olateju also earned a master of science in nursing and a bachelor of science in nursing from University of Maryland School of Nursing. She is a grassroots public health nurse leader with extensive experience working in Maryland's local health departments implementing, managing, and evaluating several critical health programs. In 2023, Dr. Olateju was appointed by Governor Wes Moore to serve as co-chair of the Maryland’s Commission on Public Health and lead the commission's efforts to assess the foundational public health capabilities of state and local health departments in Maryland and make recommendations for reform.

Dan Olson headshotDAN OLSON

Dan Olson joined the Vermont Public Health Association as executive director in March 2023. Over his 25-year career, Dan has held various roles in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, all focused on improving the health of human and natural communities. Dan served as the executive director of the Colorado and New Mexico-based environmental advocacy organization San Juan Citizens Alliance. He also held multiple product management roles at Ecova (now ENGIE Impact), including director of product management, leading the organization’s carbon accounting, waste, water, and strategy and engagement services. In addition to these roles, Dan was the founder of a consulting business that served the sustainable operation needs of small and medium-sized businesses in the Intermountain West, pioneered the use of environmentally-beneficial loan funds at Harvard University, and has served as a volunteer and board member at numerous nonprofits. Outside of work, Dan and his family enjoy exploring the many and varied cultural and natural wonders of Vermont and its surrounds.

Headshot of Susan Polan, PhDSUSAN POLAN, PhD

Susan L. Polan is associate executive director for public affairs and advocacy with the American Public Health Association. She oversees the Association's departments of government relations and affiliate affairs, communications and membership. She is responsible for planning and directing APHA's legislative, regulatory and legal activities, communicating those initiatives and Association news to members and the public, and overseeing membership recruitment and retention and Affiliate, Caucus and Section relations. Prior to joining APHA, Polan worked as the director of government relations at the Trust for America's Health. Polan has almost three decades of experience in public health, government relations and associations. Polan earned her bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She later earned a master's of science degree in health psychology from San Diego State University and a doctorate in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine.

Ilan Shapiro headshotILAN SHAPIRO, MD

Ilan Shapiro is the senior vice-president and chief health correspondent and medical affairs officer for AltaMed Health Services. He supports strategies for external health communications, advocacy, and community relations. As the chief health correspondent for AltaMed, Dr. Shapiro works closely with the public affairs, community affairs, government relations and civic engagement departments to help expand community health and wellness initiatives. Dr. Ilan Shapiro has been with AltaMed since 2016, and has made a significant impact on the organization and the greater communities it serves. He is a tireless advocate for health care equality, with a deep affinity for innovation and public health policy, especially relating to the Latino population. In his prior role as AltaMed’s medical director of health education and wellness, he helped to create and implement programs and services that expanded access to care and improved outcomes for the community. Dr. Shapiro’s background includes award-winning public health work, often on the international stage. After graduating as Honorary Valedictorian with his medical degree, he worked for the Mexican Secretary of Health as the liaison between Mexico and the World Health Organization. He has created binational public health programs to improve the health of Hispanic communities on both sides of the border.