Our Team


Our team includes board members, staff, alumni, ambassadors, and advisors. All of these individuals greatly contribute their time, energy and intellect toward making the Institute for Responsible Nutrition's vision a reality. 


Our Board

Robert H. Lustig, MD, MSL – Board

Board President, Founder
Pediatric Endocrinologist
Author, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease
One of the top 20 thinkers on obesity
Named Top 100 Innovators in Healthcare by Healthspottr.com

Jordan Shlain, MD, FACP – Board

Chairman of the Board, Founder
Practicing Internal Medicine Physician
Advisor, Aspen Institute
Commissioner, San Francisco Health Service System
Founder, Healthloop
Named Top 100 Innovators in Healthcare by Healthspottr.com

Alan Greene, MD – Board

Board Member, Advisory Board Chair
Practicing Pediatric Physician

Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH – Board

Board Member
Public Health Leader, Advocate, Teacher, and Scholar
Pioneer in the practice of health impact assessment, urban sustainability indicators, and open data

David Faigman, MA, JD – Board

Founding Board Member
John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law, U.C. Hastings
Founder / CEO of Jurilytics

Russell Hirsch, MD, PhD – Board

Founding Board Member
Managing Director of Prospect Venture Partners

Ben Katz, MBA – Board

Founding Board Member, Chief Financial Officer
Managing Director at HSBC Securities

Nadja Pinnavaia, PhD – Board

Board Member
Founder / CEO of EUPHEBE

Jim Warren, BA - Board

Board Member
Veteran, Retired Stock Broker, Investor

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP - Board

Uma PisharodyDr. Pisharody is passionate about helping children and families understand the connection between diet, nutrition, digestive health and well-being. She is proud to serve as a member of the board of directors for the Institute for Responsible Nutrition, participates in the medical advisory committee for the Northwest Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and is also on the Board of Trustees for the WA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Swedish Hospital Profile


Our Advisors and Alumni

Kelly L. Close, MBA – Alumni - Advisor

Founding Board Member, Alumni & Advisor
President, Close Concerns, Inc.

Raj Patel, PhD – Alumni - Advisor

Founding Board Member, Alumni & Advisor
New York Times Best-Selling Author, The Value of Nothing
Author, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

Shawn Gauthier, BS – Advisor

Founding Advisory Board Member, Copywriting, Digital Content & Design
Freelance Creative Director

Matthew Ryan Hanson, LPN – Founder/Advisor

Founder Staff Alum & Advisor
Matthew played a key role in founding the IRN. He served in the United States Army as a Critical Care Nurse and Combat Medic.
After serving as a founder of the IRN, he became our first Director of Online Media and Education. He left the IRN to pursue his dreams as a Tech Entrepreneur. Matthew left this earthly plane June 9, 2016. We will forever be grateful for his generosity and talents.

Here is Matthew (left in photo) at our very first IRN Event:
Matthew and the Crew

Shannon Burke, BS - Advisor

Clinical Nutrition Graduate from UC Davis
Nutrition & Health Enthusiast
Dietetic Intern at University of California, San Francisco
Previous: Intern and Online Education Manager for the IRN

Sue Cimbricz - Alumni - Advisor

Founding Board Member
Member, 50x50 Leadership Circle of the Women in Public Service

Ken Nochimson, J.D. - Advisor


Founder and president of Advise & Consent with more than 25 years of production experience in broadcast television and web-based media, including Sweet Revenge.

Chris Tsakalakis – Advisor

Chris Tsakalakis

Chris Tsakalakis is an Internet entrepreneur and CEO with more than 25 years of experience developing and leading consumer and technology businesses.

Georgia Rogers, DMD, MPH - Advisor

Dr. Georgia Rogers is a Board Certified Dental Public Health Officer with the U.S. Military and an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine/Biometrics at the National Naval Medical Center.

Georgia Rogers, DMD, MPH - Linkedin

Patty James, M.S., C.N.C. - Advisor

Patty JamesPatty James is a Certified Natural Chef with a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition. Patty was founder and director of the Patty James Cooking School and Nutrition Center, the first certified organic cooking school and nutrition center in the country.

Patty James Website

Patty James LinkedIn

Andrea Bloom - Advisor

Andrea BloomAndrea is the founder and CEO of ConnectWell, a wellness consulting company that designs strategies and implements programs that contain healthcare costs and create a healthy and productive workforce. She has worked for leading healthcare companies, medical device start-ups, and health-related non-profits in her illustrious 20 years of business consulting.

Daniel O'Connor - Advisor

Dan O'ConnorDaniel W. O’Connor, MA is a former United States Marine and Homeland Security expert.  He is a Senior Executive Fellow and graduate of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative from the Harvard University Kennedy School.  He received his Master’s Degree from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California where he was the Curtis H. “Butch” Straub Award recipient for exemplary academics, outstanding thesis, and classroom leadership. 

Daniel O'Connor - LinkedIn

Delaine Eastin - Advisor

Delaine EastinDelaine Eastin is the former 25th California State Superintendent of Public Instruction and was the first woman to be elected to this office. Delaine also represented parts of Alameda and Santa Clara counties in the California State Assembly between 1986 and 1994. Delaine has never retired from public service, and was the first Executive Director of the National Institute for School Leadership in Washington, DC and then a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Educational Leadership at Mills College in Oakland. She now does speaking and consulting. Delaine is an avid reader, gardener, cook, traveler and advocate for children.  She serves on a number of boards that support the education, nutrition, health and civic engagement of children from preschool to college.

Delaine Eastin - Linkedin

Ed Bauman, PhD - Advisor

Ed_Portrait_Speaking_Hands_Clasped_1.jpgDr. Ed Bauman has been at the forefront of the holistic health and nutrition renaissance for the past 40 years. He is the founder of Bauman College: Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts, the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP). After studying traditional health and nutrition systems for more than 30 years, Dr. Bauman created the Eating for Health approach, which forms the basis of Bauman College professional and community programs. 

Michael Prager - Advisor

mug_shot_at_1.5_megs.jpegMichael Prager is a professional speaker, wellbeing coach, and author. His book “Fat Boy Thin Man” provides illumination, sustenance, and hope to those mired in struggles or just plain misery around food. His second book, “Sustainable You,” enlarges the field of view to encompass holistic, healthy change.

Website: http://www.fatboythinman.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michael.prager.speaker

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fatboythinman

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mprager

Our Ambassadors

Chantal Bonneau (Canada)

Canadian Ambassador
Chantal Bonneau lives in Montreal, province of Quebec, Canada, and attends Montreal University. She has a BS Kinesiology, and holds an MS in Exercise Physiology-Metabolism. Chantal is really passionate about real food! Check out her previous blog submissions:

Sustainable Santa (Richard Eckfield)

Richard Eckfield is Sustainable Santa - brilliant red guy with a real white beard who is the genius behind the Sustainable Santa movement and the Real Santa’s United to End Childhood Obesity. You can find his Facebook page here.

Our Staff

Wolfram Alderson, MS – Staff

Founding Executive Director, Chief Operations Officer
Lifetime focus on improving human and environmental health.
38 years of distinguished nonprofit experience.

Leslie Lee, MS, RD, CNSC - Staff


Director of Education & Community Engagement
Leslie is a Registered Dietitian with an MS in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In graduate school, she researched the need for hypoglycemia education in community nutrition programs for newly diagnosed diabetics. Prior to joining our team, she spent five years working at the intersection of business, clinical nutrition, and patient education. 

Our Interns

Rebecca McDowell - Intern Alum

rebecca_mcdowell200.jpgRebecca is a San Francisco native with a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science. She is advancing her education with a degree in Public Affairs, focused on public health policy. Rebecca seeks to bridge the gap between sound public policy, public health law and public health, and bring awareness to the interdependence of these sectors with environmental health, global health and social justice.

Rebecca's LinkedIn

Barbara Ducry - Intern Alum

Barbara Ducry is a Swiss national and has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. She just finished her Master’s degree in Global Health and Development at the University College London. She is passionate about global trade, agricultural and food policies, and their impact on the food environment, specifically on health and food security.

Barbara's Blog

Barbara's LinkedIn

Ali Van Zandt - Intern

Ali is a recent graduate of UC Davis with a BS in Clinical Nutrition. At Davis, she assisted in research and contributed to a manuscript that is in the process of being published. Her primary research focus was breast milk proteins and how they influence infant immune development, and her secondary focus was dietary proteins and how certain types and quantities of protein may influence certain physiological or disease states, such as post bariatric surgery, chronic kidney disease, or Crohn's Disease. She is currently taking community college courses for web development and Microsoft Excel and volunteering at the Council on Aging in Santa Rosa in addition to the IRN.

Ali's LinkedIn

Ingrid Wells - Intern

Ingrid Wells Ingrid Wells is a MPH & Nutrition student at NYU. She is particularly interested in health, nutrition, environmental sustainability, food systems, and fitness. Ingrid also has been a professional athlete in the U.S., Germany and Sweden.

Ingrid Wells LinkedIn

Elsbeth Sites - Intern

Elsbeth SitesElsbeth Sites holds a degree in Biology from UCLA, has a strong passion for nutrition science and public health and has written for Science & Food at UCLA and Total Wellness Magazine

Elsbeth Sites LinkedIn

Neha Patel - Intern

Neha PatelNeha Patel is an MPH graduate with hands on experience in hospital settings. Experienced in healthcare finance and information systems, research and evaluation, and implementing statewide surveys.

Neha Patel LinkedIn

Mitchell Dang - Intern

Mitchell DangMitchell Dang is a Bay Area native and is in his third year at Santa Clara University. He is majoring in Public Health Sciences and has taken an interest in community health and nutrition. He would like to work with underserved populations and ensure that everyone has the property tools and support to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Karla Moraza - Intern

Karla MorazaKarla holds a degree in Consumer and Family Sciences with a Nutrition emphasis and a minor in Special Education from San Francisco State University. She is an aspiring dietitian who is passionate about personal health and wellness, food accessibility and fitness. Her goals include working towards achieving a transparent food system, as well as encouraging health education and raising nutritional awareness to underserved communities, focusing on the community inclusion of people with disabilities.

Briki Cajandig - Intern

12823302_966017893435370_3546475835545261657_o-2.jpgBriki Cajandig is a recent graduate from the University of Hawai’i where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Sociology, along with a minor in Women’s & Gender Studies. Her main passions lie in the development and promotion of democratic principles amongst our increasingly engaged society, specifically regarding public health in the midst of America’s current food system.