Key Staff

The National Center for Health Research is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research, education and advocacy organization that promotes the health and safety of adults and children. The key staff of the National Center for Health Research also manage the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund.

Diana Zuckerman, PhD, President


Diana Zuckerman received her Ph.D. in psychology from Ohio State University and was a post-doctoral fellow in epidemiology and public health at Yale Medical School. She started her career on the faculty of Vassar College and then directed a research project on children as a faculty member at Yale University.

After a post-doctoral training at Yale Medical School, she took a position at Harvard directing a groundbreaking research study of college students. Dr. Zuckerman left her academic career in 1983 to come to Washington, D.C. as a Congressional Science Fellow in a program run by the American Association of the Advancement of Science. After spending the year as a staff member in the House of Representatives, she spent the next ten years working as a Congressional staffer in the House and Senate and at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working to improve federal health programs and policies for adults and children. She initiated highly influential Congressional hearings on a wide range of health issues, including cancer prevention and treatment and the safety of medical products.

In 1995, Dr. Zuckerman served as a senior policy advisor in the White House, working for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Since 1996, she has served in leadership positions at numerous nonprofit organizations and has been in her current position at NCHR since 1999.

While in her current position, Dr. Zuckerman was a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics for several years. She is currently on the Board of Directors of two nonprofit organizations – the Congressionally mandated Reagan Udall Foundation and the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. She was previously the chair of the Women’s Health Promotion Council, appointed by the Governor of Maryland.

Dr. Zuckerman is the author of five books, several book chapters, dozens of articles in medical and academic journals, and in newspapers across the country. Her policy work has resulted in news coverage on all the major TV networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, public television, “60 Minutes,” “20/20,” “Voice of America,” National Public Radio, and in major U.S. print media such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, USA Today, Detroit Free Press, New York Daily News, Newsweek, Time, U.S. News and World Report, Family Circle, New Yorker, Glamour, Self, as well as many other newspapers, magazines, and radio programs.

She is the proud mother of two adult children.

Jack MitchellJack Mitchell, Director of Health Policy


Jack Mitchell is responsible for health policy issues of importance to the Center, particularly regarding the quality of medical care.  He provides research-based information regarding health policy issues to nonprofit organizations representing patients, consumers, and providers, as well as to legislators and their staff.  He represents the Center at meetings with officials and staff from agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He also works with the media and coordinates the health policy activities of the Patient and Consumer Coalition.

Prior to joining NCHR in 2016, Jack has had a broad range of experience working on behalf of public health and science policy, Congressional oversight, and journalism.  At FDA, he directed the Commissioner’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which had a key role in the agency’s landmark efforts to regulate the tobacco industry.  At HHS, Jack held a senior legislative position in the Office of the Secretary whose responsibilities included managing all Departmental oversight responses to Congress.  At the National Science Foundation (NSF), he was as the Director’s Senior Advisor and chief inter-agency liaison whose duties included serving as Executive Secretary of the White House Committee on Science.  For more than a decade, Mitchell was chief investigator for two Senate Committees, the Governmental Affairs Committee and the Special Committee on Aging.  His Congressional oversight work on health and medical issues laid the foundation for the “Physician Payments Sunshine Act” transparency regulation, as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Prior to his government work, he was an on-air CNN Washington correspondent and has authored two books on presidential and electoral history. Jack is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. He can be reached at jm@center4research.org.

Stephanie Fox-RawlingsStephanie Fox-Rawlings, PhD, Senior Fellow


Stephanie Fox-Rawlings is a senior fellow, focusing on health and policy issues related to brain development and function across the lifespan. Prior to joining the NCHR, she conducted basic and early translational research on developmental neuroscience.

Dr. Fox-Rawlings received her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Neurosciences, where her work focused on the genes regulating the maturation of serotonergic neurons. During her postdoctoral work at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, she studied how the brain repairs itself following injury in a model of very preterm birth. She earned her B.S. degree at Kansas State University in Biology and Psychology. She can be reached at sfr@center4research.org.

Nina Zeldes, PhD, Senior Fellow


Nina Zeldes is a Senior Fellow, focusing on health policy as well as physician-patient communications. She is also the project manager for the PCORI-funded Medical Research Communications project, which trains journalists to understand the implications of comparative clinical effectiveness studies and trains researchers to communicate their research findings to journalists. Prior to joining the NCHR, Zeldes was a visiting researcher at the Pellegrino Institute for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University researching health care utilization and needs analysis among transnational patients. She has worked as a health communication specialist, particularly in advocacy for cancer patients, their caregivers and medical providers.

She holds a B.S. from University College Dublin, an M.S. from the University of Edinburgh and completed her PhD thesis at Freie Universität Berlin, focusing on structural, functional and economic discrepancies within health care and health insurance policy. She can be contacted at nz@center4research.org.

Claudia Nuñez-Eddy, MS, Project Manager


Claudia is the Patient Outreach Manager for the Center’s research study comparing tubal ligation, Essure, and IUDs. Claudia is responsible for working closely with the patients who serve on the project’s Advisory Board and those on the Patients Perspectives Committee, ensuring that the patients are sharing their perspectives and that all aspects of the research project remain patient-centered. Prior to joining the NCHR, Claudia worked at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, supporting the Department on Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights, and Law. Claudia received her Master of Science degree in Biology and Society, with a concentration in bioethics, policy, and law, from Arizona State University. Her graduate work focused on the use and management of federal funding for reproductive health services in Arizona. She earned a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Global Health from Arizona State University.

 

Tehan Dukaye, MPH, Women’s Health Insurance Fellow


Tehan Dukaye is our Health Insurance Fellow at NCHR. She is responsible for helping patients facing health complications from their implants better navigate the current health insurance system so that they can get the medical care that they need. Prior to joining NCHR, Tehan had more than four years of experience in the public health field, serving as a college peer health educator, and  reaching out to and forming working relationships with local and state health departments as well as state cancer coalitions regarding their work with cancer survivorship.  In her work with National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, she coordinated more than 100 meetings for cancer patients to share their experiences with Members of Congress and their staff and advocate for legislation to help cancer survivors. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a Master’s in Public Health from George Washington University with a focus on Health Policy.

Samantha Newman, BA, Special Assistant to the President


Samantha is the Special Assistant to the President at the Center and helps educate the public about health policy as well as helping women navigate today’s health insurance system. She is particularly interested in women’s reproductive health and the intersection between medicine and the law. Prior to joining the National Center for Health Research, Samantha worked at the Women’s Foreign Policy Group in DC, where she highlighted women’s voices and leadership at the foreign policy roundtable. Samantha is also a published author at Thought Catalog. She received her Bachelors in Cognitive Science from the University of Virginia. She also has a minor in Bioethics. She presented her thesis research at the L. Starling Reid Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference. In the future, Samantha plans to go to law school and further study biomedical ethics.

 

Claire Viscione, Janice Bilden Cancer Prevention Intern


Claire Viscione is the Janice Bilden Cancer Prevention Intern. She is responsible for writing and updating web articles as well spreading the word about cancer prevention on social media. She also assists with research and policy issues of importance to cancer prevention, including nutrition, exercise, other health habits, and avoiding dangerous exposures. Claire is currently completing her B.S. at the George Washington University, where she studies public health and business administration.

Summer 2019 Interns

  • Mackenzie Flynn (George Washington University ’21, Political Science, minors in Public Health and Sustainability)
  • Emily Hong (University of California Irvine ’20, Public Health Policy, minor in Medical Anthropology)

Summer 2019 Interns

  • Anupama Dinesh (Brown University ’20, Health & Human Biology and Anthropology)
  • Reena Jasani (UT Southwestern Medical School ’22, MD/MPH)
  • Claire Viscione (George Washington University ’20, Public Health, minor in Business Administration)

Spring 2019 Interns

  • Silvana Barbosa  (Providence College ’19, Health Policy & Managements)
  • Kaitlyn Freels (University of Maryland College Park ’19, Neurobiology & Physiology)

IN MEMORIAM

Gwendolyn Lewis, a former sociology professor with important positions in the National Research Council, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, was a professional photographer who volunteered her time as our photographer since our founding in 1999 until she died from cancer in 2012.

As our photographer and friend, Gwen is responsible for the many memorable color photographs of the exceptional women who received our Foremother awards, as well as capturing many other important people and moments through the years.  As an artist, however, she specialized in black-and-white photography, with an emphasis on architectural subjects. Her work was exhibited in more than 100 shows in the Washington area and won many awards.