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 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.

Dr. Zuckerman served as a senior policy advisor in the Clinton White House, working for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. She subsequently 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


We are very sad to share the news that Jack Mitchell passed away in December.  We were proud that he joined our senior staff after an amazing career at the FDA, HHS, NSF, the U.S. Congress, and as an investigative reporter.   Even if you knew Jack, you’ll be surprised to learn about all he accomplished in his too-short life.  We all miss him.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/jack-mitchell-federal-investigator-who-broke-open-tobacco-industry-dies-at-69/2019/12/09/120a77d6-19cc-11ea-b4c1-fd0d91b60d9e_story.html

 

Stephanie Fox-RawlingsStephanie Fox-Rawlings, PhD, Research Manager


Stephanie Fox-Rawlings is NCHR’s Health Research Manager, focusing on health and policy issues related to brain development and function across the lifespan and supervising Senior Fellows, interns, and other staff on research issues. 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, Project Manager and Senior Fellow


Nina Zeldes is 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. She is also a Senior Fellow who focuses on health policy as well as physician-patient communications.

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 a PhD from 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.

Meg Seymour, PhD, Senior Fellow


Meg Seymour is a Senior Fellow, focusing on the intersection between physical and mental health and analyzing data from NCHR studies. She is also involved in a range of health research and health policy issues, including psychiatric adverse events resulting from specific medical treatments.

Dr. Seymour received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan, where she studied the relationship between well-being and physical health among cross-cultural populations and survivors of sexual abuse. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Westmont College. She can be reached at ms@center4research.org.

 

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.

 

Meg Thornberry, BA, Special Assistant to the President


Meg is the Special Assistant to the President at the National Center for Health Research, where she helps disseminate crucial healthcare and policy information to the public and the press. She is especially interested in public health, science communication, and the intersection between mental and physical health. Meg previously worked as a youth behavioral health specialist. She holds a bachelors in psychology from the University of Virginia, where she also served for three terms as Health and Science Editor for The Cavalier Daily.

Fall 2020 Interns

  • Amanda Chu (Georgetown University ‘22, Science, Technology, and International Affairs, minors in Spanish and Creative Writing)
  • Carly West (The George Washington University ‘20, Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Disease Control)
  • Cindy Min (University of Florida 21′, Masters of Public Health, minor in Epidemiology)
  • Sasha Milbeck (University of Miami ’22, Neuroscience, minors in Chemistry and Public Health)

Summer 2020 Interns

  • Amanda Bisnath (University of Virginia ’21, Public Policy and Leadership, minor in Bioethics)
  • Megan Peterson (Cornell University ‘21, Biology and Society, minoring in Health Policy and Law & Society)
  • Elizabeth Sack (Duke University ’21, Global Health and International Comparative Studies, minor in Chemistry)

Spring 2020 Interns

  • Nana Addo (George Washington University ’19, International Affairs, concentration in Global Public Health)
  • Shaina Desai (University of California, Berkeley ’20, Public Health, concentration in Epidemiology)
  • Seungyeon Lee (Konyang University ’19, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology)
  • Ellen Pil (University of Notre Dame, ’21, Political Science, Pre-Health track)

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)

Fall 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.