About Us

Our Collaborators

Leadership Council
Catherine D'Amato headshot
Catherine D’Amato
H2HC Leadership Council Co-Chair
President and CEO

A tireless advocate for the hungry for more than 40 years, Catherine D’Amato founded the Hunger to Health Collaboratory in 2018 and assumed the leadership of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) in 1995. During her tenure, she has transformed GBFB into a $180 million charitable business and increased GBFB’s distribution from 7.5 million meals a year to more than 82 million healthy meals this past year. She has grown GBFB’s network to include nearly 600 partner food pantries, meal programs, and direct distribution sites across the 190 cities and towns across Eastern Massachusetts.

Under D’Amato’s guidance, GBFB has risen to the unprecedented challenge of responding to the surge in hunger due to the COVID-19 pandemic, distributing nearly 100 million pounds in 2020 to GBFB partner agencies that report serving over double the number of people in need. In 2021, GBFB marked its 40th anniversary since its incorporation while also distributing its 1 billionth pound of food which was accelerated by D’Amato’s leadership through the COVID-19 crisis.

Karen Mitchell headshot
Karen Mitchell
H2HC Leadership Council Co-Chair
Senior Vice President of Marketing

Karen Mitchell serves as the Chief Marketing Officer/Senior Vice President of Marketing at Stop & Shop. She provides strategic leadership in the repositioning of the 100+ year-old grocery brand to deliver on the company’s vision of providing a seamless omnichannel customer experience. Karen leads the teams responsible for brand marketing and strategy, creative, digital marketing, loyalty, external communications, and community giving. Karen joined Stop & Shop in January 2018 as Vice President, Brand Marketing Strategy & Planning.

Prior to Stop & Shop, Karen spent 20+ years leading multiple marketing teams at Welch Foods, Inc., the iconic Concord grape cooperative. Her experience spans general management for the juice and jelly portfolios, integrated communications, public relations, insights, and innovation. She also led a multiyear, strategic cross-functional bottle redesign project that benefitted multiple stakeholders including operations and consumers with its improved quality, simplified labeling process and improved shelf pack out for grocery retailers.

Karen has a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from Bentley University. She was raised in Chelmsford, MA, where she lives today with her husband Greg and their dog Percy. Greg and Karen enjoy food, travel, and spending time with their two grown children, Jenny and Brian.

Melanie Condon
H2HC Leadership Council Member
Senior Director of Corporate Affairs and Engagement

Melanie is the Senior Director of Corporate Affairs and Engagement Keurig Dr Pepper where she leads their corporate health and wellbeing strategy and oversees their community relations work. She is also the liaison to KDP’s commercial sector, helping the brands, sales and marketing functions embed sustainability in their daily business.

Prior to joining KDP, Melanie was with Unilever in the External Affairs and Sustainable Business Communications office. She worked in advocacy around energy and environmental policy in Washington D.C. for years before joining the consumer product goods world.

Melanie holds a BA in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of New Hampshire, and an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.

Strategic Advisors
John Erwin headshot
John Erwin

John Erwin is Vice Chancellor for government relations at UMass Chan Medical School. In this role, he leads comprehensive advocacy efforts and oversees the Office of Community and Government Relations, which serves as a liaison between the medical school and its neighbors and representation at all levels of government.

John joined UMass Chan Medical School in 2019 after serving for 13 years as the executive director of the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals (COBTH), a coalition of 12 Boston-area teaching hospitals that collaborate on issues fundamental to their missions of patient care, teaching, biomedical research and community service. He is an active member and former chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges Government Affairs Committee; and has served on a number of policy and community steering and advisory committees including the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission’s Advisory Council, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Community Benefit Advisory Committee and the Boston Alliance for Community Health Steering Committee.

Prior to joining COBTH, John was the director of government affairs for Tufts Health Plan and also held positions at the Boston City Council and the Massachusetts State Council on Vocational Education.

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston, John also earned a Master of Business Administration from Boston University.

Kim Fortunato headshot
Kim Fortunato

Kim Fortunato formerly served as President of Campbell Soup Foundation and Vice President of Community Affairs for Campbell Soup Company (CSC). As the first female President in the foundation’s history, Kim transformed a traditional corporate foundation into a strategic, engaged funder aligning funding priorities with business strategy and developing robust employee engagement opportunities and programs. She joined CSC in 2010 as Director of Campbell’s Healthy Communities, the first position of its kind for a food company. Under Kim’s leadership, the Healthy Communities model, based on collective impact methodology, has been called best-in-class for the industry and has become the company’s signature philanthropic program.

Kim has more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy, social change, and non-profit leadership. Previously, she served as President of Operation Warm, Inc., growing the regional non-profit to one of national stature. She also co-founded Social Venture Partners Delaware, a venture philanthropy organization focused on investments in early childhood education for at-risk children.

Kim speaks nationally on the role of the private sector in public/private partnerships employing a collective impact approach. In December 2015, the National Academy of Medicine published her report on “The Private-Sector Role in Building Healthy Communities: A Collective Impact Approach.”

Awards include the first “Culture of Health Champion,” business category, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the March of Dimes Roosevelt Award for Service to Humanity, and the HopeBuilder award from HopeWorks in Camden, NJ. She has been named one of the “Best Fifty Women in Business” by NJBIZ.

Kim earned her J.D. degree from Widener University School of Law and her B.A. degree in French and comparative literature from Duke University.

Sheila Hanley

Sheila Hanley (MPH) is a Senior Advisor at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center supporting the development and execution of strategic initiatives in priority areas including the alignment of private and public payers in health transformation and the development of initiatives addressing social needs, including food and nutritional interventions for the underserved.  She has supported the design of multiple Innovation Center models including in the areas of primary care and value-based insurance design and oversaw the Health Care Innovation Awards (HCIA), a set of $1.4 B cooperative agreements testing promising private sector innovations. Prior to the Innovation Center she held senior positions within commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care organizations, implementing innovative payment, care management, quality, and data and reporting systems. In addition to her experience in health care financing and policy, she has deep delivery system experience having held senior positions in acute care hospitals, responsible for strategic financial planning, clinical service development and payer contracting. Throughout her career she has served in a voluntary capacity to community-based organization and as a founding member of several non-profit organizations, including the Hanley Center for Health Leadership.  

Thea James, MD

Thea James, MD, is Executive Director of the Health Equity Accelerator and Vice President of Mission & Associate Chief Medical Officer at Boston Medical Center (BMC). Dr. James works to coordinate and maximize BMC’s relationships and strategic alliances with a wide range of local, state, and national organizations including community agencies, housing advocates, and others to foster innovative and effective new models of care that are critical to operationalizing equity. This includes focus on the intersections of health and wealth, economic mobility, and other upstream drivers of predictable poor health outcomes.

In 2020-2021, Dr. James served on both the Mayor’s Health Inequities Task Force for the City of Boston and on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group. Dr. James served as the chair of the Licensing Committee on Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine 2009-2012. She is Director of the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program at BMC and a founding member of the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention. In 2011, she was appointed to Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence.

Dr. James has worked in public health both domestically and globally, including with local partners in Haiti and Africa to implement sustainable healthcare models, as a visiting professor for Emergency Medicine residents in Haiti. She served as Supervising Medical Officer on the Boston Disaster Medical Assistance Team, has been deployed to post 9/11 in NYC, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Iran after the 2003 earthquake, and Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

She has been honored with several awards from the Boston Public Health Commission, the Suffolk County District Attorney, Boston Business Journal, The Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, the American College of Emergency Medicine, and others throughout her career. A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. James trained in Emergency Medicine at Boston City Hospital, where she was a chief resident.

Julie Meyer

Julie Meyer, RDN, is the Founder of Eat Well Global, a highly specialized communications and consulting firm that unlocks business potential and positive impact in food and health. As a B-Corp & Certified Woman-Owned Business (WBENC) and working with growing to globally recognized brands, Eat Well Global is realizing their vision of ‘A world where good nutrition is good business’. Julie has more than 20 years of experience in strategic communication, global insights, and stakeholder engagement, including founding and running businesses in both the United States and abroad. Julie is also the co-founder of AugMentors, a leadership platform that elevates mentoring to help leaders connect more authentically and grow to their full potential. Julie is also an active member of Chief, a private network of women leaders who support each other in accelerating their careers.

Julie holds a bachelor of international relations from Tufts University, and a dietetics degree from New York University.

Anita McGahan headshot
Anita McGahan

Anita M. McGahan is University Professor and George E. Connell Chair in Organizations and Society at the University of Toronto. Her primary appointment is at the Rotman School of Management. She is cross appointed to the Medical School and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and is affiliated at the Munk School’s Innovation Policy Lab, the School of Cities, the School of Pharmacy’s W.H.O. Centre, Massey College, and the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society.   Professor Anita is also a Faculty Member and Senior Fellow at the Burnes Center for Social Change at Northeastern University; Senior Associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard University; and a past President of the Academy of Management. From 2014 to 2019, she was a faculty member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance.  During her 2010-2015 appointment as the Director of Toronto’s PhD Program and as the Associate Dean of Research, the School’s PhD and research rankings internationally increased from #11 to #4 and #17 to #3, respectively.

Anita spent several years at both McKinsey & Company and Morgan Stanley & Company and was previously on the faculties of both Harvard Business School and Boston University. She earned both her PhD and AM at Harvard University, holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a BA from Northwestern University.

Jim McGovern headshot
Congressman James McGovern
Honorary Strategic Advisor

Congressman Jim McGovern represents the Second District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a tireless champion for his home state and a global leader working to end hunger, protect human rights, and promote peace.

Jim was appointed top Democrat on the Powerful House Rules Committee 2018, serving as Chairman throughout the 116th and 117th Congress. During his tenure, Jim has worked hard to make Congress more accessible, transparent, and open. He led the charge to give all Members of Congress more time to read bills, require bills to go through the committee process instead of being behind closed doors, and created an office of diversity and inclusion to recruit and retain congressional staff that reflect the diversity of America.

As a senior member of the House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Nutrition and Oversight, Jim has been a tireless advocate for ending hunger in America and around the world. He fought for and secured the first ever White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in 2022. Thanks to his advocacy and determination, military families are being screened for hunger for the first time ever, families with children are seeing enhanced food benefits, schools are able to provide more nutritious meals, and America has a plan to end hunger within the decade.

For his relentless work on behalf of uplifting human rights and strengthening America’s global leadership, Jim has been appointed Co-Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Both bodies monitor, investigate and advocate on behalf of international human rights, the rule of law, and good governance.

Jim earned his BA from American University in Washington, D.C. before starting his career in the office of Congressman Joe Moakley. While working for Moakley, Jim went back to American University to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Jim successfully ran for Congress in 1996 and has won reelection in each subsequent term.

From principled stands on tough issues to working with Members of Congress from across the country and on both sides of the aisle, Jim has fought to ensure that every single person in this country and around the world is treated with dignity and respect.

Nancy Roman headshot
Nancy Roman

Nancy Roman formerly served as President and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to creating lasting, sustainable change that transforms the culture of food and activity so that all children grow up healthy. During her tenure, Nancy has PHA to more fully recognize the impact of food on chronic disease and to embrace objectives advancing global sustainable nutrition.

Prior to joining PHA, Nancy was the President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C., working to solve hunger, chronic undernutrition, and diet-related disease. Under her leadership, the food bank became a national voice for embedding health and wellness in hunger relief work.

Nancy sat on the leadership team of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), overseeing public policy, private partnerships, and communications for the world’s largest humanitarian agency. She chaired WFP’s Investment Committee with more than $1 billion under management and served on the Nutrition Advisory Committee of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Prior to joining WFP, Nancy served as Vice President of the Council on Foreign Relations, President of the G7 Group, a strategic consulting firm, and as a journalist, covering politics, the US Congress, foreign policy and economics.

Nancy is a vice chair of the board of trustees of Global Communities, an international NGO that works on hunger, health, micro-finance and lending to support lives and livelihoods, and of the Millennial Action Project (MAP), which organizes nonpartisan communities to find common ground on the issues facing millennials and future generations. She was recently named one of “The Most Powerful Women in Washington” by Washingtonian magazine. She speaks internationally on women in leadership and on the power of food to shape health.

Nancy holds a Master of Arts degree in International Economics and American Foreign Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and French from Baylor University.

Pam Schwartz

Pamela Schwartz, MPH, is executive director of community health for Kaiser Permanente. She leads the organization’s national food-security strategy and other social health priorities, including ensuring that social health interventions are integrated seamlessly into care and services provided to Medicaid members and across all lines of business. Pam and her team created the organization’s earliest outreach campaigns to help eligible members enroll in public-benefit programs. With deep experience designing, testing and scaling social health interventions and collaborating across sectors to inform and shape public policy, Pam oversees Kaiser Permanente’s $50 million Food is Medicine commitment, made alongside its role in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.  As an early advocate in the Food is Medicine movement, Pam has helped establish the evidence base and business case for addressing food- and nutrition-insecurity at Kaiser Permanente and in health care systems across America.

Pam has over 25 years’ experience in community health strategy and evaluation. She serves on many advisory committees and expert panels and has authored several journal articles. She is currently on faculty at the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine.

Pam has a master’s degree in public health and completed Kaiser Permanente’s Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

Nicolene Hengen headshot
Nicolene Hengen
H2HC Executive Director

Nicolene Hengen joined the Hunger to Health Collaboratory (H2HC) as its first executive director in July 2021. Her career has been focused on strategic, programmatic, and communications work in both domestic and international public health and academia. She has worked with Beth Israel Lahey Health, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Pathfinder International (Horn of Africa region), and others.

Nicolene is an alumna of LeadBoston, a local network of inclusive leaders, and founded an award-winning nonprofit, Roslindale Green & Clean, to renew neglected public green spaces in her Boston neighborhood. As a Friend of the Roslindale Library, she worked with the City of Boston and the Boston Public Library to help guide a comprehensive branch library renovation process. She holds a BA in Government from Smith College and an MSPH from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Samantha Krinsky Smith Hunger to Health Collaboratory
Samantha Smith
H2HC Manager

Samantha Smith joined the Hunger to Health Collaboratory (H2HC) as its manager in September 2022. Prior to joining H2HC, she served as a WIC program nutritionist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and as a SNAP nutrition educator in Oregon public schools. Samantha has also worked for a variety of local food and nutrition nonprofits in program support, education, and event coordination. Throughout Samantha’s career, she has gained a wealth of knowledge of federal nutrition policies, and invaluable experience with direct food and nutrition services in marginalized communities.

Samantha holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Vermont, and an MS in Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR.