NCHR Board of Directors

Brandel France de Bravo, MPH

Brandel France de Bravo holds a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and has been working in preventive health—internationally and in the U.S.—for nearly 30 years. She worked at the National Center for Health Research as Director of Communications and Public Affairs from 2008 to 2015. She left in 2016 to be a fellow at Stanford University’s Distinguished Careers Institute, where she studied strategic philanthropy, behavior change, the science of decision-making, and compassion cultivation training (CCT). She is currently pursuing a teaching certificate in CCT, a contemplative practice and resource.

In her position at PSI (Population Services International) and as a consultant to the World Health Organization, USAID, the World Bank, Open Society Foundations, Marie Stopes International, and other organizations, Ms. France de Bravo provided technical assistance to contraceptive social marketing programs and conducted health research (quantitative and qualitative), evaluations, and needs assessments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She has worked in family planning, harm reduction for intravenous drug users, and HIV/AIDS, including serving as country director for USAID’s first nationwide HIV prevention project in Africa (Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo).

A poet and essayist with a Master’s in creative writing (MFA), Ms. France de Bravo is the author of two prize-winning collections of poetry, the editor of a bilingual anthology of Mexican poetry, and co-author of the parenting book, Trees Make the Best Mobiles: Simple Ways to Raise your Child in a Complex World.  She has been awarded three artist fellowship grants and the Larry Neal Poetry Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Sarah Deutsch, J.D.

Sarah Deutsch is Counsel at Mayer Brown, providing counseling and advocacy for a number of Fortune 100 clients in the areas of online liability, intellectual property, and Internet policy. Sarah was formerly Vice President and Deputy Counsel for Verizon Communications where she managed Verizon’s intellectual property practice for over 23 years. Much of her career has been devoted to working on consumer-facing legal and policy issues, including IP policy, online privacy, and combating online fraud and abuse. Sarah was a past recipient of Public Knowledge’s President Award for Protecting the Free Flow of Information on the Internet. She has also done pro bono work for the Massachusetts Advocates for Children and partnered with Wired Safety, a nonprofit devoted to keeping children safe online and combatting cyber-bullying. Sarah currently serves on the Board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization devoted to protecting civil liberties in the digital world.

Sarah has practiced law for over 30 years. Sarah holds a BA from Emory University and a JD from American University’s Washington College of Law, where she was on the Law Review and was the first Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Law and Policy. She spent the year after graduating college working at the Office of Jimmy Carter in Atlanta, Georgia. Sarah and her husband have two children and live in Northern Virginia.

Daniel Fox, PH.D.

Daniel M. Fox, PhD is president emeritus of the Milbank Memorial Fund.  He also serves as Associate editor of Policy for the American Public Health Association and Affiliate Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University. He is a widely published author of books and articles in scholarly journals on health services research, health and social policy, law, medicine, economic, cultural and intellectual history, and the history of medicine and health. His most recent book is The Convergence of Science and Governance: Research, Health Policy and American States (University of California Press, 2010).

Dr. Fox previously served in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, held government positions in New York and Massachusetts, and was a faculty member and administrator at Harvard and Stony Brook Universities. He holds AB, AM and PhD degrees from Harvard University.

Benjamin Gitterman, M.D.

Benjamin Gitterman, MD is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at George Washington University and Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. His major activities have included Child Health and Advocacy, with a focus on issues in the Health Promotion of underserved and disadvantaged children, Children’s Environmental Health and Community Health focused training and program development. He recently completed a term as Chair of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Community Pediatrics. He is the Past-President of the District of Columbia Chapter of the AAP and currently a member of the Academy’s Workgroup on Child Poverty and is one of the lead authors of the 2016 AAP Policy Statement on Childhood Poverty.

Dr. Gitterman has been the director of fellowship training in Community Oriented Primary Care/General Academic Pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University. He founded and was both P.I. and program director of the post-graduate fellowship to bridge the gap between primary care and public health. He was a founding Co-Director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, one of 10 federally funded Pediatric Environmental Health Centers in the United States. He is currently a member of the Governor’s Council on Children’s Health and the Environment for the State of Maryland. and was on the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.S. EPA for Children’s Environmental Health. He has been a member of the AAP Committee on Children’s Environmental Health and has spoken nationally and internationally in this area, particularly with regard to advocacy and education.

Dr Gitterman has been the Medical Director of the Health Access Program, a medical-legal collaborative linking the Children’s National Medical Center and the Children’s Law Center of Washington D.C. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the National Center for Medical Legal Partnerships. He has also been the founding Medical Director of Project Health (now Health Leads) , a collaboration between GWU and Children’s National, linking college undergraduates , Pediatric mentors and community health programs. He also volunteers overseas annually with Operation Smile.

He received his B.S. degree from City College of NY and his M.D. degree from SUNY Buffalo. He completed his Pediatrics residency and chief residency at the Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York.

Mary G. Hager, M.A.

Mary Hager is a freelance writer who retired from Newsweek after serving as a Contributing Editor and correspondent for the Washington Bureau. Ms. Hager’s recent work includes commission reports to the President and Congress on arthritis and epilepsy, and articles for publications such as Self Magazine, Eco, Longevity, American Psychologist, Impact 21, Consumer’s Digest, America’s Agenda, National Wildlife, World Almanac, Collier’s Yearbook, and Grolier’s Medicine and Health Yearbook.

Ms. Hager received her M.A. in journalism and communications from Stanford University and was a Sloan-Rockefeller Advanced Science Writing Fellow at the Columbia University School of Journalism. She has received many awards for her work, including the Balance in Journalism Award of the National Environmental Development Association, the Page One Award of the New York Newspaper Guild, the Searle Award of the American Medical Writers Association, and national awards from the National Mental Health Association, the National Easter Seal Society, and Action on Smoking or Health. Ms. Hager was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the U.S./Japan Common Agenda Conference on Environmental Education in 1997, was named a Senator John Heinz Fellow in Environmental Reporting in 2000, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Journalism and Natural Resources.

Nancy Hardt, M.D.

Dr. Nancy Hardt is professor of pathology, immunology, and laboratory medicine and of obstetrics and gynecology, as well as the recently appointed Senior Associate Dean for External Affairs at the University of Florida College of Medicine. As Dean, she is involved in legislative issues, women’s health initiatives, and expansion of the capabilities of the East Side clinic, and will develop a center of excellence in minority health care disparities.

In 2006-2007, Dr. Hardt was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, working as Health Policy Advisor with Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and as a key staffer on health issues in the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Dr. Hardt is boarded in both Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology. She served on the full-time faculty at the university for nearly 20 years, rising to the rank of Professor with tenure and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Managed Care. She has held a number of key leadership positions, including serving as Co-Director, Center for Research on Women’s Health. In 2002, she moved to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where she served as the Director of the Institute for Women’s Health.

Dr. Hardt has been recognized for her outstanding contributions by many organizations, including the National Board of Medical Examiners Distinguished Service Award in 2006 and being named as one of “50 Women Who Make a Difference” in Memphis in 2005.

Judith L. Harris, J.D.

Judy Harris is partner at the law firm Reed Smith, and former Managing Partner of Reed Smith’s D.C. office. She concentrates on telecommunications, internet issues, trade regulation, and consumer protection matters before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Commerce and Justice Departments, in the courts and on Capitol Hill. Prior to her current position, Ms. Harris served as Director of the Office of Legislative and Inter-Governmental Affairs at the FCC. She was in charge of the Commission’s work with Capitol Hill and the Clinton Administration during the debate on children’s television, digital T.V. and connecting classrooms to the Internet, among many other issues.

Before her appointment at the FCC, Ms. Harris’ practice focused on litigation and antitrust counseling, primarily with respect to the healthcare and communications industries, and included the defense and prosecution of class action lawsuits, and grand jury, merger and other investigations involving the Antitrust Division and the FTC. She previously served as a senior trial attorney with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Her first job after graduating from Yale Law School was as a law clerk to the Honorable James A. Belson, now a senior judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals. Ms. Harris is married to Norman Ornstein, an author, political analyst, and commentator.

Alan Mendelson, LLD

Alan Mendelson was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Research Center for Women & Families in June 2006. He is a venture capitalist in Hartford, Conn., where he is the founder and managing general partner of Axiom Venture Partners. Axiom has over $200 million under management and invests in both information technology and the life sciences. Mendelson heads the life science practice.

Prior to founding Axiom, Mendelson served as vice president for Aetna Life and Casualty for about 25 years. In this capacity, he oversaw many projects including Aetna’s $135 million venture program, which generated over $300 million of profits. He also helped to create MBIA, the country’s largest municipal bond insurance company and he worked directly on over three billion dollars of corporate loans. Mendelson successfully worked with the chief information officer to formulate strategy and policy regarding Aetna’s $27.5 billion commercial mortgage loan portfolio. During this time, he also initiated and served as president and CEO of Aetna, Jacobs, and Ramo, a venture capital deal sharing arrangement.

He has dedicated more than two decades of his career to technology policy and development in Connecticut. As the finance committee vice chairman of the State’s first High Technology Task Force in 1984, Mendelson created Connecticut Seed Ventures and two Centers of Excellence. He has served on the Advisory Board of Connecticut Innovations since 1989, and is currently a board member of the Connecticut Technology Council. In his industry roles for the State, he has received the Distinguished Service Award from Connecticut Innovations and the Leadership Award from the Connecticut Venture Group, of which he was a past president.

Mendelson currently serves on the Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum and the Advisory Council of Claremont College’s Keck Graduate Institute, which offers a master’s degree in Bioscience. He also is treasurer and a Board of Trustee member of the Jewish Community Foundation, a director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, and chairman of the Board of Trinity College Hillel.?? Mendelson graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Trinity College. He received, with honors, his LLD degree from the University of Connecticut.

Omega Logan Silva, M.D.

Omega Logan Silva, M.D., is professor emeritus of medicine at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She is a long-standing advocate for universal health care and a committed supporter of the advancement of women in medicine.

Omega Silva started her career as a chemist as the National Institutes of Health, and in 1963 returned to Howard University to train as a physician. After earning a doctor of medicine degree in 1967, Dr. Silva completed a residency in internal medicine at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington, D.C., and from 1970 to 1974 served as a fellow in endocrinology at George Washington University.

In 1975 she was appointed assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University, and in 1977 she was also appointed associate professor of oncology at Howard University. Dr. Silva has held academic posts at both institutions ever since, becoming full professor at Howard in 1985 and at George Washington in 1991. In 1983 she was elected president of the Howard University Medical Alumni, making her the first woman to hold that post. From 1977 to 1996 Dr. Silva was also assistant chief of the Metabolic Section and chief of the diabetic clinic at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Silva is a member of dozens of local and national committees and organizations and from 2000 to 2002 served as president of the American Medical Women’s Association. She has served on six separate advisory groups for the National Institutes of Health and was a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration’s Immunology Section from 1981 to 1989. Dr. Silva has also served on the board of directors for the Howard University Medical Alumni Association, the National Association of Veterans Affairs Physicians, the American Medical Women’s Association and the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine.

Dr. Silva has made numerous media appearances to highlight issues in women’s health including smoking, cervical cancer, and thyroid disease. She has also participated in various career days and educational events at local schools, and has been an editorial referee for Chest, Archives of Internal Medicine and The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics.

In 1984, Dr. Silva received a Letter of Commendation from the President Reagan and in 1995 she was given a Letter of Thanks from President Clinton for her participation in health care reform. In 2003 Dr. Silva was elected to a Mastership at the American College of Physicians. She is also listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who in Black America, Who’s Who in Professional and Executive Women, and Who’s Who of American Women.

Duchy Trachtenberg

The Honorable Duchy Trachtenberg served on the Montgomery County Council, Maryland from 2006 – 2010. Upon joining the County Council, Ms. Trachtenberg became the leading force in creating the Montgomery County Family Justice Center to bring coordinated government services to domestic violence victims. The Center opened in the summer of 2009 and four years later is serving more than 500 families from 100 countries.

As a public health professional and effective grassroots activist for over twenty years, Ms. Trachtenberg has had a special interest in women’s health, behavioral health services, and public health policy. Ms. Trachtenberg holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and is a past Governing Councilor and Section Chair within the American Public Health Association (APHA).

Ms. Trachtenberg has received numerous honors, including the Our Bodies Ourselves Health Collective, “Women’s Health Hero” Award, the “Hero” Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), the “Ally for Equality” Award from Equality Maryland, and recognitions from NARAL, APHA, NOW and other national organizations. Ms. Trachtenberg has also completed the 2009 Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Susanne Wilke, PH.D., MBA

Dr.  Susanne Wilke is a venture capitalist and former bio-tech executive and entrepreneur who is dedicated to investing in and bringing to market drugs that make a difference in patients’ lives.  She is the former CEO and Board Member of Neurotrope Bioscience, Inc., a clinical stage biotech company focused on regenerative strategies to improve memory and cognition of Alzheimer’s patients.

Dr. Wilke has expertise in all aspects of the drug development process, including  research, clinical, regulatory, IP and commercialization, with a particular focus on cancer  treatment and prevention. In addition to her position as CEO of Neurotrope, Dr. Wilke co-founded and worked as  a Managing Director of CrossBridge International, an international advisory firm supporting early-stage, high-growth biomedical companies.

Dr. Wilke has spent five years as a Venture Capitalist, at Schroder Ventures Life Sciences and at NGN Capital.  She was also the co-founder an early stage immune-oncology company, Pin Pharma, and served on the scientific advisory committee of Immunomics, an allergy and  immuno-oncology company with technology out of Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Wilke has a personal experience with a loved one who died after being misdiagnosed, and this has influenced her strong interest in the importance of providing informed consent and accurate information to patients and health professionals.

Dr. Wilke holds a dual Ph.D. in chemistry, biochemistry with focus on drug development from the University of Illinois,  an MBA from Dartmouth College and a BA from Loyola University in Illinois. Dr. Wilke served as a Kauffman Fellow, a prestigious two year fellowship in Venture Capital.

Susan F. Wood, PH.D.

Dr. Susan F. Wood is Research Professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, where her work focuses on the use of scientific knowledge in public policy. She is also Director of the Jacob’s Institute of Women’s Health at GWU.

Dr. Wood served as Director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Women’s Health from November 2000 through August 2005. She championed women’s health both inside and outside the FDA, and then resigned on principle over FDA’s delay of approval of emergency contraception for over-the-counter sale.

Previously, Dr. Wood was the Director for Policy and Program Development at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, where she led the development of policy for the Office. She also coordinated the activities of the Public Health Service Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health. From 1990 to 1995, Dr. Wood worked on Capitol Hill for the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, an organization of Members of Congress dedicated to legislation that promotes legal, economic, and health equity for women. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Dr. Wood was a research scientist at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, in the Department of Neuroscience, where her research focused on cellular mechanisms of sensory transduction. She received her Ph.D. in biology from Boston University at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, where she carried out basic research on the biochemistry of vision.

Dr. Wood has received numerous awards in recognition of her work. She is married and has a daughter.


The Honorable Rosa DeLauro, U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut

Mark Frankel, Ph.D., (Retired) Director, Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Patricia Hendel, Past President of the National Association of Commissions for Women

Phyllis A. Katz, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Research on Social Problems

Rebecca Klemm, Ph.D., President, Klemm Analysis Group

Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., Psychologist and Author

Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., Author

Lisa Lopez, J.D., (Retired) Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Haemonetics Corporation

Mary McDonough, Actress and Director