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Our Staff

Professional Staff

banthinChristopher Banthin, J.D.
Director, Smokefree Homes Initiative/Senior Staff Attorney

As the Program Director of the Tobacco Control Resource Center, Mr. Banthin oversees tobacco research and policy development projects at the Public Health Advocacy Institute.  Mr. Banthin was previously the Deputy Director of the Tobacco Control Resource Center before its merger with the Public Health Advocacy Institute in 2006.  He has authored several articles and presented at conferences around the country on tobacco control and public health law.  Mr. Banthin directs work on numerous research grants and contracts.  He advises municipalities, state and federal lawmakers and nongovernmental public health organizations.  He was an expert consultant to the United State Department of Justice in its lawsuit against the leading cigarettes manufacturers.  Mr. Banthin’s appellate law practice is largely focused on defending public health laws from legal challenges.  He was recognized by Tobacco Free Mass in 2017 for his many years of work to help make housing in Massachusetts smoke-free.

daynardcropRichard A. Daynard, J.D., Ph.D.

Richard A. Daynard holds a J.D. from the Harvard Law School, an M.A. in Sociology from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from M.I.T. in Urban Studies and Planning (specializing in Law and Social Policy).  He is a University Distinguished Professor of Law at Northeastern University, where he has been teaching since 1969.  Professor Daynard has played key roles with a number or organizations devoted to combating the epidemics caused by tobacco and, more recently, obesity. These include serving as the President of the Public Health Advocacy Institute; Chair of the Tobacco Products Liability Project; and Chair of the Law and Obesity Project.  He has published over 80 articles, appeared in or been interviewed by major international media programs, and spoken on these issues in over 30 countries.

L’Merchie Frazier
Director of Creative Engagement, Transformative Action Project

A visual artist, performance artist, educator, and activist, Ms. Frazier is the Director of Education at the Museum of African American History in Boston and an artist in the African-American Master Artist-in-Residence Program at Northeastern University. She has served the artistic community for over twenty years as an award winning national and international visual and performance artist and poet, with residencies in Brazil, Taiwan, Africa, France, and Cuba. As a lecturer and workshop presenter, her audiences include youth and adults.


Lissy C. Friedman, J.D.
Senior Staff Attorney

Lissy Friedman holds a J.D. cum laude from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA and a BA in Political Science magna cum laude from Boston University in Boston, MA. She has spent almost two decades studying the tobacco industry’s corporate malfeasance and its impact on the law and tobacco control policy. Her areas of expertise include the tobacco industry’s use of corporate social responsibility rhetoric and tactics, as well as personal responsibility messaging, to improve its image. In her research, she has extensively analyzed the tobacco industry’s internal corporate documents, and is intimately familiar with Big Tobacco’s playbooks for both its legal and public relations strategies. In addition to analyzing the tobacco industry, other areas of focus have been industries that sell products which cause avoidable non-communicable disease and death and that have adopted Big Tobacco’s playbook, including purveyors of obesogenic food and beverages, alcohol, electronic gambling machines and daily fantasy sports online gambling. Ms. Friedman is a frequent presenter at national tobacco control and public health conferences. She also recently filed an amicus brief with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court advocating for the approval of a ballot question that would outlaw casino gambling in the state, and submitted a legal memo to the MA Attorney General arguing that daily fantasy sports are illegal under current MA law.

Mark Gottlieb, J.D.
Executive Director

Mark Gottlieb  joined the staff of the Public Health Advocacy Institute in 1993 after graduating from Northeastern University School of Law.  His efforts have focused on researching tobacco litigation as a public health strategy as director of the Tobacco Products Liability Project, reducing the harm caused by secondhand tobacco smoke through a variety of legal and policy approaches, fostering scholarship using tobacco industry documents, and, more recently, examining legal and policy approaches to address obesity.  Mark is an adjunct professor at Northeastern University School of Law where he teaches and operates the Public Health Legal Clinic.  He is the Executive Director of the Institute and lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife and three children. A listing of some of his publications can be viewed here.

Barbara Hamm, Psy.D.
Director of Mindful Practice and Trauma-Informed Interventions, Transformative Action Project.
Barbara Hamm has been a leading expert in the field of the psychology of trauma for over 30 years . She is a clinical psychologist in Cambridge, MA, the Director of the Victims of Violence (VOV) Program of the Department of Psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance, and an active participant in Violence Transformed since its inception.


Mary Harvey, Ph.D.
Director, Violence Transformed

Mary Harvey is a graduate of the Studio Arts Diploma Program of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, where she received her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio Arts in 2009.  She is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and founding director of the Victims of Violence (VOV) Program of the Cambridge Health Alliance. She brought the Violence Transformed project to PHAI in 2015 and serves as a contributing artists and consulting psychologist to Violence Transformed’s Transformative action project.


Ilana M. Knopf, J.D.
  Director,  Public
  Health and Tobacco Policy Center

Ilana M. Knopf is the Director of PHAI’s Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center. The Center is funded to work with the New York State cancer prevention program and the tobacco control programs of both New York and Vermont to develop and support policy initiatives that reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality as well as other chronic diseases. Prior to joining the center, she served as Counsel to the Tobacco Project of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) in Washington, DC. There, she assisted states interpret, implement and enforce the provisions of the tobacco Master Settlement Agreements. Ilana has previously served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.  She received a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was managing editor of The Journal of Constitutional Law, a board member of the Guild Food Stamp Clinic and president of the Environmental Law Society.

042715_MM_PHAI_008   Meredith Lever, J.D.
  Senior Associate, Center for Public Health Litigation

Meredith K. Lever is a 2014 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law where she focused on litigation skills and applying findings from  cognitive psychology and behavioral economics to law and public policy. She now serves as Senior Litigation Associate for PHAI’s Center for Public Health Litigation. She was part of the trial team in the US Virgin Islands that won verdicts of $113.3 million for the families of Newport cigarette smokers in 2018.  Meredith also earned an MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication from Northeastern University.

Emily Nink, M.S.
Policy Associate, Public 
Health and Tobacco Policy Center

Emily earned her M.S. through the Agriculture, Food and Environment program at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston. Her research and published works at the Friedman School focused on local produce in Massachusetts farmers’ markets, sustainability in the 2015 dietary guidelines, and community food security. Prior to joining the Center, Emily worked as a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, at the Friedman School, and at Food Tank: The Food Think Tank. Her academic interests include urban food policy, community food security, and healthy retail. In addition to her work at the Center, Emily serves in a volunteer capacity as the Development Coordinator for Everett Community Growers, an urban agriculture and food justice group serving Everett, MA.

Sarah Peck, J.D.
Senior Fellow, PHAI Gun Violence Initiative

Sarah Peck has come to PHAI after a remarkable career as a diplomat for the U.S. State Department in places such as Afghanistan and Pakistan with the goal of reducing public mass shootings here in the United States.

 Andrew Rainer, J.D.
 Litigation Director, Center for Public Health Litigation

Andrew Rainer serves as PHAI’s Litigation Director, and Director of PHAI’s new litigation project, The Center for Public Health Litigation.  Mr. Rainer brings to PHAI over 30 years of experience as a lawyer and litigator, having worked previously both as a prosecutor and as a civil trial lawyer.  Immediately prior to joining PHAI in 2014, Mr. Rainer served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Massachusetts Environmental Strike Force, where he oversaw the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes as well as a number of important public health cases.  Mr. Rainer has also served as an Assistant District Attorney, a partner in two Boston law firms, and as Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.  An AV-rated lawyer and a Massachusetts Superlawyer, he has tried dozens of cases to verdict and negotiated numerous public impact settlements.  Mr. Rainer is also a frequent presenter at environmental, public health, and trial advocacy programs.

swedaEd Sweda, Jr., J.D.
Senior Attorney

Edward L. Sweda, Jr., is Senior Attorney for the Tobacco Products Liability Project (TPLP), a project of PHAI.   Having been active in tobacco control since 1979 with a particular focus on the legislative and litigation aspects of public policy, Mr. Sweda has worked to promote tobacco litigation and thereby force tobacco companies to bear legal and financial responsibility for the harm caused by the intended use of their products.  Articles authored or co-authored by Mr. Sweda have appeared in Trial Magazine, the European Journal of Public Health, Indoor Pollution Law Report, the British Medical Bulletin, Tobacco Control and the New York State Journal of Medicine.

Sudeshna Trivedi, J.D.
Litigation Associate, Center for Public Health Litigation

Sudeshna is a key player in PHAI’s litigation project who helps to keeps our public health impact cases on track.  She comes to us from Boston University School of Law where she served as the projects editor of the American Journal of Law and Medicine.  She completed her undergraduate degree in Public Health Studies at Johns Hopkins University where she was a recipient of that school’s Center for Social Concern Urban Education Award.

Key Project Consultants


Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH, an expert on worker health and safety policy, spent a decade working for the US Department of Labor, served on the team investigating the Sago Mine Disaster for the State of West Virginia, and is currently on the independent team investigating the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster. She directs the Beyond OSHA project.

Anthony Robbins, MD, MPA, a founder of PHAI, is Professor of Public Health, Tufts University School of Medicine and Co-editor, Journal of Public Health Policy. He has been a faculty member at McGill, the University of Vermont, Dartmouth, the University of Colorado, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Boston University.  He has directed the Vermont Department of Health, the Colorado Department of Health, the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the US National Vaccine Program. At the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, he was the professional staff member for health.  In 1981, he was elected President of the American Public Health Association.  For five years he edited Public Health Reports, the scientific journal of the US Public Health Service, before moving to Tufts.  From 2001 to 2010 he was a member of the steering committee for the project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (SKAPP).  He serves as Principal Investigator for the Beyond OSHA project and on PHAI’s board of directors.

Board of Directors 2017-8

Allan M. Brandt
Professor Brandt is the Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine and Professor of the History of Science.  He holds a joint appointment between the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Medical School.  Brandt served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences from 2008 to 2012.  His book on the social and cultural history of cigarette smoking in the U.S., The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America, was published by Basic Books in 2007 (paperback, 2009).   The book received the Bancroft Prize from Columbia University in 2008 and the Welch Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine in 2011.  Brandt has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is currently writing about the impact stigma has on patients and health outcomes.

Richard Daynard (President, Voting ex-officio Board Member)
Professor Daynard is at the forefront of an international movement to establish the legal responsibility of the tobacco industry for tobacco-induced death, disease and disability. He is president of the law school’s Public Health Advocacy Institute and chair of its Tobacco Products Liability Project. He is also an international leader in combating the obesity epidemic. Professor Daynard has written or co-authored more than 80 articles. He teaches in the areas of public health law, strategic litigation and interdisciplinary studies. Professor Daynard has lectured about legal issues in the control of tobacco and obesity in 50 countries, and has chaired 25 national and international conferences on these subjects.  He is a University Distinguished Professor of Law at Northeastern University.

Daniel Givelber (Board Clerk)
As Dean of Northeastern University School of Law from 1984 through 1993 and Interim Dean in 1998 -1999, Professor Givelber was instrumental in the development of Northeastern University School of Law’s Public Interest Loan Deferral and Forgiveness Program, one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind in the country. He played an integral role in forging the ties between Tufts University School of Medicine and Northeastern University School of Law that resulted in the creation of the JD/MPH dual-degree program. His scholarly interests include the impact of law on the behavior of individuals and institutions in health related areas. Professor Givelber recently retired from Northeastern University School of Law.

Dr. Blake Cady (Board Chair)
Dr. Cady’s major academic interests have been in the biological behavior of cancer and the coordination of multidisciplinary treatments of cancer in a balanced fashion so that radical treatments are utilized in advanced cancers and simplified treatments in early and low risk cancers. He has been President of the New England Cancer Society, New England Surgical Society, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Association of Endocrine Surgery, the Boston Surgical Society and the Massachusetts Division of the American Cancer Society. He received the annual Distinguished Award of the American Cancer Society and the Lemuel Shattuck Medal of the Massachusetts Public Health Association on two occasions for activities in Tobacco Control.

Jon D. Hanson
Professor Hanson is the Alfred Smart Professor of Law, the Faculty Director of The Systemic Justice Project , and the Director of The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School. His teaching and scholarship melds social psychology, social cognition, economics, history, and law. Hanson has received several teaching awards and is the faculty leader for 1L Section Six. Hanson’s recent scholarship includes the book, Ideology, Psychology, and Law(Oxford University Press). His current projects focus on systemic injustice and the role of implicit motives in shaping policy.

James Hyde

Professor Hyde has worked extensively at the state and local levels of public health as well as in academic settings. He has focused on public health and public policy in a broad range of areas including child abuse and neglect, environmental health policy, tobacco control policy, and most recently Hepatitis C. His work on risk communication and public health practice during “chaos events” continues to receive wide recognition in the public health community and beyond. He is Associate Professor Emeritus of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Ben Kelley (Treasurer)
Mr. Kelley has worked in the field of injury control for more than 30 years as an educator, researcher, author, expert witness and historian. His concerns embrace product-safety policies of government and industry, advertising claims for dangerous products, inadequate safety standards, and the public health consequences of product injuries, among others. A former official of the U.S. Department of Transportation, he was a principal architect of the world-renowned vehicle safety research and communications program of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, where he served as a senior officer for fifteen years. Later, as president of the Institute for Injury Reduction, he led efforts to document motor vehicle and other hazardous products and to inform the public about their lack of safety. He is Director of Injury Control Policy at the Trauma Foundation.

Nancy Reiner
Ms. Reiner is Managing Director for the legal search firm of Major, Lindsey & Africa.   Ms. Reiner has more than 30 years of experience practicing law in the Boston area. She served as a partner in Brown Rudnick’s litigation department, where she originated the Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Philip Morris, et al. tobacco case, which resulted in an $8.3 billion settlement for the state. Among other distinguished work, she settled several multi-million-dollar environmental insurance recovery cases and led the discovery on behalf of the Commonwealth of more than six million documents in the tobacco case. Ms. Reiner was recognized as a Boston ‘Super Lawyer’ in 2004 and 2005, is Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated, and is a former Adjunct Professor (Mediation in the Public Interest) at Northeastern University School of Law. She is also the co-chair and co-founder of the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA)’s Law Firm Eco-Challenge, Energy and Environment Task Force, which helps lawyers reduce energy and resource consumption.

Dr. Anthony Robbins
Dr. Robbins is a founder of PHAI,  Professor of Public Health, Tufts University School of Medicine and Co-editor, Journal of Public Health Policy. He has been a faculty member at McGill, the University of Vermont, Dartmouth, the University of Colorado, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Boston University. He has directed the Vermont Department of Health, the Colorado Department of Health, the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the US National Vaccine Program. At the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, he was the professional staff member for health. In 1981, he was elected President of the American Public Health Association. For five years he edited Public Health Reports, the scientific journal of the US Public Health Service, before moving to Tufts. From 2001 to 2010 he was a member of the steering committee for the project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (SKAPP).

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Northeastern University School of Law