Sara Bleich, PhD
Professor of Public Health Policy
Harvard Chan School of Public Health
Bio:Sara Bleich is a Professor of Public Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Her research provides evidence to support policy alternatives for obesity prevention and control, particularly among populations at higher risk for obesity. A signature theme throughout her work is an interest in asking simple, meaningful questions about the complex problem of obesity which can fill important gaps in the literature. Sara is the past recipient of an award for “most outstanding abstract” at the International Conference on Obesity in Sydney, Australia, an award for “best research manuscript” in the journal Obesity, and an award for excellence in public interest communication from the Frank Conference. Sara was recently appointed as a White House Fellow (2015-2016) where she was a Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. She holds degrees from Columbia (BA, Psychology) and Harvard (PhD, Health Policy).
Gary D. Foster, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Bio:Gary Foster, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers International, Inc. Foster, a psychologist, obesity investigator and behavior change expert, was previously the Founder and Director of the Center of Obesity Research and Education and Laura Carnell Professor of Medicine, Public Health and Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia. Prior to Temple, he served as the Clinical Director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has authored more than 180 scientific publications and three books on the etiology and treatment of obesity. Foster has received numerous honors including President of The Obesity Society, Honorary Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association, and the George A. Bray Founders Award from The Obesity Society. Dr. Foster's research interests include the prevention, behavioral determinants, treatments, and effects of obesity in adults and children. His current focus is on scalable, evidence-based approaches to obesity management. Foster earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Duquesne University, an M.S. in Psychology from University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Temple University.
Thomas H. Lee, MD, MSc
Leadership Board Founder, NEJM Catalyst; Editorial Board, the New England Journal of Medicine;
Chief Medical Officer, Press Ganey Associates
Bio:Dr. Thomas Lee is Chief Medical Officer of Press Ganey, and an internist and cardiologist who practices at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He is a Professor of Medicine, part time, at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to joining Press Ganey, he served as Network President for Partners Healthcare System and CEO for Partners Community HealthCare, Inc., the integrated delivery system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Geisinger Health System, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Geisinger Health Plan, Geisinger Quality Options, Inc., and Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Health Leads; the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College; the Special Medical Advisory Group (SMAG) of the Veterans Administration; and the Panel of Health Advisors of the Congressional Budget Office. He is a member of the Editorial Board of The New England Journal of Medicine. He is the author of more than 260 academic articles and three books, Chaos and Organization in Health Care, Eugene Braunwald and the Rise of Modern Medicine, and An Epidemic of Empathy in Healthcare. Named in his honor, the Thomas H. Lee Award for Excellence in Primary Care is given each year to recognize a primary care physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who meets the needs of his or her patients exceptionally well. Tom holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Science from Harvard College, a medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, and a master’s degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. He lives in Milton, Massachusetts, with his wife, Dr. Soheyla Gharib, who is Chief of Medicine at Harvard University Health Services. The couple has three daughters.