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Partnership for a Healthier America Builds Out Key Staff

Policy, legal and communications experts join the organization’s fight to end childhood obesity

WASHINGTON, DC (September 27, 2011) – The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and honorary chairwoman First Lady Michelle Obama to solve the nation’s childhood obesity crisis, today announced the addition of several key staff members to help round out its core functions.

“Our newest team members come to PHA from diverse professional backgrounds, and all of them are passionate about the work we do,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “Their collective expertise will be invaluable as we move closer to our goal of ending childhood obesity in a generation, and we’re pleased to have them on board.”

Attorney Ryan D. Shadrick Wilson joins PHA as general counsel and policy advisor. Shadrick Wilson was previously an associate at Hogan Lovells, LLP, where she worked on a variety of issues connected to childhood obesity. In addition to her work at Hogan Lovells, Shadrick Wilson has worked on a pro bono basis across a broad range of issues, including political asylum, civil rights and domestic violence. She currently serves on the board of directors of both the Anti-Defamation League and the Washington Council of Lawyers, and on the associate board of directors for City Year. She received her undergraduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Susan L. Roberts, J.D., M.S., R.D., is a PHA fellow supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and will advise PHA on food and nutrition issues. Roberts is a consultant, writer and speaker on food systems, nutrition and agriculture policy and recently co-founded the Iowa Food Systems Council. She also is a partner at Health Discovered, LLC, an organization focused on creating healthier individuals and a healthier planet. Roberts, a published research dietician, also served as director of public health nutrition for the Iowa Department of Public Health and directed the Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellows Program. She completed her undergraduate work at Iowa State University; her M.S. in preventive medicine and environmental health at the University of Iowa College of Medicine; and her J.D. at Drake University School of Law.Roberts and Shadrick Wilson joined the organization in September and report to Policy Director Joyal Mulheron.

Elly Spinweber joins PHA as deputy director of communications and marketing. She brings particular expertise in working with non-profit and public sector organizations, and has led successful public relations, crisis communications and social marketing campaigns across a range of health focus areas. Spinweber comes to PHA from AARP, where she led press strategy and outreach for the organization’s charitable and service-related initiatives, including its anti-hunger efforts. She joined AARP from the agency world, where she worked for clients including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Legacy Foundation, Operation Smile and America On the Move. Spinweber has bachelor’s degrees in journalism and international politics from Penn State University and is pursuing a master’s in public health at George Mason University. She reports to Communications and Marketing Director Drew Nannis.

Caitlin McKeown joins PHA as staff assistant, supporting the directors of policy, new business, and communications and marketing. Most recently, McKeown served as a White House intern, working on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. She recently received her Master of Public Policy from the Trachtenberg School at George Washington University. Before pursuing her master’s, she served as the development coordinator at Everybody Wins! Minnesota, through the AmeriCorps VISTA service program. She completed her undergraduate work at College of Saint Benedict & St. John’s University.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move!effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.