Episode Eighteen | Part Two: Dr. Miriam Nelson

Episode Information

In the conclusion of David’s conversation with Dr. Miriam Nelson, the President and CEO of the Newman’s Own Foundation, Miriam discusses the legacy of Paul Newman and breaks down how they’ve become more laser-focused on their three overarching operating goals.

About Miriam Nelson: Dr. Nelson is President and CEO of the Newman’s Own Foundation. An international leader, scientist, and social entrepreneur renowned for her extensive research, policy work, and civic action in public health, children’s wellness, sustainability, and food systems, Dr. Nelson is leading the Foundation’s new and more focused mission to nourish and transform the lives of children who face adversity. Under her leadership and through its refocused giving strategy, Newman’s Own Foundation will transform the lives of more children, strengthen impactful organizations on an upward trajectory, and raise awareness of children’s issues.

Prior to assuming the role of President and CEO for Newman’s Own Foundation in 2020, Dr. Nelson was a grantee of the Newman’s Own Foundation through her work at Tufts University in 2015 and served on the Newman’s Own, Inc. Board of Directors from 2015-2019.

Dr. Nelson previously held leadership roles at academic institutions, including president of Hampshire College, director of the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire, and associate dean at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. During that time, she founded—and for fifteen years directed—the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition. The Center’s research, policy, and civic engagement contributed to the reduction of childhood obesity and improvements in women’s health in the United States for over two decades, directly reaching over 11 million women and children. She also co-founded ChildObesity180, an initiative that First Lady Michelle Obama supported through her “Let’s Move” campaign.

Dr. Nelson has contributed broadly to public policy initiatives, most notably those focused on health and nutrition. In 2008 she served as the vice-chair of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She also served on the 2010 and 2015 respective Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees (DGAC) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Within the 2015 DGAC, Dr. Nelson spearheaded the influential work on dietary guidance and sustainability. From 2011 to 2014 Dr. Nelson served as a member of the Science Board of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (chairing in 2013).

In addition to authoring the bestselling Strong Women books, a series of ten including five New York Times bestsellers that provide evidence-based strategies to help woman live strong and healthy lives (more than one million copies in 14 languages), she has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific studies, research papers, and policy reports, many of them introducing groundbreaking findings. Dr. Nelson has been quoted extensively and included as a featured expert in the press, including on The Today Show, Nova, and National Public Radio, and in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico.

Dr. Nelson has received more than a dozen honors and awards over her career. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont and a PhD from Tufts University.