Speaker Bios

Julio FrenkJulio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD

President, University of Miami

Julio José Frenk Mora is a Mexican-American physician and former secretary of Health of Mexico. Frenk is currently the president of the University of Miami. Frenk formerly served as dean of the faculty and T & G Angelopoulos professor of public health and international development at the Harvard School of Public Health, from 2009-2015. He received his medical degree in 1979 from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and went on to obtain three additional advanced degrees: a Master of Public Health (1981), a Master of Arts in sociology (1982), and a joint Doctor of Philosophy in medical care organization and in sociology (1983), from the University of Michigan. Frenk also served as a senior fellow in the global health program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he counseled the foundation on global health issues and strategies.


Phillip S. GardinerPhillip S. Gardiner, DrPH,

University of California Office of the President, Tobacco Related Disease Research Program

Dr. Gardiner received his Doctorate in Behavioral Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley, where he focused on Youth Violence as a public health issue. Throughout his research career, Dr. Gardiner has maintained his community activism to address racial disparities in health, through writing, organizing, evaluating and public speaking. For the past 15 years, Dr. Gardiner has lectured around the country on African American health disparities generally and menthol smoking in the Black Community, particularly. Another focus of Dr. Gardiner is the regulation of Electronic Cigarettes. Currently, Dr. Gardiner is the UC Smoke and Tobacco Free Fellowship Awards Program Officer for the Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), University of California Office of the President. Additionally, Dr. Gardiner is Co-Chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC), a group of Black professionals dedicated to fighting the scourge of tobacco impacting the African American community in California and Nationally.

Most recently, Dr. Gardiner, in his capacity as the Co-Chair of the AATCLC, participated in writing a letter to President Obama demanding that he direct the FDA to issue a proposed rule to remove all flavored tobacco products, including mentholated cigarettes, from the marketplace. Many of the major players in tobacco control signed on to the letter. This request was occasioned by the ill-informed decision of the Office on Management and Budget to red-ling 16 pages of text that dealt explicitly with regulating menthol and other flavored tobacco products.


Robin KovalRobin Koval

Chief Executive Officer and President, Truth Initiative

Robin Koval leads Truth Initiative, the nation's largest public health organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. As CEO and President, Koval re-imagined the life-saving truth® youth tobacco prevention campaign, adapting the iconic brand for today's generation of digital natives and the changing tobacco control landscape. In the past year, the reinvented truth "Finish It" campaign has earned the most recognition in the campaign's history including being named one of North America's most effective brands in 2016. More importantly, the campaign is producing evidence of significant changes in anti-tobacco attitudes and intentions among 15-21 year olds.

In addition to its iconic truth campaign, Truth Initiative's other core programs focus on tobacco policy and research (in conjunction with its Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research) and advancing community and youth engagement around tobacco control issues.

Before joining Truth Initiative, Koval co-founded and led the 700-person advertising agency Publicis Kaplan Thaler, growing the agency from a fledgling start-up in 1997 to a billion-dollar company working with Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Aflac and other cherished brands. Koval has been recognized as an influential leader and trailblazer by organizations such as Advertising Age, Advertising Women of New York, New York Women in Communications, and the Women's Venture Fund.

Koval has co-written four best-selling books. Most recently, she examined the science and behavioral traits behind success in Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary. Other books include The Power of Nice and The Power of Small.


Matthew L. Myers Matthew L. Myers

President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Matthew L. Myers is President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The Campaign is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world.

Over the last 25 years, Mr. Myers has participated in virtually every major US tobacco-related legislative effort, including efforts that revised the warning labels on cigarettes, eliminated tobacco subsidies, required warning labels on smokeless tobacco, banned smokeless tobacco from advertising on TV and radio, banned smoking on airplanes, multiple tax increases, and the 2009 legislation that granted the US Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products. My Myers and the Campaign worked on the development of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the first global public health treaty and with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are now working in countries across the globe for the implementation of the policies called for by the treaty.

Beginning in 1996 he served as a close advisor to the State Attorneys General when they sued the tobacco industry and he participated the negotiations that led to the first ever settlement with a tobacco company. In 1999 Mr. Myers was appointed to serve on the first tobacco advisory committee to the Director General of the World Health Organization. In 2000, he was named by President Clinton to co-chair a Presidential Commission to both address the problems confronted by tobacco farmers and at the same time promote the public health through a reduction in tobacco use. In 2011 he was selected to serve on the Civil Society Task Force to advise the President of the General Assembly of the UN in conjunction with the UN High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases.

Mr. Myers has received the Surgeon General's Medallion from Dr. C. Everett Koop; the Harvard School of Public Health's highest award, the Julius B. Richmond award; the American Cancer Society's highest award, The Medal of Honor; the Jacob K. Javits Award; the John Slade Award from the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco; and the Voluntary Health Association of India's highest award, the Fr. James Tong Centenary Award. In 2006 the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids received the Luther Terry Award for its leadership on global tobacco control.

Mr. Myers is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and was a partner in the law firm of Asbill, Junkin and Myers. Mr. Myers began his tobacco control work at the Federal Trade Commission. From 1982 to 1992, Mr. Myers led the Coalition on Smoking OR Health, an organization comprised of the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the American Heart Association.


Nancy A. RigottiNancy A. Rigotti, MD

Professor of Medicine, Professor of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director, Tobacco Research and Treatment Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Rigotti is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a primary care physician who trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where she is Associate Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Director of the Office of Women's Careers. Dr. Rigotti has long advocated for improving the delivery of tobacco dependence treatment in the health care system. She founded and directs MGH's Tobacco Research and Treatment Center, which combines a clinical treatment program with a multidisciplinary research group that develops, test, and disseminate interventions for smoking cessation across outpatient and inpatient settings. Working at the junction of medicine and public health, Dr. Rigotti's work combines efforts to change individual behavior with community, policy, and health care system efforts to influence individuals' decisions about starting or continuing to smoke. Dr. Rigotti served as President of the Society of General Internal Medicine (2008-09) and President of the Society for Research in Nicotine and Tobacco (2003-04). She has served on numerous national and international committees addressing tobacco issues. Awards include the 2015 John Eisenberg National Award for Career Achievement in Research from the Society of General Internal Medicine and the 2006 James D. Bruce Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions in Preventive Medicine from the American College of Physicians.