HBN Welcomes Diverse New Perspectives to Board of Directors

HBN | January 2021 | Newsletter

HBN is excited to announce the addition of three new members to our Board of Directors: Dr. Ami Zota, MyDzung T. Chu, and Carolyn Fine Friedman. As we move from our first 20 years to our next, our board will be critical partners to help us grow, adapt, and turn vision into reality. We’re especially excited to debut a new Emerging Leader position, held by MyDzung T. Chu, as part of our commitment to equity and building a strong future together with the next generation of leaders. Learn more about our newest members below.

MyDzung T. Chu, PhD, MSPH, is an environmental epidemiologist and postdoctoral scientist at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She is invested in public health research and practice centered on housing and environmental justice. Her current research investigates the impact of federal housing assistance on residential environmental exposures for low-income communities. She is also co-investigator of a gut microbiome study looking at the association of acculturation and environmental risk factors for foreign-born women. Her dissertation research examined socio-contextual drivers of disparities in indoor and ambient air pollution and poor housing quality for low-income, immigrant, and Black and Brown households. Prior to her PhD, MyDzung worked as an epidemiologist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and she also serves on the board of the Asian American Resource Workshop. MyDzung has a PhD in Population Health Sciences from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a MSPH in Environmental-Occupational Health and Epidemiology from Emory University, and a BA in Neuroscience from Smith College.

Dr. Ami Zota is an Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Her work seeks to secure environmental justice and improve health equity through advancements in science, policy, and clinical practice. Her research identifies novel pathways linking social disparities, environmental exposures, and reproductive and children’s health, and has been featured in high-impact national and international media publications including the Washington Post, LA Times, USA Today, Huffington Post, and the Atlantic Monthly. Ami recently developed and launched the Agents of Change initiative to amplify underrepresented voices in environmental health - specifically, early career people of color. She received her masters and doctorate in environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health and then completed postdoctoral fellowships at Silent Spring Institute and University of California, San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health.

Carolyn Fine Friedman is chair of the Fine Fund and a longtime friend and supporter of HBN. As a philanthropist and advocate for environmental health and justice, her deepest conviction is that we all deserve to live in a world where we are not unwittingly poisoned by our food, water, transportation, buildings and the products used in our daily lives. With a Master’s degree in education from Harvard University, Carolyn initially entered the workforce powered by curiosity about what people actually do at work and committed to helping them find fulfillment in their careers. After an interim parenting period, Carolyn became a champion for environmental health and justice. Today she fulfills her mission of advocating for untainted good health for all by working with nonprofits, holding events, and speaking in public, in print and online about the subject.

“I am thrilled at the wealth of knowledge and experience our three new members bring to our Board,” said CEO Gina Ciganik. “HBN has a big vision to eliminate disease and pollution caused by toxic chemicals. Solutions must start with children, BIPOC populations, low-income communities, and the workforce who are disproportionately impacted by preventable hazards. These are the leaders who will help us achieve it! I look forward to working together to create a world free of hazardous chemicals.”

You can view our full board roster and meet all our members here.