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Leaders from Public Health, Nutrition, Environmental Law Join EWG Board

For Immediate Release: 
Monday, November 5, 2012

Washington, D.C. – Four experts have joined Environmental Working Group’s board of directors with long experience in environmental advocacy and stewardship, government relations, public health and other public policy issues.

They are Ami Aronson of the Bernstein Family Foundation, Melissa Hughes of CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley, William G. Ross, former North Carolina environment and natural resources secretary and Dr. Mark Hyman, family physician, functional medicine expert and best-selling author.

“I’m thrilled that Ami, Melissa, Bill and Mark have agreed to join our board,” EWG President and board member Ken Cook said. ‘They bring diverse skill sets and perspectives to the table. Their leadership in their respective fields will further EWG’s development beyond our 20th anniversary and their strong commitment to supporting EWG’s mission will help expand our work into new arenas.”

More about the new board members:

As managing director of the Bernstein Family Foundation, Ami Aronson is responsible for governance, fiduciary management, grant making and communications. She has played a leadership role in taking this historic foundation into the 21st century through strategic planning, estate liquidation, mergers and acquisitions. She engages with community leaders concerning the foundation’s three areas of focus: Jewish causes, American democracy and arts and culture.

Prior to joining the foundation, Aronson worked on public health issues such as women’s and adolescent health, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, violence prevention and nutrition education. She has more than 18 years of experience in designing, developing, implementing and evaluating health communications programs. Her areas of expertise include entertainment education, public-private partnership development, special event production, print and video material development and research. She has worked in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

A native of San Francisco, she resides in the Washington, DC area with her husband, children and dogs.

Melissa L. Hughes is General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs for CROPP Cooperative in LaFarge, Wisc., managing all legal and government affairs for this organic farmer-owned cooperative, whose brands include Organic Valley® and Organic Prairie®. She oversees contracting, employee matters, board governance matters, compliance, securities and organic regulations. She also serves on the USDA’s Agriculture in the 21st Century Committee, and the Non-GMO Project Board of Directors.

Melissa, a New Yorker, has resided in rural Wisconsin since 2003, with her three children and husband.

Dr. Mark Hyman has dedicated his career to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illness through a groundbreaking, whole-systems approach known as functional medicine. A family physician and five time #1 New York Times best-selling author, he is an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator and advocate. He is founder and medical director of the UltraWellness Center in western Massachusetts and chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine. In 2009, he was awarded the institute’s Linus Pauling Award for Leadership in Functional Medicine. He is a board member of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, advisor to Dr. Mehmet Oz’s Health Corps and the Dr. Oz Show and a medical editor of the Huffington Post. He co-created The Daniel Plan with Rick Warren, Dr. Oz and Dr. Amen, a faith-based initiative that helped a church congregation lose 250,000 pounds.

William G. Ross, Jr., led the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources from 2001 to 2009. During his tenure, the department played a principal role as the state expanded its state parks system; enacted landmark legislation that mandated major reductions of emissions from the state’s coal-fired power plants; and built the innovative Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Prior to his work for the state, Ross practiced environmental law with the Greensboro and Raleigh law firm of Brooks Pierce. He has been a leader in various organizations and programs in the fields of parks and greenways, environmental education and environmental law.

Ross is currently a visiting professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and of counsel to Brooks Pierce.

Ross is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Virginia School of Law. He and his wife Susan Gravely live in Chapel Hill.