Cancer Policy Institute Advisory Board

Jeff Allen, PhD
Executive Director
Friends of Cancer Research

Jeff Allen, Ph.D. serves as the Executive Director of Friends of Cancer Research (Friends), a cancer research think tank and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.  Working with the entire cancer research and advocacy community, Friends pioneers innovative public‐private partnerships, organizes critical policy forums, educates the public, and brings together key stakeholders to overcome the barriers standing between patients and the most promising cancer treatments. Prior to joining Friends, Dr. Allen was an endocrinology fellow in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Allen is a thought leader on U.S. Food and Drug Administration‐related regulatory and scientific policy, as well as comparative effectiveness research. During his time with Friends, Dr. Allen has served as the organizing author of multiple reports on these topics, including: "Improving Medical Decisions through Comparative Effectiveness Research: Cancer as a Case Study" co‐authored by a 25 member academic committee, and “Drug Safety & Drug Efficacy: Two Sides of the Same Coin.” Dr. Allen has been published on these topics in multiple policy journals, and was a lead author of the widely‐cited study on FDA cancer drug approvals, “Despite Criticism of the FDA Review Process, New Cancer Drugs Reach Patients Sooner in the United States than in Europe” published in the journal, Health Affairs.

Lauren Barnes, MHS
Senior Vice President
Avalere Health

Lauren Barnes, Senior Vice President, provides strategic payer planning and public policy expertise to clients to assist in the successful commercialization of their products. She advises clients in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. 
Lauren was Director of the Payment and Coverage Group at Amgen, where she worked for six years. While at Amgen, Lauren held a series of leadership roles within its reimbursement and policy arenas. She led Amgen's internal payment policy and analysis team as well as Amgen's Medicaid and Medicare field teams. Lauren began her career at Amgen in its Washington, DC Government Affairs office. Immediately prior to her time with Amgen, Lauren worked for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly HCFA) where she developed Medicare drug coverage policies within the Coverage and Analysis Group. 
Lauren holds a B.A. in Public Health and an M.H.S. in Health Care Policy from The Johns Hopkins University.

Jeff Belkora, PhD

Associate Professor
Institute for Health Policy Studies
University of California, San Francisco

Jeff Belkora, PhD, is Associate Professor of Surgery and Health Policy at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). His professional mission is to help people grow in their capacity for leadership, teamwork, and decision-making. To this end, Dr. Belkora develops, implements, and evaluates patient engagement programs in health care. His programs have been implemented and evaluated in academic and community settings in the United States and the UK. He is the author of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and case studies on patient decision making. Dr. Belkora also disseminates his work internationally through speaking, training, and consulting engagements. Prior to joining the UCSF faculty, Dr. Belkora was a co-founder of Outcome Software, a decision analysis software company. Dr. Belkora earned a B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University. His graduate training at Stanford University included an M.Sc. in Statistics and culminated with a Ph.D in Engineering.

Amanda Bennett
Author, The Cost of Hope

Amanda Bennett is Executive Editor/Projects and Investigations for Bloomberg News. She was editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from June, 2003, to November, 2006, and prior to that was editor of the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky. She also served for three years as managing editor/projects for The Oregonian in Portland. Bennett served as a Wall Street Journal reporter for more than 20 years. A graduate of Harvard College, she held numerous posts at the paper, including auto industry reporter in Detroit in the late 70s and early 80s, Pentagon and State Department reporter, Beijing correspondent, management editor/reporter, national economics correspondent and, finally, chief of the Atlanta bureau until 1998, when she moved to The Oregonian. She served as co-Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2010.  Bennett shared the Prize for national reporting with her Journal colleagues, and in 2001 led a team from The Oregonian to a Pulitzer for public service. She is on the board of the Loeb Awards. Projects by the Bloomberg P&I team have won numerous awards, including Loeb, Polk, Barlett & Steele, Headliners, Society of American Business Editors and Writers and  Overseas Press Club Awards. She is the author of six books including “In Memoriam” (1998), co-authored with Terence B. Foley; “The Man Who Stayed Behind,” co-authored with Sidney Rittenberg (1993), and “Death of the Organization Man” (1991). "The Cost of Hope," her memoir of the battle she and Foley, her late husband, fought against his kidney cancer, was published in June, 2012 by Random House. She is a member of The Pennsylvania Women’s Forum. She is on the board of the American Society of News Editors, and is on the board of advisers of the Temple University Press; and on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network and of the Rosenbach Museum, a Philadelphia museum of rare books.

Linda J. Blumberg, PhD

Senior Fellow
The Urban Institute

Dr. Linda J. Blumberg, PhD is a senior fellow in the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center.  She is an expert on private health insurance, health care financing, and health system reform. She has been at the Urban Institute since 1992.  Her recent work includes a variety of projects related to the analysis of health reform as well the provision of technical assistance to states in their efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  These include:  a large multi-year quantitative and qualitative analytic effort monitoring and evaluating the effects of the ACA; separate analyses of the effects of policy design options under the ACA in 3 states and nationally; and analysis of the ACA’s implications for employer decisions.  She has a particular interest in insurance issues for populations with high levels of medical need.  Dr. Blumberg received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

Caroline Brown
Covington & Burling LLP

Michele R. Dietz, RN, MSN
Executive Director, External Relations and Business Development
Oncology Nursing Society

Michele Dietz is Executive Director of External Relations and Business Development at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), a national association serving more than 35,000 members, based in Pittsburgh. With more than 25 years oncology nursing experience and 18 years in association management, Dietz works with the CEO to coordinate corporate business development efforts, build effective partnerships, and strategize funding opportunities for ONS. Dietz currently leads ONS's health policy, membership, marketing, communications, sales and partnership efforts. Prior to joining the ONS staff, Dietz was Patient Care Manager, Staff Development Instructor, and Clinical Nurse at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. She received both her BSN and MSN from the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Nursing. Dietz can be reached at 412-859-6266 or

Mary Beth Donahue
Executive Vice President
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)

Mary Beth Donahue is EVP for AHIP, a national association representing over 1,200 member companies providing health benefits to more than 200 million Americans.  In this capacity, she oversees the departments responsible for advocacy and operations of the 160 person Association with $54 million budget.  She leads the management team and coordinates all activities for the Board of Directors.  Mary Beth began her AHIP tenure as Vice President of Federal Affairs. 
Prior to joining AHIP in 2001, Mary Beth served in a number of positions in the public sector, including Chief of Staff at HHS where she worked 1993–2001. As Chief of Staff, Mary Beth oversaw and coordinated operations of HHS agencies and served as principal advisor to the Secretary. She joined HHS in 1993 as Congressional Liaison, then Deputy Chief of Staff.  She began her career as Executive Assistant to Governor Michael Dukakis 1987-1990. 
Mary Beth’s career has included roles on the political front. She was selected by the Kerry Presidential Campaign in 2004 to serve as Chief of Staff to the Vice Presidential nominee. She also worked on the 1992 Clinton Presidential Campaign, and served on the Clinton-Gore transition team.  Mary Beth received a B.S. from Boston College, and an M.P.P. from Georgetown University, and she attended the Kennedy School of Government Senior Managers in Government Program.

Stephen Edge, MD, FACS
Cancer Center Director
Baptist Cancer Center

Dr. Edge is Director of the Baptist Cancer Center in Memphis, TN. Baptist Cancer Center includes programs at hospitals and practices across the tri-state region of West Tennessee. Dr. Edge trained at Case Western Reserve University and the National Cancer Institute. Until July 2013, Dr. Edge served for 21 years as Chief of Breast Surgery and the Alfiero Foundation Endowed Chair in Breast Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. He is the immediate past Chair of the Commission on Cancer and the American Joint Committee on Cancer. His research focuses on community wide quality of cancer care across the continuum of care. 

Pamela Greenberg, MPP
President and CEO
Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness

Pamela Greenberg is the President and CEO of the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness.  ABHW is the national voice for specialty behavioral health and wellness companies. ABHW member companies provide services to over 125 million people in both the public and private sectors to treat mental health, substance use and other behaviors that impact health. Pamela serves on the Editorial Board of the Bloomberg BNA Health Insurance Report and BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE magazine.  She also was the Chair of the Coalition for Fairness in Mental Illness Coverage, one of the leading Coalitions that helped develop, advocate for, and get the Wellstone-Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 signed in to law. Prior to joining ABHW Pamela was the Deputy Director of Federal Affairs for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).  Before joining AHIP Ms. Greenberg was a Legislative Assistant at Capitol Associates, a healthcare consulting firm in Washington, D.C. Pamela has a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University.  She is also a Board member of the Lupus Foundation of DC/MD/VA.

Diana D. Jeffery, PhD
Government Health Psychologist

Diana D. Jeffery, Ph.D., is a health psychologist with more than 30 years of health research experience. She is a health analyst within the Defense Health Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, TRICARE Management Activity, Department of Defense where her work focuses on the measurement and evaluation of health care of military personnel and their families. Her work focuses on health care costs, utilization and policies related to cancer care, medically unexplained physical symptoms conditions and chronic illness, substance use, and patient-outcome measures. She currently serves on the National Steering Committee of Redes en Accion, the National Advisory Council of the Women Survivors Alliance, the Board of the Scientific Network for Female Sexual Health and Cancer, and the NIH PROMIS© Working Committee of Sexual Function and Satisfaction Measures.

Lovell A. Jones, Ph.D., F.H.D.R.
Research Faculty, College of Science & Engineering
Texas A & M University Corpus Christi 
Professor Emeritus
U.T. Distinguished Teaching Professor
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Professor Emeritus
University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Co-Founder, Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC)
Chair, Board of Directors, Children And Neighborhoods Defeat Obesity (CANDO)

Lovell A. Jones, PhD, a member of the Research Faculty in the College of Science & Engineering at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi previously held the post professor in the Department of Health Disparities Research and Founding  Director of the joint UT MD Anderson Cancer Center/University of Houston Dorothy I. Height Center for Health Equity & Evaluation Research.  He is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Health Disparities Research at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as well as the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, one of the few individuals to hold such a position at two UT System institutions. He continues to serve on a number advisory groups and boards that focus on addressing health equity.  He has more than 35 years of experience in addressing minority health and the health of the underserved. As a scientist, he has also done extensive research into the relationship between hormones, diet and endocrine responsive tumors and has presented his work both nationally and internationally. He has edited one of the few comprehensive textbooks on this subject: Minorities & Cancer. He has chaired or co-chaired numerous major events regarding the underserved and cancers, including the 1st National African Cancer Education meeting in Abuja, Nigeria.  He is co-author of the congressional resolution designating the third full week in April as "National Minority Cancer Awareness Week." For his work, the NIH/National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities was awarded him its Director’s Award for Excellence in Health Disparities. He has also received the Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award and was selected as one of the top African American Scientist in America by the National Science Foundation “The History Makers.” In January 2000, he was named the first director of the congressionally mandated Center for Research on Minority Health (CRMH), a multidisciplinary center which aims to a) foster research that addresses the causes of health disparities and translates scientific results back to the communities affected by those disparities; b) encourage minority students to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences; and c) increase recruitment and retention of minority and medically underserved populations into clinical trials. 

Deborah Kamin, RN, PhD
Senior Director
Cancer Policy and Clinical Affairs
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Dr. Deborah Kamin joined ASCO in 1998 as Senior Director focusing on health care policy. Dr. Kamin supports a nationwide network of oncologists and oversees a range of initiatives in the fight against cancer. She promotes ASCO’s public policy positions with patient advocacy groups, medical specialty societies, government agencies, and congress. Prior to joining ASCO she directed health policy and benefit design for the Department of Defense civilian health insurance program, TRICARE, which covers over 8 million beneficiaries. Dr. Kamin earned a nursing degree at the Medical College of Georgia, a master’s degree in management science at the Naval Postgraduate School, and a PhD in health policy at the George Washington University.

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD

University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD is a Professor and former department chair of the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research Department at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.  He received his BS in Economics from M.I.T. and his PhD in Economics from Duke University.  His research and teaching focus on pharmacoeconomics, comparative effectiveness research, patient-centered outcomes research, and health disparities research.  He has received funding as a Principal Investigator from the NIH/NIA, NIH/NHLBI and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and was the Shared Resources Core Director for the NIH-sponsored University of Maryland Center for Health Disparities Research, Training, and Outreach.  He also has served as a co-Investigator on other grants funded by AHRQ, HRSA and the NIH.  He served as a member of the Health Systems Research (HSR) study section of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and currently is a Regular Study Section Member for the National Cancer Institute (NCI-J).

Sharyl J. Nass, PhD
National Cancer Policy Forum, Institute of Medicine

Sharyl Nass, Ph.D. is a scholar at the National Academies' Institute of Medicine and Director of the IOM's National Cancer Policy Forum. Over the past 14 years, her work at the IOM has focused on a broad range of topics that includes the quality of cancer care, cancer clinical trials, developing cancer biomarkers and omics-based tests to guide patient care, strategies for large-scale biomedical science, developing technologies for the early detection of breast cancer, improving breast imaging quality standards, the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on health research, and contraceptive research and development. With a Ph.D. in cell and tumor biology from Georgetown University and postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she has authored papers on the cell and molecular biology of breast cancer. She also holds a BS in genetics and an MS in Endocrinology/Reproductive Physiology, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  In addition, she studied developmental genetics and molecular biology at the Max Planck Institute in Germany under a fellowship from the Heinrich Hertz-Stiftung Foundation.  Dr. Nass was the 2007 recipient of the Cecil Award for Excellence in Health Policy Research, the 2010 recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the National Academies, and the 2012 recipient of the IOM staff team achievement award.

Dylan H. Roby, PhD
Assistant Professor
Health Policy and Management
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health


Economic and Evaluation Research
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Dylan Roby is the director of Health Economics and Evaluation Research at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Dr. Roby conducts research on access to care, health insurance, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act. He is also responsible for several evaluations of local and state programs to improve management of chronic illness and combat health disparities. Dr. Roby was a senior researcher at the Center from 2003-2011 and Associate Director of UCLA’s MPH Program in Health Policy and Management from 2010-2012. Prior to that, Roby was a researcher in The George Washington University Center for Health Services Research and Policy. Roby graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in geography and a minor in public policy. He earned his doctorate in public policy from The George Washington University. 

Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, MPH, FAAP

President and CEO

Dr. Simpson is the president and chief executive officer of AcademyHealth. A nationally recognized health policy researcher and pediatrician, she is a passionate advocate for the translation of research into policy and practice. Her research focuses on improving the performance of the health care system and includes studies of the quality and safety of care, health and health care disparities and the health policy and system response to childhood obesity. Before joining AcademyHealth, Dr. Simpson was director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Health Policy and Clinical Effectiveness, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati. She served as the Deputy Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 1996 to 2002. Dr. Simpson serves on the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program National Advisory Council, the Editorial boards for the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research and Frontiers in Public Health Systems and Services Research. Dr. Simpson earned her undergraduate and medical degrees at Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), a master’s in public health at the University of Hawaii, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in health services research and health policy at the University of California, San Francisco.

Daniel E. Smith, JD


Dan Smith, founder and President of AdvocacySmiths recently served as Principal at The Sheridan Group and as the former Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Dan was also founder and former president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. At the HELP Committee, Dan helped pass landmark pieces of legislation including the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, an integral component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, and the The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010. At ACS CAN, Dan successfully pioneered a strong 501(c)(4) in the health non-profit arena building a sophisticated grassroots network, thereby turbocharging ACS CAN's advocacy efforts and winning impressive legislative victories at all levels of government, including making 28 states and the District of Columbia smoke-free.  In founding One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), a coalition of more than 40 cancer organizations, Dan led the effort to successfully fight for billions of dollars in funding for cancer research, prevention, and early detection. Dan graduated from the University of Iowa with Highest Distinction in 1983 and Georgetown University Law Center in 1986.  He resides in Chevy Chase, MD with his wife, Lorraine Voles, and their two children.

Designation as an Advisor to the Institute does not suggest endorsement of specific policy positions or the Cancer Support Community.

Social Media

Follow us on:

Free Materials

Frankly Speaking About Cancer Materials

Internet Radio Show

Frankly Speaking About Cancer Internet Radio Show


Our Initiatives

Mini Meals