Our Team

ECP’s dynamic team of passionate and dedicated individuals works remotely all throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and South America. We are united in our mission to educate for a better world and fully recognize that while individually we can make a difference, together, we can change the world!

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Executive Team

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Lorena Mucke

Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Lorena Mucke is the founder and CEO of the Educated Choices Program (ECP), a multinational academic non-profit organization focused on the issues related to food choices and their impact on human and planetary health. She has 16 years of leadership experience in the area of food-related education and has spoken about its effectiveness at conferences, colleges, and high schools throughout the US, Bolivia, and Argentina.

Under her leadership, ECP has grown exponentially, increased its effectiveness, expanded internationally and partnered with global organizations, becoming the most impactful educational organization empowering millions of current and future consumers and leaders about the importance and responsibility of making informed dietary decisions to build a healthier, more sustainable future for everyone.

Lorena holds an undergraduate degree in Zoology from Texas A&M University and a graduate degree in Ecology and Sustainable Development (Argentina). She has lived in the US, Bolivia, and Argentina and now lives with her family in Atlanta, Georgia (US). Lorena is passionate about mindful leadership, equal access to education, and leaving the world better than she found it.

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Karyn Knox

Chief Development and Partnerships Officer

As Chief Development and Partnerships Officer, Karyn combines her non-profit fundraising experience with her corporate leadership experience to help ensure ECP’s continued success. By creating a sustainable and diverse funding portfolio and by forming strategic partnerships, she paves the way for growth and increased impact. She also utilizes her years of management experience to assist with the growth and development of the ECP team in daily operations.

Her commitment to helping people create a healthier life and planet, paired with her dedication to empowering individuals to be the change they want to see in the world, makes her role at ECP her dream job!

Karyn is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Global. She holds degrees in Non-profit Management from the University of the Pacific and Wildlife Conservation from Penn Foster.

 

Management Team

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Casey Clemens

Sr. Director of Education

Julie Massa ECP

Julie Massa

Director of Curriculum Development

Becca Cook ECP

Becca Cook

Curriculum Development Manager

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Alexa Gnauck

Curriculum Development - Europe

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Dan Taylor

Curriculum Development Manager

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Mike May

Director of Engagement

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Gerard Martinez

Engagement Manager

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MaryAnn Montalvo

Engagement Manager

Kerstin Reichmann ECP

Kerstin Reichmann

Engagement Manager - Latin America Specialist

Beth Champion ECP

Beth Champion

Director of Communications

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Janine Rietz

Web Development and Information Manager

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Sarah Fawzy

Human Resources Specialist

ECP has dedicated HR to support the needs and success of our valued ECP team members, run our excellent offering of employee perks and benefits, and to help our team grow and thrive! 

 

If you would like to contact ECP HR with any questions about working at ECP or any of our currently posted job openings, please email: humanresources@ecprogram.org

 
 

Advisory Board

Our advisory board is a diverse council of highly esteemed and experienced professionals who serve as an invaluable resource for our organization. Their informed guidance is pivotal to the growth and success of our program.

Neal Priest, M.D.

Medical Advisor

After studying medicine at Tulane University and completing his Emergency Medicine residency at Los Angeles County/USC, Dr. Neal Priest has worked as an emergency physician, chief of his department, and chief of staff at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, Georgia.

Relying on the latest scientific research, Neal devotes many hours of his professional time promoting heart-strong diets. He has received continuing medical education credits from Food=Medicine and the Institute of Functional Medicine nutritional conferences.

Neal is the former host of the long-running local radio show “The Classic Clinic,” which addressed a variety of health issues. Neal has served as singer or Master of Ceremonies to benefit the Athens Nurses Clinic, the Tourette Syndrome Association, AIDS Athens, and the local battered women’s shelter Project Safe.

Christine Smith, M.D.

Medical Advisor

Dr. Christine Smith has been a practicing pediatrician since 1995. She received her Bachelor of Science degree and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of South Florida. Her Residency in Pediatrics was completed at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Saint Petersburg, Florida. She is a Fellow of American Academy of Pediatrics and a Member of the American Board of Pediatrics. 

As a pediatrician, Christine discusses nutrition and lifestyle choices with her patients and their families. She promotes food as medicine. Christine educates her patients and parents about the benefits of a healthy diet in treating and preventing disease, as well as to improve the issues related to ADHD and other challenges. Her efforts have empowered many families to make better nutritional choices and have improved the health outcomes and wellness of children and adolescents into the future.

Along with volunteering for several related organizations, Christine is also a member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. She also participates in the annual International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine, in Washington DC. 

Emory Hsu, M.D.

Scientific and Medical Advisor

Dr. Emory Hsu is a board-certified physician. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Sciences with honors from Harvard University, completed a research year fellowship through Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health near Washington DC, and received his Doctorate of Medicine degree from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Hsu completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine with emphasis on endocrine research at Emory University, followed by a fellowship in Endocrinology, Lipids, and Metabolism there. As a clinician and scientist, he is a co-author on several peer-reviewed publications in the scientific and medical literature, and has presented work at conferences such as the Endocrine Society.

As a practicing physician, Dr. Hsu believes in the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle as foundational to health.

Iraina Rosenthal-Tawil, M.S., R.D.

Nutritional Advisor

Iraina holds a Master's degree in Nutrition Sciences from Brooklyn College and completed her dietetic internship at Hunter College. Iraina studied Environmental Design in college, giving her a strong foundation to speak about the intersections between environmental issues and the health sciences.

As a nutritionist, Iraina focuses her work on chronic disease prevention. She approaches health from a holistic and functional perspective, utilizing the latest research to promote foods that are proven to prevent, manage, and even reverse chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Iraina has worked for numerous health companies and organizations that help individuals manage their chronic health conditions. Iraina started her career as the executive nutrition consultant of a plant-based health company. She then went on to manage the nutrition focused diabetes program at a Brooklyn-based home health agency. ​Iraina works and resides in New York City.

Jairo Garcia, Ph.D.

Sustainability Advisor

Dr. Jairo Garcia is an expert in sustainability, climate change, and renewables. He performs sustainability analysis and studies and develops innovative policies and educational programs to track and implement community-wide energy, water, waste, and food systems. He also evaluates worldwide sustainability best practices, and provides recommendations to local governments. 

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Jairo has held positions with the City of Atlanta, the E​arth Institute at Columbia University​, ​Concordia University, and​ ​the UCLA-Extension program in Global Sustainability. 

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Jairo holds an engineering degree, an MSc in Management of Information Technologies from Syracuse University, an MSc in Sustainability Management from Columbia University, and a Doctoral degree in Educational Technology and Sustainability from Pepperdine University.

Paul Waldau, Ph.D.

Ethics Advisor

Dr. Paul Walda​u​ holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from University of Oxford, a Juris Doctor degree from UCLA Law School, and a Master of Arts degree from Stanford University in Religious Studies. ​

A​s the​ the Barker Visiting Professor of Animal Law, Paul taught "Animal Law" at Harvard Law School ​and presently teaches Harvard​'s ​online course "Animals: Religion and Ethics." ​He was ​also ​the Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and directed the Center’s Master of Science graduate program in human-animal studies. Paul has directed the Yale Law School “Animal Law Reading Group”, and taught courses at Boston College Law School and Suffolk University Law School. Paul has also offered lectures in the summer term for Yale’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.​ Paul currently serves as the President of the Religion and Animals Institute​. ​
      
Paul's first book, The Specter of Speciesism: Buddhist and Christian Views of Animals, was published by Oxford University Press in 2001. A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics, on which Paul is co-editor, was published by Columbia University Press in 2006. Paul also co-edited An Elephant in the Room: The Science and Well-being of Elephants in Captivity, which was published by the Center for Animals and Public Policy in 2008. In 2011, Animal Rights was published by Oxford University Press in its "What Everyone Needs to Know" series, and in 2013 Animal Studies - An Introduction was also published by Oxford University Press.
 
​Pau​l is also the co-founder of the Animals and Religion Group at the American Academy of Religion and a consultant for many ​varied ​institutes and groups.

Mary Beth Polek, D.V.M., C.V.A.

Veterinary Advisor

Mary Beth Polek, DVM, CVA, has been practicing veterinary medicine since 1997. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in large animal science from Delaware Valley University. Mary Beth's Doctoral degree is from Ross University, with the final year of rotations at the University of Missouri. In 2014, Mary Beth became a certified veterinary acupuncturist at the Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida. Currently she works at a small animal practice in Northport, NY and is also a staff veterinarian and volunteer at the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and Vet Dog Program in Smithtown, NY. She also volunteers on an as-needed basis at Suffolk County SPCA and is a member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.