Active Living By Design’s Advisory Board and External Advisors support our commitment to healthy communities for everyone. Board members represent a variety of disciplines and perspectives who provide strategic input and expertise related to our specific initiatives and areas of focus.
Niiobli Armah IV, MA, Chair
Strategist, Bloomberg Associates
Niiobli Armah IV is founder of We-Collab; a social change organization that works across public and private sectors to accelerate innovation in local communities. He currently works at Bloomberg Associates; an international consulting firm that helps city government improve the quality of life for it citizens. His focus at Bloomberg Associates is to support the work of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, a White House effort focused on closing persistent opportunity gaps and barriers that prevent boys and young men of color from realizing their potential.
He is the former Director of Health Programs for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) where he managed their national policy and advocacy work primarily focused on Childhood Obesity, HIV & AIDS, Health Care Reform and Health Equity. He was actively involved in designing the NAACP’s model for healthcare reform implementation. In 2014 Niiobli was the recipient of The White House Champions of Change award designated to community leaders who are dedicated to improving access to health care.
He is a graduate of the Southern University Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy with a BA in Political Science and a MA in Social Science. Niiobli has an Executive Certificate in Community Health Leadership from the Morehouse School of Medicine. He has published work in the National Civic Review on engaging vulnerable populations in community health efforts. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Leadership Houston Class 31 graduate. In December 2012, Niiobli and a group of colleagues founded the Houston Black Leadership Institute (HBLI), which is focused on succession planning and bridging the gap between past, present, and future leadership in Houston’s African-American community. Niiobli’s personal mission is to lead innovative work in the continuum where policy is created and where it impacts the community.
Darrin W. Anderson, Sr., PhD, MS
State Deputy Director, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, and Associate Executive Director, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance
Darrin is the State Deputy Director of the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and Associate Executive Director of the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. Darrin leads a state program office and multidisciplinary team that advances policy, systems, and environmental changes to create healthy, equitable communities through strategic planning, community engagement, financial development, communications, leadership enhancement, and program evaluation. He has a variety of responsibilities that foster youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, including: co-chair of the NJ Healthy Corner Store Taskforce, executive committee of the NJ Healthy Communities Network, former co-chair of the US Regional II Health Equity Council, and a board member of the Advocates for Children of New Jersey. He also serves as an advisor to Get Hype Philly, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Committee Healthy Communities Taskforce, Voices for Healthy Kids Campaign (NJ), and Novo Nordisk Community Healthy Collaborative.
Prior to joining the Y, Darrin was the Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association, State Health Alliance Director of the American Heart Association, and Clinical Exercise Physiologist at Christiana Care’s Eugene DuPont Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute (Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation). He has served on the Governor’s Council on Lifestyle & Fitness, Special Taskforce for Positive Youth Development & Prevention, and was vice chair of the Rotary Club of Wilmington, DE Community Service Project. A recipient of the University of Delaware’s Presidential Award for Minority Students, he received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in health and exercise science from University of Delaware and doctorate from Temple University (Kinesiology).
Geni Eng, MPH, DrPH
Professor of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health
Eugenia Eng is a Professor of Health Behavior and Director of the Cancer Health Disparities Postdoctoral Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Eng’s body of work examines the lay health advisor intervention model, the concepts of community competence and natural helping, and the community assessment procedure, Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis. She has thirty years of community-based participatory research (CBPR) experience, including field studies conducted with rural communities of the U.S. South, West Africa, and Southeast Asia to address socially stigmatizing health problems such as pesticide poisoning, breast and lung cancer, and STDs. The relevance of her work to public health practice is reflected in the courses she teaches, her keynote addresses to national and statewide public health organizations, as well as her consultancies with multilateral agencies (e.g., UNICEF, WHO, PAHO), private foundations (e.g., W.K. Kellogg, MacArthur, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Soros Open Society), and federally-funded research projects (e.g., AHRQ, NCI, NHLBI, NIAID, USAID, and CDC). Dr. Eng’s 113 publications include an evidence-based review of CBPR quality and the book Methods for Community-Based Participatory Research for Health.
Kate Kraft, PhD
Executive Director, America Walks
Katherine Kraft (Kate) is a nationally recognized expert on building health-promoting community environments and is currently the Executive Director of America Walks. America Walks is the only national organization devoted exclusively to making America a great place to walk. As Executive Director, Kate works with a group of national partners in the Every Body Walk! Collaborative aiming to build a robust and effective national walking movement.
For the last several years, Kate has worked as a planning and program consultant with local foundations, national organizations, and research groups developing and evaluating local community action efforts and designing comprehensive prevention portfolios. Prior to that, she spent a decade as a senior program and evaluation staff member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
While at RWJF, Dr. Kraft was involved in developing several of the foundation’s major initiatives designed to promote healthy behavior. Specifically, she was the chief architect of the active living research, community change, and leadership portfolio. These programs worked to link public health, urban planning, and community development to improve health outcomes and have been models for the nation’s efforts to address childhood obesity. As a consultant, Dr. Kraft has worked with national, community and health foundations, major health delivery systems, and the federal government to develop comprehensive community prevention portfolios that integrate all sectors of the community while reforming old models of service delivery. Dr. Kraft received her Ph.D. in social work and social research from Bryn Mawr College and was a Lenard Davis Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining RWJF, Dr. Kraft was on the social work faculty at Rutgers University and has also held teaching appointments at Columbia University and Georgetown University.
Rural Philanthropic Strategist
Allen Smart is a rural philanthropic strategist to regional and national foundations. As the former vice president of programs and the director of the Health Care Division at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, he was the visionary behind the Trust’s Healthy Places NC initiative and Innovations in Rural Health Award. In that role, Allen was instrumental in leading day-to-day work and projects as the Trust has evolved into a high-impact strategic funder focused on supporting long-term transformation in communities. Allen arrived at the Trust in 2006 as the Health Care Division’s senior program officer for the eastern region of North Carolina. Previously, he was the vice president of programs at the Rapides Foundation in Louisiana, where he led the implementation of the Foundation’s first generation of strategic grantmaking. While there, he developed and administered the National Rural Health Association’s 2005 Program of the Year, a statewide medication access program. He also served as director of community development for Ancilla Systems, a Catholic healthcare system based in the Midwest, and worked as the Human Services administrator for the City of Santa Monica, California.
Allen holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Telecommunication Arts from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Macalester College. He currently serves as the chair of the Rankings and Roadmaps National Advisory Group, health leaders who assist County Health Rankings & Roadmaps in awarding the Roadmaps to Health Prize annually. He was also a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Local Funders Partnership Initiative through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is very active with Grantmakers in Health and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations as well, and with the Southeast Council of Foundations. Along with the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers, he has recently started a peer training program for new North Carolina health legacy foundations. Allen’s commitment to community health is almost matched by his passion for the arts. He and his wife, Jane, enjoy live music and watching their son Trent play tennis and clarinet.
Chuck Alexander, MA
Principal and Director, Public Health, Burness
Chuck joined Burness in 1999. Over the years, he’s worked on a host of initiatives in public health, childhood obesity and tobacco prevention, community health, and other issue areas. He leads a talented team of colleagues who provide comprehensive communications support to numerous foundations, their grantees, and nonprofit organizations. That list includes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the American Heart Association, Reinvestment Fund, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Health Research and Policy. Prior to joining Burness, Chuck worked for National Public Radio where he managed national outreach campaigns and promoted NPR programs.
A native of eastern Tennessee, Chuck moved to Washington, DC, in 1989 after graduating from Emory & Henry College. He holds an MA in public communication from the District’s American University. He lives in Washington with his wife, their two kids, and C.C. the dog.
Jamie Bussel, MPH
Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Jamie Bussel is a program officer working in the area of childhood obesity and vulnerable populations. She designs and manages efforts that support environments and policies that promote the health of children and families. She seeks to develop innovative strategies to improve access to healthy foods, opportunities for safe physical activity, and high-quality early care and education for young children, especially the most vulnerable. Bussel directs initiatives that foster multidisciplinary partnerships and systems-level change strategies to transform the health of people and places. “Creating healthy communities inevitably involves systems change, not just developing another project,” says Bussel. It is in this spirit that she led one of the Foundation’s largest community-action initiatives, Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, which addressed the root causes of childhood obesity through integrated changes in policies, practices, social supports, and the physical environment.
Josh Sattely, JD
Compliance & Legal Affairs Specialist, Third Sector New England
Josh manages the onboarding process for all new fiscal sponsorship partners and advises them on various legal matters. In addition, he oversees contracting processes across the organization and is the author of A White Paper: On Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship. Prior to joining TSNE, Josh earned his JD at Vermont Law School and LLM in Commerce and Technology at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. In his spare time, Josh enjoys spending time with his family outdoors.