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.
Donna Chavis, BS, Chair
Co-Founder, The Center for Community Action
Donna Chavis is a proven leader within North Carolina and has demonstrated a true commitment to enriching the state. Along with other notable North Carolinians, she was featured in the 2009 book, “Secrets of Success: North Carolina Values-Based Leadership.” Having served in a number of leadership positions over the past 40 years, Ms. Chavis has returned to a leadership role at the Center for Community Action, a social change nonprofit based in Lumberton, NC, that she co-founded with her husband, Mac Legerton, in 1980. As a philanthropic leader, Ms. Chavis has served in a variety of board positions, including having the distinction of being the first American Indian woman to chair a national foundation. She currently serves on the board of the Rural School and Community Trust (treasurer), First Image Corporation of Robeson Health Care Corporation and Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina (PPCNC). During her seven-year tenure at PPCNC, she has served as a member of the Board Development, Finance and Executive Committees, and held the offices of Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Chair during her terms on the affiliate.
Niiobli Armah IV, MA, Vice 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.
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.
Tyler Norris, MDiv
Vice President, Total Health, Kaiser Permanente
Tyler Norris is an entrepreneur and founder of over a dozen businesses and social ventures. His three decades of service in the public, private, and non-profit sectors have focused on improving population health, community vitality, and equitable prosperity. As a leader in the healthy and sustainable communities movement, he has worked in over 400 communities and with scores of organizations in the United States and around the world.
Currently, Tyler serves as Vice President, Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente, where he helps lead the implementation of this integrated health delivery system’s aspiration for the complete physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being of its members, workforce, and communities. Additionally, Tyler leads Kaiser Permanente’s portfolio of integrated physical activity and active transportation initiatives and guides work to meet the social and non-medical needs of members.
Among his voluntary roles, Tyler is founding chair of IP3, a non-profit technology venture that powers The Community Commons, CHNA.org, and an array of data platforms for leading health philanthropies and governmental agencies. He is a trustee of Naropa University, North America’s leading institution of contemplative education. He serves on advisory bodies for the Convergence Partnership, Transportation for America, Active Living By Design, Samueli Institute, and is faculty for the YMCA Leadership Symposia.
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.