Welcome to the State of California 

Sacramento Regional Forum
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Sheraton Grand Hotel
1230 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Invited Speakers

 Regional Forum Agenda



Jim Knox, M.P.P.


Jim Knox has served as Vice President of Legislative Advocacy for the California Division of the American Cancer Society since May 2004.  He has more than 30 years of experience in non-profit public interest advocacy in California.  Previously he served eight years as the Executive Director of the political reform group, California Common Cause.  Prior to that he worked for the Planning and Conservation League, a statewide environmental lobbying group.  Knox has been a registered lobbyist at the state capitol for 22 years and has directed numerous statewide ballot measure campaigns.  He has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, is a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, and has a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the Claremont Graduate School.



Narinder Dhaliwal, M.S.



Narinder Dhaliwal is the Director of California's Clean Air Project (CCAP), a statewide project of ETR Associates providing training and technical support on all aspects of secondhand smoke in tribal casinos throughout California. Narinder has made presentations at numerous conferences on various topics regarding exposure to secondhand smoke.  Narinder has presented at the World Tobacco Conference, the California Association for Homes and Services for the Aging, the Statewide Smokefree California Conference and most recently at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health.  CCAP is an associate member of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA). Narinder holds a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences and a Masters degree in Gerontology from Warwick University. She has worked in the Health Education field for the past 21 years, with the last 8 in the tobacco control field.




Robin Salsburg, J.D.


Robin Salsburg is a senior staff attorney at Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP) specializing in current and emerging legal issues involving exposure to secondhand smoke. During the last five years, Robin has developed model ordinances, written fact sheets, offered trainings, and provided one-on-one technical assistance to public health advocates to successfully advance the goal of reducing exposure to drifting secondhand smoke.  Prior to joining PHLP, Robin was an environmental lawyer representing community groups and government agencies in land use and environmental litigation. Robin is a graduate of Stanford University and graduated summa cum laude from Golden Gate University School of Law, where she received certificates of distinction in public interest and environmental law.




Frank J. Chaloupka,





Frank J. Chaloupka is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he has been on the faculty since 1988.  He is Director of the UIC Health Policy Center and Director of the new WHO Collaborating Centre on the Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control.  Dr. Chaloupka holds appointments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Department of Economics and the School of Public Health’s Division of Health Policy and Administration.  He is a Fellow at the University of Illinois’ Institute for Government and Public Affairs, and is a Research Associate in the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Health Economics Program and Children’s Program.  Dr. Chaloupka is Director of ImpacTeen: A Policy Research Partnership for Healthier Youth Behavior and Co-Director of the International Tobacco Evidence Network. Numerous professional publications and presentations have resulted from Dr. Chaloupka's research on the effects of economic, policy, and environmental factors on health behavior, including tobacco use, drinking, drug use, diet, physical activity, and related outcomes.


Nancy Mahannah, M.S.P.H.


Nancy Mahannah is a public health nurse and has been the program director of the Mono County Tobacco Education Program for the past 20 years.   She has presented a several national conferences on the topic of advocacy in rural environments and was the recipient of the first statewide award , the Carol M. Russell award, for tobacco control advocacy in 2001. She completed graduate education at SDSU in Community Health Nursing and at Walden University in the MSPH program. She is currently the Health Promotion Division Manager at Mono County Health Department and works per diem  in the local Pediatric Clinic.


Kimberlee Homer Vagadori, M.P.H.

Kimberlee Homer Vagadori is the Project Director for the California Youth Advocacy Network (CYAN).  In tobacco control for nine years, she is a national expert on college tobacco-free policy, college advocacy, and tobacco industry sponsorship issues and has successfully coordinated systemwide policy initiatives in California.  Ms. Homer Vagadori also provides technical assistance and training to local, state, and national organizations on issues such as tobacco and the environment, alternative tobacco products, campus-based cessation services, and tobacco industry targeting of young adults.  She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a degree in Political Science, and holds a Master of Public Health degree from San Jose State University.




Cynthia Hallett, M.P.H.


Cynthia Hallett, MPH is the Executive Director of the Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR), and its sister organization, the ANR Foundation.  Cynthia’s career in tobacco control began in 1989 and she has hands-on experience spearheading successful smokefree air campaigns as well as providing technical assistance and strategic guidance in support of tobacco control and public health policy efforts across the U.S. and Internationally.  Before joining ANR, Cynthia was the Associate Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Tobacco Control Program. Cynthia’s early training was in cancer control and she has worked at the UCLA Comprehensive Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute.  She served as a Governing Councilor, and is currently Chair-Elect for the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Section of the American Public Health Association.


Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Ph.D., M.P.H.


Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine, at the Keck School of Medicine. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California (USC) and is the Director of Community Outreach and Education at the Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research. She teaches and mentors students in Health Promotion and overall Public Health and on the role of culture in health behaviors. She is the Director of the Global Health Track in the MPH program and conducts independent community-based participatory research and runs programs in cancer and tobacco related disparities. For 17 years she was an integral part of the Hispanic/Latino Tobacco Education Network funded by the California Department of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program. She also has managed research projects to identify the impact on Hispanic/Latino patrons and workers regarding the lack of secondhand smoke protection in Casinos, and on multi-unit housing voluntary policies. She is currently the Director of Team Lab, a statewide technical assistance and service arm of the California Tobacco Control Program in charge of the development and testing of educational materials on tobacco control for agencies conducting tobacco control work funded by Proposition 99. She is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including the 2006 Community Activism award from the American Legacy Foundation and of a Distinguished Career Award from the American Public Health Association, Latino Caucus.


Matthew Myers, Esq.

Matthew Myers is President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a privately funded organization established to reduce tobacco use and its devastating consequences in the United States and around the world. Over the last 25 years, Mr. Myers has participated in virtually every major national tobacco-related legislative effort and has worked with state tobacco prevention advocates and officials around the country. In 1999, Mr. Myers was asked to serve on the first advisory committee established to advise the Director General of the World Health Organization on tobacco issues. The following year, Mr. Myers was named by President Clinton to co-chair a Presidential Commission to examine the economic problems being experienced by tobacco farmers and their communities and recommend possible solutions.  In October 2004, the Harvard School of Public Health bestowed its highest honor, the prestigious Julius B. Richmond award, on Mr. Myers for his work as an advocate in preventing tobacco industry marketing to children.  In October 2007, the American Cancer Society bestowed its highest award, the Medal of Honor for Cancer Control, on Mr. Myers for his relentless work to eliminate tobacco use.


James T. Howard


Mr. Howard recently retired from the California Department of Public Health after 36 year career in public service. He is a long-time volunteer with the American Lung Association. He currently serves on the ALA in California Board of Directors as the Vice Chair and serves as the Chair of its Advocacy Committee. In addition, he is a member of the national ALA Assembly and serves on the national ALA Advocacy Committee. He has previously been on the national ALA Council and Board. He has been actively involved in the tobacco control arena since 1979.



 Return to Regonal Forums 

Last modified on: 1/21/2011 11:08 AM