2017 Speakers

  • Architects of Change Luncheon Speakers

    Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhDRoberta Diaz Brinton, PhD
    Roberta Diaz Brinton, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona Health Sciences where she is Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology in the College of Medicine. She is internationally recognized as an innovative leader in Alzheimer’s research and development of therapeutics to prevent, delay and treat the disease. She leads multiple National Institutes of Health / Aging grants focused on brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease and is the recipient of an Alzheimer’s Association award for study of sex differences in Alzheimer’s. She serves on Boards of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and NIH Center for Scientific Review. Among her many recognitions, Dr. Brinton was awarded the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation Scientist of the Year, US News and World Report Ten Best Minds and Presidential Citizens Medal. She has published over 200 scientific reports and holds multiple patents targeting Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Gwyneth PaltrowGwyneth Paltrow 
    Oscar®-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whose 1998 turn in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE garnered her Best Actress honors at the Golden Globes®, Screen Actors Guild Awards®, and Academy Awards®, is also a decorated author and singer. In 2011, she won an Emmy® for Guest Actress in a Comedy series for playing substitute teacher Holly Holiday on Glee, and her song, "Coming Home," from the soundtrack for COUNTRY STRONG, was nominated for an Oscar® (the album went gold). In addition, Paltrow has authored two New York Times Best Selling cookbooks, My Father's Daughter (2011) and It's All Good (2013)—the latter hit #1. She also co-wrote Spain, A Culinary Road Trip with acclaimed chef Mario Batali after their PBS documentary, "Spain...on the Road Again," which was about Spanish food and culture, aired. In 2008, Paltrow launched goop, a brand devoted to making every choice count, where food, shopping, and mindfulness collide: In particular, goop has gained acclaim for its focus on health, wellness, and clean eating, as well as its city guides, an insider’s perspective on the very best places to eat, shop, and stay in the world’s most compelling destinations. Other notable film credits include PROOF (for which she received a Golden Globe® nomination), Wes Anderson's THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, Anthony Mighella's THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, David Fincher's SEVEN, the Farrelly brothers’ SHALLOW HAL, Alfonso Cuarón's GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Douglas McGrath's EMMA, and SLIDING DOORS. Recently, Paltrow has appeared in Marvel's IRON MAN franchise. Gwyneth’s latest cookbook, It’s All Easy was released in April 2016.

    Maria ShriverMaria Shriver 
    Maria Shriver is a mother of four, an Emmy and Peabody award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, an NBC News special anchor, and the founder of The Women's Alzheimer's Movement, a global alliance committed to finding out why Alzheimer's discriminates against women. She was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, spearheaded what became the nation’s premier forum for women, The Women’s Conference. Shriver is also the founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Shriver Media, a for-benefit enterprise that believes media can be used as a force for good in the world.

    RSWG Program Speakers

    Bryant AdibeBryant Adibe, MD 
    Bryant Adibe, MD, serves as Mount Saint Mary’s first-ever Chief Wellness Officer. Adibe received his medical doctorate from the University of Florida, and completed clinical clerkships in Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Stanford University Medical Center. He completed graduate coursework in Evidence-Based Healthcare and Research Methodology at Oxford University. Prior to joining Mount Saint Mary’s, he served in the Obama Administration as a Fellow in Medical Education within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Recently, he received a personal invitation from Arianna Huffington to become a regular contributor on Health and Wellness for the Huffington Post. In his new role as Mount Saint Mary’s Chief Wellness Officer, he will spearhead the University's dynamic wellness movement – both on campus and beyond – including the development of new partnerships and on-campus programs, as well as raising visibility for our wellness efforts through public lectures and essays/interviews for media outlets.

    C. Noel Bairey MerzC. Noel Bairey Merz, MD
    Dr. Bairey Merz holds the Women's Guild Endowed Chair in Women's Health, and is Director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center, the Linda Joy Pollin Women’s Heart Health Program, and the Preventive Cardiac Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. She also is Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Her research interests include women and cardiovascular disease, mental stress and heart disease, the role of exercise and stress management in reversing disease, the role of cholesterol and nutrition management in heart disease, and adverse pregnancy outcomes and cardiovascular disease. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and her medical degree from Harvard University. She completed her residency at the University of California, San Francisco, where she served as Chief Medical Resident.

    Mallika's PhotoMallika Chopra
    Mallika Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, public speaker and published author. Her most recent book, Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy, was published in April 2015. She is the founder of, a website and app focused on personal, social and global wellness. Her intent is to harness the power of social media to connect people from around the world to improve their own lives, their communities and the planet. Mallika has taught meditations to thousands of people. She enjoys speaking to audiences around the world, and has shared her passion about Intent at TedXSan Diego and TedXBerkeley, Ideacity, Business Innovation Factory, the Green Festivals, LOHAS, Prevention R3, Wisdom 2.0, Women’s Conferences around the United States, and the Parliament of World Religions. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, an MBA from Kellogg Business School, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Psychology with a mind body spirit concentration at Teachers College, Columbia University.

    Geena DavisGeena Davis
    Academy Award winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks, including her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show “Commander in Chief.” She is the founder of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters -- and reduce gender stereotyping -- in media made for children 11 and under. She was recently appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  She also serves on the Board of the White House Project, and is the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.

    Kelly DormandyKelly Dormandy
    Kelly Dormandy serves as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Los Angeles Sparks where she develops and coordinates all aspects of strength training and conditioning during the WNBA season. Dormandy serves in a similar capacity as an Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach for the University of Southern California for women’s basketball, women’s soccer and beach volleyball. A former DI soccer player, she has long been active in athletics and strives to instill the discipline, work ethic, and standards necessary to thrive as a professional athlete and successful woman in society. She is a graduate of Springfield College where she obtained a M.Ed. in exercise science and sport studies with a concentration in strength and conditioning.

    Jennifer FerroJennifer Ferro
    As President of KCRW, Jennifer Ferro has worked to transform the institution from Southern California's flagship public radio station to a worldwide digital content distributor that seeks to build community through the discovery of music, news and culture both in person, online and on the air. Jennifer joined KCRW in 1995. She has held varied roles during her tenure including Executive Producer of Good Food and Consulting Producer of DnA: Design and Architecture. She serves on the boards of NPR Berlin, Zocalo Public Square, an ideas exchange that creates live events and original humanities journalism, and is Vice Chair of the AIR Board, an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting independent producers in public media. In 2011, she was chosen as one of Los Angeles' Game Changing Women Leaders Who Make an Impact in LA by Los Angeles Magazine. Ferro earned her bachelor's degree from UCLA.

    Paulette LambertPaulette Lambert, RD, CDE
    California Health & Longevity Institute Director of Nutrition Paulette Lambert, RD, CDE (registered dietitian and certified diabetic educator) has more than 30 years of experience in her field. Her experience with clinical nutrition includes expertise in the areas of weight management, diabetes, heart disease prevention and cardiac care, cancer prevention and management, obesity, v, gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies, supplements, sports training and more. As the Director of Nutrition for the Institute since its opening in 2006, she develops the nutrition programs and protocols for individual consultations, workshops for consumers and corporate groups and the popular Wellness Kitchen. She holds a degree in nutrition from the California State University at Northridge. After finishing her studies, she worked for hospitals in Texas and Southern California before becoming the first registered dietitian in California to move to private practice.

    Dr. Susan LoveSusan Love, MD
    Susan M. Love, MD, MBA, has dedicated her professional life to the eradication of breast cancer. As chief visionary officer of Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, she oversees an active research program centered on breast cancer cause and prevention. She is also a clinical professor of surgery at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. Love received her medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York. She trained at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, was an early member of the Multidisciplinary Breast Center at Dana Farber Cancer Center, and founded the Faulkner Breast Center and the Revlon UCLA Breast Center. She has a business degree from the Executive MBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. In 1996 she retired from the active practice of surgery to dedicate her time to the urgent pursuit of finding the cause of breast cancer and determining how to prevent it. She has done this in the private and nonprofit arenas, including creating several medical device companies based on the intraductal approach to the breast.

    Tieraona Low DogTieraona Low Dog, MD
    Dr. Tieraona Low Dog is an internationally recognized physician and expert in the fields of dietary supplements, botanical medicine, women’s health and integrative medicine.  Before she completed her medical training at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, she had studied massage therapy, midwifery, herbal medicine and martial arts. She has chaired numerous dietary supplement expert panels for the United States Pharmacopeia, served on the Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the NIH, was a presidential appointee under Bill Clinton, and is currently the Fellowship Director for the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.

    Ann McElaney-JohnsonAnn McElaney-Johnson, PhD
    Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson is the 12th president of Mount Saint Mary's, the only women’s university in Los Angeles. She is recognized as a thought leader for women’s issues and a champion for innovative teaching and learning. McElaney-Johnson is a member of various boards including the Women in Public Service Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; the Advisory Council of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; and the Board of Directors for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), among others. She has received numerous awards and honors, most recently the YWCA Woman of Vision award and the Women of Distinction award from L.A. law firm Alston & Bird. As president, McElaney-Johnson leads with an inclusive, collaborative style. She has articulated a strategic vision for the University that will foster a culture of innovation for excellence to prepare students to be global leaders and pursue lives filled with purpose. In 2011, she led the creation of the Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™, the first comprehensive report of its kind to examine gender gaps in the state and provide recommendations and resources to legislators, nonprofit leaders and community advocates. McElaney-Johnson has over 25 years of service to liberal arts colleges throughout the country as a faculty member, associate dean and chief academic and student affairs officer. She earned her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her Master of Arts degree from Middlebury College, Vermont, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts.

    Susan Samueli, PhDSusan Samueli, PhD
    As co-founder of the Samueli Foundation, Samueli oversees the Samueli family’s broad philanthropic endeavors that include STEM education, Integrative Health, youth services, and Jewish culture. Her passion for Integrative Medicine led to the creation of the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. The Center is widely recognized for innovative medical care that integrates conventional and complementary treatment to achieve better health and wellness. She also co-founded the Samueli Academy, an innovative charter high school in Santa Ana, California that focuses on project-based STEM learning for underserved and foster youth. Samueli was honored with the UCI Medal in March 2000, the 2002 Ellen Cooperman Angel Award from the John Wayne Cancer Institute, the 2005 General William Lyon Crystal Vision Philanthropy Award from the Orangewood Children’s Foundation, the Individual Award from the COAST Community Awards in February of 2014 and the UCI Irvine Health Heroes Award in 2015. She received her degree in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Nutrition from the American Holistic College of Nutrition and a Diploma in Homeopathy from the British Institute of Homeopathy.

    Sarah Shealy RN, MSN, CNM, IBCLCSarah Shealy RN, MSN, CNM, IBCLC
    Sarah Shealy is a graduate of the Yale University School of Nursing. She has more than 14 years in full scope clinical practice. She is an expert in normal birth, well woman gynecology, family planning, breastfeeding initiation and support. She has attended more than 800 births and first assisted at more than 300 cesarean sections. She has enjoyed teaching and supervising nursing, medical, and nurse-midwifery students for many years. As an advocate for babies and their families she believes the RN plays the most important role in a family’s hospital birth experience. Ms. Shealy joined Mount Saint Mary’s Accelerated BSN program part time in Fall 2006 teaching Women’s Health Theory and full time in May of 2007 as the Assistant Director of the ABSN Program. She was appointed Director of the Accelerated BSN program in January, 2010. She teaches Adaptation Nursing for the Childbearing Family Theory as well as clinical in a variety of facilities. As a graduate of an intense fast paced accelerated program, Ms. Shealy brings a unique and valuable perspective to her work with the Accelerated BSN students at the Mount.

    Dr. Wendy SlusserWendy Slusser, MD
    Dr. Wendy Slusser is Associate Vice Provost for University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Chancellor Block’s Healthy Campus Initiative. She is also clinical professor of pediatrics in the UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health, and co-founder and medical director of the UCLA Fit for Healthy Weight program. She graduated cum laude from Princeton University, received her medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and her master’s degree in science from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. She joined the UCLA faculty in 1996 and since then has been a leader in community, school, clinic, and family based programs related to health promotion, infant and child nutrition and physical fitness. Slusser is board certified in pediatrics, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and practiced and taught general pediatrics and health promotion at the Venice Family Clinic for 19 years. She was selected to be a member of the Institute of Medicine committee called Obesity.

    Melissa Welch, MD, MPHMelissa Welch, MD, MPH
    Dr. Melissa Welch is a physician executive with over 25 years of experience as an advocate for the health and welfare of women, and underserved populations.  As a member of the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association, Go Red for Women Campaign, her philanthropic interests include raising awareness for the prevention of heart disease in women. As President of Welch Perspectives, Dr. Welch offers mentoring, leadership and healthcare consulting for women and minorities, and is an experienced diversity and cultural competence trainer. In April 2017, she will be the Chief Operating Officer for the Institute on Aging, a San Francisco not for profit organization dedicated to preserving the dignity, independence and well-being of older adults and people living with disabilities. Dr. Welch holds a BS in Biology from the University of California Irvine; an MPH from U.C. Berkeley and is a graduate of Harvard Medical School.