Our Staff

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Safia Abdinur, B.S.

Administrative Assistant
Safia.Abdinur@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7690

Safia Abdinur Safia Abdinur provides administrative support for the Public Health Law Center Healthy Eating and Active Living team.

Prior to joining PHLC, Safia worked as an HR Specialist at Hennepin Healthcare, where she supported the day-to-day operations and assisted with special projects for the various HR functional areas. She also worked College of Education and Human Development Student Services at the University of Minnesota.

In addition to her human resources experience, she also has a background in public health, as an HR intern with the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and an intern with the Future Public Health Leaders Program.

Education
B.S., University of Minnesota


Julie Amajuoyi, J.D.

Staff Attorney
Julie.Amajuoyi@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7697

Julie Amajuoyi Julie Amajuoyi is a staff attorney with the Public Health Law Center, providing legal technical assistance on tobacco control issues to public health professionals and organizations, legal professionals, and advocates in Minnesota and throughout the United States.

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Julie worked as a litigation associate at Winston & Strawn LLP in Chicago, where she engaged in complex commercial and civil litigation, including trademark, trade secrets, patent, and insurance coverage cases. She also engaged extensively in pro bono work, including representing immigrants seeking asylum in the United States. In addition, she gained experience in public interest law working at Catholic Charities Legal assistance, where she provided legal advice and referrals to low income clients with legal issues involving family law, bankruptcy, land-lord tenant law, foreclosure, criminal law, and personal injury. While in law school, Julie served as an intern with the County's District Attorney's Office. And as an intern with Cornell's Legal Aid Clinic, she represented clients seeking disability and unemployment insurance benefits. In addition to her legal training and experience, Julie also has significant experience in the health care setting working as a nurse and holds a graduate degree in theological ethics.

Education
B.S., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities summa cum laude
J.D., Cornell University Law School, Managing Editor, Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy
M.T.S., University of Notre Dame


Doug Blanke, J.D.

Executive Director
Doug.Blanke@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.7520

Doug Blanke Doug Blanke is founder and executive director of the Public Health Law Center and holder of the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Endowed Directorship. He oversees the Center’s programs, including its work to reduce the harm caused by commercial tobacco use, support healthy eating and encourage physical activity, with a focus on the health of marginalized and underrepresented communities.

Previously, as an assistant attorney general of the State of Minnesota, Doug oversaw the enforcement of the state’s consumer protection laws for a decade and played a key role in the historic litigation that resulted in the release of the secret documents of the tobacco industry. His international work has included helping the American Cancer Society monitor development of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world’s only public health treaty; helping write the treaty guidelines for smoking regulation; and editing the World Health Organization's handbook on tobacco control legislation. He was the 2004 recipient of the American Lung Association's C. Everett Koop "Unsung Hero" Award for his contributions to tobacco control.

Education
B.A., Michigan State University
J.D., Yale Law School


Rachel Callanan, J.D., M.N.M.

Senior Staff Attorney
Rachel.Callanan@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7667

Rachel Callanan Rachel Callanan, a senior staff attorney with the Public Health Law Center, provides legal technical assistance on tobacco control issues to public health professionals and organizations, legal professionals, and advocates in Minnesota and throughout the United States.

Prior to joining the Center, Rachel was Regional Vice President of Advocacy for the American Heart Association where she led policy work in healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco control policy. With almost 18 years of experience on the front lines of passing state and local policies, Rachel has also led nonprofit advocacy with the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Minnesota Housing Partnership, and MN-NOW, and worked as a Research Associate at the Institute on Race and Poverty.

 

Education
B.A., University of Minnesota
J.D., Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota) School of Law
M.N.M., Hamline University School of Business


Kerry Cork, J.D., M.A.

Senior Staff Attorney
Kerry.Cork@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.7509

Kerry Cork Kerry Cork provides legal technical assistance on tobacco and other public health law issues to public health professionals and organizations, legal professionals, and advocates throughout the United States.  Kerry also helps oversee the development and dissemination of the Public Health Law Center's tobacco control publications. She has published and presented on many tobacco and health law issues and is a principal investigator on both national and local tobacco law research grants. 

A long-time legal researcher and writer, Kerry has served as Internet legal counsel for the Dispute Resolution Institute and research attorney for the Legal Research Center.  As a law student, Kerry was an editor on the Mitchell Hamline Law Review and a recipient of the Burton Brief Legal Writing Award. For 20 years, she operated her own successful corporate communications company. Her extensive public interest advocacy background includes work for the Hennepin County Legal Aid Society, political asylum cases for Advocates for Human Rights, and service as a guardian ad litem in child protection cases.

Education
B.A., University of Minnesota, magna cum laude
M.A., University of Minnesota
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law


Ross Daniels, M.S., M.P.H.

Planner
Ross.Daniels@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7687

Ross Daniels Ross Daniels is a planner and works with the Center to support community efforts to align land use planning, community design, and public health law and policy goals.

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Ross worked for over two years as an urban planner in WSP USA Inc.’s Nashville office, where he ensured National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance for a variety of transportation projects, worked with local communities on inner city revitalization initiatives, and provided support to local transit agencies in their efforts to serve minority and low-income populations. He earned dual master’s degrees in Urban & Regional Planning and Public Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and while pursuing his degrees worked on a variety of projects related to community development and health. With the Wisconsin Extension, he explored the effectiveness of rural coalitions in promoting healthy eating and physical activity among children. He also collaborated with local planners in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, on an initiative to designate public land for urban agriculture. Additionally, he has worked with a broad coalition of citizens, higher education officials, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations to understand the intersections between lead contamination and housing laws in Milwaukee. A Nashville native, Ross is an avid Titans and Predators fan, and likes to pretend he is a chef of southern cuisine.

Education
B.A., Vanderbilt University
M.S., University of Wisconsin – Madison
M.P.H., University of Wisconsin – Madison


Mike Freiberg, J.D.

Senior Staff Attorney
Michael.Freiberg@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.7517

Mike Freiberg Mike Freiberg provides legal technical assistance to jurisdictions around the country working on various tobacco control policies. Previously, he worked on research projects related to menthol in tobacco products, cigarette butt litter, and non-cigarette tobacco products. Mike has worked as an adjunct law professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, having taught classes in legislation and public health law. Mike also serves as a Minnesota State Representative and spent nine years on the Golden Valley City Council, helping to craft the city’s strong secondhand smoke ordinance that was adopted in 2004. From 1999-2001, Mike worked for a member of Congress as a legislative assistant specializing in health care.

 

Education
B.A., Georgetown University
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, salutatorian


Natasha Frost, J.D.

Senior Staff Attorney
Natasha.Frost@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.6454

Natasha Frost Natasha Frost provides legal technical assistance to stakeholders around the country in developing effective policies to promote healthy eating and active living. Natasha has done extensive research in the early care and education settings, including analyzing each state’s child care licensing structure and developing several state-specific resources. She is also an owner of a restaurant in southern Minnesota, which specializes in healthy, locally-sourced food. Throughout all her work, she seeks to identify how policies and systems impact health inequities, and how law can be used as a tool for change.

Prior to joining the Center, Natasha spent 10 years at the Alliance for Children’s Rights, a non-profit in Los Angeles, California. As the benefits program director, she created and managed a program that represents children and their caregivers to obtain public benefits. She handled more than 300 administrative fair hearings and recovered over $7,000,000 in funding on behalf of needy children. She also provided consulting and technical support to systemic efforts, including litigation and legislation, designed to overcome barriers to accessing benefits and services.

Education
B.A., University of Minnesota,  magna cum laude
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude


Jessica Grosz, J.D.

Staff Attorney
Jessica.Grosz@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.6416

Jessica Grosz

Jessica Grosz is a staff attorney with the Public Health Law Center, providing legal technical assistance on commercial tobacco control issues to public health professionals and organizations, legal professionals, and advocates throughout the United States.

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Jessica led the Agricultural Worker Project at Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, where she provided legal representation, education, and outreach to agricultural workers to help improve their working and living conditions. She previously acted as a farmworker attorney at the Oregon Law Center and Legal Aid Services of Oregon, as well as a faculty immigration advisor and equity consultant at North Dakota State University. During law school, she held various legal internships focused on immigrant rights. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Education
B.A., St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota), cum laude
J.D., University of Denver College of Law


Rebecca Hare, M.L.I.S.

Saeks Public Interest Residency Fellow
Rebecca.Hare@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7526

Rebecca Hare

Rebecca Hare is a Saeks Public Interest Residency Fellow, providing legal technical assistance on food regulation to public health advocates and organizations as a member of the Healthy Eating and Active Living team. Rebecca is currently a third year law student at the University of Minnesota Law School. Rebecca is a student clinic director for the Community Legal Partnership for Health Clinic, an editor of Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice, and co-president of the Minnesota Justice Foundation UMN Student Chapter.

Rebecca has a varied research background as a graduate research assistant at HOME Line, law clerk at Minnesota's Office of the Revisor of Statutes, and information specialist (aka law librarian) at a mid-sized law firm in Minneapolis for three years. Rebecca also has direct client experience working at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, HOME Line, and Volunteer Lawyers Network’s Housing Court Project and Legal Access Point clinics.

She enjoys competitive (and recreational) long-distance running, creative writing, and spending time in the outdoors.

Education
B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, Minnesota), summa cum laude
M.L.I.S., (Library and Information Science), University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
University of Minnesota Law School, J.D. expected May 2020


Natalie Hemmerich, J.D., M.P.H.

Staff Attorney
Natalie.Hemmerich@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7666

Natalie Hemmerich Natalie Hemmerich provides legal technical assistance on tobacco control issues to public health professionals and organizations, community advocates, and local governments throughout the United States. Natalie also works on issues of federal tobacco control, encouraging the Food and Drug Administration to enact strong regulations for the protection of public health.

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Natalie was a policy fellow at the Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science at the Ohio State University. There she wrote about and researched issues relating to federal tobacco control including the intersection of law and science, the deeming regulation, e-cigarettes, and the regulation of synthetic nicotine.

Education
B.S., Bethel College (Mishawaka, Indiana), magna cum laude
J.D., Case Western Reserve University, cum laude
M.P.H., The Ohio State University


Kyra Hill, J.D.

Staff Attorney
Kyra.Hill@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7696

Kyra Hill

Kyra Hill provides legal technical assistance to public health professionals and advocates working on tobacco control policies throughout the United States. Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, she practiced environmental law in North Dakota, where she represented community groups and individuals impacted by oil and gas development. She also served as an Energy Fellow at the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School, as a law clerk in the Natural Resources and Environment Section of the California Attorney General’s office, and as a law clerk at Food & Water Watch in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Education
B.A., Harvard University
J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School, cum laude


Desmond Jenson, J.D.

Lead Senior Staff Attorney for Federal Regulation, Commercial Tobacco Control Programs
Desmond.Jenson@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7612

Desmond Jenson Desmond Jenson’s focus is federal tobacco control policy, primarily the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of tobacco products. An administrative law expert, Desmond closely monitors the FDA and other agencies and leads the public health community in identifying opportunities to strengthen federal tobacco regulation. He coordinates with local, state, tribal, national, and global public health leaders, keeping them apprised of important regulatory changes and litigation impacting federal tobacco control efforts. Desmond drafts many of the Center’s comments to the FDA, helps to coordinate the filing of amicus curiae briefs in important litigation, develops educational materials explaining federal law, and speaks to public health audiences about tobacco control. Desmond also works closely with scientists, consulting on the development of research as well as writing manuscripts, to build an evidence base for legally-defensible tobacco control policies.

Desmond is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law where he received a CALI award for Public Health law. As a research assistant at the Public Health Law Center during law school, he helped draft publications and provide legal technical assistance.

Education
B.A., Augsburg College (Minneapolis, Minnesota), cum laude
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law 


Amanda Karls, J.D.

Staff Attorney
Amanda.Karls@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7618

Amanda Karls Amanda Karls brings over a decade of law, policy and community engagement experience to her work at the Public Health Law Center. She is adept at complex legislative and regulatory analysis and focuses on addressing issues at the intersection of food systems and health equity. Amanda’s prior professional experience includes litigation and appellate work in private legal practice, and legal analysis and thought leadership strategy for an international corporation. Amanda has been published in numerous legal journals in the U.S. and internationally. She holds degrees in law and international business, and spent over three years studying abroad with language immersion experiences in both French and Spanish.

Amanda has also lent her policy expertise to a variety of public service and non-profit organizations in appointed, elected and volunteer capacities and has significant board leadership experience. She currently serves as a commissioner on St. Paul and Ramsey County’s food justice commission, and as a steering member of a non-partisan, community-led organization dedicated to improving open, inclusive and representative government. She is a recipient of the Minnesota Justice Foundation Award for Achievement in Volunteer Public Service.

Education
B.A., University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota), cum laude
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law 


Jay Kelly, M.B.A.

Communications Director
Jay.Kelly@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7631

Jay Kelly Jay Kelly is responsible for creating and implementing the national marketing communications strategy for the Public Health Law Center. He is tasked with strengthening the Public Health Law Center brand, and increasing awareness of the Center as an accessible partner for local, state, national, and international health organizations.

Jay began his career working for advertising and public relations agencies, and transitioned into marketing and communications management roles at several large Minnesota nonprofits, including Fraser and Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, brand management, online marketing and communications, web site creation and optimization, media relations, email marketing, social media, and event planning. Jay has an undergraduate degree in journalism, and a Master of Business Administration, with a focus on marketing and strategic management.

Education
B.A., University of Minnesota
M.B.A., University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management


Tammy Kempf

Administrative Coordinator
Tamara.Kempf@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.7506

Tammy Kempf Tammy Kempf provides day-to-day administrative support for the Public Health Law Center, including assistance with event planning and grant preparation. She has broad and diverse experience in customer service, computer applications, and administrative support. Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Tammy worked at 3M Company for over 19 years, managing auto and general liability claims and corporate insurance. She has also worked at the First Judicial District Court in Hastings, Minnesota.

 

 


Hudson Kingston, J.D., LL.M.

Staff Attorney
Hudson.Kingston@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.7504

Hudson Kingston

Hudson Kingston is a staff attorney with the Public Health Law Center, providing legal technical assistance on tobacco control issues to public health professionals and organizations, legal professionals, and advocates in Minnesota and throughout the United States.

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center Hudson gained experience as a public interest lawyer with a focus on environmental law, consumer protection, and government and corporate accountability. Past employers include the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Center for Food Safety, Center for Digital Democracy, and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. While in law school he worked internationally on human rights in India and trade policy in Laos, and earned two LL.M. degrees in human rights and trade law while living in Singapore. He is a big fan of the Boundary Waters and is an avid runner, winning the Ely Marathon in 2017.

Education
B.A., Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota)
J.D., The University of Iowa College of Law, With High Distinction and Special Honors, Order of the Coif
LL.M., New York University School of Law
LL.M., National University of Singapore Faculty of Law


Stephanie Lackey, M.S.

Digital Communications Specialist
Stephanie.Lackey@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7695

Stephanie Lackey

Stephanie Lackey provides technology and communications support for the Public Health Law Center, helping to promote the Center’s online presence. She brings a diverse work and volunteer background to the department, including technology coordination with the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center and a yearlong English resource internship with a forestry nonprofit in Huế, Vietnam. She also has several years of experience working in both the coffee and travel industries, two of her favorite conversation starters.

Stephanie holds a Master of Science in environmental studies and certificate of public health from the University of Montana, where she focused her graduate studies on environmental justice. Stephanie also received a Bachelor of Arts in international studies-environmental commons and a certificate of Russian, East Europe, and Central Asian studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Education
B.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison
M.S., University of Montana


Jon Lee, J.D.

Director of Operations
Jon.Lee@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.7511

Jon Lee

Jon Lee is the Director of Operations at the Public Health Law Center, where he is responsible for general program operations, including fiscal management, grants and contracts compliance and reporting, program development, human resources management, and special projects. 

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center Jon served as the Office Manager and Project Manager at the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College where his responsibilities included management of the center’s finances, including the finances of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, grants and contract administration, assisting in grant proposal submissions, student worker management, occasional web page writing and editing, and various other writing and editing projects. Before working at the Science Education Resource Center Jon was the manager of River City Books, an independent trade book store owned and operated by Carleton College in Northfield, MN.

Jon is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, where he was a Student Director at the Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners clinic and a clerk at the Office of the Minnesota State Public Defender.

Education
B.A., University of Minnesota
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School


Joelle Lester, J.D.

Director of Commercial Tobacco Control Programs
Joelle.Lester@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7603

Joelle Lester

Joelle Lester directs the Public Health Law Center's tobacco control work, which supports tobacco control policy change throughout the United States. Joelle coordinates the tobacco control team's provision of legal technical assistance; oversees preparation of friend-of-the court (amicus curiae) briefs in key cases; coordinates litigation support to city and county attorneys, state attorneys general and legal counsel representing advocacy organizations and individual citizens; assists with development of educational materials; and provides educational and training presentations at state, regional and national conferences. In addition, Joelle oversees the Center's efforts to convene national thought leaders around bold policy options to end the tobacco epidemic and organizes regional meetings to provide training and support to tobacco program managers around the country.

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Joelle worked as a litigation associate at the Minneapolis firm of McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb, Chartered. Before attending law school, Joelle was a grassroots organizer, organizing director and executive director of the Oregon Student Association, a non-profit higher education advocacy group. Joelle also worked as a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, advocating for public K-12 education.

Education
B.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude


Mary Marrow, J.D.

Senior Staff Attorney
Mary.Marrow@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7605

Mary Marrow Mary Marrow, a senior staff attorney with the Public Health Law Center, is working on legal and policy initiatives to increase access to healthy food and physical activity nationally. Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Mary was a public interest practitioner for over twelve years, focusing her efforts on poverty law, international human rights, and environmental advocacy. During the summer of 2010, Mary worked with the Center for Public Interest Law in Accra, Ghana, through a fellowship sponsored by the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, conducting a comparative study of mining practices and the effectiveness of environmental regulations in the United States and Ghana. Mary has also served in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa and managed a crisis shelter for the homeless in Alaska. Mary is an avid gardener and outdoor enthusiast.

 

Education
B.A., St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota)
J.D., City University of New York School of Law


Nasimah Mayat

Senior Staff Accountant and Financial Analyst
Nasimah.Mayat@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.6335

Nasimah Mayat Nasimah works closely with the Director of Operations coordinating the center’s financial, budgetary, and grants and contracts reporting functions.  In addition to holding a bachelor of commerce degree and a post graduate diploma in accountancy from the University of Natal, South Africa, she is also a qualified chartered accountant. Nasimah was born, raised and educated in South Africa. She has lived in the Twin Cities since 2003.

 

 

 

Education
B.Commerce, University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy, University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa


Mark Meaney, J.D., M.A.

Deputy Director of Commercial Tobacco Control Programs
Mark.Meaney@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7642

Mark Meaney Mark Meaney is the Lead Senior Staff Attorney for Technical Assistance, Tobacco Control, at the Public Health Law Center. Mark provides legal technical assistance on tobacco control issues and other public health law issues to public health professionals and organizations, attorneys, and advocates throughout the United States. Mark also provides training on the development and implementation of tobacco control policies in state and local communities. 

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Mark worked as a public finance associate at the law firms of McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb, Chartered, and Faegre & Benson LLP. Before attending law school, Mark worked as a senior health policy analyst for Metropolitan Health Plan working on compliance issues and a variety of public health initiatives focused on individuals enrolled in safety net programs.  Mark also worked as a health services researcher at Central DuPage Health System, a community health system, where he developed and implemented programs to measure and improve the health status of the community.

Education
B.A., Creighton University
M.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude


Craig Moscetti, M.P.H.

Policy Analyst
Craig.Moscetti@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7624

Craig Moscetti Craig Moscetti, policy analyst for special projects, conducts public health and policy research on commercial tobacco control, healthy eating, active living, and emerging public health issues.

Craig has a diverse public health background managing community programs, leading advocacy, developing strategic partnerships, and conducting policy research on international, federal, state and local public health issues. In addition to past positions with Allina Health, HealthPartners, the Global Health Council, and Congressional Research Service, Craig has also consulted for the Minnesota Department of Health, the American Heart Association, the Pan American Health Organization, and UNICEF.

Craig has also been active in the running and triathlon communities as a competitor, coach, race director, freelance writer, and former board member of the Minnesota Distance Running Association.

Education
B.S., Villanova University
M.P.H., The George Washington University School of Public Health


Renee Obrecht-Como, M.A.

Program and Grants Coordinator
Renee.ObrechtComo@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.6468

Renee Obrecht-Como Renee Obrecht-Como is responsible for grant agreement and contract compliance and accounts receivable operations, including the preparation of invoices. She also works closely with the Director of Operations, the Senior Staff Accountant and Financial Analyst, and the program teams to organize and manage grant proposal submissions and development efforts. Renee has more than 20 years’ experience with program compliance and administration and managing grant funding in both higher education and nonprofit settings, including awards from federal agencies, state and local government entities, and private foundations. Renee is also active in the fiber arts and supports climate beneficial, socially just food and fiber systems.

 

Education
B.A., Southwest Minnesota State University
M.A., University of Arizona
All but Dissertation towards Ph.D., University of Arizona


Natasha Phelps, J.D.

Lead Senior Staff Attorney for Minnesota Technical Assistance, Commercial Tobacco Control Programs
Natasha.Phelps@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.7513

Natasha Phelps Natasha Phelps provides legal technical assistance on tobacco control issues to public health professionals and organizations, legal professionals, and advocates in Minnesota and throughout the United States.

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Natasha worked as a litigation associate at the firm of Aafedt, Forde, Gray, Monson, and Hager, where she defended clients against civil and workers’ compensation lawsuits. Natasha has also worked as a student attorney at the Office of the Public Defender in Ramsey County, a judicial intern for the Honorable James A. Cunningham, Jr. of the Tenth Judicial District Court, and a state legislative intern in Wisconsin. At William Mitchell, Natasha served as President of the Black Law Student Association and worked as a research assistant for the Center for Negotiation and Justice (on discriminatory voting laws) and for Community Mediation Services (on discrimination and restorative justice in school disciplinary practices).

Education
B.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law


Julie Ralston Aoki, J.D.

Director of Healthy Eating and Active Living Programs
Julie.RalstonAoki@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.7532

Julie Ralston Aoki Julie Ralston Aoki joined the Center in 2007 and has over two decades of experience in developing public policy for the public good. She coordinates the work of the Healthy Eating and Active Living team and provides legal technical assistance to support Tribal, state, and local communities in developing laws and policies to support healthy food systems, active living, and alcohol control in ways that advance health equity goals. She has written amicus briefs to support local public health laws; oversees the development of educational resources and materials; and provides educational and training presentations at state, regional, national and Tribal conferences. She has taught Public Health Law and Legal Writing as an adjunct professor. She is also the past president and current member of the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance Board, a volunteer member of the Robbinsdale Human Rights Commission, and the parent of three kids.

Before joining the Center, Julie served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office in the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Divisions. She is an avid science fiction reader and is working on learning to play the ukulele.

Education
B.A., Yale University, cum laude
J.D., The University of Iowa College of Law, summa cum laude


Aubrey Strenger, J.D.

Staff Attorney
Aubrey.Strenger@mitchellhamline.edu
651.695.7630

Aubrey Strenger Aubrey Strenger is a staff attorney on the Healthy Eating Active Living team at the Public Health Law Center. Aubrey provides legal technical assistance to local, state and national public health organizations on issues including the development and assessment of strategies to prevent chronic disease and the implementation of healthy food policies.

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Aubrey served as a claim adjudicator for the State of Minnesota. There, she collaborated with licensed physicians and mental health professionals to evaluate the type and severity of various physical and mental health impairments. Aubrey also has experience working at large and small law firms in Minnesota and has handled a variety of civil and criminal matters. Aubrey finalized a concentration in health law and bioethics from the University of Minnesota Law School where she focused her studies on cannabis law and policy, as well as on the development of healthcare decision-making tools and the regulation of health information and privacy. Aubrey is adept at utilizing research and techniques from the field of neuroscience in order to advance healthy eating and active living policies.

Aubrey is a fitness competitor who loves to work out six days per week (with yoga on the seventh day). She also enjoys traveling whenever possible and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Education
B.A., University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota), with honors
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School


Andrew Twinamatsiko, J.D.

Staff Attorney
Andrew.Twinamatsiko@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.6339

Andrew Twinamatsiko Andrew Twinamatsiko provides legal technical assistance on tobacco control issues and other public health law issues to public health professionals, organizations, attorneys, and advocates throughout the U.S. He also provides training on the development and implementation of tobacco control policies in state and local communities.

Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Andrew worked as a litigation attorney in Iowa and South Dakota at the offices of Crary, Huff, Ringgenberg, Hartnett & Storm P.C., where he represented municipalities and specialized in civil litigation and criminal defense. Andrew also worked as an immigration compliance officer at the University of South Dakota, where he advised international students and visiting scholars on immigration regulations and policies. Following his immigration to the U.S. from Uganda in 2009, Andrew attended law school at the University of South Dakota School of Law. As a law student, he served as an editor of the South Dakota Law Review and a Secretary of the Black Law Students Association.

Education
L.L.B., Uganda Christian University, honors
J.D., University of South Dakota School of Law, high honors


Susan Weisman, J.D.

Senior Staff Attorney
Susan.Weisman@mitchellhamline.edu
651.290.7516

Susan Weisman Susan Weisman provides legal technical assistance to public health advocates and local, state, and federal government officials. Her work involves strategic consultation on the development, enactment, implementation, and enforcement of public health legislation, in-depth policy research on emerging issues, and publications and presentations on topics of interest. Current projects include state-level policy work on tobacco control, healthy eating, active living issues, health-in-all policies, and health equity.

Susan has led a series of collaborative, community-academic studies, partnering with public health researchers and labor leaders to examine how to build support for healthy workplace policies and how to improve workers’ access to and use of effective tobacco cessation health care benefits. Before joining the Center in 2001, she served for many years as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. She is a qualified neutral for the Minnesota courts in mediation and arbitration.

Education
B.A., The Ohio State University
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law


Public Health Law Center Research Assistants

Kwame Akosah, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Nicole Dailey, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Leah DeGrazia, University of Minnesota Law School

Anusha Garimella, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Carly Johnson, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Rebecca Noothed, Mitchell Hamline School of Law