Advisory Committees

The Harkin Institute’s advisory committees are comprised of experts in their key policy areas. These diverse groups will help define the institute’s research agendas and focus as they relate to wellness and nutrition, retirement security, labor and employment, and people with disabilities.

Labor and Employment Core Advisory Committee

The Harkin Institute is in the process of establishing its Core Advisory Committee on Labor and Employment, which will provide direction and guidance on the types of research and events pursued in this area.

People with Disabilities Core Advisory Committee

The Harkin Institute is in the process of establishing its Core Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities, which will provide direction and guidance on the types of research and events pursued in this area.

Retirement Security Core Advisory Committee

In collaboration with Senator Harkin, the institute’s Retirement Security Core Advisory Committee is working to identify and define the research agenda that will drive The Harkin Institute’s public policy initiatives in retirement security.

The Retirement Security Core Advisory Committee comprises these four esteemed professionals who are national leaders in the field of retirement security.

Michael Kreps
Principal, Groom Law Group

Prior to his work at Groom Law Group, Kreps served as the Senior Pensions and Employment Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. There, he managed the committee’s retirement agenda and was responsible for pension legislation and oversight of regulatory activities involving employee benefit plans. Kreps is a member of both the Alexandria Commissions on Aging and Human Rights and the Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program. He received a J.D., with honors, from The George Washington University Law School.

Donna Mueller
CEO, Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS)

Mueller came to IPERS in 2003 from the Boston Retirement Board, where she served as CEO. Prior to that, she worked for the Boston Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing. Mueller started her career as an attorney for Wisconsin Judicare, Inc., and later became the organization’s deputy director. She is the past president of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. Mueller earned a J.D. from Washington and Lee University and is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s program for senior executives at Harvard University. She is also certified by the Institute of Chartered Pension Professionals.

Alicia H. Munnell
Director, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Along with leading the Center for Retirement Research, Munnell is the Peter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. Munnell co-founded the National Academy of Social Insurance and was the organization’s first president. She is a member of the Pension Research Council at Wharton and serves on the board of the Century Foundation, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Pension Rights Center. Munnell received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University – where she studied public and private savings plans – and an M.A. from Boston University. She has authored more than 20 books on tax policy, Social Security, pensions, and productivity.

Larry Zimpleman
Retired Board Chairman, Principal

Though he retired from his formal role at Principal in 2016, Zimpleman continues to serve the board of directors as an advisor. He joined the company in 1971 as an actuarial intern, and over the course of more than 40 years, served Principal in various management and leadership positions, including CEO, executive vice president, and president of retirement and investor services. Zimpleman has served as the chair of the board of trustees for the Employee Benefit Research Institute and was a two-time delegate to the National Summit on Retirement Savings. He holds an MBA from Drake University.

Wellness and Nutrition Core Advisory Committee

Working in collaboration with Senator Harkin, the Wellness and Nutrition Core Advisory Committee has identified and defined the research agenda that drives The Harkin Institute’s public policy initiatives in wellness and nutrition. The committee began meeting early in 2017.

The committee comprises five esteemed professionals who are national leaders in the fields of wellness and nutrition.

Bill Dietz
Director, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University

For 15 years Dietz was director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity in the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has served as president of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. He has received numerous awards for his advocacy in the areas of obesity, nutrition, physical fitness, and pediatrics. Dietz holds a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey
Former President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Prior to her work at the foundation, Lavizzo-Mourey served as the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and Health Care Systems, director of the Institute on Aging, and chief of geriatric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. She was named one of the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes in 2008. She received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and an MBA from Wharton School.

Dean Ornish
Founder and President, Preventative Medicine Research Institute; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California San Francisco

Ornish is the author of six national best-sellers on health and the creator of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, which is the first comprehensive lifestyle program to be covered by Medicare. He serves on the board of directors of the J. Craig Venter Institute and on the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. Ornish has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named one of the most influential members of his generation by Life magazine. Ornish holds an M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine.

Michael T. Roberts
Founding Executive Director, Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law

In addition to teaching food law at UCLA, Roberts is a research fellow at the Center for Coordination and Innovation for Food Safety at Beijing’s Renmin University, as well as an adjunct professor of law at both East China University of Science and Technology and Michigan State University. He recently authored the first major treatise on food law, Food Law in the United States, in addition to serving as the co-editor of the casebook Food Law & Policy. Roberts previously served as a consultant to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.

Andrew Weil
Founder and Program Director, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

In addition to leading the Center for Integrative Medicine, Weil serves the University of Arizona as both the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology and clinical professor of medicine and professor of public health. He is the author of 14 books, such as The Natural Mind, as well as many articles, including a monthly column in Prevention magazine. He has been recognized by Time as one of the 25 most influential Americans (1997) and 100 most influential people in the world (2005). He was inducted into the Academy of Achievement in 1998. Weil received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

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