Christina Economos, PhD Friedman School Dean
Christina Economos, PhD is the Dean of the Friedman School, the New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, and a Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. At the Friedman School, she co-founded and served as Director of ChildObesity180, a nationally renowned research initiative focused on evidence-based interventions, multi-sector partnerships, and stakeholder networks to address the complex drivers of child health and promote equity. She has served as the Dean for Research Strategy and as Chair of the Nutrition Interventions, Communications, and Behavior Change Division at Friedman.
Dr. Economos currently serves as the principal investigator on multiple large-scale, community-based interventions that examine childhood nutrition and physical activity with the goal of improving the health of all of America's children. Her bio-behavioral research studies are interdisciplinary and include theory-based obesity prevention interventions, cutting-edge systems science, and partnerships with diverse populations in urban and rural communities in schools, out-of-school environments, childcare centers, and restaurants. She has authored more than 200 scientific publications.
She has co-created and co-directed a university-wide institute to address global obesity as part of Tufts University’s research and scholarship strategic plan. The Tufts Institute for Global Obesity Research (TIGOR) is a community of over 50 faculty across 8 schools. She also serves as Vice Chair of the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions (ROOS) at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington DC, a multi-sector group tackling obesity.
Sara C. Folta Dean for Faculty Affairs, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Sara C. Folta, PhD is the Dean for Faculty Affairs and the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. In this role she oversees the implementation of the School’s Action Plan for Addressing Racial Injustice; serves as a liaison to other schools and to Tufts central administration on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); serves as a first point of contact for faculty, staff, students, and leadership that have concerns, need guidance, and have programmatic ideas related to DEI; and works to help secure funding to support DEI initiatives. She is also an Associate Professor at the School. Read more about her teaching and research activities here.
Tim Griffin Dean for Educational Affairs
Timothy Griffin is Teri and Barry Volpert Family Professor in Nutrition, Agriculture, and Sustainable Food Systems at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. At the Friedman School, he is Division Chair of and Program Director for the School’s Agriculture, Food and the Environment program, and teaches classes on U.S. agriculture, agricultural science and policy, and the linkage between food system domains. In 2018, he was named as the inaugural recipient of a professorship in Nutrition, Agriculture, and Sustainable Food Systems.
His current research focuses on assessment of sustainability across environmental, social and economic metrics, regional food systems, and climate change impacts on agriculture. He supervises doctoral students conducting research on topics ranging from precision agriculture to food access to water rights. He served as an Advisor to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, focusing on Sustainability, and also as a member of the National Academy of Sciences study Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects. He has given many scientific and public presentations on agriculture and the food system, and published nearly 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles. Prior to coming to the Friedman School, he served as Lead Scientist/Agronomist at USDA-Agricultural Research Service (2000-2008) and Extension Specialist in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Maine (1992-2000), the first such position in the U.S.
Elizabeth (Liz) Nahar, MBA, MSW Executive Administrative Dean
Elizabeth Nahar recently served as the Executive Director of the Fenway Institute, the research, education and advocacy division of Fenway Health. As leader of the Institute’s strategic priorities, she honed her many skills in operations, management, finance, and staff development and is a key member of the Fenway Health Leadership Committee. Before joining Fenway Health in 2018, Liz’s previous work included diverse management positions at organizations focused on health and education, most recently ten years at the Friedman School. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Anthropology, and earned a Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Business Administration from Boston College.
Liz serves the Friedman School in a chief-of-staff position to Dean Economos and manages the School’s financial, sponsored research, and marketing and communications departments.
Annie DeVane Director of Marketing and Communications
Annie is responsible for major content strategies, marketing initiatives, planning the Friedman digital landscape, and communications programming for the school. She serves as the main liaison to the central Tufts Communications and Marketing team and works closely with Public Relations, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations to align strategic messaging and promote important school-wide initiatives and events. Annie is experienced in Drupal site planning and construction, digital project management, inbound marketing, and is certified in as a UX practitioner. She also represents the Friedman School on the Strategic Communications Council at Tufts University and serves on the Tufts PRIDE caucus for faculty and staff. She earned her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Florida and her M.P.S. in Digital Media from Northeastern University with a specialty in IXD.
Matt Hast Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
As Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Matt supervises the Office of Student Affairs which includes Admissions, Career Services, Student Life and the Office of the Registrar. Matt ensures that the student experience is a smooth one from the point of first contact with the Friedman School through graduation. He also serves as a liaison to the University for Office of Equal Opportunity, the Threat Assessment and Management Program and the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.
Courtney King Director of Business Operations
As the Director of Business Operations, ad interim, Courtney manages school-wide, day-to-day operational functions and services. She is responsible for the development and execution of projects, strategies, and programs that help to effectively manage and run the Friedman School, including budget and finance; procurement and contracts; faculty administrative support; facilities management; space management; school-based human resource-related activities; computers, copiers, printers and telecom; information management and data security; events coordination and support; and emergency response and business continuity planning. She serves as the operations liaison to the Budget Center, Tufts Technology Services (TTS), Tufts Support Services (TSS), Tufts Human Resources, Public Safety, and other central divisions as appropriate.
Cindy Briggs Tobin Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Friedman School and Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
As the senior director, Cindy develops and leads the team’s outreach and fundraising strategies and tactics, working closely with the dean, other academic leaders, and volunteer leadership in order to achieve the school’s philanthropic goals. While she focuses on raising capital and major gifts, her staff members manage annual giving, alumni relations, special events, development communications, and donor relations. Cindy also coordinates with the university’s Central Advancement team and other university offices on activities, such as corporate and foundation relations, and planned giving.
P: +1 (617) 636-0962
Seedang Simonin Director of Sponsored Research Administration
The Friedman Office of Sponsored Research Administration provides School-wide leadership in the development of research and sponsored program activities. Seedang works closely with faculty, researchers, staff and administrators across the University in both pre- and post-award administration.
P: +1 (617) 636-0428