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Read Dr. Nelson’s bio by clicking here.
WESTPORT, Conn. – Miriam E. Nelson, PhD, prominent health and nutrition scholar, U.S. policy advisor, and bestselling author, has been named president and chief executive officer of Newman’s Own Foundation. She had served as acting president and CEO since January 2020, and as a board member of Newman’s Own, Inc., from 2015 to 2019.
An international leader, scientist, and social entrepreneur renowned for extensive research and civic action in public health, children’s wellness, sustainability, and food systems, Dr. Nelson leads the independent, private foundation formed in 2005 by legendary actor Paul Newman to sustain the legacy of his philanthropic work. Since 1982, when Paul Newman first declared, “Let’s give it all away,” more than $560 million has been donated to nonprofit organizations worldwide, entirely through the profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own products.
“Dr. Nelson’s unique combination of talents and experiences will set a course for Newman’s Own Foundation to make focused and sustainable change,” said Board Chair Michael Clayton.
“I have long been inspired by Paul Newman’s pathbreaking model of founding a business that gives away all profits to good causes,” Dr. Nelson said. “His compassion for children facing adversity resonates with me. To be able to draw on my experience to further the mission of the Foundation is truly an honor.”
Prior to assuming the presidency of Newman’s Own Foundation, Dr. Nelson held such leadership roles as president of Hampshire College, director of the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire, and associate dean at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. Dr. Nelson founded—and for 15 years directed—the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. She co-founded ChildObesity180, an initiative that First Lady Michelle Obama supported through her “Let’s Move” campaign.
Dr. Nelson served as the vice chair of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2008. She also served on its 2010 and 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees and as a member of the Science Board of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition from 2011 to 2014, chairing in 2013.
She is author of a series of ten Strong Women books—five of which were New York Times bestsellers—that provide evidence-based strategies to help women live strong and healthy lives. They have sold more than one million copies in 14 languages.
Dr. Nelson holds a bachelor of science from the University of Vermont and a PhD from Tufts University.
About Newman’s Own Foundation
Paul Newman was committed to helping make the world a better place. To carry on his philanthropic legacy, he founded Newman’s Own Foundation to turn all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own products into donations. To date, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $560 million to thousands of impactful organizations around the world. For more information, visit www.newmansownfoundation.org.