People in the News: National Eating Disorders Association

People in the News: National Eating Disorders Association

The theme of National Eating Disorders Awareness (#NEDAWareness) Week 2022 is See the Change, Be the Change, and today we are celebrating the leadership and commitment of talented and dynamic individuals. These people have contributed significantly to the field of eating disorders and take personal responsibility to #BeTheChange that results in the kind of impact needed to advance the critical issues of our time.

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Lauren Smolar from Senior Director, Programs to Vice President, Mission. Lauren has been with NEDA for nearly ten years and has been an integral part in creating and leading programming and educational offerings that meet the diverse needs of individuals and families. Under her direction, NEDA’s former Helpline grew to meet the exploding needs of the eating disorders community, heightened by the crisis caused by the pandemic. She has been a leader in understanding the importance of connecting individuals and families to drive outcomes research; NEDA launched the first of its kind research program on binge eating with Yale and the NEDA Helpline during NEDAwareness Week 2022. Lauren leads our work with the international eating disorders organizations, community partnerships, treatment centers, and researchers. With her deep well of knowledge and approachable style, Lauren is a favorite with the media. Known for her openness and engaging attitude, she is the first to create space for new, diverse, and emerging thought leaders. We admire her thoughtful approach to the work and her ability to envision growth and execute on strategy. Please join us in congratulating Lauren on this well-deserved promotion!

We want to pause today to recognize the talents, service and commitment illustrated by Chelsea Kronengold, spanning 6 years as an employee and several years as a consultant and volunteer. Chelsea came to NEDA right out of college and jumped in with enthusiasm and special insights to help NEDA launch the Body Project and refine its programming, to establish its public-facing voice in social media, and to create the foundation for what became our Campus Warriors Program. As Chelsea’s experience broadened, she became the go-to person for the media and has been quoted in the NYTimes, the Washington Post, USA TODAY, and recently, she had a clip featured on CNN. Chelsea is a connector, a collaborator, and a person who has been an indefatigable champion for our cause and our people. Part of her legacy at NEDA is a new program she envisioned and launched in 2021, Body Acceptance Week. After many years of service, Chelsea has decided it is time to pivot and she will be leaving NEDA to explore new horizons. We will miss her at NEDA but will be watching her career continue to unfold knowing she is a trusted colleague and friend of our mission. Please join us in thanking Chelsea for her incredible work and many contributions.

We are also pleased to announce that a new group of leaders will be joining NEDA serving on our newly constituted Research Advisory Council. Please read more from Drs. Evelyn Attia and Steve Wonderlich, Co-Chairs of the RAC:

“Effective today, kicking off research day, during NEDAwareness Week, Evelyn Attia and I are delighted to announce the newly constituted Research Advisory Council at the National Eating Disorders Association, ” said Steve Wonderlich, Co-Chair of the Research Advisory Committee for NEDA and Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of North Dakota and Co-Director Sanford Eating Disorder and Weight Management Center. Wonderlich continued his remarks, sharing, “This group was formed to provide advice, expertise, and leadership to NEDA in alignment with the organization’s scientific, research and clinical goals and initiatives.”

“Eating disorders are a complex set of physical and mental health disorders—and if we are going to solve these issues and provide higher quality of care, we must invest in research, engage young researchers, and continue to find new ways to advance our research agenda by translating research into impact for the individuals and families in our community,” said Evelyn Attia, Co-Chair of the Research Advisory Committee for NEDA and Director, Eating Disorders Research Program, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Director, Columbia Center for Eating Disorders, Columbia University Medical Center. She continued, “We are looking forward to working with a smart, dynamic group of people, on the Research Advisory Council, to advance NEDA’s mission.”

The distinguished leaders joining the Research Advisory Council are:

Scott Crow, MD

Kamryn Eddy, PhD

Tom Hildebrandt, PsyD

Daniel Le Grange, PhD

Christine Peat, PhD

Their responsibilities will be as follows:

  • To direct the grant focus areas, grant process, and approve grant progress reports for the Feeding Hope Fund grants
  • To serve as advisors to board, committees and staff regarding research and scientific advances in the field
  • To suggest and/or serve as speakers and programmatic leaders for NEDACon
  • To provide an annual blog post/article on field updates translating research into practice
  • To serve expert speakers to media on behalf of NEDA