DAVID L. KATZ, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM, Founder and CEO
David is the founding director (1998) of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Past-President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and Founder/President of the True Health Initiative.
Katz earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College (1984); his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1988); and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health (1993). The recipient of many awards for his contributions to public health, he has received three honorary doctorates. He holds 5 US patents, with others pending. He invented the research method known as “evidence mapping;” is the principal inventor of the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI™) algorithm; and invented the first fundamentally new dietary intake assessment method in decades, called Diet Quality Photo Navigation (https://www.dqpn.io/).
He has authored roughly 200 peer-reviewed publications, many hundreds of health columns both on-line and in print, and 16 books to date including leading textbooks in both nutrition and preventive medicine. His most recent book is The Truth about Food, with all proceeds going to support the True Health Initiative. His next book, a joint effort with food writer Mark Bittman, is due out in spring, 2020 (How to Eat; Houghton Mifflin.) He has served as one of the expert judges for the annual rankings of diets by US News & World Report for much of the past decade. In 2018, Katz was selected as Chair for the annual Art & Science of Health Promotion conference, and he was a 2019 finalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in the category of health journalism together with Mark Bittman. Katz is recognized globally for expertise in nutrition, weight management and the prevention of chronic disease. He reaches a social media following of nearly one million.
RACHNA GOVANI, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Rachna was the CEO and Co-founder of FOODSTAND, a public health tech company committed to making healthy eating an everyday habit for the masses. Through community-powered, Healthy Eating Challenges, FOODSTAND helped tens of thousands of people in over 85 countries change their eating habits to curb the onset of diet-related diseases.
Growing up as the daughter of food business owners, Govani’s earliest memories are ones of scooping ice cream at the family ice cream shop. Working at her parents’ bodegas in New Jersey provided an early education on the connection between cheap, processed food and obesity. In retrospect, these experiences fueled many of her business and personal pursuits.
After earning her Economics and Psychology degree from NYU, Govani went on to build a successful career in consumer behavior driven product development. She spent 5 years at American Express where she achieved award-winning recognition and earned herself a patent. She went on to a green-tech startup focusing on building products and tools to help people live more sustainable lives.
Rachna has spoken widely on food systems issues, food waste, behavior change, and social entrepreneurship, and has been featured in Food & Wine, Forbes, Edible, Fast Company, and USA Today just to name a few. She lives in metro Detroit with her partner and son, and can be found in her kitchen or perusing the local farmer's market.
Alison Hankins, Head of Growth
An accomplished sales and marketing strategist, Alison is responsible for leading the company’s growth and partnership efforts. Alison brings more than 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry, scaling both emerging and Fortune 500 corporations. Before joining Diet ID, Alison was Head of CO Sales for Silicon Valley start-up OhMyGreen (OMG), where she was responsible for launching B2B wellness services across new markets. Prior to OMG, Alison oversaw $500 million in annual sales at Target Corp., and she was selected to Target’s inaugural private label health & wellness committee. Alison's background also includes sales and marketing roles at NuVal/ ONQI, where she worked with Dr. Katz to launch NuVal in retail and healthcare settings. Prior to NuVal, Alison worked for Wild Oats Corp./Whole Foods and the United States Olympic Committee, where she attended two Olympic Games. Alison holds an MBA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a certificate in French Fluency from La Sorbonne, and a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she was a Division 1 scholarship swimmer.
VIJAY PAI, DIRECTOR of OPERATIONS
Vijay is an entomologist turned entrepreneur, who has had an unconventional journey in the Digital Health space. He earned his BA and MS in Entomology, and worked as a scientist researching insecticides at S.C. Johnson on the OFF! and Raid brands. His passion for entrepreneurship led him to ditch the laboratory, and dive into the start-up world, as he went on to consult for several start-ups in the Metro-Detroit area, including FOODSTAND.
At Diet ID, Vijay manages company operations, with a strong focus on creating efficient systems and processes for the company and supporting the leadership team in key initiatives.
DINA ARONSON, MS, RDN, LEAD DIETITIAN CULINARY CARTOGRAPHY & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Dina is an internationally-recognized nutritionist, author, and speaker specializing in wellness-related technology and community health. She has worked with numerous technology companies, fitness organizations, restaurant groups, and food service teams to build health and nutrition-related apps and programs.
Serving on several boards and committees dedicated to educate people on healthy living, Dina is passionate about empowering people to optimize their health by using customized solutions, including creative nutrition and fitness technology. She believes it is never too late to change your lifestyle and build a better life!
Dina earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from Cornell University and her Master’s in Nutrition from Tufts University. In her spare time, Dina enjoys spending time with her two children, vegetable gardening, weight training, cycling, hiking, and vegan cooking.
CATHERINE KATZ, PHD, DIRECTOR, CULINARY CARTOGRAPHY
Catherine Katz is a chef and culinary expert, with advanced training in basic and clinical science. A child of the Mediterranean region, and lifelong 'French foodie,' she blends broad knowledge of the world's cuisines with deep, practical knowledge of nutrition. Catherine earned her BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, and her PhD in Neuroscience from Princeton University. She is the founder and President of Cuisinicity.com and is widely recognized for her unique ability to combine delicious with nutritious.
Catherine is ideally qualified to direct Diet ID's unique process of 'culinary cartography,' the generation of rich, detailed, population-specific diet maps, blending nutrition science with the culinary visual arts.
Blake Fischer, Lead Engineer
Blake is a senior full-stack engineer and entrepreneur based out of sunny Florida. He is passionate about finding novel solutions to important problems, and using technology to gain unfair competitive advantage. He has worked in various industries including healthcare, finance, and ecommerce. He holds a BS in Finance from the University of Florida
LAUREN RHEE, MS, RD, LDN, DIRECTOR, NUTRITION SCIENCE
Lauren is a registered dietitian with a focus on nutrition research. She has previously worked on the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI®) and its applications at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. She has also managed the nutritional components of community-based and clinical research studies conducted at the General Clinical Research Centers at Children’s National Medical Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.