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Public Health Advocacy Institute

at Northeastern University School of Law

360 Huntington Avenue, 117CU

Boston, MA 02115


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Ilana M. Knopf, J.D.


Ilana M. Knopf is the Director of the Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center, where since 2011 she’s focused on assisting state and local governments implement policies aimed at preventing chronic disease and increasing health equity. Prior to joining the center, she served as Counsel to the Tobacco Project of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) in Washington, DC.  There, she assisted states interpret, implement and enforce the provisions of the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Ilana has previously served as an U.S. Attorney General’s Honors Program trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, and in pro bono capacity as a voter protection attorney in Arkansas and counsel for Women Empowered Against Violence in Washington, DC.  She received a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was managing editor of The Journal of Constitutional Law, a board member of the Guild Food Stamp Clinic and president of the Environmental Law Society. Ilana received a B.A., magna cum laude from Boston University.

Luis Melero, J.D.

Staff Attorney

Luis earned his J.D. at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and his B.A. at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Luis has extensive experience in governmental processes and policy development and implementation, having worked as a staffer for an Illinois State Representative, as Manager at a public transportation agency, as Senior Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and most recently, as Policy Manager at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. During his time in the Obama Administration, Luis worked to expand the availability of naloxone and access to treatment in the wake of the opioid epidemic, while also working to reduce disparities among disproportionately impacted communities, including justice-involved individuals. Luis has also worked on electoral campaigns and clerked at the Office of the Cook County Public Defender.

Emily Nink, M.S.

Policy Associate

As a Policy Associate at the Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center, Emily assists local governments pursuing public health policies, including tobacco controls, and provides policy research for other public health topics, including regulations of packaged beverages. Emily earned her M.S. through the Agriculture, Food and Environment program at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston. Her research and published works at the Friedman School focused on local produce in Massachusetts farmers’ markets, sustainability in the 2015 dietary guidelines, and community food security. Prior to joining the Center, Emily provided research assistance at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, at the Friedman School, and at Food Tank: The Food Think Tank. Her academic interests include community food security, healthy food retail, and urban agriculture. In addition to her work at the Center, Emily serves in a volunteer capacity as the Development Coordinator for Everett Community Growers, an urban agriculture and food justice group serving Everett, MA.

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