Mary Holland is the former Director of the Graduate Legal Skills Program at New York University. She is a founding board member of EBCALA. Educated at Harvard and Columbia Universities, Mary has been an advocate in the public and private sectors. After graduating law school, she clerked for a federal district court judge in New York City. Prior to joining NYU, she directed the European Program of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), and worked for six years at major US law firms, with three years based in Moscow, Russia. Holland researches and writes on legal issues related to autism and vaccines and is a co-editor of the book Vaccine Epidemic, and co-author of HPV Vaccine On Trial: Seeking Justice For A Generation Betrayed.
Holland co-founded two non-profits, the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy and the Center for Personal Rights. In addition, she has published seminal legal articles on critical dimensions of vaccine law and policy: constitutionality; herd immunity; liability for injury; and the connection between vaccines and autism. On behalf of many organizations, she submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, a case about manufacturer liability, and to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Cedillo v. HHS about vaccine-induced autism.
She serves on the advisory boards for Health Choice, the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, and the Otto Specht School and Endeavor 21+, Waldorf communities for children and young adults with learning differences. Holland has addressed legislators in Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, California, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia on vaccine law and policy. She has held briefings on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations, capturing international attention. In addition, Holland has been a professor on the faculties of Columbia Law School and the New York University School of Law for eighteen years. She taught courses on human rights and recently retired as the Director of the NYU Graduate Lawyering Program.
David Kirby is a journalist who was a foreign correspondent for UP and Newsday in Latin America, covering wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, politics, corruption, and natural disasters in mexico. He has written for The New York Times, Glamour, The Advocate, Redbook, Self, OutWeek, and Mademoiselle. Kirby was the Director of Public Information at the American Foundation for AIDS Research from 1990-93, worked for NYC Council President Carol Bellamy, and was a senior staff advisor to David Dinkins’ successful 1989 run for NYC Mayor. Kirby authored the 2005 book Evidence of Harm - Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy. During Kirby’s research around the topic of vaccinations, he was tipped off to the presence of the immunity afforded to Eli Lilly for thimerosal in vaccines that was contained within the Homeland Security Bill (H.R. 5710) following the September 11 attacks.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a former Assistant District Attorney for New York City, co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio, and serves as Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and President of Waterkeeper Alliance. He was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. Mr. Kennedy is a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and is of counsel to Morgan & Morgan, a nationwide personal injury practice.
Mr. Kennedy has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands. He is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City’s water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development.
Aware of the health risks posed by mercury through his earlier environmental work, Mr. Kennedy published the 2014 book Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury – a Known Neurotoxin – from Vaccines. He founded the World Mercury Project in 2016 with the goal of eliminating remaining trace amounts of mercury in vaccinations and several other products and resources. In 2018, the 501c3 changed its name to Children’s Health Defense, to put in place a broader scope of work, covering a wider range of environmental toxins plaguing the health of America’s children.
Among Mr. Kennedy’s published books are The New York Times’ bestseller Crimes Against Nature (2004), The Riverkeepers (1997), and Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr: A Biography (1977) and children’s books St Francis of Assisi (2005), American Heroes: Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil War and Robert Smalls: The Boat Thief (2008). His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside Magazine, The Village Voice, and many other publications. His award-winning articles have been included in anthologies of America’s Best Crime Writing, Best Political Writing and Best Science Writing.
Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation, he attended Pace University School of Law, where he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law.
He is a licensed master falconer, and as often as possible he pursues a life-long enthusiasm for white-water paddling. He has organized and led several expeditions in Canada and Latin America, including first descents on three little known rivers in Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Barbara Loe Fisher
Barbara Loe Fisher is the co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a non-profit charity she founded with parents of vaccine injured children in 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education. She is the co-author of the seminal book DPT: A Shot in the Dark, and numerous other publications which can be found here. Loe Fisher worked with Congress to secure the vaccine safety provisions in the historic National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, and has served as a consumer representative on federal vaccine advisory and public engagement committees, including the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (1988-91); the Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Forum (1995-98) where she helped coordinate five public workshops on vaccine safety issues; the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (1999-02); the Vaccine Policy Analysis Collaborative (2002-05); and the Vaccine Safety Writing Group (2009).
She has testified in Congress and state legislatures on vaccine policy and law and has provided a series of written and oral public comments on vaccine science and policy issues for federal and state health agencies. Loe Fisher coordinated five scientific conferences, including the 1989 International Scientific Workshop on pertussis and Pertussis Vaccines and four International Public Conferences on Vaccination in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2009.
Loe Fisher has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Time, Newsweek, and many other outlets. Since 1993, she has debated more doctors on the subject of vaccination that any other American, including on The Today Show, as well as on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and NPR. She has appeared in vaccine news reports on CBS’ Sunday Morning News, ABC’ World News Tonight & Nightline, PBS’ Frontline, and CBS’ The Doctors.
She graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English and was a writer and community relations professional at a teaching hospital before becoming a mother in 1978. Her oldest son suffered a convulsion, collapse and brain inflammation within hours of his fourth DPT shot in 1980 when he was two and a half years old. He was left with multiple learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder and was confined to a special education classroom throughout his public school education.
Rolf Hazlehurst is a former Assistant District Attorney General for the State of Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee and also attended St. John’s College in Oxford, England. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Memphis and has been actively engaged in the practice of law since 1995. He has been admitted to practice law in multiple courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. A criminal prosecutor for over 14 years, Hazlehurst gained extensive jury trial experience while prosecuting almost every criminal offense from minor misdemeanor offenses to the most serious violent felonies including first degrees murder. Since 2003, Hazlehurst has fought for the rights of vaccine injured children. His son’s case, Hazlehurst vs. H.H.S. was the second test case in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. He intends to devote the remainder of his life to bringing the truth to light regarding the catastrophic injuries and injustices caused by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. Hazlehurst serves as a Senior Staff Attorney for Children’s Health Defense.
Lyn Redwood, R.N., M.S.N., is a Nurse Practitioner who became involved in autism research and advocacy when her son was diagnosed with autism. In 1999, she calculated the level of mercury exposure received from multiple thimerosal (mercury) containing vaccines and found her son was exposed to levels 125 times EPA Federal Safety guidelines and suffered with mercury toxicity. Since that time, Ms. Redwood has testified before the Government Reform Committee on “Mercury in Medicine: Are we taking unnecessary risks?” and before a subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness. Redwood co-authored Autism: A Novel Form of Mercury Toxicity, a landmark paper linking the symptoms of autism with excessive exposure to mercury in 2000 and is published in Neurotoxicology, Medical Hypothesis, Molecular Psychiatry, Mothering Magazine and Autism-Aspergers Digest. She has appeared on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer, The Montel Williams Show, and numerous national news outlets. Redwood has been interviewed by U.S. News and World Report, Wired Magazine, People, and is prominently featured in the award winning book by David Kirby, Evidence of Harm. Redwood co-founded the Coalition for SafeMinds and the National Autism Association. She served as a public member of the National Institute of Health, Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee from 2007-14 and was an Integration Panel Member for the Department of Defence, Autism Spectrum Disorder Research program from 2007-09.
Del Bigtree spent a decade celebrating great doctors, cutting edge surgeries and medical breakthroughs as a producer on The Dr. Phil Show and the CBS medical talk show, The Doctors. It was a routine investigation in 2014 into the story of a whistleblower at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that catapulted Bigtree into the vaccine debate. When every news agency in television, including The Doctors, refused to cover the story of Dr. William Thompson, a senior scientist at the CDC who had provided over 10,000 documents to support his claim that the agency had destroyed scientific evidence proving a connection between vaccines and autism, Bigtree put his career on the line and left network television to produce one of the most controversial documentaries in history: Vaxxed: From Cover-Up To Catastrophe, which released in 2016. After Vaxxed was announced in the official line-up of the Tribeca Film Festival, controversy kicked in and the film was abruptly pulled. The team rushed the film to theaters, opening to sold out audiences nationwide, as Vaxxed became a worldwide trending topic on social media. Bigtree co-founded the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), and is the host of the internet talk show The HighWire. A lawsuit filed by ICAN, in partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., forced the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to admit decades of non-compliance with their legislative responsibility to submit bi-annual reports to Congress detailing actions taken to ensure vaccine safety, forcing 78 million American children into a vaccine program with no safety provisions.
Dr. Brian Hooker
Dr. Brian Hooker, PhD, PE, is an Associate Professor of Biology at Simpson University in Redding, California, where he specializes in chemistry and biology coursework. Dr. Hooker is the Senior Process Consultant at ARES Corporation, working closely on process design for the environment restoration industry. His design efforts focus on industrial biotechnology and chemical engineering principles. Dr. Hooker dedicated over 15 years as a bioengineer and the team leader for the High Throughput Biology Team and Operations Manager of the DOE Genomics: Genomes to Life (GTL) Center for Molecular and Cellular Systems at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Dr. Hooker managed applied plant and fungal molecular biology research projects at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where systems biology researchers are focused on understanding gene and protein networks involved in individual cell signaling, communication between cells in communities, and cellular metabolic pathways.
In 1985, Dr. Hooker earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering, from California State Polytechnic University, and his Master’s of Science degree in 1988 and doctorate in 1990, both in biochemical engineering, from Washington State University. Dr. Hooker has many accomplishments to his credit including: co-inventor for five patents, recipient of the Battelle Entrepreneurial Award in 2001, and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Recognition Award in 1999, for his work on “Reactive Transport in 3-Dimensions.” The breadth of Hooker’s 60 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer reviewed journals.
Dr. Hooker’s son is vaccine-injured. His investigations into CDC data led to the CDC Whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, coming forward, and the creation of the documentary film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, in which Dr. Hooker was featured. Dr. Hooker is a board member at Focus Autism, and is a Producer on Vaxxed II: The People’s Truth.
J.B. Handley, Jr.
J.B. Handley, Jr. is a private-equity entrepreneur and autism dad. He spent his career in San Francisco in the private equity industry and received his undergraduate degree with honors from Stanford University. His book, How to End the Autism Epidemic, was published in 2018 by Chelsea Green Publishing. Mr. Handley has never received any money from his autism advocacy work, and has donated 100% of the proceeds from his best-selling book to autism charities. Handley and his wife Lisa co-founded Generation Rescue in 2005. Handley has appeared on several national television programs including Full Measure and The Doctors, and his book and research has been highlighted in several print media publications including The Hill. Handley and his wife produced the film Autism Yesterday in 2009.
Mike Hugo graduated from the New England School of Law in 1982. Hugo’s first case out of law school was for a child injured by the DTP vaccination, and since 1983 he has chaired the American Association for Justice’s Vaccine Litigation Group. He battled Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Merck in over 300 cases. Hugo is one of the original five lawyers that were known as the Advocates for a Safer Vaccine, who won and settled so many suits that led the pharmaceutical industry to seek cover through the creation of the 1986 Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Hugo tried the first case in the Vaccine Court following the passage of the Vaccine Injury Act.
James ‘Jim’ Moody
James ‘Jim’ Moody is a practicing attorney and Founder of Citizens for a Competitive Economy. He is very active in cause-related advocacy and has dedicated himself to serving the autism community for nearly two decades. Moody is also a Founding Board Member, Government Affairs Committee Chair.
Robert J. Krakow
Robert J. Krakow is an attorney in private practice in New York City for 30 years. During the decade of the 1980s, Bob was a New York County prosecutor in the office of the Hon. Robert M. Morgenthau. He also served as a Bureau Chief in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York. He is an accomplished trial lawyer who has represented individuals in civil and criminal matters in Federal and State Courts. Bob specializes in representing individuals with vaccine injuries. Bob served for 8 years as Chairman of the Board of one of New York's largest and oldest Not-for-Profit organizations serving people with disabilities. Lifespire, Inc. Lifespire provides support for more than 5000 individuals with disabilities. He continues to serve on Lifespire's Board of Directors. Bob has founded several organizations that advocate for people with disabilities. He is coauthor of many articles, including chapters in the bestselling book on vaccine safety issues and informed consent, Vaccine Epidemic. He is a coauthor of Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury.
Efthimios Parasidis, JD
Efthimios Parasidis, JD is a nationally recognized expert on health law and bioethics. He holds a joint appointment with The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the College of Public Health, and is a faculty affiliate with the College of Medicine’s Center for Bioethics. A prolific scholar with more than thirty publications, his work has appeared in top journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, and Boston University Law Review, among others. He is co-author of a leading casebook on the ethics and regulation of research with human subjects, and has a book on military medical ethics under contract with Oxford University Press.
Professor Parasidis serves as a law and bioethics consultant to the U.S. Air Force. In 2019 he was appointed to a National Institutes of Health research ethics committee that examines complex and emerging issues in clinical data science and data sharing. The Greenwall Foundation awarded Professor Parasidis a Faculty Scholar in Bioethics fellowship for 2014-2017. As a Fulbright Scholar, Professor Parasidis researched legal and ethical issues related to medical informed consent policies and practices in Greece. Prior to joining the Ohio State faculty, he was a professor at the Center for Health Law Studies at Saint Louis University. While in Missouri, he was an appointed member of the Law & Policy Workgroup of Missouri Health Connection, the entity responsible for creating Missouri’s health information exchange.
In addition to his scholarly work and public service, Professor Parasidis served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, under Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo, where he handled hundreds of cases in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. He was an associate in the Litigation group of Jones Day and a senior associate in the Intellectual Property group of Dickstein Shapiro. Professor Parasidis counsels start-up companies on corporate and intellectual property matters, co-founded a health informatics start-up company, and is a co-inventor on a patent application related to health information technology.
In 2015, when legislators were led astray and filed oppressive bills that would take away parental rights and vaccine choice, Jackie Schlegel stepped up to the plate, said: "not on my watch,” and threw her hat into the political arena. In just four short years, she took a group of passionate moms and turned it into the epitome of grassroots activism, setting an unprecedented standard for the nation and even drawing worldwide attention. That fledging group of 20 is now a political action committee and educational foundation, nearing 30,000 social media followers as well as 10,000 official members who proudly align themselves with Texans for Vaccine Choice. Thanks to Jackie's endless energy and passion, this group is organized with local branches, core members, and team leaders impacting their schools, their communities, and their legislators. Her unshakeable dedication inspires all members to have a laser focus on their mission of protecting and advancing informed consent, medical privacy, and vaccine choice.