Welcome and Opening General Session

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 24 Great Northern Ballroom

Recorded Video Welcome Address from Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Amy Klobuchar has earned a reputation as an effective, results-driven legislator willing to reach across the aisle to get things done. In the last Congress, she distinguished herself as the Senator with the most bipartisan bills and Vanderbilt University has ranked her as one of the “most effective” senators in Congress.

Keynote by Dr. Vineeta Gupta

People, Policy, Progress: A Collaborative Vision for Public Health

Join Dr. Vineeta Gupta, an award-winning advocate for health equity, maternal health physician, and human rights lawyer, as she inaugurates our annual conference. As the new Executive Director of the Network for Public Health Law, she brings a unique blend of global and local public health expertise to set the stage for this year’s theme: “People, Policy, Progress.” Her opening remarks will offer a compelling vision to navigate today’s complex public health challenges. Focused on actionable change and interdisciplinary collaboration, Dr. Gupta aims to inspire and engage attendees while providing a roadmap for the Network’s future.

Fireside Chat

The opening speech will be followed by an informal discussion and sharing between Network Advisory Board Chair, McClain Bryant Macklin, Vice President, Policy and Impact, Health Forward Foundation, and Network Executive Director Dr. Vineeta Gupta. This discussion will be moderated by Joelle Lester, Executive Director at the Public Health Law Center.


Joelle Lester, J.D.
Executive Director, Public Health Law Center

Joelle Lester is the Executive Director at the Public Health Law Center. Joelle joined the Center in 2012 and has become a respected national leader in commercial tobacco control law and policy. Early in her tenure, she spearheaded the Center’s work partnering with Black-led organizations to advocate for a federal ban on menthol cigarettes. After years of advocacy by these organizations, the FDA proposed a regulation to this effect in April 2022.

McClain Bryant Macklin. J.D., M.B.A.
Vice President, Policy and Impact, Health Forward Foundation; and Chair, Network for Public Health Law Advisory Board

McClain is a member of Health Forward’s executive team and leads both policy and grantmaking strategies. Prior to joining Health Forward, McClain served as director of policy and research for the Greater Kansas City Civic Council.

Dr. Vineeta Gupta, M.D., J.D., LL.M
Executive Director
Network for Public Health Law

Vineeta oversees strategy, organizational growth and sustainability, partnerships, and programming at the Network for Public Health Law. She is committed to advancing the Network’s mission to provide visionary leadership in the use of law to protect, promote and improve health and health equity. Dr. Gupta is a maternal and child health physician and human rights lawyer with three decades of experience in clinical and public health, health justice, and equity. Before joining the Network, Dr. Gupta was Secretariat Director of the ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership where she headed the Secretariat team and facilitated a 15-member governing body spanning five continents.