About HBBF

Working towards a toxic-free future for all our children

Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) is an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors working to create and support initiatives that measurably reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals in the first thousand days of development. Our efforts are inspired and supported by science and data, and designed to help restore the chance for a full life to children who would otherwise face brain-diminishing exposures to toxic chemicals beginning in utero.

Healthy Babies Bright Futures has three programs:

Bright Choices empowers families with knowledge and tools to take actions at home and in their communities. Bright Choices creates alliances that develop common strategies, communications and goals to drive policy and corporate change that will measurably reduce neurotoxic chemical exposures.

Bright Cities is motivating municipalities to adopt policy and program changes that will reduce their residents’ exposures to “brain drain” chemicals.

Science Into Action is using the newest, sound science to create accessible, actionable and effective tools for everyone.

All three HBBF Programs:

  • Apply emerging science and technology to accelerate change
  • Prioritize interventions that data suggests will have the greatest results
  • Ensure that the most vulnerable babies are protected
  • Facilitate collaboration among the most effective actors in the field
  • Bring new allies to efforts to protect babies’ health
  • Track and analyze program outcomes
  • Illustrate the return on investment in protecting babies and children from neurotoxic chemicals

Advisory Board

Charlotte Brody
Healthy Babies Bright Futures
Gary Cohen
Health Care Without Harm
Ken Cook
Environmental Working Group
Olivia Farr
John Merck Fund
Ruth Hennig
Executive Director
John Merck Fund
Dr. Phil Landrigan
Dean for Global Health
Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai
Anne Lebleu
Arabella Advisors
Janet Maughan
Executive Director
Passport Foundation
Ansje Miller
Eastern States Director
Center for Environmental Health
Dr. Frederica Perera
Professor and Director
Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health
Debbie Raphael
San Francisco Department of Environment
Marni Rosen
Philanthropy Advisor

Bill Walsh
Executive Director
Healthy Building Network
Dr. Tracey Woodruff
Professor and Director
Program on Reproductive Health and Environment UCSF

Healthy Babies Bright Futures Team

Charlotte Brody is Director of Healthy Babies Bright Futures.
Charlotte is a registered nurse and vice president for Health Initiatives of the BlueGreen Alliance. She has led a Planned Parenthood affiliate and been among the founders of Health Care Without Harm, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Green for All and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
Sarah Doll is the Bright Choices Program Director.
Sarah is also the National Director for Safer States, a campaign composed of state-based organizations successfully championing policy and market solutions to protect public health and communities from toxic chemicals. Prior to joining Safer States, Sarah was a program director at the Oregon Environmental Council and worked on Capitol Hill for John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), ran electoral campaigns and managed transportation projects for the City of Portland.
Olivia H. Farr is a member of the Executive Team and former Chair of the John Merck Fund Board of Trustees.
Olivia co-founded and is currently Vice-President of the Bedford 2020 Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 in Bedford, NY. She is President of Best Movies by Farr an online resource for movie lovers and serves on the board of Abtech Industries, an environmental technology company.
Heidi Gerbracht is the Bright Cities Program Director.
Heidi most recently worked on housing, land use and transportation in Austin after nine years staffing elected officials in that city. Heidi also worked for several years in women's health advocacy. She advises a number of local non-profits on policy issues and holds a Masters degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.
Ruth Hennig is the Chair of Healthy Babies Bright Futures.
Ruth is the executive director of The John Merck Fund, which she joined as the foundation’s first staff member in 1988. Prior to joining the foundation, Ruth was a senior staff member of the Conservation Law Foundation. Ruth serves on the boards of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and IssueOne. She helped create SmartPower and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund.
Jane Houlihan, MSCE, is Research Director for Healthy Babies Bright Futures.
Jane is an engineer and prior to joining HBBF oversaw research programs at the Environmental Working Group. For over a decade she conceived of and directed EWG’s popular online product guides, including the Skin Deep cosmetic database, and led national programs on biomonitoring, safer water, and healthy food. Jane is among the founders of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and serves on the science board of the Breast Cancer Fund.
Tessa Walker Linderman is the Lead in Homes Initiative Program Director.
Tessa has spent the last ten years working in public health with her most recent experience as a public health fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Previously she managed a refugee wellness program for Somali women, worked as a campaign coordinator for a gubernatorial campaign, and served as a community health educator in the Peace Corps. Tessa is a registered nurse with a doctorate degree in public health nursing.
David Zucker leads the communications effort for Healthy Babies Bright Futures.
As an expert on corporate social responsibility and sustainability, David has worked with the UN Climate Change Secretariat, U.S. AID, CDC, Florida Department of Health Tobacco Prevention (“truth” campaign), American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Citizens Committee for New York City, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and HP.
Stephanie Stohler is the Communications Manager for Healthy Babies Bright Futures.
A skilled strategic communications professional, Stephanie spent the past ten years in the public relations office at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where she successfully created and led PR campaigns for major productions, used effective digital strategies and expert strategic messaging, and cultivated relationships with key members of the media. She holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University in public relations and corporate communications.
Jennifer Bakkom-Gatzke is the Administrative Manager for Healthy Babies Bright Futures.
Jennifer brings more than 20 years of administrative experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit world, having worked in international manufacturing, criminal and telecommunications law, politics and recycling. She also serves as the BlueGreen Alliance Office Manager.

Founding Partners

HBBF Partners
HBBF Partners