Last Year's Speaker Lineup Included:

  • Stavroula Anastasopoulou

    Senior Market Analyst ECigIntelligence

    Stavroula graduated from the Athens University of Economics and Business with a BA in Management Science and Technology (majoring in Quantitative Methods and Operational Research). She has worked in logistics at Colgate-Palmolive and interned at the International Office of the University of Catalunya, Barcelona.

    As a member of the ECigIntelligence market research and analysis team, Stavroula leads the market team’s heated tobacco research and is particularly involved in providing quantitative analysis and insight into supply chains.

  • Jeff Ballin, PhD

    Study Director/Principal Investigator Battelle

    Jeff Ballin, PhD has served as a lead scientist for 15 years in the biochemical and biophysical sciences. In the last two years at Battelle, he has served as Study Director/Principal Investigator of programs supporting clinical, pre-clinical and nonclinical trials; and qualified and validated assays in compliance with FDA guidelines. Jeff has authored 20 peer-reviewed publications, and numerous technical reports, book chapters, and poster or webinar presentations.

  • Scott Ballin, JD

    Health Policy Consultant, Former VP, and Legislative Counsel Industry Advisor

    Scott D. Ballin has spent more than 40 years involved in issues related to tobacco and public health. He has worked on a spectrum of tobacco and nicotine issues ranging from labeling reforms on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of tobacco, excise taxes, clean indoor air laws and tobacco agriculture reforms.

    For more than 10 years her served as the American Heart Association’s Vice President and Legislative Counsel, and a Steering Committee Member and two-time Chairman of the Coalition on Smoking OR Health (AHA,AC,ALA) which was the first truly active national coalition in the tobacco control movement.

    He served on the Steering Committee of the Alliance for Health Economic and Agriculture Development (AHEAD) an organization formed to bring parties together to work for the enactment of recommendations contained in a Presidential report, Tobacco at a Crossroads. In recent years he has worked as an advisor to the University of Virginia on a series of ‘dialogues’ (The Morven Dialogues) on tobacco, nicotine and alternative products harm reduction and authored a series of white papers on the subject. He recently advised the US Food and Drug Law Institute in preparation for an October 2016 Tobacco Conference.  He has testified before Congress and the FDA on numerous occasions and has worked extensively with the media.

    He is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a graduate of the George Mason School of Law, in Arlington Virginia.

  • Derek Beauchamp

    Senior Technical Director of Analytical Sciences Avomeen Analytical Service

    Dr. Derek Beauchamp is a Senior Technical Director of Analytical Sciences at Avomeen Analytical Services. He is an expert with a wide breadth of regulatory expertise, nicotine and e-liquid research, characterization techniques and the respective instrumentation and software.

  • Eduardo Berea

    Board Member CORESTA and EVAP Group

    Eduardo Berea was born in Mexico City. He has a degree in Agricultural Engineering and studies in biotechnology and marketing. During his career, Eduardo spent 15 years working in R&D in the chemical and food industry before starting in the flavor industry in 1999. He spent 6 years working for Mane de Mexico as Sales Manager for Food and Beverage flavors and as Coordinator of the Tobacco Business Unit for Latin America.

    In 2005, he joined Mother Murphy’s Laboratories and moved to the USA in 2006. Since then, he has been responsible for International Sales of Food and Beverage flavors and for the Tobacco Division.  In 2014 Alternative Ingredients was established as a subsidiary company. He currently is VP of Sales within MML and VP of Business Development for AI. He also represents Alternative Ingredients in the Board of CORESTA.

  • Azim Chowdhury

    Partner Keller and Heckman LLP

    Azim Chowdhury practices food, tobacco and e-vapor law in the Washington, D.C. office of Keller and Heckman LLP. Mr. Chowdhury advises domestic and foreign corporations in matters of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and international regulatory compliance. In particular, he assists corporations in establishing clearances for food and drug additives in the U.S., Canada, and European Union, with an emphasis on indirect additives used in food-contact materials. Mr. Chowdhury has also developed expertise in tobacco product regulation and spearheaded the Tobacco and E-Vapor practice at Keller and Heckman. Specifically, Mr. Chowdhury has experience representing tobacco and electronic vapor product (e-cigarette) manufacturers, suppliers, and trade associations in matters of FDA regulatory and corporate compliance. He is also a frequent contributor to the Tobacco Reporter and the Food and Drug Law Institute’s Update magazine; edited and co-authored FDLI’s tobacco regulation manuals, Tobacco Regulation and Compliance: An Essential Resource and Tobacco and Nicotine Delivery: Regulation and Compliance, 2nd Edition; and previously served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Food and Drug Law Journal.  Prior to entering private practice, he served as a judicial law clerk on the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.  Mr. Chowdhury received a B.A. and B.S. from Johns Hopkins University, a MBA from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a JD, cum laude, from the University of Maryland School of Law.

  • Stacy L. Ehrlich

    Partner Kleinfeld Kaplan & Becker LLP

    STACY L. EHRLICH is a Partner at the law firm of Kleinfeld Kaplan & Becker LLP in Washington, DC. Her practice focuses on counseling and advocating on behalf of pharmaceutical, food, dietary supplement, tobacco, cosmetic, and medical device companies on a variety of regulatory matters.

    Ms. Ehrlich currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), speaks frequently on FDA regulatory matters, and has authored chapters in the books, Food and Drug Law & Regulation, How to Work with the FDA, and Top 20 Food and Drug Cases & Cases to Watch. She received her JD from Harvard Law School and her BA in English from Emory University. 

  • Ian Fearon

    Consultant whatIF? Consulting Limited

    Ian is an independent consultant with expertise in regulatory and scientific aspects of nicotine and tobacco products. Ian most recently worked for JUUL Labs as Senior Director of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs EMEA, and previously he was Director of Tobacco Research at Celerion, a provider of clinical research capabilities and expertise to the tobacco and e-cigarette industry. Prior to that, Ian was Principal Scientist and Head of Clinical Research at British American Tobacco's central research and development centre in Southampton, U.K. He specializes in the biological and psychological effects of nicotine, clinical and pre-clinical studies to assess the biological effects of electronic cigarettes and tobacco heating devices, and the scientific basis for regulation.  Prior to working in the industry, Ian pursued an academic career as a Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Manchester and an Assistant Professor in Biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.  Ian is a highly-cited scientific researcher and writer, contributing to more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters which have generated over 2,400 citations.


  • Schell Hammel

    Owner & President Vapor Bar

    Schell Hammel owns the Vapor Bar a chain of vapor store and manufacturer of e-liquid established in 2011 and has been active in local, state and federal discussions, including FDA, OMB and healthcare professionals and organizations regarding laws, regulation and youth prevention. She is the founder of YEPP a youth prevention program for ENDS products and active leader in the Vapor Industry, educating shops and owners across the nation.

  • Eric Heyer

    Partner Thompson Hine LLP

    Eric N. Heyer is a partner in Thompson Hine LLP's Washington, D.C. office and leads the firm's vaping industry practice.  Eric was integrally involved in the first federal lawsuit in 2009 that successfully challenged FDA's categorization of ENDS products as unapproved new drugs or medical devices.  Over the years, Eric has counseled and represented both foreign and domestic ENDS device and e-liquid manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers on all manner of federal and state regulatory compliance issues, on the preparation of pre-market tobacco applications (PMTAs), in significant transactions, and in litigation, including Proposition 65 litigation, patent litigation, contractual disputes, product liability claims, a constitutional case that successfully challenged Indiana’s statutory scheme regulating the manufacture of e-liquids, the case challenging New York’s flavor ban, and litigation related to the accelerated May 2020 PMTA deadline.

  • Amelia Howard

    Consultant & PhD Candidate University of Waterloo

    Amelia Howard is  a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Waterloo. She is interested in the social, historical, and political dynamics of technological change, radical technologies, user-driven innovation, and disruptive markets. 

    Her dissertation documents the history of vaping product innovation, and analyzes the processes, practices and events that led to the birth and rapid growth of the independent vaping sector. She further examines the conditions under which vaping came to disrupt the American tobacco and "tobacco problems" ecology. Her study provides an empirically driven explanation of why hostility and fear towards vaping has overtaken contemporary media narratives and public opinion, and shows how the moral panic over vaping is linked to incumbents' strategic efforts to stop a disruptive threat.

    Amelia has applied her subject matter expertise in vaping issues outside of an academic setting, primarily as an advocate for nicotine policy reform in Canada and the United States. She has submitted written comments to the Canadian Senate, Health Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health for consultations regarding vaping regulations, and testified as an expert witness in a preliminary injunction hearing for a successful  lawsuit challenging the state of Michigan’s “emergency” ban on e-cigarette flavors. She has also published on vaping in a number of specialist and popular venues including, Vaping360, the Toronto Star, Policy Matters and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She’s been a guest on a number of podcasts, including the acclaimed Narcotica, and has been interviewed by Buzzfeed, Vice, the Nation, and the Financial Post. She recently started consulting to Keller and Heckman LLP, a law firm representing several small and medium sized independent vapor firms, on matters related to Pre-Market Tobacco Applications.

  • Chris Howard

    VP, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer E-Alternative Solutions (EAS)

    Chris Howard is Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at E-Alternative Solutions (EAS), an independent, family-owned provider of electronic alternatives to cigarettes. In his current role, Mr. Howard oversees EAS legal strategies and policies encompassing brand protection, compliance, strategic partnerships, and regulatory affairs.

    Under Howard’s stewardship, EAS leads the vapor industry by going above and beyond regulatory standards to ensure EAS marketing messages are only received by adult audiences who are existing smokers and vapers.

    Howard’s work is vital not only to the launch and growth of EAS vapor franchises, but also to the vapor community at large. As Board Treasurer of The Vapor Technology Association (VTA), he was instrumental in the creation and adaptation of the VTA Marketing Standards, which in 2018 became a requisite for VTA membership. His work on the VTA Board of Directors advances the interests of the manufacturers, wholesalers, small business owners and entrepreneurs of the vapor industry who seek responsible policies and regulations.

    Widely considered an authority on the category’s rapidly evolving regulatory landscape, Howard is a frequent speaker on the complex legal issues facing the tobacco and vapor industries, including: antitrust law, intellectual property, marketing, external communications, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations.

    Prior to joining EAS, Howard served as General Counsel at Fontem Ventures B.V., and held senior legal positions with Lorillard Tobacco Company and ITG Brands, LLC. His experience leading the legal functions of global and domestic tobacco enterprises has built deep expertise in: influencing and ensuring compliance at all levels; multimillion-dollar partnership negotiations; mergers and acquisitions; intellectual property protections; litigation, and extensive resource management including international law teams and expansive outside counsel.

    Howard holds a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from the T.C. Williams School of Law at University of Richmond, and a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from James Madison University. An avid fisherman, he resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL with his wife, Becky, and their three children.  

  • Nikolai Ivanov, Ph.D.

    Global Head of Biomarker & Biosensor Research Philip Morris International R&D Innovation Cube

    Dr. Nikolai V. Ivanov currently holds position of the Global Head of Biomarker & Biosensor Research department at Philip Morris International R&D Innovation Cube, Philip Morris Products S.A. in Neuchatel, Switzerland. In this role, he is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the department and leading genome sequencing, gene expression, proteomics, high performance computing and Quality Management System projects. He received his M.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science in 2001 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2002 from Emory University (Atlanta, USA).  In 2013-2014, he continued his education in Corporate Management and Finance and earned his MBA from University of Lausanne (Switzerland). He has published more than 70 manuscripts primarily in the area of Systems Toxicology. In 2015, he was awarded a title of Privat Docent by the University of Neuchatel (Switzerland). Dr. Ivanov is certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.

  • Patricia I. Kovacevic

    Global Legal & Regulatory Strategist Regulation Strategy

    A global legal and compliance industry expert Patricia I. Kovacevic’s experience comprises general counsel and chief compliance officer roles at Nicopure Labs LLC, and leading senior legal and compliance positions at, among others, Philip Morris International and Lorillard. Prior to joining Lorillard she was a partner at Patton Boggs. Her expertise includes global e-cigarette and tobacco regulation, compliance and all regulatory aspects of marketing/media communications, corporate affairs, criminal investigations, FCPA, trade sanctions, privacy, product development and launch. Kovacevic served on the board of directors of the Vapor Technology Association and on the advisory board of the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum. In the past she was a United Nations staff member, served on the U.N.’s Public-Private Partnership Commission and was also an adviser to the Council for Burley Tobacco. Kovacevic is admitted to practice in New York and before the Supreme Court of the United States. She holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School in New York and has completed the Harvard Business School “Corporate Leader” course. She is fluent in seven European languages. 

  • T. Grant Leffingwell

    Senior Research Scientist, Human Factors Battelle

    Mr. Leffingwell has over 17 years of experience providing human factors and human systems integration expertise for a wide variety of product applications. As a Senior Research Scientist, Human Factors, at Battelle, he is passionate about helping manufacturers improve safety, usability and user satisfaction for their devices. Mr. Leffingwell’s experience spans all types of consumer and medical devices, from mHealth apps to drug delivery, and he leads a wide variety of usability research efforts.

  • Cheryl K. Olson, Sc.D.

    Health Behavior Consultant -

    Cheryl K. Olson, Sc.D. is an internationally known expert on using media to change behavior and to promote mental and physical health.

    Olson was a member of the psychiatry faculty at Harvard Medical School for 15 years. In 2000, while at Massachusetts General Hospital, she co-founded the Center for Mental Health and Media, an outreach, media production and research center devoted to mental and behavioral health and healthy child development. She was principal investigator for a $1.5-million federal grant-funded qualitative/quantitative study of the effects of video game violence on youth behavior, and co-investigator of a $1-million NIH-funded project to improve the accuracy of health and science journalism.

    For five years, Olson consulted to Philip Morris USA on the development and evaluation of smoking cessation and youth smoking prevention materials, including leading the QuitAssist project. Her plenary presentation at the 2017 Tobacco Science Research Conference looked at factors affecting media coverage of vaping research.

    Olson holds a Doctor of Science degree in health and social behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a postdoctoral European Certificate in Pharmaceutical Medicine from the University of Basel in Switzerland. Her most recent book (with Eugene Beresin, M.D.) is Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Media (Elsevier).

  • Christopher Russell Ph.D.

    Deputy Director Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR)

    Christopher Russell Ph.D. is a psychologist and Deputy Director of the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR), Glasgow, Scotland. Dr Russell leads the Centre’s perception and behavioural research programme assessing the impact of specific brands of non-combustible tobacco and nicotine products (NCTNPs), such as e-cigarette and heated tobacco products, on tobacco smoking and health in the United States and United Kingdom. Through cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs, Dr Russell’s team conducts pre-market assessments and post-market surveillance of tobacco users and non-users’ perceptions of the appeal, risks and benefits of using e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, and patterns of use of NCTNPs that increase individuals’ likelihood of starting, stopping or continuing to smoke conventional cigarettes. The results of this work are used to identify nicotine regulatory policies that may increase the safety, accessibility, affordability, appeal and effectiveness of NCTNPs as a method of quitting smoking.

  • Dr. Jeffrey S. Smith

    Master Scientist- Clinical Studies Division Reynolds American Inc. (RAI)

    Jeff Smith is a Master Scientist in the Clinical Studies Division at Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) Services Company. He supports the development of clinical research programs to support the assessment of potential reduced risk products.

    Jeff’s training is in behavioral neuroscience, focused on understanding how behavioral, pharmacological, and cell-based therapies impact neuroplasticity. Prior to joining RAIS, Jeff was an Endowed Chair in Health Sciences and held several leadership and editorial positions in academics and served as a consultant for consumer research companies.

    Jeff graduated from Georgia College with a BS/MS in Psychology and received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Emory University.

  • Jim Solyst

    Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs Swedish Match North America

    Jim Solyst is the Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs with Swedish Match North America, where he coordinates the Company’s Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) process and related regulatory science engagements.  He has held senior positions in Washington DC based companies and associations, including the National Governors’ Association, American Chemistry Council, and the consulting firm Ramboll-Environ.  During his over 35 years in Washington he has worked closely with federal agencies, including EPA, FDA and the Office of Management and Budget. He has also worked with international organizations, including the UN, WHO and OECD.

    Mr. Solyst is a member of the Food Drug Law Institute (FDLI) Tobacco Committee and has served on the American Chemical Society Committee on Environmental Improvement, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Chemical Sciences Roundtable, and the NAS Committee on Promoting Safe and Secure Chemical Management in Developing Countries.  He also served as an External Affiliate to the Johns Hopkins Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute.  

    Mr. Solyst has written several articles for FDLI and other journals and has given numerous presentations on a range of regulatory science and public policy issues.

  • Carrie Wade

    Director, Harm Reduction Policy RStreet

    Carrie Wade is a senior fellow and the harm reduction policy director for the R Street Institute. She joined R Street in 2017, having previously worked as an addiction researcher at the University of Minnesota and The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, focusing on mechanisms of opioid addiction and chronic pain. She transitioned to public health where her work with the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition solidified her goal to promote reasonable and efficient drug policies. Carrie received her Ph.D. in pharmacology and neuroscience from the University of Minnesota and a master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins University.