ENDS US 2018 Advisory Board

Smithers Rapra is proud to work with the following renowned experts to shape and guide the ENDS US 2018 conference.

  • 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.

  • Sarah Cooney

    Head of Scientific Collaboration and Communication British American Tobacco

    As Head of Scientific Collaboration and Communication, Sarah drives R&D’s external scientific engagement strategy. Before joining BAT she spent 10 years in science publishing in roles ranging from journal editorial and production through to editorial director and new product development. She holds BSc and MSc degrees in genetics from the University of Toronto, and her research has been published in Science and Genetics. Sarah has held positions at most of the world’s leading publishers, including Nature, Elsevier, and BioMed Central and Springer, and ran the publishing programme of the Society of Chemical Industry in collaboration with Wiley.

  • Dr. Ian M. Fearon

    Senior Director Clinical and Regulatory Affairs EMEA JUUL Labs

    Ian is a Senior Director Clinical and Regulatory Affairs EMEA at JUUL Labs. He specializes in the biological and psychological effects of nicotine, clinical studies to assess the biological effects of electronic cigarettes and tobacco heating devices, and the scientific basis for regulation.  Prior to joining JUUL, Ian was Principal Scientist and Head of Clinical Research at British American Tobacco's central research and development center in Southampton, U.K. Prior to joining BAT in 2008, he pursued an academic career as a Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Manchester and an Assistant Professor 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 and generating over 1,900 citations.

  • David Graham

    Chief Impact Officer NJOY

    David Graham is Chief Impact Officer at NJOY, a role which leads efforts across the company to maximize the positive impact on public health of the company’s products and services through increasing their reach and effectiveness while including oversight of regulatory affairs for the company. He has extensive experience in nicotine and non-nicotine new product development, tobacco control policy, and related regulation in the international healthcare and e-vapor industries spanning ~ 25 years. Beginning with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)/smoking cessation products in the UK in 1992, followed by International product and category development roles in Sweden, he moved to the USA in 2000 with Pharmacia, subsequently becoming part of Pfizer and then moving to Johnson & Johnson.

    In 2013, he joined NJOY to lead the regulatory affairs, quality & compliance function for the company and prepare for regulation by FDA and other regulatory agencies in the US and abroad. In addition to multiple interactions with FDA, and other regulatory agencies internationally, David co-led NJOY’s engagement with the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) on its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award for NJOY to develop an Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) for use for clinical research in smoking cessation, leading to the establishment of the first FDA Drug Master File (DMF) for ENDS products. In late 2016, David co-founded and was President of Reveritas Group, a multi-partner consultancy firm of specialists and preferred providers formed to aid ENDS companies navigate all aspects of FDA’s Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) process via a total programming approach, and/or provide select outsourced resources as required. Following FDA’s extension of the PMTA compliance deadline, David returned to NJOY in August 2017 in his current role.

    David is a graduate of Columbia University with a Master’s in Public Policy & Administration.

  • Patricia I. Kovacevic

    Consultant Independent Consultant

    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. 

  • Willie McKinney

    Vice President Regulatory Sciences Altria Client Services

    Willie J. McKinney, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., serves as Vice President, Regulatory Sciences, for Altria Client Services (ALCS) in Richmond, Virginia. In this role, he leads a team that develops scientific evaluation and regulatory science strategies for Altria's family of companies.

    Dr. McKinney has held a variety of positions with increasing responsibilities within the Altria family of companies. He served as Senior Director, Product Integrity and Regulatory Reporting, where he led a team that develops scientific evaluation and regulatory submission strategies for Altria's family of companies; Director, Strategic Product Planning, where he provided operational and strategic support; Senior Manager, Cellular & Molecular Biology Group; and as a visiting scientist at the Institute for Biologische Forschung GmbH (INBIFO) in Köln, Germany.

    Before joining the Altria family of companies in 1998, Dr. McKinney held a variety of academic and research roles, including working as an Associate Research Scientist, Nelson Institute of Environmental Medicine, NYU Medical Center, Tuxedo, N.Y., and as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Environmental Medicine and Lung Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also held Toxicology Intern and Research Assistant roles with several government agencies. Dr. McKinney is board certified in Toxicology by the American Board of Toxicology. He has published numerous professional articles related to his research and work, and has presented before various scientific organizations. He holds a BS degree in Biology from Xavier University, an MS in Biology from North Carolina Central University, and a PhD in Environmental Toxicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves on the Higher Achievement Board and on the Richmond Higher Achievement Advisory Board.