Consider naming a fellowship

CSPI’s expert team of scientists, attorneys, advocates has trained generations of high-achieving emerging professionals who have gone on to be effective advocates in the food movement.

Together, we can enable CSPI to cultivate the nation’s next food watchdogs, science-defenders, and nutrition and food-safety leaders.

To discuss, please contact Jane Welna: or 202-777-8388

The Mark & Sushma Palmer Public Health Advocacy Fellowship

Dr. Sushma Palmer created this fellowship to promote nutrition, public health, and citizen advocacy and to honor their legacy of supporting the translation of science into public health policy and practice.

Thank you to Dr. Sushma Palmer for her generous commitment of $350,000 to create the Mark & Sushma Palmer Public Health Advocacy Fellowship at CSPI. For seven years, CSPI is hosting advocates who will gain valuable skills while promoting nutrition, public health, and citizen advocacy.

CSPI’s current fellow is Jessi Silverman. Jessi coordinates CSPI's advocacy to strengthen the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and increase access to healthier food in public places, nursing homes, correctional facilities, worksites, and other institutions. She is a registered dietitian and holds an MSPH in Human Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University and a BS in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University. Prior to joining the CSPI staff, Jessi was a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and completed internships at CSPI, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and MANNA.

During her time as a fellow, Jessi has worked closely with senior staff to:

  • Author and disseminate the toolkit, A Roadmap for Comprehensive Food Service Guidelines, to promote healthier food for public places and institutions in communities nationwide
  • Develop advocacy materials to ensure science-based dietary advice for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and toddlers in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Translate scientific evidence on the health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages into policy recommendations.
Dr. Sushma Palmer and current Palmer fellow Jessi Silverman pose with a portrait of Mark Palmer

Mark and Sushma Palmer Public Health Advocacy Fellow

Current Fellow, Jessi Silverman, with Sushma Palmer.

Dr. Palmer served as Director of the US National Academy of Sciences' Food and Nutrition Board and, prior to that, Project Director with its Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards. She is the founder of the Center for Communications, Health, and the Environment (CECHE), a nonprofit dedicated to assisting under-served communities in the US and developing nations by initiating, coordinating and supporting programs to improve health and alleviate the adverse health effects of environmental pollution. Dr. Palmer has 30 years of international experience including research, teaching, and program design and management in the United States, India, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Ukraine. She has served on CSPI’s board of directors since 2001.