Together we’re making prevention possible. Our dedicated staff team believes we can reduce the burden of breast cancer by eliminating our exposures to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease. We work with passion, commitment and steadfast determination as if what we do is a matter of life and death, because it is.
Jeanne Rizzo, R.N.
President and CEO
Jeanne Rizzo’s vision guided BCPP to adopt its bold mission to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease. Under her leadership the organization continues its commitment to strong science, smart public policy and consumer education. Ms. Rizzo is Co-Founder of Cancer Free Economy Network and a recipient of many awards, most recently the NIEHS’s “Champion of Environmental Health Research Award.” A nurse, then an award-winning music, theater and film producer, Ms. Rizzo produced the documentary Climb Against the Odds: Mt. McKinley, which chronicles BCPP’s 1998 expedition.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Denise leads the marketing and communications team as well as business and corporate partnerships. She led the execution of the rebranding and relaunch, working in partnership with the entire organization at BCCP and outside partners. She previously ran her own communications consulting business after working for more than fifteen years in marketing at firms such as Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson in New York, Los Angeles and London. She was a member of the Board at FACES SF, a leading non-profit in San Francisco until 2017. She has a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Director of Program and Policy
Janet directs program and policy activities and coordinates BCPP’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Cans Not Cancer Campaign. She draws on 30 years of experience working in the social change arena as a political organizer and lobbyist on women’s health issues to create and oversee BCPP’s cutting edge policy initiatives and market-based campaigns. Previously, Janet served as Political Director at Credo Mobile (formerly Working Assets) and Legislative Assistant for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY). She has a M.A. in Public Policy from George Washington University.
Director of Finance
Linda is responsible for the fiscal management at BCPP, overseeing our internal controls, budgeting, cash management, audited financial statements, tax returns, and financial grant reporting. Linda is a CPA and brings over 25 years of experience in finance, accounting, operations and system development. Prior to joining BCPP, Linda worked at BNY Mellon Asset Management, overseeing the accounting and reporting for a fixed income fund, and Credo Mobile (formerly Working Assets) in roles as Director of Operations and Director of Finance. Linda previously served on the Board of Pierre’s Birthday Fund, a local non-profit bringing joy and supportive services to hospitalized children. Linda received a B.A. with High Honors from UC Santa Barbara in Business Economics, emphasis in Accounting, and in Religious Studies. She enjoys traveling, gardening, hiking, and reading in her spare time.
Director of Operations & Human Resources
Sharima Rasanayagam, Ph.D.
Director of Science
Sharima oversees BCPP’s science-related activities to ensure that the organization continues to be a national leader in science-based environmental health advocacy. Before coming to BCPP, Sharima was the founding academic coordinator at the U.C. Berkeley Institute for the Environment, where she built the institute from the ground up. Previously, she served as Consul for Science and Technology at the U.K. Consulate-General in San Francisco, where she built collaborative research and business ties between scientists in the U.K. and California. Sharima holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Kent at Canterbury, U.K.
Director of Development
As director of development, Sheila leads BCPP’s fundraising activities, including individual giving, events, foundation grants and business partnerships. Before joining the staff, Sheila was on BCPP’s Board of Directors for 11 years, serving terms as board chair and member of the development and finance committees. She also served as interim president and CEO during Jeanne Rizzo’s sabbatical in 2011. Sheila brings to her work many years of business experience in sales, systems and accounting. She received a B.A. from Texas Tech University.
Cindy provides daily finance and accounting support to BCPP’s CPA, directors, and staff. Before coming to BCPP, Cindy was a Director of Financial Management. She is an accomplished financial executive with 20 years of nonprofit experience. Cindy earned a B.S. in Business Administration in Accounting from California State University, East Bay. She also a California State certified tax preparer.
Connie Engel, Ph.D.
Senior Manager of Science Translation
Connie leads BCPP’s efforts to translate the science linking chemicals and radiation to breast cancer. She has led work on occupation and breast cancer, coordinated product testing efforts, co-authored multiple reports, and used new tools to present the science of breast cancer and the environment. Her dissertation research at Arizona State University focused on the conjunction of science and advocacy in the environmental breast cancer movements. This work drew from multiple disciplines including sociology, psychology, legal and women’s studies. Connie is a dedicated yoga practitioner and loves to travel.
Donald manages and maintains the Raiser’s Edge database and administers the multi-system sync process, which he developed for BCPP to incorporate Classy, the online donation platform, Classy. Donald brings to BCPP technical experience from past experiences as an IT manager’s assistant, systems analyst, and systems engineer. As systems engineer, Donald’s team successfully converted the corporate systems to be year 2000 compliant, earning a company award. Donald has Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Information Systems from San Francisco State University.
Technology & Communications Specialist
Emily aims to improve and streamline the user experience for BCPP’s newly launched website, Salesforce database, advocacy center, and marketing tools. She also runs BCPP’s Google Adwords and Analytics accounts. Coming from six years of campaign work, she joined BCPP as Public Policy Coordinator. Prior, Emily led grassroots campaigns for Food & Water Watch to stop gas pipeline construction in the valuable New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve watershed and ban hydraulic fracturing waste dumping in New Jersey. Emily earned a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Political Science with Honors, Environmental Studies Concentration, from Bryn Mawr College.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Erika is a BCPP “in-house” everything. A woman with many hats, Erika’s main focus is spearheading all creative outward facing communications and marketing initiatives for BCPP. Empowering women through social impact is nothing new to Erika. Before coming to BCPP, she focused on helping tech startup female-founders secure funding and succeed in and beyond Silicon Valley. Erika also dedicated years to supporting and representing women-owned businesses at the local and federal level as Director of Communications for Women Impacting Public Policy. Erika earned her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Media Studies and Communications. Erika enjoys running, acting in local and independent films, and creating socially-conscious multi-media art pieces.
Jessica manages partnerships with businesses, promotions, and third-party events. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from University of Washington, and after spending a semester working with women’s groups in Africa, decided to pursue a career in women’s health. She has spent the past 9 years dedicated to breast cancer, having started her career in Seattle and Boston improving access to care and screening, then finding her home at BCPP where she was inspired by the work to change public policy and industry to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.
Prior to joining BCPP, Katarina lived and worked in Thailand as an operations and outreach coordinator for a women’s leadership development organization. She has a background working in the nonprofit field with a focus on social justice issues. Katarina holds an M.A. in International Relations from Webster University. In her free time, she likes to travel as much as possible and have weekly dance parties with her niece.
Digital Advocacy Coordinator
Kathryn coordinates business and nonprofit partners for BCPP’s consumer-facing advocacy and market campaigns through email and social media. She is a passionate advocate for environmental issues and worked on political campaigns before coming to nonprofit work. Kathryn earned a B.A. Cum Laude in History from New York University and a M.A in Economic Analysis from the University of Sydney. Away from the office, she enjoys sewing and hiking.
Lisette van Vliet
Senior Policy Coordinator
Lisette comes to BCPP with 12 years of experience in the toxics world having worked with the Health & Environment Alliance (HEAL), Health Care Without Harm Europe, and the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) in Europe. Many of the campaigns and issues she has worked on the EU mirror our efforts here, including the EDC-Free Europe campaign, implementing the EU REACH industrial chemicals system and work on food contact materials. She has a deep knowledge of and passion for toxics work.
Senior Policy Strategist
Nancy works at the state and federal levels to advance public policy to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals. Before joining BCPP, Nancy spent over 20 years in Washington DC advocating for numerous causes, including civil rights for women and the GLBT community. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and earned a Masters degree in Biological Oceanography from the University of Connecticut. Nancy is an avid outdoors person, spending her spare time hiking and birding in Northern California and beyond.
Nicole has focused her career in the non-profit industry for the past 12 years, including her current position at BCPP, working with individual donors. Prior to joining BCPP, Nicole oversaw the fundraising team at the Greater San Diego office of the American Diabetes Association, and before that, worked with students and young alumni at her alma mater, UC San Diego, developing a culture of philanthropy. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys training for her next race, watching Giants baseball or creating new recipes in the kitchen.
As Development Coordinator, Sarah merges her love for the outdoors and passion for fundraising by organizing BCPP’s outdoor fundraising events. She has always enjoyed working in the nonprofit space, organizing fundraisers and specializing in donor and volunteer relations for Real Options for City Kids and Kiva. Sarah graduated magna cum laude from San Francisco State University, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Anthropology as a Presidential Scholar. In her spare time, you can find Sarah climbing and hiking in the mountains, or knitting and practicing yoga in the city.
The Raben Group
Federal Public Policy Consultants
Senior Business Strategist
Environmental and Energy Consulting
California Public Policy Consultants
Certified Public Accountant
A Tribute to Jeanne Rizzo
Jeanne Rizzo has led Breast Cancer Prevention Partners on our quest to prevent breast cancer before it starts for the past 17 years. She is retiring from the organization at the end of 2018. BCPP is celebrating our past, present and future, while honoring the impact that Jeanne has had on BCPP.