Meet our team!
Together we’re making prevention possible. Our dedicated team is guided by one simple truth: We believe breast cancer can be prevented by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease. Our work is dedicated to saving lives. We never forget that. 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 Breast Cancer Prevention Partners 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 Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ 1998 expedition.
Connie Engel, Ph.D.
Senior Manager of Science Translation
Director of Marketing and Communications
Technology & Communications Specialist
Marketing and Communications Manager
Director of Program and Policy
Janet oversees BCPP’s cutting-edge program and policy work. She has led initiatives that promote breast cancer prevention in statehouses across the country and in the halls of Congress, and has helped secure passage of some of the nation’s most important environmental health legislation. Janet is co-founder of the highly successful Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of BCPP that works to eliminate dangerous chemicals from personal care products. Janet draws on nearly 30 years of experience in the social change and women’s health arenas as a political organizer and lobbyist, and she uses her astute political expertise to spearhead campaigns that result in significant policy and market-based change. Janet received a B.A. from Evergreen State College and a M.A. in public policy and women’s studies from George Washington University.
Development Coordinator, Foundation & Donor Relations
Market Campaigns Research Coordinator
Outdoor Events Manager
Senior Business Strategist
Senior Operations Manager
Senior Policy Strategist
Nancy has spurred real progress on reforming of our woefully outdated federal chemical regulations so that public health and the environment are protected. Nancy draws on 25 years of experience as a policy strategist and lobbyist, and has played a key role in shifting the landscape on crucial public health and civil rights issues including environmental health, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights and women in the military. As a leading figure in the movement to strengthen laws governing synthetic chemicals, Nancy lobbied for one of BCPP’s biggest victories: a 2009 federal ban on phthalates in children’s toys. She has also successfully advocated for increased federal funding of biomonitoring and health tracking programs. Nancy received a B.S., magna cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.S. in biological oceanography from the University of Connecticut.
Outreach and Organizing Manager
Sharima Rasanayagam, Ph.D.
Director of Science
Sharima works to ensure that BCPP continues to be a national leader in science-based environmental health advocacy. She oversees the organization’s science-related activities, including monitoring and interpreting emerging scientific research, and developing and managing science-related program and policy initiatives. She also serves on the advisory committee of the California Breast Cancer Research Program, the largest state-funded breast cancer research effort. 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 and fostered university-wide discussions on environmental issues. Previously, she served as consul for science and technology at the U.K. Consulate-General in San Francisco, where she built ties between scientists in the U.K. and California, encouraging collaboration on research and business ventures. Sharima holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Kent at Canterbury, U.K.
Director of Development
Environmental and Energy Consulting
California Public Policy Consultants
The Raben Group
Federal Public Policy Consultants
Certified Public Accountant