Botanical Safety Consortium Steering Committee


Cynthia Rider, PhD

Toxicologist, National Toxicology Program (NTP), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Cynthia serves as a project leader for testing programs including botanical dietary supplements. Her research focuses on evaluating and refining methods to predict mixture toxicity based on data from components or whole reference mixtures. She can be contacted at

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Cara Welch, PhD

Deputy Director, Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Cara Welch leads the development of new policies and programs involving regulatory compliance and provides scientific expertise for emerging issues affecting the dietary supplement industry. She is also responsible for prioritization and execution of ODSP’s research portfolio. She can be contacted at

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Michelle Embry, PhD

Associate Director, Environmental Science, Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI)

Michelle is the Associate Director of HESI, where she provides leadership, technical direction, and guidance to varied, multi-stakeholder, collaborative committees on topics related to risk assessment and environmental protection worldwide. She can be contacted at


Stefan Gafner, PhD

Chief Science Officer, American Botanical Council (ABC); Technical Director of ABC-AHP-NCBR Botanical Adulterants Program

Stefan is the chief science officer of ABC, an independent, nonprofit research & education organization. He is also technical director of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, a large-scale collaborative program to educate members of the herbal and dietary supplement industry about ingredient and product adulteration. He can be contacted at

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Olaf Kelber, PhD

Senior Science Fellow, R&D Phytomedicines, Bayer Phytomedicines Supply and Development Center

Olaf is working as a scientist in R&D of phytomedicines and natural products. Biologist by training, with a specialization in toxicology, he has long standing experience also in pharmacology and clinical research on phytomedicines and is active in scientific societies in the field of natural products, and is e.g. secretary of the leading global society for natural product research, GA, and member of the scientific EWG of Kooperation Phytopharmaka. He can be contacted at


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Holly Johnson, PhD

Chief Science Officer, American Herbal Products Association

Holly has over 20 years experience in botanicals research as a pharmacognosist with a specialization in medical ethnobotany. She is the chief science officer for the American Herbal Products Association, an alliance of over 350 companies doing business in the natural products industry. She can be contacted at


Connie Mitchell, MS

Scientific Program Manager, Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI)

Connie works on the Botanical Safety Consortium and other scientific committees at HESI to develop science for a safer, more sustainable world. She can be contacted at


Hellen A. Oketch-Rabah, PhD

Senior Manager, Dietary Supplements & Herbal Medicines, United States Pharmacopeia (USP)

Hellen is currently the Senior Manager & Senior Scientific Lead in the Department of Dietary Supplements (DS) and Herbal Medicines at the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). She leads the front end of dietary supplements monograph development activities including the nomenclature of DS articles and admission of dietary ingredients for monograph development which is based on safety evaluation among other considerations. She can be contacted at:

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Amy L Roe, PhD, DABT, FATS

Director Principal Toxicologist, Personal Health Care, The Proctor & Gamble Company

Amy is currently the technical lead regulatory toxicologist for P&G Personal Health Care, North America and Latin America Regions. She provides safety support across OTC drugs, medical devices, herbal/dietary supplements, probiotics and food products. She is a current member of the USP Dietary Supplement Admission Evaluation & Labeling Expert Committee and Probiotic Expert Panel. A Full Member of the Society of Toxicology, she current serves as Vice-President of the Food Safety Specialty Section. Amy is also a member of the Hepatotoxicity/ADME BSC working group.

Elan Sudberg

Élan M. Sudberg, BA

CEO of Alkemist Labs

Élan M. Sudberg is CEO of Alkemist Labs, a passionately committed contract testing laboratory specializing in plant authentication, botanical ingredient identification and quantitative analytical services to the Food & Beverage, Nutraceutical and Cosmeceutical Industries. He holds a degree in chemistry from California State University Long Beach, and has authored numerous articles on phytochemistry and analytical techniques for the natural products and nutraceutical industry. Elan is on the executive committee of the AHPA board, on the AHPA Education and Research on Botanicals Foundation board, and was founding chair of the Hemp and Medical Marijuana committee (now the Cannabis Committee). He can be contacted at