Board of Directors

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Chairman of the Board

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is founder of Waterkeeper Alliance and founder, chairman of the board and chief legal counsel for Children’s Health Defense. He is also counsel to Morgan & Morgan, a nationwide personal injury practice.

Kennedy is an esteemed author, with a long list of published books including the New York Times’ bestseller, “Crimes Against Nature.” Mr. Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. His reputation as a resolute defender of the environment and children’s health stems from a litany of successful legal actions. He received recognition for his role in the landmark victory against Monsanto last year, as well as in the DuPont Case that inspired the movie “Dark Waters” (2019).

Mary Holland, J.D.

President & General Counsel

Mary Holland is a former Research Scholar and Director of the Graduate Lawyering Program at NYU School of Law. She has written several law review articles and blog posts on vaccine law and policy and is the co-author and co-editor of the books “Vaccine Epidemic” and “HPV Vaccine on Trial: Seeking Justice for a Generation Betrayed.” She has testified to retain or expand vaccination exemptions in the California, West Virginia, Maine and Vermont legislatures. She has appeared in several documentaries and programs on vaccine issues. She is chair of the advisory board of Health Choice and a member of the advisory boards for the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy, the Otto Specht School and Actionplay. Educated at Harvard and Columbia Universities, Holland has worked in international public and private law. Prior to joining NYU, Holland worked for six years at major U.S. law firms, with three years based in Moscow, Russia. She also worked at a U.S. human rights organization as Director of its European Program. After graduating law school, she clerked for a federal district court judge in the Southern District of New York. She has taught courses at Columbia Law School and has served as a consultant to the Aspen Institute Justice and Society Program.

Lyn Redwood, R.N., M.S.N.

President Emerita

Ms. Redwood is the President Emerita of Children’s Health Defense and is currently a Director for the organization. Initially, she served as the Executive Director of the World Mercury Project in 2016. The organization expanded its mission in 2018 to become Children’s Health Defense and Ms. Redwood served in the position of President until 2021.

Professionally, Ms. Redwood is a Nurse Practitioner with over 20 years’ experience in pediatrics and family medicine. She became involved in vaccine safety research and advocacy in 1999 when she calculated that her son had received 125 times the EPA Federal Safety guidelines for safe mercury exposure from his infant vaccines resulting in a diagnosis of autism.

In an effort to attract attention to the dangerous practice of using mercury in infant vaccines, she co-authored a landmark paper, “Autism: A Novel Form of Mercury Toxicity” in 2000, linking the symptoms of autism with excessive exposure to mercury. She testified before the Government Reform Committee on “Mercury in medicine: Are we taking unnecessary risks?” before a subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness, “Truth revealed: New scientific discoveries regarding mercury in medicine” in 2004.

Ms. Redwood continued her advocacy through research publications in Neurotoxicology, Molecular Psychiatry, Expert Opinion in Pharmacotherapy, Journal of Medical Genetics and Medical Hypotheses. She participated in and formally reviewed the Institute of Medicine’s 2008 report “Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research.”

Ms. Redwood was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the National Institutes of Health – Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, where she served as a public member from 2007-2014. She was also appointed as an inaugural Integration Panel Member for the Department of Defense, Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Program when the program was formed in 2007 and served for three years.

In 2010, she was awarded “Person of the Year” by Spectrum Magazine and was the recipient of the National Autism Association’s “Believe Award” in 2013.

Ms. Redwood co-founded the non-profit organizations SafeMinds in 2000 and served as the Executive Director and Director of Research until 2016 and the National Autism Association in 2003 where she is a Director Emerita.

Over the years, Ms. Redwood has appeared on multiple national news and television outlets including Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer, ABC Nightly News with Richard Besser, and the Montel Williams Show. She has been interviewed for featured stories by U.S. News and World Report, Wired Magazine, New York Times Magazine and is prominently featured in the award-winning book by David Kirby, Evidence of Harm.

Prior to her vaccine safety research and advocacy, Ms. Redwood served on her county’s Board of Health for 18 years and as a member of her local city council where she was recognized as “Person of the Year” for her dedication and service to her community.

Brian Hooker


Brian S. Hooker, PhD, PE, is an Associate Professor of Biology at Simpson University in Redding California where he specializes in microbiology and biotechnology. He also teaches chemistry at Shasta College.

Brian dedicated over 15 years as a bioengineer and the team leader for the High Throughput Biology Team and Operations Manager of the DOE Genomics: Genomes to Life (GTL) Center for Molecular and Cellular Systems at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Dr. Hooker also managed applied plant and fungal molecular biology research projects at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where systems biology researchers are focused on understanding gene and protein networks involved in individual cell signaling, communication between cells in communities, and cellular metabolic pathways. Dr. Hooker also served as Research Director for the plant biotechnology company, PhytaGenics.

In 1985, Dr. Hooker earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering, from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California. He earned his Masters of Science degree in 1988 and his doctorate in 1990, both in biochemical engineering, from Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington.

Brian Hooker has many accomplishments to his credit including: co-inventor for five patents, recipient of the Battelle Entrepreneurial Award in 2001, and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Recognition Award in 1999, for his work on “Reactive Transport in 3-Dimensions.” The breadth of Hooker’s over 60 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer reviewed journals.

Dr. Hooker has been active in the autism community since 2001 and has a 19 year old son with autism. He currently serves on the board of trustees for Focus for Health. In 2013 and 2014, Dr. Hooker worked with the CDC Whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, to expose fraud and corruption within vaccine safety research in the CDC which led to the release of over 10,000 pages of documents.

Katie Wright


Katie Wright graduated from Boston University with a BA in History. She received an EdM and an MA in Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. While a student at Columbia and after graduation, Katie worked as a therapist for the Archdiocese of New York’s free counseling service. From 1999 to 2004 Katie serviced as the Clinical Director of Stamford CT’s Sexual Assault Crisis Center.

In 2004 Katie’s typically 20-month-old son, Christian, regressed into severe autism. Soon afterwards, Katie had to quit her job in order to care for Christian full time. Katie’s parents founded Autism Speaks in 2004. When it became clear Autism Speaks was not going to fund environmental research or biomedical treatment Katie joined SafeMinds, the National Autism Association and Generation Rescue. Katie is currently an active board member of SafeMinds and Children’s Health Defense. She is married with two sons and lives in NYC.

Sheila Ealey, PhD


Sheila Lewis Ealey is the founder and former director of the Creative Learning Center of Louisiana, where she served for ten years. It was a small therapeutic day school for severely affected children on the autism spectrum and children diagnosed with other nonverbal intellectual disabilities beginning at age 8. She is the wife of a former United States Coast Guard Officer, spending more than 16 years of his 26 years of service traveling worldwide, supporting his love and duty to our country. She is also the mother of four children, three daughters, and her son, Temple, diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder at 18 months, and has a granddaughter.Temple is now a young man and considered moderate and emerging.

Over the past 20 years, she has educated herself to use natural forms of healing the body and brain through diet, educational and therapeutic modalities, and a gamut of biomedical treatments. Her formal education includes a BA in Mass Communication from St. Mary’s Dominican College, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction in special education grades K through 12 from Concordia University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership in Special Education grades K through 12 from Gwynedd Mercy University. She is certified as a DIR Stanley Greenspan Floortime Practitioner, in Interactive Metronome, and as a Fast Forward Reading Interventionist.

Sheila and her boy and girl twins, Temple and Lucinda, were featured in the documentary “Vaxxed.” She has traveled extensively, advocating for medical freedom as a Constitutionalist and inspirational speaker. She continues to educate disenfranchised parents about their fundamental rights to religious and philosophical exemptions, their ability to live sustainably off a limited budget, and the importance of nutritional foods and biomedical interventions for optimum health after a diagnosis of autism or other learning disabilities such as ADD or ADHD. Currently, she also writes individual curriculums for parents of children with autism or intellectual disorders who choose to homeschool and is a Trustee for the Autism Trust, USA.