Menu

Our Team

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Chairman of the Board

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  Founder of Waterkeeper Alliance, serves as Founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Legal Counsel for Children’s Health Defense, and as counsel to Morgan & Morgan, a nationwide personal injury practice.

Mr. 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, former Research Scholar and Director of the Graduate Lawyering Program at NYU School of Law, has long been involved in the vaccination choice and safety movement. She is the co-author and co-editor of the books “Vaccine Epidemic” and “HPV Vaccine on Trial: Seeking Justice for a Generation Betrayed” and has published seminal legal articles on critical dimensions of vaccine law and policy: constitutionality; herd immunity; liability for injury; and the connection between vaccines and autism.  Holland has testified to retain or expand vaccination exemptions in the California, West Virginia, Maine and Vermont legislatures and 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.

Holland said, “Once I learned about the extreme liability protection that industry and healthcare providers enjoy, and the suppression of accurate science and information about vaccine risks and injury, I understood the need for immediate, radical systemic change. I have been devoted to that change ever since.


Laura Bono

Executive Director

Laura Bono has a journalism and marketing background. Since her son regressed after his vaccinations in the early 1990’s, and was subsequently diagnosed with heavy-metal toxicity and autism, Laura has advocated for services, biomedical treatments, and civil rights for autistic children/vaccine injured in Congress, NIH, CDC, HHS and other governmental agencies. Laura is a co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the National Autism Association and was on the Board of Directors for SafeMinds from 2005-2015. Laura is currently a member of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Public Interest Partners.

She served as a planning committee member and was a speaker for the 2007 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Workshop, “Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research.” She also served as a Community Advisory Board Member for the NIEHS Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) Study, the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) “Study of Health Outcomes in Children with Autism and their Families,” and a collaborative study on Wandering by Johns Hopkins, NIH and autism groups. Laura helped to plan and execute the 2005 SafeMinds/National Autism Association/NIEHS collaborative workshop, “Environmental Factors in Neurodevelopmental Disorders,” served as a panel member in the NIH Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) workshop, “Identifying Priorities for Autism Spectrum Disorders Research on Risk Factors” and has been a contributing columnist to Autism File Magazine. Laura was instrumental in the passage of the Combating Autism Act, working to increase National Institute for Health (NIH) funding for the environmental triggers of autism, specifically autism/mercury research.

She has been interviewed by numerous magazines newspapers, appeared on the NBC Nightly News, CBS News, The Today Show, and provided background research to NBC Dateline, Meet the Press, Congress and independent documentaries. Her advocacy has also included planning press conferences and rallies to focus media attention on the link between vaccines and autism in children. Along with other directors of SafeMinds, her son’s autism story and Laura’s advocacy was chronicled in the book, Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic.


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.


Heidi Kidd

Chief Financial Officer

Heidi Kidd has over 30 years of accounting experience, mostly in a Corporate Retail environment as well as ten years of Accounting and Tax Prep for a Non Profit Organization.

She was one of the parents involved with passage of the New Jersey Infantile Autism Biomedical Research Act passed in New Jersey. Heidi helped craft the original draft of the first federal autism legislation, the Children’s Health Act of 2000. Heidi was a co-author on “Autism: A Novel Form of Mercury Toxicity,” a landmark paper linking the symptoms of autism with excessive exposure to mercury and was published in Neurotoxicology, Medical Hypothesis, Molecular Psychiatry, Mothering Magazine and Autism-Asperger’s Digest. She served as president of the Cure Autism Now New Jersey chapter for two years and co-chaired the first New Jersey/New York Walk Now event, which raised more than $300,000. Heidi is a founding board member of SafeMinds and is very involved in the public policy arena. She has one child, Andrew, who has autism.


Rolf Hazlehurst

Senior Attorney

Rolf is the Senior Staff Attorney for CHD. He graduated from the University of Tennessee and also attended St. John’s College in Oxford, England. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Memphis and has been actively engaged in the practice of law since 1995. He has been admitted to practice law in multiple courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Before joining CHD, he was an Assistant District Attorney General for the State of Tennessee. As a criminal prosecutor for over 14 years, Rolf gained extensive jury trial experience while prosecuting almost every criminal offense from minor misdemeanor offenses to the most serious violent felonies including first degree murder.

Since 2003, Rolf has fought for the rights of vaccine injured children. His son’s case Hazlehurst v. H.H.S. was the second test case in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. He intends to devote the remainder of his life to bringing the truth to light regarding the catastrophic injuries and injustices caused by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act of 1986.

He is also an avid outdoorsman, who has hiked and climbed 21 mountains with peaks over 14,000 feet.


Rita Shreffler

Director of Communications

Rita Shreffler is the Executive Editor of the Autism File magazine. She is also a founding board member of the National Autism Association and served as Executive Director from 2006-2011. Rita earned her BA and MA from the University of Missouri, and has worked in advertising and public relations for The Kansas City Star and The Daily Oklahoman. She has spent the past 20 years working to build public awareness of the relationship between increased toxic exposures to children and the development of neurological disorders such as autism and ADHD, working at state and national levels towards the removal of mercury from vaccines. Rita has been interviewed by numerous newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Mother Jones and has provided background research for Meet the Press and In These Times. She and her husband Arnie live near Springfield, Missouri.


Karen McDonough

Chapter Coordinator

Karen has been involved in children’s advocacy since 2005. Karen served on the board of the National Autism Association and the Foundation for Autism Information and Research. She later took on the role of Chapter Development Director for the N.A.A., where she grew the organization by expanding their base of local support groups in many states across the U.S. She was the Executive Director for the Autism Society of Illinois, as well as a consultant on the development of supportive housing and transitional programming for young adults with developmental disabilities. Karen has also been a contributor to Autism File Magazine. She holds a degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Kari Bundy

Translations Coordinator

Kari Bundy is a writer, speaker, activist, and biodynamic farmer. After the death of her 4-month-old son, Mason, following his routine vaccinations, Kari set off in search of answers, and discovered the toxic load that plagues our children in almost every area.

Since her son’s death in 2011, Kari has made it her mission to empower and educate parents, as well as legislators, to help them understand how to make healthy choices for their families and constituents. With a background in Journalism and Public Relations, Kari loves to use social media to teach what she knows, and is knowledgeable in the areas of holistic nutrition, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, environmental toxins, and natural child birth.

Kari lives in Noblesville, Indiana with her husband, Bryce, and her four children, ages 2 to 15. She has been a speaker at numerous events including the Children’s March for Humanity, The VIE Event 2019, Autism One, and the March Against Monsanto. She formerly worked in Public Relations for Jenny McCarthy’s autism organization, Generation Rescue. Her son’s story is also featured in the film VAXXED II: The People’s Truth.