The President's Council's Executive Director and staff carry out the mission of the President's Council to educate, empower, and engage all Americans across the lifespan to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition.
Shellie Y. Pfohl, MS
Shellie Pfohl was appointed by President Barack Obama in February 2010 to serve as Executive Director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. She manages the activities and operations of the Council and leads the Council's efforts related to First Lady Michelle Obama's national Let's Move! initiative to solve childhood obesity within a generation. Shellie earned her BA in Community Health Education from the University of Northern Iowa and a MS in Exercise Physiology/Fitness Leadership from Northern Illinois University. She also has a certification in Non-Profit Management from Duke University and is a graduate of Leadership North Carolina Class XIII.
Shannon Feaster, MS
Deputy Executive Director & Director of Public Affairs
Shannon Feaster joined the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) in May 2010 as the Director of Communications and Public Affairs. In this role, she oversees the Council's expanding health promotion portfolio and develops strategic partnerships with key media, community and government organizations. In July 2013, Shannon was also named Deputy Executive Director of PCFSN. Prior to joining the Council, she was the Public Affairs Chief for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Shannon served as the commissioner of the Women’s Professional Racquetball Organization from 2006-2011. She was also a guest booker and field producer in the DC bureau at CNN. Shannon earned her B.A. in Mass Communications from Howard University and M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. To stay physically fit, she competes in racquetball leagues and tournaments year-round.
Lauren Darensbourg, MPH
Strategic Partnerships for Minority & Underserved Populations
Lauren joined the President's Council in April 2010 to cultivate and manage strategic, health-lucrative partnerships with organizations that target racial and ethnic minorities as well as individuals with disabilities. In her role as Technical Information Specialist, Lauren leads all minority health-related activities and initiatives including coordination of an expert panel to revitalize a national physical activity and nutrition-based mentoring program for children and youth with disabilities; participating in speaking engagements; and often times leading physical activity segments on the Council's behalf. Lauren joined the US Department of Health and Human Services in May 2008 as an Oakridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow at the Office of Minority Health, where she contributed to the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity and the A Healthy Baby Begins With You initiative. Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry as well as a Masters degree in Public Health from Florida A & M University. She is committed to leading a healthy lifestyle and does so by playing recreational sports, working out regularly and eating lots of fruits and veggies.
Yesenia Diaz, MS
Public Health Advisor
Yesenia joined PCFSN in October 2013 as a Public Health Advisor. She performs a wide range of operational functions including but not limited to advising executive leadership on budget analysis and execution, contract management, controlled correspondence, and Federal Advisory Committee Act compliance. In addition, Yesenia plays a key role in partnership development efforts to reach underserved populations. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the City University of New York/Lehman College and holds a Master of Science degree in Organizational Counseling from the Johns Hopkins University. To maintain an active and well-balanced lifestyle, Yesenia enjoys dance fitness, reading, running, and writing; however, her most consistent and treasured pastime is eating a nutritious dinner with her husband and children.
Deputy Director of Communications/Webmaster
Joey King joined the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition in November 1991. As the Deputy Director of Communications, he crafts messages and talking points, coordinates media efforts for Council events, initiatives and programs, and manages logistics for speaking engagements for Council members and the Executive Director. He also serves as Webmaster for the Council's website: www.fitness.gov. He received his BA in Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. As a proud car-free citizen, he enjoys walking, biking, and in-line skating not only as alternative methods of transportation, but also as fun forms of recreation and physical activity.
Project Management Consultant
Janelle joined the President’s Council in April 2011, and is a Project Management Consultant. She wears many hats, from logistics management to document translation. Janelle can read & write in several languages, and is certified in Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) management, Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and is a Contracting Officer’s Representative for the Federal Government. Janelle came to PCFSN from a global consulting firm in the public sector where she managed government policy research analysis for North America. Janelle is also an experienced chef, specializing in organic, farm-to-table and vegetarian cuisine. In her spare time, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their children, and love to travel, visiting farmer’s markets and cutting-edge restaurants all over the country.
Meredith Aronson, MPS
Partnerships & Communications
Meredith Aronson joined the President's Council in April 2012 as an Oakridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow. In her position, she supports both the partnerships and communications sides of the Council. Meredith supports the implementation and communication surrounding the Presidential Youth Fitness Program and Let's Move! Active Schools. Additionally, she acts as the program manager for the President's Challenge program. In December 2012, she earned a Master's degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University. Meredith started her undergraduate collegiate career at Colby College in Maine, where she played two years of varsity basketball. After transferring to the University of Virginia in 2009, she graduated in 2011 with BA in economics. She leads a healthy lifestyle, staying active through sports and working out.
Partnerships & Communications
Zach Parolin joined the President's Council in January 2013 and became an Oakridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow soon after. Zach works primarily with the Council’s communications strategy and external partnerships, supporting the outreach efforts of Let’s Move! Active Schools, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans report, the Joining Forces Fitness Initiative and several other programs. He also leads the Council’s research on the social benefits of sports participation. Zach graduated from the University of Missouri with a Journalism degree in 2012 and is now in the process of acquiring his Master of Public Policy from The George Washington University. Zach stays healthy by running and working out regularly, eating quality foods and competing in recreational sports.
JoHannah K. Torkelson, JD, MPH
Special Programming & Communications
Hannah joined the President’s Council in January 2014 as an Oakridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow. In her position, Hannah works to promote older adult fitness through the development of new programming, implementing new activities, and creating partnerships with leading organizations across the nation. Her role also includes managing the President’s Council Science Board comprised of 16 leading experts in health-related fields that serve to provide evidence-based recommendations and guidance on the Council’s programs. Hannah completed a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hannah stays physically fit by running half marathons, eating healthy, and playing other recreational sports, including skiing and golf.