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Agriculture News As It Happens

First Lady names pediatrician to lead 'Let's Move'

Judith Palfrey
Judith S. Palfrey, a Boston pediatrician who has held a professorship at Harvard, begins work today as the executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama's “Let's Move” campaign to fight childhood obesity and encourage healthy eating and exercise.

“It was my children’s pediatrician who first told me that I needed to pay closer attention to my children’s health, so I understand the significance doctors play in family health," the first lady said in a new release announcing the appointment. "That’s why we are eager to welcome Judy Palfrey to the White House where I know that she will take the ‘Let’s Move’ program to new heights."

Palfrey's appointment appears designed to heighten the seriousness with which the “Let's Move” campaign is regarded.

Palfrey succeeds Robin Schepper, a communications strategist. She has been a pediatric clinician and teacher for more than 30 years, and was appointed as the first incumbent of T. Berry Brazelton Professorship of Pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School.

Most recently, she directed the global health efforts of the Department of Medicine at the Children’s Hospital in Boston. She has served this past year as immediate past president of American Pediatric Association. From 1986 to 2007, Palfrey was chief of the Division of General Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital, Boston. In her various positions, she has placed a major emphasis on prevention and health promotion, according to a White House news release. Palfrey holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard and an M.D. from Columbia University. She is married with three children.

Norah Deluhery, a former aide to Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon, has also joined the East Wing as a policy adviser, according to a report on Obama Foodorama.

Deluhery joined USDA in 2009 after working for the Obama election campaign as a field organizer in rural north central Iowa. Raised in Davenport, Iowa, she graduated from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and worked in New York City at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business before joining the Barack Obama election effort.

Let's Move