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Toxics Experts Available for Interview

RTI International offers expertise across a range of issues related to potentially hazardous chemicals and substances that are increasingly observed in the environment, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals, due to climate change and new industrial developments. Our team is well-equipped to provide research on environmental and health impacts as well as insights on how to identify toxic substances, minimize risk of exposure and provide equitable protection for all communities. News outlets interested in arranging an interview should contact news@rti.org.

Environmental Chemical Contaminants and Microplastics: Imari Walker-Franklin

Imari Walker-Franklin, a research chemist within RTI’s discovery science division, is a pioneering mind in environmental exposure science. Her expertise in non-targeted chemical analysis propels research related to identifying novel emerging contaminants in the environment. She leads investigations into PFAS or “forever chemicals”, pesticides, polymer additives, microplastics and other contaminants within environmental and biological samples. Dr. Walker-Franklin holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and studied the release of potentially hazardous polymer-associated chemicals into water. She also contributes to environmental justice and non-targeted analysis workflows, exemplifying RTI’s commitment to innovative research. Recent works include: The impacts of plastics’ life cycle and Plastics.  

Learn More about Environmental Chemical Contaminants and Microplastics: Imari Walker-Franklin

Circular Economy, Sustainable Packaging/Plastics, and Chemicals of Concern: Jamie Pero Parker

Jamie Pero Parker is the sustainability lead at RTI Innovation Advisors, an innovation consultancy housed within RTI. She has 15 years of experience advising many of the world’s leading companies on circular plastics, sustainable packaging, green chemistry, the emerging circular economy, and chemicals of concern such as PFAS or halogenated flame retardants. Dr. Pero Parker is a sought-after speaker and writer, and has written about how sustainability changes the innovation process. She also collaborates with various consortiums in the sustainability space. Dr. Pero Parker holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Learn More about Circular Economy, Sustainable Packaging/Plastics, and Chemicals of Concern: Jamie Pero Parker

Environmental Health and Water Quality: Jennifer Hoponick Redmon

Jennifer Hoponick Redmon is the director of environmental health and water quality program and an accomplished environmental health scientist and chemical risk assessment specialist. She leads transformative initiatives, including eliminating contaminants like lead from drinking water in the U.S. and globally and masterfully merges science and policy for innovative solutions related to emerging environmental threats, like PFAS. Over her 20-year career, Hoponick Redmon has excelled in research, collaboration and public health improvement. Work includes the Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids program and a recent white paper with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Learn More about Environmental Health and Water Quality: Jennifer Hoponick Redmon

Sustainable Resource Management: Katherine Bronstein

Katherine Bronstein is an interdisciplinary environmental engineer with 15 years of experience in characterizing and assessing environmental impacts from industrial operations and development projects. She collaborates with and manages teams to develop circular economy-focused solutions on topics such as waste, greenhouse gases, water, wastewater, energy and sustainability. She leads waste flows assessments to understand PFAS in wastewater biosolids; best practices to address metal-contaminated soil and sediment; end-of-life management assessments for solar panels, lithium ion batteries, and plastic waste; and sector-wide assessments to identify evidence-based policy changes for sustainable development. She is currently managing a specialized support contract with the U.S. EPA’s Engineering Technical Support Center to address soil, sediment, groundwater and mining-related contamination at Superfund, RCRA and brownfields sites across the United States. 

Learn More about Sustainable Resource Management: Katherine Bronstein

Waste Sector Research: Keith Weitz

Keith Weitz, director, sustainability and resource management, brings over 30 years of experience to RTI working to assess the vulnerability of waste sector infrastructure to climate impacts, such as sea level rise in coastal regions. He is currently working to characterize the flow of PFAS-containing materials in U.S. commerce and evaluating end-of-life management for PFAS-containing materials with a focus on PFAS destruction and potential release of PFAS into the environmental from landfills and thermal treatment systems. Weitz is also providing technical expertise to domestic and international initiatives to address plastic pollution in the Mississippi River, Jamaica, Sri Lanka and Maldives. He helps clients to develop strategy, policies, best-management practices for emerging materials of concern including medical waste, electronics waste, and construction and demolition waste.

Learn More about Waste Sector Research: Keith Weitz

Urban Resilience Planning: Verone Bernard

Urban resilience manager Verone Bernard has more than 10 years of experience researching and designing programs to promote sustainability. Her expertise in waste management and ocean plastic reduction drives initiatives for climate resilience, fostering strategic partnerships, contributing to project implementation and research. Her extensive global experience encompasses over 12 countries, supporting the design and development of natural resource management related programs fortifying RTI's commitment to urban sustainability.

Learn More about Urban Resilience Planning: Verone Bernard