Kelly L. Close
Founder of The diaTribe Foundation
Kelly L. Close is the founder and Chair of the Board of The diaTribe Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes and prediabetes, and advocating for action. Since 2006, she has been the Editor-in-Chief of diaTribe, our free newsletter focused on making people with diabetes healthier and happier and advocating for action. She has also run Close Concerns since 2002, a healthcare information firm exclusively focused on diabetes and obesity. Kelly and her colleagues attend over 40 scientific, regulatory, and economic conferences globally focused on diabetes and obesity, read key medical literature in the field, and write regularly about 50-plus private and public companies and nonprofit organizations in the area. Kelly's passion for diabetes comes from her extensive professional work as well as her personal experience as a patient with type 1 diabetes for over 25 years. Prior to starting Close Concerns, Kelly worked in the financial sector, writing about medical technology companies, and worked at McKinsey & Company, where a majority of her work focused in the healthcare practice. Kelly is widely viewed as an expert on diabetes and obesity markets and as a frequent speaker on the public health implications of diabetes and obesity, she is a tireless supporter of patients. A longtime diabetes advocate, Kelly is on the board of directors of the Diabetes Hands Foundation and the Behavioral Diabetes Institute and was previously on the Executive Board of the SF Bay Area JDRF. Kelly is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Business School. She lives in San Francisco with her children Coco, Lola, and Valentino and husband, with whom she runs Close Concerns.
Michael Howerton joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2021. He is the former Editor in Chief of the San Francisco Examiner and was founding Editor in Chief of Granite Media, a digital media company in San Francisco. He also served as Chief of Staff to San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed, now mayor of San Francisco, overseeing her public policy and legislative agenda.
Michael has worked at the Wall Street Journal, The Daily, Forbes and many other publications, and has won writing awards from the California Newspapers Publishers Association, the New York Society of Professional Journalists’ Deadline Club, the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists and the New England Associated Press Newspaper Association. He led the San Francisco Examiner to its first statewide CNPA General Excellence award in 2015. He is a graduate of UCLA, the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the San Francisco State University Graduate Program in English Composition.
An essay about his reporting on the 9/11 attacks in New York was published in "At Ground Zero: 25 Stories from Young Reporters Who Were There.” Michael has taught writing at UC Berkeley, the College of New Jersey, and Berkeley City College. He is also a fiction writer and has published stories in Salamander Magazine, Griffel, In Parentheses Magazine, and Yemassee Journal.
Prior to joining The diaTribe Foundation in 2023, Susannah Chen was a longtime freelance writer and editorial content strategist with a focus on food, drink, and travel. A two-year saga involving gestational diabetes, pancreatitis, a type 2 diabetes misdiagnosis, and a type 1 diabetes diagnosis led to her latest passion: diabetes education and advocacy. She is particularly interested in reducing diabetes stigma and addressing the social, emotional, and psychological barriers associated with all types of diabetes.
Anna Brooks is a Managing Editor at diaTribe. She has a master’s degree in journalism with a specialization in health and science. Originally from Calgary, Anna has worked as a multimedia journalist in Canada, Thailand, and Kenya. Currently based in New York City, Anna has written and produced award-winning features about health, science, and the environment for the Guardian, Popular Science, Everyday Health, Vice, the New York Post, and more. When she’s not working, Anna is usually hanging out with her dogs Sully and Spooky.
April Hopcroft joined diaTribe in 2023 as a Staff Writer after leading the Diabetes Therapy team at Close Concerns. She graduated from Smith College in 2021, where she majored in Neuroscience and Spanish. At Smith, she researched approaches to treating postpartum depression among physicians in Buenos Aires, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on childcare providers and universities throughout Ohio. April co-founded Smith’s casual running club and was a four-year member of the University of Massachusetts synchronized skating team. In her free time, she can often be found running, biking, or hiking; she also enjoys trying new vegetarian recipes and listening to podcasts.
James S. Hirsch
James S. Hirsch, a former reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, is a best-selling author who has written 10 nonfiction books. They include biographies of Willie Mays and Rubin "Hurricane" Carter; an investigation into the Tulsa race riot of 1921; and an examination of our diabetes epidemic. Jim has also written collaborations with Beach Boys' founder Mike Love, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, former Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker. Hirsch has an undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a graduate degree from the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, Sheryl, and they have two children, Amanda and Garrett. Jim has worked as an editor and contributor to Close Concerns since 2004 and as senior editor and columnist for diaTribe since 2006, where he has contributed dozens of Logbook columns since diaTribe’s inception.
Elizabeth A. Moses, MA English/Education has designed instruction and developed and edited curriculum for adult learners for over twenty years. During this time, she helped develop a multi-module education program for people newly diagnosed with diabetes at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and co-authored a poster presented at AADE. She also worked in curriculum development at Novo Nordisk in Princeton, New Jersey, designing and writing learning experiences for both medical and sales personnel. Elizabeth is a subject matter expert (SME) in adult learning theory and instructional design methodology and has first-hand experience with diabetes as the mother of a child with T1D.
Charles M. Alexander, MD, FACP, FACE
Scientific and Medical Advisor
Charles M. Alexander, MD, FACP, FACE is an endocrinologist who has more than 35 years of experience in diabetes – in both direct care and research. Since 2016, he has provided advisory services to pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Dr. Alexander retired from Merck in 2015 after nearly 25 years in both Outcomes Research and Medical Affairs. Prior to joining Merck, he practiced diabetes, endocrinology and internal medicine in Los Angeles for ten years and was Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (KSOM/USC). Dr. Alexander has been a member of Penn Medicine’s Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (IDOM) Leadership Council since 2016, and an advisor for the diaTribe Foundation since 2016. Dr. Alexander received his medical degree from KSOM/USC where he completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine and diabetes/endocrinology. Dr. Alexander is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology-Metabolism and is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American College of Endocrinology. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and a frequent reviewer for medical journals.