2021-2022 Leadership Team

Past Chair

YaQutullah Ibraheem Muhammad MS, RDN, LD, FAC-P/PM

YaQutullah is the owner of Nutrition Prescriptions, LLC, a consulting practice that specializes in weight management, recipe development and analysis, nutrition education, and women’s wellness.

She has completed certificate programs in federal acquisition and program/project management and adult weight management; is a member of the Georgia dietetic association and serves as treasurer, secretary, and social media committee chair for the Religion member interest group. Muhammad earned her Bachelor’s degree in nutrition and Master’s degree in Health Sciences and Nutrition from Georgia State University.

She has written for nutrition-focused magazines, developed curriculum materials for the National VA Whole Health for the Life wellness program, developed recipes and nutrient analysis for a cookbook and is currently writing part of Cultural Food Practices, Second Edition, a publication of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

She has worked in various settings including inpatient clinical, community outpatient, school nutrition, foodservice, WIC community nutrition, and private practice and contract facilities. As a project manager, she manages nutrition wellness-related projects.

YaQutullah has spoken at several conference retreats including women’s health and wellness retreats in Bermuda, facilitated nutrition education workshops and food demos within the community. YaQutullah has also contributed as a freelance writer and recipe developer for the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America’s Halal Consumer Magazine.

YaQutullah has 11+ years of experience in dietetics and nutrition, working with patients and clients on improving their health outcomes related to diabetes and weight management, cardiac disease, blood pressure and cholesterol management. Yaqutullah utilizes her creative talents in developing and promoting healthy recipes, interactive nutrition education programs.

YaQutullah loves empowering women to learn and apply nutrition into every facet of their lives and to understand the connection between faith, health and wellness.



Sharon Meier Lutheran, MSH, RDN, LDN, CLC

Sharon has been a member of the Academy for 31 years and completed her undergraduate work at Iowa State University and graduate work at the University of North Florida.  Sharon has been married for 24 years and has one son who is 16 and works for Duval County Public Schools with special needs children and Compass Group on the weekends in dietary.   Sharon grew up on a 200-acre farm in Iowa and was a third-generation 4-H member who competed in the Pride of Iowa cooking contest.  Attending church and serving others has always been a big part of my life.  Sharon also has own health business for the last six years – Choose Health Today.



Mindy Nelkin, D.Be RDN HEC-C



Jessica Pearl MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, CLT, CDN, FAND

Jessica Pearl is a Registered Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist specializing in sports nutrition and food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities. She has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan and Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University. Jessica currently works in private practice and the corporate wellness setting in New York City.

House of Delegates MIG Representative


Shaynee Roper, MEd, RD, LD, FAND

Bachelor's degree (Nutrition & Foods) from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Master’s degree (Physical Education & Exercise Science) from the University of Houston Will graduate with Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition from the University of North Florida in 2022.Been a Dietitian for 30 years – worked in hospitals, long term care facilities, home infusion, home health, and hospice

23 years in Clinical Nutrition and/or Food Service management

19 years teaching experience (as an Adjunct Professor)

Formerly the Chair of the NC Board of Dietetics & Nutrition

Currently the Secretary and CE Administrator for the NC Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
Author (one of 3) of the 2019 Standards of Professional Practice for Registered Dietitians.
Serve as a Program Reviewer for the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition & Dietetics (ACEND)
Delegate to the House of Delegates of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
Board of Editors for the Nutrition Care Manual (2021-2024)

Communications Committee Chair


Tia Jeffery, PhD, RDN, CHES

Dr. Tia Jeffery is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Nursing and Nutrition within the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). She earned her BS in Dietetics from Oakwood University, MS in Human Ecology with a concentration in Human Nutrition and cognate emphasis in Exercise Science from The Ohio State University and PhD in Public Health from Walden University. She maintains a per diem position with Holy Cross Health System as well. Her clinical practice experiences included positions with Holy Cross Hospital, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, and renal nutrition with Fresenius Medical Care in California. Further, she has served on Health Ministries teams in her faith community, consulted for the Fit Solution’s fitness initiatives under a Montgomery County grant, contracted for Healing Our Village Inc. diabetes programs, and implemented cooperative extension programs as a project specialist in CAUSES Center for Nutrition, Diet, and Health.


Her research and teaching areas include medical nutrition therapy, health promotion in underserved and non-traditional arenas, peer-led service-learning approaches to nutrition education among high school and collegiate student-athletes, health disparities of chronic diseases, and guidelines for healthy eating through culturally relevant lenses among people of color. She has presented her ongoing findings at national/international conferences and authored her work in several peer review publications. Moreover, she currently serves as the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Liaison for the Maryland State Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Lastly, she enjoys media arenas, including her co-hosting role on a Food Jonezi and Friends podcast “Miseducation of Cultural Food” on Spotify, Google, and Apple platforms. She views her path as a fluid journey and remains passionate about the role of nutrition and exercise for healing the mind, body, and spirit.

Membership Committee Chair


Rubina Hakeem, PhD (UK), RD (UK), FAfN (UK), FAND (US)

Dr. Rubina Hakeem is serving as Chief Nutritionist and Head of Food and Nutrition Department at Ziauddin University Karachi.  She has served as Principal and Professor Nutrition at RLAK College of Home Economics Karachi and as Professor Clinical Nutrition Taibah University Madina Saudi Arabia.  Dr. Hakeem has served and continues to serve as a leader in several professional associations. She is Chairperson Nutrition Foundation of Pakistan,  represents Low Middle Income Countries, at  Nutrition Society UK and is a fellow of Association for Nutrition UK and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics USA. She is also an active member of World Public Health Association, National Association.

Professional Development Committee Co-Chair


Hiba Hamadeh MMedSci, RDN, LD

Hiba Hamadeh completed her first undergraduate, as well as Masters of Medical Science (MMedSci) in Human Nutrition degree in the United Kingdom. Her Master’s dissertation titled: “The Effect of Pomegranate Juice on Arterial Stiffness” led to her first scientific publication. After receiving her Master’s, Hiba worked as a licensed nutritionist at a maternity hospital in Abu-Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). During her time in Abu-Dhabi, Hiba also had a leadership role as a dietitian field supervisor in a research study conducted by the University of North Carolina and the UAE University, which was titled “Indoor Air, Health and Nutrition” study. Hiba moved to the US with her husband in 2010 and completed the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s Certificates of Training in Adult, as well as Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management. To fulfill the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ requirements to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) in the US, Hiba completed and thoroughly enjoyed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at the University of North Florida and graduated summa cum laude. She then completed a dietetic internship at Emory University Hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia, where she currently resides with her husband and two children. Hiba later joined the Emory team as a clinical dietitian. She is bilingual in English and Arabic. Hiba is passionate about helping moms in their journey towards health improvement and establishing healthy relationships with food. Hiba has experience working with people of different ages and backgrounds. She now especially enjoys working with moms who will in turn help raise children with healthy relationships with food, and thereby, contribute to improving their overall health and wellbeing.

Professional Development Committee Co-Chair


Kelly A. Moltzen OFS, MPH, RD

Kelly Moltzen is a tireless advocate of making connections between food, faith, and social justice. In addition to being a co-convener of the Interfaith Public Health Network, Kelly manages a New York State Department of Health-funded Creating Healthy Schools & Communities Program at the Institute for Family Health with the Bronx Health REACH initiative. She has an MPH from NYU, completed her dietetic internship with the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and has a BS in Nutritional Sciences & Dietetics from the University of Delaware. Kelly was a 2015 Re: Generate Fellow with the Food, Health and Ecological Well-Being Program of Wake Forest University School of Divinity and is a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order, where she is a member of the Ecumenical/Interfaith Committee for the national U.S. Secular Franciscan fraternity. 

IDEA Liaison


Bushra Khan Islam RDN

Bushra Khan Islam earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Illinois in 1990. She has worked in several areas of dietetics over the period of 25 years. Bushra has practiced as a Consultant Dietitian in long-term healthcare centers in Virginia, as a community dietitian in Maine, Delaware, and Georgia, and as Clinical Dietitian in California. In addition, she has served as a Nutrition Facilitator for Slim Peace, an organization aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and building bridges among women of diverse cultures, nations, and religions. Bushra’s most recent work was at Sacramento VA Medical Center before her moving back to Richmond, Virginia in August 2019.

Passionate towards fighting hunger and promoting food security, Bushra initiated several projects such as the Community Garden and Summer Meal Program for the refugee and immigrant population in Maine and more recently, monthly hot meals program and canned food drive for food-insecure veterans in Mather, California.

Bushra is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, HEN DPG, DIFM DPG, RMIG, IND MIG, and Global MIG. She has served as chair for MIDAN (previous Muslim MIG) for 3 years and has served as Nominating/Awards Chair for RMIG and currently, the Diversity Liaison.

Nominating / Awards Committee Chair



Nominating / Awards Committee Member



Newsletter Editor


Mary Angela Niester MPH, RD

Mary Angela Niester obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Central Michigan University, completed an AP4 dietetic internship at the Oakland County Health Division, and received a Master in Public Health degree from the University of Michigan. She is currently working with St. Joseph Mercy Health System on a number of projects related to the diabetes prevention program. Mary has been a long-time member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is currently serving in leadership positions with the Religion Member Interest Group, as Delegate for the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and as Treasurer for the Diabetes Care and Education DPG.

Newsletter Editor Assistant

Amna Kashif

Amna feels blessed to be born a Muslim and a member of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah grant him honour and peace)'s Ummah. It is because of this that she continues to pursue her vision of "contributing to the physical and spiritual development of young females." She believes females are the backbone of our Ummah and the world at large. 

Amna started her professional journey as a Nutritionist in 2005 as an intern in a renowned hospital of Karachi. A couple of years later, she took a break from the clinical practice to focus on family life but remained connected to the profession through regular attendance at the CNEs organized by Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetic Society (PNDS).

In 2007 she became part of the Timelenders (TL) family, a company focused on “helping individuals and organizations develop meaningful existences and life”. This proved to be an important milestone; the training and mentoring programs of TL opened up her eyes to the true value of our profession and the critical role we play in helping our fellow beings reach their true potential.

Alhamdulillah, the year 2011 opened many new avenues; the first of which was clearing the RDN Exam and the launch of her private clinic. This was closely followed by the birth of her first ever article “A Dietitian Today Keeps the Doctor Away” which was an outcome of the mentoring she received as a participant in the “Writing Skills” workshop organized by PNDS. Amna loves writing and is grateful for the opportunity to serve as Newsletter Editor with RMIG Leadership.

Amna became an international member of the Academy and Religion Member Interest Group in 2014 which has played an important role in her continuous growth as a Registered Nutritionist and gave her the chance to contribute to the field with a diverse global audience. 

Communications Committee - Website Coordinator

Fathima Mirza


Communications Committee - Social Media Coordinator