Common Threads adds Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford and Angie Cooper to national board

By Common Threads | Apr 21, 2020

AUSTIN | April 20, 2020 – Common Threads, a national nonprofit organization that provides cooking and nutrition education to children in under-resourced communities, today announced the appointment of two notable members to its national board of directors: Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Angie Cooper, executive director at Heartland Summit.

“I am thrilled to welcome Angie Cooper and Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford to our national board,” said Common Threads co-founder and CEO Linda Novick O’Keefe. “Each of these women are leaders in their field, and they will undoubtedly make great contributions in their new roles.”

As members of the national board, Cooper and Stanford will help the 16-year-old nonprofit navigate the complexities of delivering nutrition education programming as its communities are reacting to COVID-19. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Common Threads has developed virtual instruction for its children, families and educators, recognizing that this topic is especially relevant given current financial restraints. Additionally, Common Threads’ Common Bytes portal is now available to parents and educators at no charge. Read more


Fatima Cody Stanford is a sought-after expert in obesity medicine and public health. She has received numerous prestigious awards including the Gold Congressional Award, the 2019 Suffolk District Community Clinician of the Year and the 2019 Reducing Health Disparities Award. Stanford spearheads efforts that leverage her expertise to create change in health care policy and recently appeared as a featured expert in the NOVA documentary “The Truth About Fat” on PBS. As a member of the Common Threads national board, Stanford will serve as the organization’s medical adviser while also deepening its impact within the communities it reaches.


Formerly senior director of global public policy at Walmart, Angie Cooper now heads The Heartland Summit, the flagship convening of Heartland Forward, a Bentonville, Ark.-based think and do tank focused on advancing economic performance and opportunity in the center of the country. Cooper brings her vast experience and profound knowledge of public affairs and government relations to her new role with Common Threads.

Common Threads was founded in Chicago in 2003 by CEO Linda Novick O’Keefe, celebrity chef Art Smith and his husband, artist Jesus Salgueiro, as a way to bring under-resourced children together, help them celebrate different cultures and teach them about healthy nutrition. From its humble beginnings in a church basement, Common Threads now services children and families in 12 markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Pittsburgh, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, El Paso and Erie. For more information, visit or search #CookingForLife on social media.