Simón Barquera


Simón Barquera is a medical doctor (UAM '94) with a Master and PhD in Nutrition from Tufts University ('96 and '05). Level 3 member of the National Research System, the National Academy of Medicine (2010) and the World Obesity Federation (2006). He has been a consultant for WHO / PAHO, UNICEF, IARC, IAEA and FAO in the field of obesity and chronic diseases. It has more than 270 publications in scientific journals and 18,135 citations. Amongst some recognitions, he has received the Tufts University Nutrition Impact Award (2016), as well as the distinction of teaching the 11th Michael and Susan Dell Chair in Child Health (University of Texas, 2017) and the 18th Carl J Martinson Chair (University of Minnesota, 2018).

Dr. Barquera currently serves as a leader in the line of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular risk and is Director of the Nutrition and Health Research Center at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico.


Jeannine Baumgartner

Jeannine Baumgartner is a Senior Scientist at the Laboratory of Human Nutrition at ETH Zurich in Switzerland and an Extraordinary Associate Professor at the Centre of Excellence for Nutrition of the North-West University (NWU) in South Africa.

She holds an MSc in Food Science and Nutrition from ETH Zürich, Switzerland, where she also obtained a PhD in Human Nutrition. For her PhD, she investigated the effects of iron and omega-3 fatty acid deficiency and repletion, as well as their interactions, on brain development and cognition using a translational research approach: from rat models to a randomized controlled trial in South African children. Her PhD research was a collaboration with the Centre of Excellence for Nutrition of NWU, which she later joined as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor, before returning to ETH Zurich in 2018.

Her research is dedicated to understanding the role of adequate micronutrient and omega-3 fatty acid nutrition during critical periods of development, particularly during the “First 1000 Days”, on outcomes related to the development and functioning of the brain, bones, immune system, and the gut microbiome in rodent models and human studies. She further investigates aspects of safety and efficacy of iron intervention strategies in vulnerable groups, such as infants and children with HIV.

Dr. Baumgartner serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) and on the board of the Swiss Academic Nutritionists (SWAN). She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and has supervised several MSc and PhD students.

Renée Blaauw

Renée Blaauw, PhD (Nutritional Sciences) is a Professor in Therapeutic Nutrition at the Division of Human Nutrition, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

She is a registered dietitian with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She acted as Chairperson of the Professional Board for Dietetics in South Africa for the period 1999 – February 2004. She is a Past President of SASPEN (South African Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition) and an honorary member of both SASPEN and ADSA (Association for Dietetics in South Africa).

She has authored / co-authored various articles and chapters in scientific publications and textbooks, presented research papers at international and national congresses, been an invited speaker at various symposiums, workshops and serves as a peer-reviewer for national and international scientific journals. 

Her main research interests include Nutrition support of critically ill patients; Hospital malnutrition; Nutritional management of gastro-intestinal diseases and Nutritional Epidemiology.



Kuda Chimanya

Kuda is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Specialist with over 23 year of experience implementing nutrition and public health programs. In her work experience, Kuda has held several roles in academia, private sector and governments in providing technical leadership, strategic guidance, public policy analysis and advocacy for nutrition. She is currently working with UNICEF Tanzania office as Chief of Nutrition where she provides leadership in supporting the implementation of maternal, early childhood nutrition and micronutrient programs. Kuda holds a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition and a Master of Public Health Degree and her work and research have focused on quality of children’s diets, prevention of overweight and obesity and the prevention of non-communicable diseases in various community settings. 




Edith Feskens

She is a professor in Global Nutrition at Wageningen University (Netherlands). She was trained as a nutrition scientist and epidemiologist, and has >30 years’ experience in nutritional epidemiology. Until 2005 she worked at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and was involved in various programmes on obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. She has a strong interest in research methodology, and is involved as Principle Investigator in several European research projects on e.g. glycemic index, sugars and sweeteners, and food metabolomics.

Since 2006 she is involved in research and education in low and middle income countries, including intervention as well as observational studies. So far she has supervised 50 PhD students towards completion of their thesis; she has >525 publications in international peer reviewed journals and h-index of 97.



Stuart Gillespie

Stuart smallsquare

Stuart Gillespie is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and an Honorary Associate with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). He has led a range of different programmes during his 22 years with IFPRI including an ADB-funded consortium on the double burden of malnutrition in Asia, a global initiative on agriculture and health research, the Regional Network on AIDS, Livelihoods and Food Security (RENEWAL), Transform Nutrition, Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), Stories of Change, TANDI, TNWA and the SPEAR (Supporting Policies, Programs and Enabling Action through Research) flagship of the IFPRI-led Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) program. He has 170 publications including 9 books.




Lawrence Haddad

Dr Lawrence Haddad is GAIN’s Executive Director since 2016. Today, Lawrence chairs Action Track 1 of the United Nations Food Systems Summit and is the co-convener of the Standing Together for Nutrition. Prior to GAIN, Lawrence was lead author of the Global Nutrition Report, Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and Director of the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division at IFPRI.


He is the winner of the 2018 World Food Prize together with David Nabarro. Click here for more.




Corinna Hawkes

Corinna photo July 2018

Professor Hawkes is Director of the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London, UK, a Centre dedicated to shaping an effective food system through education, research and policy engagement.  She has worked for 20 years with UN agencies, governments, universities and NGOs at the city, national and international level to support the design of more effective policies to improve diets and prevent malnutrition, obesity and non-communicable diseases throughout the food system. She has worked at the World Health Organization, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the University of Sao Paulo and World Cancer Research Fund International, where she established the NOURISHING Framework which tracks policies to promote healthy eating worldwide.  In 2018, Corinna was appointed Vice Chair of London’s Child Obesity Taskforce. She is also a Distinguished Fellow at the George Institute for Global Health. Corinna blogs at www.thebetterfoodjourney.com.



Amos Laar

Amos Laar

Amos Laar, Ph.D, University of Ghana, and President, African Nutrition Association.

Dr. Laar has academic training in Nutrition, Public Health, and Bioethics. Currently, his research focuses on two distinct, yet related areas of public health: bioethicsethics & public health; health & human rights, nutrition rights, food and nutrition ethics; and public health nutrition–food and nutrition literacy, nutrition-related non-communicable diseases – particularly the nexus between food environment and health. He spent his research time over the last decade exploring the “socio-cultural, socio-ethical, and medico-ethical dimensions of a sexually/perinatally transmissible infection–HIV.

He has been a Principal/Co-Investigator of over 20 research grants at the University of Ghana.  He co-led the DFID/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded “Dietary Transitions in Ghanaian Cities Project”, and the MRC-funded “Dietary Transitions in African Cities Project” (both projects aimed to identify how social, and physical environments drive consumption of energy dense nutrient-poor foods and beverages). Dr. Laar is currently a Principal Investigator of an IDRC-funded project which is “measuring the healthiness of Ghanaian children’s food environments to prevent obesity and non-communicable diseases”, and a Co-Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded project which will establish a master programme in Bioethics at the University of Ghana.

Dr Laar currently leads the implementation of INFORMAS’ (International Network for Food and Obesity/NCDs Research, Monitoring and Action Support) modules in Ghana with support from colleagues and collaborators. He is the Founder of hm2r (a global mentoring think tank), and President of African Nutrition Association (a learned society with members from all over Africa).


Imtiaz Sooliman


Imtiaz qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Natal Medical School in 1984, and worked private practice, which he terminated in  1994 to concentrate on Gift of the Givers Foundation (GOTG) which he founded in 1992. 

GOTG developed into one of the world's most respectable humanitarian organisations.  It is the largest disaster response agency of African origin on the African continent and implements 21 different categories of projects in 42 countries, and has delivered life saving aid in the form of Search and Rescue teams, medical personnel, medical equipment, medical supplies, medicines, vaccines, anti-malarial medication, high energy and protein supplements, food and water to millions of people in 42 countries, South Africa included.

Some highlight include: GTOG designed and developed the world's first and only containerised mobile hospital of its kind in 1993, deployed in Bosnia and compared by CNN to any of the best hospitals in Europe.
Designed the world's first containerised primary health care unit in 1994.
The first organisation in the history of South Africa to be given R60 million by government to design and roll out 204 000 food parcels.
Innovated the world's first groundnut-soya high energy and protein supplement (Sibusiso Ready Food Supplement) in 2004, ideal in conditions of HIV/AIDS, TB, Malnutrition, Cancer and various debilitating conditions.


Kevin Whelan

Kevin Whelan

Kevin Whelan is the Professor of Dietetics and Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London. Following a BSc in Biochemistry, Kevin completed an MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics and worked as a clinical dietitian in nutritional support and gastroenterology. This was followed by a PhD in Nutritional Sciences researching prebiotics and the gut microbiome as well as an MA in Higher Education. Professor Whelan is a Principal Investigator leading a research programme exploring the interaction between diet, the gastrointestinal microbiota and health and disease. He has undertaken numerous multi-centre investigations of the microbiota in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and patients receiving artificial nutrition, and the use of diet to modify these. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers on the topics of fibre, probiotics, prebiotics and FODMAPs. He is the Series Editor of the BDA book series ‘Advanced Nutrition and Dietetics’ which consists of four books on Gastroenterology, Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrition Support and on the editorial board of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics and Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. In 2012 he was awarded the Nutrition Society Cuthbertson Medal for clinical nutrition, in 2017 was appointed a Fellow of the British Dietetic Association and in 2018 delivered the Dr Elsie Widdowson Memorial Lecture.