With a Ladoum ram in Dakar, Senegal

Shawn Baker

United States Chief Nutrionist USAID

Shawn K. Baker is the Chief Nutritionist for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In this position, he chairs the Agency’s Nutrition Leadership Council, coordinates nutrition-related efforts across USAID and oversees the vision and strategy of the Agency’s Center for Nutrition in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. He guides USAID’s investments and engagement with partners to address malnutrition in developing countries. 

Prior to joining USAID, Baker was the first director of nutrition at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has over 30 years’ experience in global public health nutrition, including 25 years living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. 

Baker worked for Helen Keller International for 19 years, including 16 years as Vice President and Regional Director for Africa. He also served as country director for Helen Keller International in Niger and Bangladesh. He spent nine years with Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine working with the Niger Health Information System, the USAID Famine Early Warning System in Southern Africa and Niger, and the Madagascar food and nutrition surveillance system. Baker started his career in international development as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaïre (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and received an Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite du Niger in 2001. 

His service on committees and advisory groups includes the Technical Review Panel for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, which he chaired until November 2014. He was chair of the Executive Committee of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and served on the board of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition from 2013-2016. He currently chairs the US Government's Senior Nutrition Champion Group which oversees the Global Nutrition Coordination Plan.  

Baker has a master’s of public health from Tulane University, with concentrations in international health and nutritional epidemiology. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree in biology from the University of Miami. 

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