Technical Advisory Group

Mandana Arabi, MD, PhD

Mandana Arabi, MD, PhD

Dr. Arabi is a Medical Doctor with a PhD in Nutrition Sciences from Cornell University. She has worked for more than 15 years in public health nutrition, first as a nutrition technical adviser with the Ministry of Health and the World Bank in Iran, and later as a child nutrition adviser with UNICEF Headquarters in New York. She is an expert in international nutrition and has facilitated nutrition programming in more than 15 countries dealing with the double burden of over- and under-nutrition. She has been a co-author on various global guidance documents including the UNICEF Infant and Young Child Programming Guide and the WHO Indicators for Infant and Young Child Feeding. As the Founding Executive Director of The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences, she led a global initiative to develop a research agenda for nutrition science, build partnerships across sectors to stimulate scientific research, and advance implementation of the research outcomes towards better policy and program development.

Moira Dean, PhD

Moira Dean, PhD

Senior Lecturer - Queens's University Belfast: Institute for Global Food Security; School of Biological Sciences

Dr. Moira Dean is a senior lecturer in Psychology of food choice and consumer behavior. She has carried out research on the psychology of food choice and risk perceptions including the application of social psychological models of attitude-behavior relationships to food choice and dietary change, in the areas of organic food, wholegrain, portion size, healthy shopping and food labeling, with children, adults and older people. She is experienced in qualitative and quantitative methodologies for the assessment of attitudes, values, perceptions and barriers associated with food, health and sustainable living. Dr. Dean has worked on a number of projects investigating food and consumer behavior and risk communication, including Communication partnerships.

Chowdhury Jalal, MBBS, PhD

Chowdhury Jalal, MBBS, PhD

Senior Technical Advisor, Evaluations and Strategic Research - Nutrition International

Dr. Chowdhury Jalal joined the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) in 2010 as the Senior Technical Officer, Operations and Evaluation Research. In his role, he develops a case for and advises on operations and evaluation research that MI should conduct. He provides research and technical support to improve the implementation of MI’s programs, and on MI’s behalf, contributes to the public knowledge base on best practices for micronutrient programs. Prior to joining MI Dr. Jalal led the Nutrition Research Unit at BRAC, Bangladesh. Dr. Jalal has expertise in community and international nutrition, program design and evaluation, operations research, carrying out large-scale surveys and surveillance. He has a PhD in International Nutrition and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS).
Mdu Mbuya, PhD

Mdu Mbuya, PhD

Associate Director — Zvitambo Institute for Maternal & Child Health Research

Mduduzi Mbuya is an Associate Director with the Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research in Zimbabwe and a co-investigator in the Sanitation/Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) trial.  Dr Mbuya has worked since 1999 along the continuum from research to policy and across the data value chain.  His research focuses on understanding the drivers and deterrents of successful public health interventions in three domains: design, delivery/implementation and uptake/compliance.  In Zimbabwe, he has led the design of nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions, and concurrently, the development of process evaluation methods.
Purnima Menon, MSc, PhD

Purnima Menon, MSc, PhD

Senior Research Fellow - International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Purnima Menon is Senior Research Fellow in IFPRI’s Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division, and is based at IFPRI’s Asia office in New Delhi, India. Purnima conducts applied nutrition research in the South Asia region, with a focus on research to improve programmes and policies to improve maternal and child nutrition.  Purnima leads the measurement, learning and evaluation team for Alive and Thrive. This is a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported initiative to improve infant and young child feeding and child nutrition in Bangladesh, Viet Nam and Ethiopia. Purnima also co-leads POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonise Actions for Nutrition in India), also supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Simeon Nanama, PhD

Simeon Nanama, PhD

Chief of the Nutrition Section for UNICEF Nigeria

Simeon Nanama’s current work involves providing strategic leadership for UNICEF Nutrition programming in Nigeria. This encompasses technical assistance to government and civil society partners for evidence-based nutrition planning, coordinated implementation and result-based monitoring all ultimately aiming to improve nutritional status of the Nigerian population with a special focus on children as per UNICEF mandate. Prior to joining UNICEF Nigeria, Mr. Nanama served as Chief Nutrition Madagascar (2013- 2017), Nutrition manager of UNICEF Dr-Congo (2008-2013) and nutrition specialist for UNICEF Chad (2006-2008). Before joining UNICEF in 2006, Mr. Nanama was the West African regional coordinator for the Micronutrient Initiative (MI now known as Nutrition International), a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization. Mr. Nanama’s research interests and experience mostly focus on food insecurity and its nutritional and non-nutritional consequences.
Tuan Nguyen, MD, PhD

Tuan Nguyen, MD, PhD

Technical Specialist in Measurement, Learning and Evaluation - FHI 360

As a medical epidemiologist, Tuan Nguyen has dedicated his career to improving the health of women and children through public health projects and research over the past 20 years. He holds degrees in health and social sciences, epidemiology and statistics with a medical degree from Hanoi Medical University, a doctoral degree in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and postdoctoral research experience at Baylor College of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Tuan’s work focuses on maternal and infant nutrition, HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases (NCD) and their risk factors, and health disparities. He provides technical leadership for large-scale monitoring systems for interpersonal counseling and mass media activities, project evaluations and their documentation. He provides technical assistance in policy and advocacy to support the implementation of maternal and child protection policies and to strengthen the Vietnam Ministry of Health’s monitoring and surveillance systems. He has an increasing role in providing technical support in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and India.
Daniel Sellen, PhD

Daniel Sellen, PhD

Professor and Associate Dean Research, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Professor Sellen is a human ecologist and medical anthropologist with a theoretical interest in human evolutionary biology and an active global health research program aimed at innovation and testing of interventions to improve maternal, infant and child nutrition security in vulnerable populations. His early work focused on how food systems and family social conditions influence maternal health, infant care, and child nutrition in low income communities (principally in Tanzania, Guatemala, and other countries in sub-Sahara Africa, Central America and south Asia), documented food insecurity and child hunger among resettled refugees in rich countries (Britain, America, Canada), and measured links between livelihood, infant feeding practices and demographic patterns across non-industrial societies (e.g. hunter- gatherers and nomadic herders). He now leads teams using cluster-randomized trials to assess the usefulness of cell phones to provide vulnerable women with pre-and post-partum counseling to support healthy breastfeeding, infant care and health system access, and smart phones to improve community health worker outreach to pregnant women (principally in urban Kenya and rural Tanzania), and serves as the first Associate Dean of Research at the Dalla Lana School of Public Heath.