Shawn K. Baker joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in August 2013 and is Director of Nutrition in the Global Development Program. He has over 30 years’ experience in international public health, including 25 years living in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining the foundation he was with Helen Keller International including 16 years as Vice President and Regional Director for Africa. In that role he oversaw expansion from four to 13 country programmes. Flagship programmes that he has shaped include vitamin A supplementation through child health days reaching over 50 million children twice-yearly and food fortification programmes reaching over 130 million consumers. He led development of strategic regional relationships, particularly with the 15-nation West African Health Organization. In addition, he served as country director for Helen Keller International in Niger and Bangladesh.
Other responsibilities during Mr Baker’s 30 years career include: Co-Promoter of the Niger Health Information System, Coordinator of the Tulane University Center for International Health and Development, and Coordinator of the Famine Early Warning System in Southern Africa, and representative in Niger. He served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaïre).
Mr Baker received a Master’s of Public Health degree from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 1989 with concentrations in international health and nutritional epidemiology. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Miami. He is the author or co-author of over 80 peer-reviewed publications, presentations at international conferences and monographs.
Mr Baker’s longstanding commitment to Niger has been recognised by the awarding of "Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite du Niger" by the Presidency of the Republic of Niger and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His service on committees and advisory groups include the Technical Review Panel for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, which he chaired until November 2014.
He currently chairs the Executive Committee of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and was on the board of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition 2013-2016.