Meera Shekar is Global Lead for nutrition and Lead Specialist with the World Bank’s Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice. In this capacity she provides leadership, support and policy advice on the Bank’s nutrition portfolio across the spectrum of undernutrition and obesity, managing key partnerships such as the Power of Nutrition, and the Japan Trust Fund, and firmly positioning nutrition within the Global Financing Facility for RMNACH and the Bank’s new initiative on Investing in the Early Years. She is also responsible for building cross-sectoral linkages with the agriculture, water and sanitation, education and social protection Global Practices. Over the last several years, she has led the repositioning of the nutrition agenda that led to the new global Scaling-up Nutrition (SUN) initiative, and was a key partner in the discussions on the Catalytic Financing Facility for Nutrition developed in partnership with the Milken Institute, that evolved in to the Power of Nutrition. The SUN movement is now supported by over 56 client countries and over a hundred global partners. Meera serves on the SUN executive committee and has been one of the principals for the emerging aid-architecture for the SUN, and the G8 and G20 agenda-setting process for food security and nutrition over the last several years. She leads the global and country-level SUN costing and financing analyses at the World Bank, and the first ever global Investment Framework for Nutrition. She has also worked on the demographic dividend and population and development issues.
Meera has lived and worked across the globe and has extensive policy and operational experience in India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Vietnam, Bolivia, Guatemala, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Before joining the World Bank in 2003, she led UNICEF’s Health, Nutrition and Water and Sanitation and ECD teams in Tanzania and the Philippines. Meera has a PhD in international nutrition, epidemiology and population studies from Cornell University and has consulted extensively including with JHU Population Communications Services and Population Services International. Among other publications, she is the author of the health chapter in the World Bank’s flagship report entitled eTransform Africa: the Transformational use of Information and Communication Technologies in Africa, 2012; Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development, 2006; Scaling-up Nutrition –What will it cost? World Bank 2009; And most recently, An Investment Framework for Nutrition: Reaching the global Targets for Stunting, Anemia, Breastfeeding and Wasting, World Bank, 2016. Meera is an Adjunct professor at Tufts University, USA, and has been a guest speaker at several G8 preparatory events including the G8 parliamentarians’ conference in Canada. She serves on several advisory boards.