Food and Nutrition Security

International Nutrition Innovations


Research and Standards

FNCE 2018

343. Expanding Horizons: RDN Fellows Advancing Strategies to Address Global Malnutrition

Sunday, October 21
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
CE: 1.5

Session Level 2 - Intermediate

There is an increasingly important role for RDNs to work globally to accelerate progress in ending malnutrition. To illustrate the formative work being done by RDNs in the global space, this session will showcase the work of two current Academy Foundation fellows in Guatemala to address malnutrition and improve food security. In collaboration with with Maya Health Alliance/Wuqu’ Kawoq, the Duke Center for International Development, and with the support of Academy and Foundation staff, university partners, and local stakeholders, culturally sensitive nutrition interventions have been researched and reviewed, and programs and policies targeting the core causes of malnutrition have been developed and identified. The session will describe this work, including the development of multi-disciplinary relationships and program implementation and policy development initiatives, to identify collaborative solutions for areas at high risk of malnutrition.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Need Codes:

  • 1040 - Cultural sensitivity
  • 4010 - Community intervention, monitoring, evaluation
  • 4070 - Food security, hunger

Nicci Brown, MS, RDN, CD

Nicci Brown, MS, RDN, CD serves as Program Manager for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. In this role, she manages the Foundation's Scholarship, Awards, and Grants program; Fellowship program; dietetic internship rotation; international programs; and public education programming, including Kids Eat Right and Future of Food. Prior to this role, Ms. Brown was the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ dedicated Project Manager for the Academy’s Second Century initiatives, where she supported the development and implementation of strategies, projects and campaigns for the Second Century and coordinated communication among the project’s many partners. Ms. Brown graduated from The Ohio State University with her Bachelors in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and completed the coordinated MS/DI program here at Rush University Medical Center.


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Elizabeth Jimenez, PhD, RD

Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez is a Research Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and Director of the Nutrition Research Network for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Yakes Jimenez's research is focused on the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and on the prevention and improved treatment of obesity and diabetes in underserved populations. She is a pediatric registered dietitian with an M.S. in public health nutrition from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of California, Davis.


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Stephen Alajajian, RD, CLC

Stephen Alajajian is a registered dietitian nutritionist with experience in maternal/child nutrition, diabetes and nutrition-sensitive agriculture. He is passionate about strengthening local languages while undertaking international development work. Currently, Stephen works as a nutrition research fellow for the Maya Health Alliance, where he leads the implementation research for a pilot gardening study to address childhood malnutrition in rural Guatemala. He completed his dietetic internship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and previously worked as the nutrition technical adviser for Gardens for Health International in Rwanda and as a nutrition consultant for the Organization for the Development of the Indigenous Maya.


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Alice Figueroa, MPH, RDN

Alice Figueroa is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about promoting universal access to nutrition support, health services, and wholesome foods for all segments of society regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. She is a James Beard Foundation National Scholar Award Recipient and a Natural Foods Chef. She is dedicated to empowering the global community to achieve optimum well-being through food security, mindful living, health supportive cooking, and happy eating.

Alice is the Duke Center for International Development Malnutrition Research Fellow and is conducting research to address chronic malnutrition and stunting in Central America. Her research focuses on identifying gaps in nutrition services in Central America and providing health support for underserved indigenous populations in Guatemala. Through her research, she hopes to build partnerships with diverse political, community, and economic stakeholders in Central America to coalesce a food systems approach to address food insecurity and malnutrition. She is committed to supporting sustainable and culturally-appropriate nutrition interventions that empower underserved communities.

Alice earned a Master of Public Health from New York University, where she also completed her Dietetic and Nutrition credentials. She holds an honors degree in International Relations with a focus on healthcare policy from Tulane University and is a CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program Certified Lifestyle Coach and Yoga Teacher. She also founded Alice in Foodieland, a website where the community can explore science-based nutrition articles and delicious, health supportive recipes.


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343. Expanding Horizons: RDN Fellows Advancing Strategies to Address Global Malnutrition

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