Dr. Ruth Oniang’o

Board Chair, Sasakawa Africa Association

Dr. Ruth Oniang’o, a professor of nutrition and former member of parliament in Kenya, spearheaded the completion of Kenya’s food and nutrition policy. Oniang’o is board chair of the Sasakawa Africa Association — which was founded by Winrock Board member Norman Borlaug, Japanese philanthropist Ryoichi Sasakawa and former President Jimmy Carter — and has worked to define and expand the program. In 1991, Winrock partnered with the association to create the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE), which has spread to nine countries and graduated 4,000 mid-career extension agents. Oniang’o is the founding director of the Rural Outreach Program, which provides small farmers in Africa with the resources they need to be productive. She also founded the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development and currently serves as its editor-in-chief. Oniang’o is the 2017 African Food Prize laureate and Trustee of the Board of the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and the Kilimo Trust. Oniang’o has a Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in human nutrition from Washington State University, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She is the namesake of one of Winrock’s new conference rooms – the Oniang’o Room.

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