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Marie Ruel, Ph.D. International Nutrition

Director, Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Research field: Medicine - Nutrition and Metabolism
No research interests added yet.


Biographical Information

Marie T. Ruel was appointed Division Director of IFPRI's Food Consumption and Nutrition Division in 2004. From 1996 until her current appointment, she served as Senior Research Fellow and Research Fellow in that division. Since joining IFPRI, she led the Multi-Country Program on Challenges to Urban Food and Nutrition and the Global Regional Project on Diet Quality and Diet Changes of the Poor. Prior to IFPRI, she was head of the Nutrition and Health Division at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama/Pan American Health Organization (INCAP/PAHO) in Guatemala. Dr. Ruel received her Ph.D. in International Nutrition from Cornell University and her Masters in Health Sciences from Laval University in Canada.

Dr. Ruel has worked for more than 20 years on issues related to policies and programs to alleviate poverty and child malnutrition in developing countries. She has published extensively in nutrition and epidemiology journals on topics such as maternal and child nutrition, food based strategies to improve diet quality and micronutrient nutrition, urban livelihoods, food security and nutrition, and the development of indicators of child feeding and care practices. She has served on various international expert committees, such as the National Academy of Sciences, the International Zinc in Nutrition Consultative Group, and the International Micronutrient Advisory Group of Experts established by the World Health Organization.

Current Research:
Applied research in program evaluation and nutrition policies
Multi-country research program to analyze the food security and nutrition implications of rapid urbanization in developing countries
Research in the area of micronutrient deficiencies

Countries of Expertise:
Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Burundi, Mozambique, Ghana

Language Skills:
French, English, Spanish


1996-1997: Elected member of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on International Nutrition: Served on the Vitamin C in Food Aid Commodities committee (Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences)

1996-1998: Member of the Executive Committee of the Society for International Nutrition Research

1998-present: Member of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS)-Committee II/3 (Committee on Urbanization and Nutrition)

2000-present: Elected member of the International Zinc Consultative Group (IZiNCG)

2003-present: Appointed member of WHO’s International Micronutrient Advisory Group of Experts (IMAGE)

2008-present: Elected member of Helen Keller International HKI’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC)

2009-present: Member of the High Level Technical Group (GTAN) of the Study on the “Nutritional Dimensions of Social Protection Networks in Central America and the Dominican Republic” convened by the World Food Program (WFP), Regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean

2010-present: Elected member of a planning committee for two workshops organized by the National Academies’ Roundtable on Science and Technology focused on global food security.

2010-present: Elected member of the Independent Advisory Panel for the Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI) established by the Global Alliance for Nutrition (GAIN)

2010-present: Elected member of High Level Nutrition Advisory Group for the Millennium Villages Project


Journals: Appetite, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Food Policy, Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Health Policy and Planning, International Journal of Public Health, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Nutrition, Lancet, Pediatrics, PLoS Medicine, Public Health Nutrition, World Development, Salud Pública de Mexico, World Health Organization (WHO) Bulletin.

Research proposals, books, reports abstracts for international conferences: proposals for AID Child Survival Program (1996-98); book for UNU-WIDER; book for Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Mexico; report for Mainstreaming Nutrition in Maternal and Child Health project for ICDDR,B; report for SUSTAIN; abstracts for Global Health Council, Experimental Biology, International Union of Nutritional Sciences, 3ie (International Initiative on Impact Evaluation).


Professor, Epidemiology, Masters in Nutrition, University of San Carlos/INCAP, Guatemala
- Elaboration of the curriculum for 2 Epidemiology courses: Introductory and Advanced
- Teaching the Advanced Nutritional Epidemiology course
- Advisor to 3 graduate students (1994-1995)

Assistant Visiting Professor, School of Public Health, Emory University (1995)

Teaching Assistant, Cornell University; Graduate courses:
- Advanced Epidemiology (1987 and 1989)
- Methods for Conducting Meta-Analyses (1989)

Teaching Assistant, Laval University;
- Diet Therapy (1976)
- Quantity Food Production, Administration of Food Production Systems (1979-1980)


Professional Experience

2004 - Present
Director, Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division at International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Jan 2001 - Jan 2004
Senior Research Fellow at International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Jan 1996 - Jan 2001
Research Fellow at International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Jan 1993 - Jan 1996
Director, Health and Nutrition Division at Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama/Pan American Health Organization (INCAP/PAHO)
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Jan 1990 - Jan 1993
Epidemiologist/nutritionist at Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama/Pan American Health Organization (INCAP/PAHO)
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Jan 1985 - Jan 1987
Field Director, Growth monitoring and Nutrition Education Project in Lesotho, Southern Africa at Joint Programme Cornell Nutritional Surveillance Program and UNICEF-Eastern and Southern Africa
Maputo, Mozambique
Jan 1979 - Jan 1980
Field Director, Comparison of two types of powdered milk on the immune response of malnourished Hait at Laval University, Department of Nutrition
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Sep 1986 - May 1990
Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, United States
Ph.D. International Nutrition (minors: agricultural economics; epidemiology)
Sep 1980 - May 1982
Laval University in Quebec, Canada
C.E.C. Certificat en Enseignement Collégial (Teaching Certificate)
Sep 1980 - May 1982
Laval University in Quebec, Canada
M.S. Masters in Health Sciences, Nutrition
Sep 1972 - May 1976
Laval University in Quebec, Canada
B.S. Bachelor in Health Sciences, Dietetics
Consulting Services

• UNICEF-NYHQ Evaluation Office (January 1993)
Supervisor: Neil Andersson
Country: Mozambique
- Assistance in Sentinel Community Surveillance process
- Analysis of data, preparation of report
- Training of nationals in data analysis, interpretation and diffusion of information.

• UNICEF-NYHQ Evaluation Office (November 1992)
Supervisors: Neil Andersson/Roger Pearson
Country: Mexico
- Participation in International Meeting on the Sentinel Sites Surveillance Systems

• University of Moncton (Cooperation program in nutrition) – CIDA – Nicaragua:
Supervisor: Dr. Micheline Beaudry.
- Participated in Nutritional Surveillance Workshop (1982)
- Carried out a review of iron deficiency anemia in infants: diagnosis and possibilities ofr intervention (1982)
- Gave seminars on Vitamin A deficiency in Managua, Nicaragua (1983)
- Organized and led a Workshop on “Program Planning for the Control of Vitamin A Deficiency in Nicaragua”
- Analyzed the nutritional programs of the Ministries of Education and of Agriculture and formulated recommendations for the integration of the two programs

• World Health Organization (WHO)
- Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development: development of indicators of child feeding practices (2002)
- Department of Nutrition for Health and Development: participated in Expert Consultation on Fortification and in preparing a Technical Document to Develop Guidelines on Food Fortification (1982)

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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
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