Associate Director of Nutrition and Food Systems
Kathryn Merckel is an associate director of nutrition and food systems and supports the integration of nutrition into projects across ACDI/VOCA and its affiliate, Tanager. Kathryn works with project field offices to develop context-sensitive approaches to improving nutrition and health for both households and private sector partners. She has developed nutrition training materials, nutrition monitoring and survey instruments, and data-driven social and behavior change communication strategies. Prior to joining ACDI/VOCA in 2020, Kathryn completed a PhD in nutrition at Cornell University with the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition, where her research focused on the introduction of biofortified crops to North India using nutrition- and gender-sensitive social marketing strategies. Kathryn has regional experience in South Asia, particularly India, as well as East Africa where she served as a Boren Scholar in Tanzania working with farmer cooperatives to build institutional capacity around nutrition and health. Kathryn holds a PhD in nutrition and an MPS in international development from Cornell University as well as a BS in food science and technology from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She is proficient in Hindi and Swahili.