Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), Director of the Lebanon World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Nutrition, Fellow of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS), Dr. Nahla Hwalla, is the new President of the CIHEAM Advisory Board and the first female to hold this position at the CIHEAM.
The research of Dr. Nahla Hwalla focuses on obesity, its prevalence, determinants and dietary manipulation to curb its effects. More recently, she expanded her research to the importance of diets in tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and food and nutrition insecurity. She also collaborated with several regional and international experts to promote sustainable food consumption and enhance the consumption of the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable and healthy option for Mediterranean populations, an objective that is in line with CIHEAM’s agenda.
A strong advocate for capacity building in food security, Dr. Hwalla has championed the Food Security initiative at AUB. She has collaborated with several UN Agencies like the FAO, WHO, IAEA and with the CNRS. She has also provided Lebanon with the first Country Profile on Nutrition and established the first NGO for nutritionists in Lebanon and the region, the Lebanese Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics (LAND). Dr. Hwalla was the 1st to receive the 2012 Distinguished Researcher Award by the Lebanese CNRS. She is also the recipient of the 2014 Susan Bulkely Butler Leadership Excellence Award by the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition (IBCN) group at Purdue University, USA, and of the 2016 Researcher Pioneer Award by the Lebanese Parliament.
With her passionate dedication and visionary leadership, Dr. Nahla Hwalla will provide valuable support for the implementation of the CIHEAM ACTION PLAN FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN (CAPMED2025), developed in relation with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The CAPMED2025 is intended to respond to emerging needs of the region and focuses on four core complementary challenges: environmental protection, food and nutrition security, rural inclusive development and resilience to crises and tensions.
The CIHEAM Advisory Board is composed of renowned scientists and decision-makers appointed by the Governing Board for a period of four years. It provides views on issues of a technical or scientific nature.