Terms of Reference

Meeting an Urgent Need

In response to dramatic evidence:

  • The nutrition crisis exacerbated by conflict, climate shocks, and economic crises has reversed a decade of progress on nutrition and created a more urgent situation. A 2023 UNICEF report estimates that more than 1 billion adolescent girls and women around the world suffer from undernutrition, lack of vital nutrients and anemia.
  • Studies consistently rank nutrition interventions as among the most cost-effective ways to save and improve lives around the world with every $1 invested yielding up to $35 in returns; and show that investments in nutrition would dramatically boost economies, improve cognitive development, and increase lifetime earnings, which bolsters overall U.S. government foreign assistance and programming.
  • Opportunities to elevate nutrition presented by the Biden Administration’s commitments to engaging the global community, the passage of the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act, and bipartisan support for nutrition in annual appropriations.

The Nutrition CEO Council acknowledges that the global nutrition situation is dire. We know that expertise exists, and has been tested, that could address global malnutrition and that it is right and appropriate to take action to encourage and support the U.S. government, civil society, corporations, and other stakeholders to make that expertise into law and policy.

Policy asks

The Council’s focus is global nutrition. The Council’s objectives are:

  • To inspire increased support for nutrition from U.S. political leadership through high-level engagement.
  • To advance civil society advocacy, commitment, and support for nutrition as a foundational part of all development success.

The Council’s priorities include:

  • Increase funding for nutrition-specific interventions, such as the Power 4, and nutrition-specific programs.
  • Implement a coordinated, multi-sectoral global nutrition initiative across the U.S. government that includes focus on health systems, food systems, climate, and innovation.
  • Ensure USAID is fully staffed, especially the role of the Chief Nutritionist, to guide USAID’s efforts and engagement with partners to address global malnutrition and to oversee implementation and coordination of USAID’s multi-sectoral nutrition programming.
  • Mobilize additional resources in high-burden countries.
  • Strengthen efforts to improve maternal and adolescent nutrition, including gender-specific and age-related nutrition needs of adolescent girls.
  • Monitor implementation of the U.S. Global Nutrition Coordination Plan 2.0 and the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act.
  • Strengthen U.S. leadership on global food systems that incorporate nutrition and gender transformative approaches.

We will also advocate for the U.S. to:

  • Commit $300 million annually to support nutrition-specific programs deployed through the Global Health Programs Nutrition account.
  • Commit $1.15 billion annually to the Global Health Programs Maternal and Child Health account that supports and strengthens the health systems that deliver nutrition programming.
  • Commit at least $1.2 billion annually to Feed the Future, which invests in countries around the world to help ensure families have access to safe, affordable, and nourishing diets.
  • Commit to increased transparency around nutrition funding.
  • Strengthen and coordinate systems that are critical for improving nutritional status, such as health care, agriculture, and food systems.


CEOs will be primary members, supported by a staff coordination group who moves the policy agenda forward through specific action items.

  • Nutrition CEO Council Leadership. Council Leadership will act as a secretariat and guiding body, developing agendas, and action plans for Council Member review and decisions. They support and advocate for the policy asks determined by the Council.
    Kathy Spahn, President and CEO of Helen Keller and Eugene Cho, President/CEO of Bread for the World are co-chairs. Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA and Blythe Thomas, Initiative Director of 1,000 Days, an initiative of FHI Solutions, comprise CEO Council Leadership.
  • Nutrition CEO Council. The Council reviews and provides input into action plans brought forward by Council Leadership, deciding when and how to commit their organizations. They support the policy asks and advocate for them in the activities decided by the Council.

Membership is open to CEOs of non-governmental and philanthropic organizations committed to addressing malnutrition.

Meeting Plan

The Nutrition CEO Council will meet quarterly with at least one meeting per year in person, supported by regular meetings of the Council Leadership. The staff group will also meet regularly and provide input and feedback on plans and activities.

ADDENDUM: Council Activities

The following actions are planned or should be planned for Council attention.

  • Direct engagement with Congress and Administration, including but not limited to:
    • USAID Administrator Samantha Power
    • Secretary of State Tony Blinken
    • NSC Senior Director for Global Health and International Development Linda Etim
    • UN Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield
  • Public Events, including but not limited to:
    • October 12 – Nourish the Future launch event, co-hosted by Eleanor Crook Foundation, Helen Keller International, RESULTS, CARE USA, 1000 Days, and Bread for the World.
    • October 20 – Global nutrition event at the World Food Prize’s Borlaug Dialogues, co-hosted by Bread for the World, the Alliance to End Hunger, and 1,000 Days
    • TBD during December 7-8 – Event to celebrate US Government Leadership and nutrition commitment at Nutrition for Growth
    • TBD during cember 7-8 – Event to celebrate civil society commitments on nutrition at Nutrition for Growth
  • Op-eds, blogs, press, and other media, including but not limited to:
    • Public action around World Food Day
    • Joint media strategy around Thanksgiving to raise the profile of nutrition in a final push for Administration action before Nutrition For Growth
    • Announce individual NGO investments and commitments to combating malnutrition to inspire and motivate US leadership and partnership
    • Publish Op-eds on the importance of nutrition investments and Nourish the Future
  • Sign-on letters, including but not limited to:
    • Sign on to a CEO statement on nutrition, the basis of which is above, to align as much of the community as possible around a Nutrition for Growth ask
    • Sign on letters to President Biden and key Congressional Committees on the importance of nutrition
    • FY22 and FY23 Appropriations letters
  • Direct engagement with other country actors to:
    • Secure developing country buy-in, of the countries mentioned in Nourish the Future
    • Connect with other government plans, such as those in development with the UK and Canada.