I have over 25 years’ experience in more than 30 countries, including 12 years living in the Maldives, Samoa and Fiji, on sustainable agriculture and food systems, agrobiodiversity and plant genetic resources to better understand the interactions between food, health, nutrition and environment. I am particularly passionate about linking smallholders, especially rural women and Indigenous producers, to local food purchasing progammes such as school feeding and public food procurement to make available nutrient-rich local foods and strengthen food sovereignty.
I have worked closely with the CBD, IUCN Commissions and Specialist Groups, the ITPGRFA and CGRFA and have extensive project design and management experience as team leader of a number of global projects including a significant portfolio of GEF projects and was recently the Global Project Coordinator of the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN) project, named one of the CGIAR’s top innovations and also the recipient of the FAO INFOODS Success Story Award 2015. I am on the Advisory Board of the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty (TIP), an Associate of the Climate Ready Initiative, Griffith University, Australia, a Senior Technical Adviser (Sustainable Food Systems) for Seeds for All and the Research Working Group lead for the Pacific School Food Network. I am also the Alliance Focal Point for the Global Hub on Indigenous Peoples Food Systems and the Rome Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples.
I hold a PhD in Agriculture from the University of Sydney and I am an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, University of Sydney and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Sustainable Agriculture at Charles Sturt University, Australia.