2017 – Judy Canahuati

In by Erin Murray

As a Social Anthropologist, Judy has brought a thoughtful and human-centered approach to the behavior change work she has supported for optimal child nutrition and development for over 30 years. Starting with her work with La Leche League International in Honduras and continuing with Wellstart International, she has impressed all with her dedication to promoting mother-to-mother support (and providing personal support!) for breastfeeding. Her commitment continued and expanded in her work with CARE USA and during the last 12 years with USAID Food for Peace. She has supported such diverse areas as preparing a case study on LAM, facilitating training in the Community Therapeutic Care approach in its initial days, promoting nutrition as an active member of PEPFAR Food & Nutrition Technical Working Group and as coordinator of interagency meetings on food aid nutrition and quality assurance. She has been a strong voice in many more activities, too numerous to mention. Throughout her career she has readily shared her knowledge with others, providing encouragement to all who seek to contribute to the goal of improved child and maternal nutrition.

Judy has worked tirelessly on protecting and promoting breastfeeding in all her work, both in development and in emergency response. She was, and still is, an incredible asset to USAID/FFP and to the nutrition community. Her understanding of emergency and development, as well as the continuum between them, is very rare in our community. Judy dedicated her life to public health nutrition, directly working in the field and through different positions in Washington DC with worldwide influence. She is a strong advocator for breastfeeding, prevention and treatment of SAM, design of RUTF, and indicators to be used for individual and population assessments. She deserves this award and many others.