Dr. Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted

Dr. Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted is the Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at WorldFish, a One CGIAR entity. She was awarded the 2021 World Food Prize for her ground-breaking research, critical insights, and landmark innovations in developing holistic, nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquatic food systems. She also received the 2021 Arrell Global Food Innovation Award for research innovation. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and Vice Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021: Action Track 4 - Advance Equitable Livelihoods, and also a Food Systems Champion.

Dr. Thilsted studied at the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine in Trinidad where she earned a BSc. in Tropical Agriculture in 1971. She began both her career and her life’s theme of making strides within and for a developing society as the first and only female agricultural officer in the Tobago Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries. Two years later, she returned to Trinidad and took on her first research-centred job at The UWI’s Faculty of Natural Sciences.

She holds a PhD from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

She has taught and researched at the University of Dar es Salaam and the Sokoine University in Tanzania as an FAO Associate Expert; and then as the Associate Head.

Several of her projects have been funded by organizations such as USAID, the African Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Thilsted was closely involved in the organization of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, guiding the Summit's work related to building sustainable and equitable food systems. She is also involved with the Global Action Network in mobilizing activities for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025).