Chessa Lutter is a senior nutrition researcher and senior fellow at RTI. Based on more than 30 years working in maternal and child nutrition with the World Health Organization and academic and non-governmental institutions, Dr. Lutter’s research and program expertise have helped shape the public dialogue around breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and the prevention of child undernutrition and obesity through more than 75 scholarly articles, book chapters, and commentaries. She is currently involved with "Examining the Complex Dynamics Influencing Acute Malnutrition in Turkana and Samburu Counties," a longitudinal mixed-methods study to support community-driven activity design; "Responsive Feeding: Development of an Indicator;" and a project dedicated to updating Global Guidance on Complementary Feeding.
A major focus of Dr. Lutter’s work has been applying nutrition sciences and epidemiology to improve maternal and child health in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. She joined RTI in 2017 after 19 years with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization’s regional office for the Americas. At PAHO, she worked with Ministries of Health throughout Latin America and the Caribbean as well as with UNICEF, the World Food Program, and numerous nongovernmental organizations to implement programs and policies aimed at preventing obesity, promoting breastfeeding, and ensuring good nutrition for mothers, infants, and children.
Dr. Lutter’s background also includes positions with Wellstart International and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. She is a member of the American Society of Nutrition and the International Nutrition Council. In addition, she has published over 75 scholarly articles and book chapters. A skilled communicator, Dr. Lutter has prepared television and radio briefings on maternal and child nutrition in English and Spanish and frequently speaks at events worldwide.
Senior Fellow, Food Security & Agriculture
PhD, Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
MS, Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
BS, Conservation of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley