Dr. Ruth Oniang’o
Board Chair, Sasakawa Africa Association; Professor of Nutrition; Former Member of Parliament in Kenya
Dr. Ruth Oniang’o is the board chair of the Sasakawa Africa Association, which was founded by Winrock board member Norman Borlaug, Japanese philanthropist Ryoichi Sasakawa and former United States President Jimmy Carter. In 1991, Winrock partnered with the association to create the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE), which has spread to nine countries and graduated 4,000 mid-career extension agents. Dr. Oniang’o has worked to define and expand the program.
A professor of nutrition and former member of Parliament in Kenya, Dr. Oniang’o spearheaded the completion of Kenya’s food and nutrition policy. She is the founding director of the Rural Outreach Program, which provides small farmers in Africa with the resources they need to be productive. She also founded the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development and currently serves as its editor-in-chief. She was the 2017 African Food Prize laureate and is a trustee of the board for the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and the Kilimo Trust.
Dr. Oniang’o received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human nutrition from Washington State University; a doctoral degree in food science and nutrition from the University of Nairobi in Kenya; and an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.