The former Special Advisor to the UK government’s Secretary of State for International Development and Deputy CEO of Plan International UK joins The Power of Nutrition this week as CEO, along with Dr. Alok Ranjan from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who will become the new Director of Investments
LONDON, 20 January 2021 – The Power of Nutrition, a charitable foundation committed to ending undernutrition through innovative financing and partnerships, this week welcomes Simon Bishop as its new CEO. Simon will lead the organisation’s efforts to broker partnerships and mobilise new and diverse funds for nutrition programmes that deliver transformational impact for mothers and children in developing countries.
Simon is a former Special Advisor to the UK Government’s Secretary of State for International Development and most recently was Deputy CEO at Plan International UK, one of the world’s largest children’s charities. He has also held senior positions at The Shell Foundation, The United Nations Foundation and The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation.
The organisation also announces the appointment of Dr. Alok Ranjan as Director of Investments, responsible for leading The Power of Nutrition’s work convening experienced implementing partners, governments, and other stakeholders to deliver nutrition programmes at scale. Alok was recently the Nutrition Country Lead in India for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, having previously worked at UNICEF.
Simon and Alok join at an important time in The Power of Nutrition’s journey. Over the past decade, the world has made extraordinary progress reducing child undernutrition, with the number of under-5s suffering from undernutrition falling from about 1 in 3 in 2000 to 1 in 5 by 2019. However, more than 144 million under-5s still suffer from stunting – and Covid-19 is projected to cause a steep rise in this figure in developing countries. With 2021 the ‘Nutrition for Growth Year of Action’, it is a critical period for increasing funding and prioritisation of nutrition to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, while making much-needed progress towards the World Health Organization’s Global Nutrition Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Power of Nutrition’s nutrition programmes are currently reaching over 48 million women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia – transforming children’s lives through nutrition interventions that focus on the formative first 1,000 days of life. Through its unique match-funding model and convening partnerships between the private and public sectors, The Power of Nutrition has mobilised over $475 million since its formation in 2015 to fund sustainable, large-scale programmes that tackle undernutrition at every level for lasting change.
Commenting on the appointments, Hon Mike Rann, Chairman of The Power of Nutrition’s Board of Trustees, said: “We are delighted to have Simon and Alok join the team at this critical time to help advance our mission and work with partners to place nutrition at the heart of global development plans. Investing in early life nutrition is vital to rebuilding the economies of vulnerable communities and strengthening health systems that have been pushed to breaking point. In only five years, The Power of Nutrition has successfully led the charge in driving co-investments to tackle undernutrition, and we look forward to continued growth of our portfolio under an even stronger leadership team.”
On commencing his new role, Simon said: “I am absolutely thrilled to join The Power of Nutrition in what is a critical year for nutrition, with Covid-19 projected to roll back progress made tackling undernutrition in the last 20 years. No child should suffer from stunting in the 21st century. In just its first five years, The Power of Nutrition has made a significant contribution to global efforts to tackle undernutrition. I am incredibly excited by the prospect of helping The Power of Nutrition’s amazing team to make an even greater positive difference to the world’s most vulnerable children and mothers.”