Francesco Branca

Francesco Branca

Director Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, World Health Organization


Francesco Branca is the Director of the Department of Nutrition and Food safety in the World Health Organization, Geneva (since February 2020). From 2008 to 2019, he was the Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. During this period, WHO has developed a WHO Nutrition strategy, established a new nutrition guideline development process and has developed a Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition with six global targets. He has been leading the preparation of the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition and the Secretariat of the Decade of Action on Nutrition. Before that, in 2005-2008, Dr Branca was the Regional Advisor for Nutrition at the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Between 1988 and 2005, he has been a Senior Scientist at the Italian Food and Nutrition research Institute where he was leading studies on the effects of food and nutrients on human health at the different stages of the life cycle and on the impact of public health nutrition programmes. He has been President of the Federation of the European Nutrition Societies in 2003-2007. In 1985-1986, Dr Branca has been a medical staff of a Primary Health Care project in the South of Somalia ran by the Italian NGO, CISP. Dr Branca graduated in Medicine and Surgery and specialized in Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases at the Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma and obtained a Msc and then a PhD in Nutrition at Aberdeen University.

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Food and nutrition

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