David Pelletier


David Pelletier

212 Savage Hall
Phone: (607) 255-1086
Email: dlp5@cornell.edu
View Cornell University Contact Info
Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

My interests relate to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of nutrition policy, primarily in low and middle income countries.  I approach this work from a transdisciplinary, engaged and problem-oriented perspective, in which the key research questions and choice of methods emerges in the course of engaging with policy and program actors at global, national or sub-national levels.  This approach is guided by robust theoretical frameworks and ensures that the research is responsive to real-world concerns and more likely to be understood, valued and used by those responsible for policies and programs.

Teaching and Advising Statement:

There is a saying that "the world has problems and universities have departments." (aka disciplines).  When it comes to food, nutrition and health problems we must go beyond disciplinary knowledge, indeed beyond the walls of the university, to find possible solutions.  This perspective underlies my approach to knowledge, teaching and advising: problem-oriented, transdisciplinary and contextual.   This not only prepares students to be more effective professionals and problem-oriented researchers, it also is a more interesting and engaging way to teach and learn.

Current Professional Activities:

Cornell University Graduate Field Active Membership: Nutrition; Epidemiology; Public Affairs; International Development

Professional Societies:

American Society for Nutrition

Member, Executive Council, Society for the Policy Sciences, 2001-03 and 2016.

Associate Editor, Food Security, 2014-present.

President, Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition, 2016-17



Current Research Activities:

Recent and current research activities: Improved methods for nutrition policy analysis and development; mainstreaming nutrition in Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala, Vietnam and Bangladesh; policy commitment for addressing the dual-burden of malnutrition in Nigeria; development and testing of a micronutrient program assessment tool; evaluation and strengthening of the World Vision mobile clinic program in Haiti; exploring the potential for boundary-spanning agents to enhance policy implementation in complex adaptive stakeholder systems in Burkina Faso, Mali, Ethiopia and Uganda; and a project to strengthen the theory and practice of nutrition policy advocacy in seven SE Asian countries as well as Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.

Current Public Engagement Activities:

My public engagement goals are to develop, promote and apply improved methods for policy analysis, development and implementation, primarily in low and middle income countries.  I maintain an active portfolio of public engagement activities for this purpose, including interactions with institutions such as the Scaling Up Nutrition Secretariat (Geneva, Swtizerland), the nutrition units in international organizations such as The World Bank, WHO, UNICEF, USAID, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition, The International Food Policy Research Institute, the National Information Platforms for Nutrition and the governments of countries where i have research collaborations. In addition, i pursue these goals through my role as current President of the Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition.



PhD, 1984 - Pennsylvania State University, Anthropology
MA, 1979 - Pennsylvania State University, Anthropology
BA, 1977 -  University of Arizona, Anthropology
BS, 1977 -  University of Arizona, Biology

Courses Taught:

NS4600: Explorations in Global Health

NS4800: Implementation and Impact in Global and Public Health (through Cornell in Washington)

Administrative Responsibilities:

Curriculum Committee, Division of Nutritional Sciences

Director, Cornell in Washington Program 

Member, Iscol Advisory Committee, College of Human Ecology, 2001-


Selected Publications:

Bryce, J., Coitinho, Denise, Darnton-Hill, I., Pelletier, DL., Pinstrup-Andersen, P.. (2008).Maternal and Child Undernutrition: Effective Action at the National Level.  Lancet 371(9611):510-526.

Pelletier,D., Frongillo, D., Frongillo, EA., Gervais, SG., Menon, P., Ngo, T. (2011). The Nutrition Policy Process: The Role of Strategic Capacity in Advancing National Nutrition Agendas. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 32(2): S59-S69.

Hoey, L and Pelletier, D. (2011) Bolivia’s Multisectoral Zero Malnutrition Program: Insights on Commitment, Collaboration and Capacities.  Food and Nutrition Bulletin 32(2): S70-S81.

Hoey, L and Pelletier, D. (2011) The Management of Conflict in Nutrition Policy Formulation: Choosing Growth Monitoring Indicators in the Context of Dual Burden.  Food and Nutrition Bulletin 32(2): S82-S91.

Hill, R., Gonzalez, W and Pelletier, D.  (2011) The Formulation of Consensus on Nutrition Policy: Policy Actors’ Perspectives on Good Process. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 32(2): S92-S104. 

Menon, P, Pelletier, D., Frongillo, EA, Stoltzfus, RJ, Ahmed, S, Ahmed, T.  (2011) Assessment for of Epidemiological, Operational, and Sociopolitical Domains for Mainstreaming Nutrition.  Food and Nutrition Bulletin 32(2): S105-S114.

Porter, C and Pelletier, DL. (2012) Finding Common Ground: Perspectives on Community-Based Childhood Obesity Prevention.  Health Promotion Practice 13(6):826-34.

Levitt, EJ, Pelletier, DL, Dufour, C and Pell A.  (2011). Harmonizing agriculture and health sector actions to improve household nutrition: policy experiences from Afghanistan (2002–2007). Food Security DOI 10.1007/s12571-011-0135-2.

Pelletier, D, Corsi, C, Hoey, L, Faillace, S and Houston, R. (2011) The Program Assessment Guide: An Approach for Structuring Contextual Knowledge and Experience to Improve the Design, Delivery and Effectiveness of Nutrition Interventions. Journal of Nutrition 141(11): 2084-2091.

Pelletier, DL, Porter, CM, Aarons, GA, Wuehler, SE and Neufeld, LM (2013). Expanding the Frontiers of Population Nutrition Research: New Questions, New Methods and New Approaches. Advances in Nutrition4:92-114.

Pelletier, D, Sarkar, S, Haider, R, Hajeebhoy, N, Mwadime, R. (2013).  The Principles and Practices of Nutrition Advocacy:  Evidence, Experience and the Way Forward.  Maternal and Child Nutrition 9(suppl 2):83-100.

Pelletier, DL: and Neuman, MJ. (2013). Advancing the Nutrition and Early Childhood Development Agenda: Indicators and Guidance.  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Oct 23. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12288. [Epub ahead of print].

Pelletier, DL and Pelto, GP.  (2013). From Efficacy Research to Large-Scale Impact on Undernutrition: The Role of Organizational Cultures.  Advances in Nutrition 4(6):687-696

Pelletier, DL: and Neuman, MJ. (2014). Advancing the Nutrition and Early Childhood Development Agenda: Indicators and Guidance. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1308: 232–244. 

Pelletier, DL. (2014.). Food and nutrition policy: A biological anthropologist’s experiences from an academic platform. American Journal of Human Biology (DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22523).

 Menon, P, Covic, N.M., Harrigan, P.B., Horton, S.E.,  Kazi, N.M., Lamstein, S, Neufeld, L, Oakley, E and Pelletier, D.L. 2014.  “Strengthening Implementation and Utilization of Nutrition Interventions Through Research: A Framework and Research Agenda.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences doi: 10.1111/nyas.12447.

Pham, J. and Pelletier, D.L.,  (2015). “Mode 2 Approaches to Population Nutrition Research in Select Nutrition and Public Health Journals.”  Global Health Science and Practice 3(2):287-299.

Bliss, J., Njenga, M., Stoltzfus, R. and Pelletier, D. (2015).  “Stigma as a barrier to the treatment for child acute malnutrition in Marsabit County, Kenya.”  Maternal and Child Nutrition, DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12198.

Tumilowicz, A., Pelletier, D.L., Pelto, G and J.P. Habicht.  (2015). “Combination of biological factors and care behaviors may lead to differences in the timing of growth stunting between indigenous Guatemalan girls and boys.”  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 102:1249–58.

Shiffman, J, Quissell, K, Schmitz, HP., Pelletier, DL, Smith, SL, Berlan, D, Gneiting, U, Slyke, DV, Mergel, I, Rodriguez, M, and Walt, G.  (2015). “A framework on the emergence and effectiveness of global health networks.”  Health Policy and Planning, doi: 10.1093/heapol/czu046

Shiffman, J, Quissell, K, Schmitz, HP., Pelletier, DL, Smith, SL, Berlan, D, Gneiting, U, Slyke, DV, Mergel, I, Rodriguez, M, and Walt, G.  (2015). “The emergence and effectiveness of global health networks: findings and future research.” Accepted in Health Policy and Planning.

Michaud-Letourneau, I., and Pelletier, DL. (n.d.). “Multisectoral approaches for nutrition: A Q methodology study to explore the perspectives of national key leaders on the coordination challenges in Mozambique.” Food Policy (under revision).

Bliss, J. Stoltzfus, R. and Pelletier, D. (n.d,).  “Impact of an emergency cash transfer program on child diet and weight gain during a food crisis: Results of a quasi-experimental longitudinal study in Niger.” Global Health Science and Practice (being re-submitted).

Phillips, E., Stoltzfus, R., and Pelletier, DL. (n.d.).  “Do mobile clinics provide quality antenatal care? A comparison with fixed clinics in central Haiti?”  Submitted to BioMed Central: Pregnancy and Childbirth.

Kambarami, RA.,Mbuya, M, Pelletier,D.,  Fundira, D., Tavengwa,N., Stoltzfus, RJ.  Factors associated with village health worker performance differ by task in a multi-tasked setting in rural Zimbabwe.  Submitted to Global Healt Science and Practice 42(2):238-50.

Omotayo MO, Dickin KL, Pelletier DL, Martin SL, Kung’u JK, Stoltzfus RJ. Feasibility of Integrating Calcium and Iron-Folate Supplementation to Prevent Preeclampsia and Anemia in Pregnancy in Primary Healthcare Facilities in Kenya. Maternal and Child Nutrition (in press).

 Omotayo MO, Dickin KL, Pelletier DL, Cassano PA, Mwanga E, Kung’u JK, Stoltzfus RJ . Impact of Dosing Regimen on Ante-natal Calcium Supplement Consumption: A Cluster-Randomized, Non-Inferiority Trial in Western Kenya. (in preparation)

Fox, EL, Pelto GP, Rasmussen KM, Young SL, Rouzier V, Debrosse GM, Pape JW, Pelletier DL. Who knows what – An exploration of the infant feeding message environment and intra-cultural differences in message salience between health workers, HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected mothers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Submitted to Maternal and Child Nutrition.

Schuster RC, de Sousa OL, Reme AK, Vopelak CM, Pelletier DL, Johnson LM, Mbuya MN, Pinault D, Young SL. Performance-based incentives improve teamwork and empower health workers delivering prevention of vertical transmission of HIV services in rural Mozambique. Submitted to Global Health Science and Practice.


Theobald, S, Brandes, N, Gyapong, M, El-Saharty, S, Proctor, E, Diaz, T, Wanji, S, Elloker, S, Elsey, H, Bharal, S, Pelletier and D, Peters, DH. Implementation Research and Delivery Science (IRDS): New Imperatives and Opportunities.  Submitted to The Lancet


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Selected Keywords:
nutrition policy, policy analysis, policy development, implementation science, malnutrition, maternal and child nutrition, global health

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.