About Us

SECRETARIAT:The Secretariat of the Global Child Development Group is located at the Caribbean Child Development Centre, Open Campus, University of the West Indies, Jamaica. The Secretariat serves as the co-ordination and information centre for the ongoing activities of the group. The focus is on identifying and presenting evidence based information on risk factors for child development, new intervention and program approaches and evaluations. It is directed by two steering committee members, Prof. Julie Meeks and Prof. Susan Walker, both faculty at the University of the West Indies. The Secretariat activities are co-ordinated by Dr. Priya Anaokar, Knowledge Specialist, Global Child Development Group.

Remembering Pat Engle


Patrice L. Engle was a professor of Psychology and Child Development at California Polytechnic State University. She was a developmental psychologist specializing in the relationships between nutrition and child development, and women’s status and empowerment, and the evaluation international early child development programs. She was involved in an evaluation of Care for Development (an intervention that is part of the Health Sector) in Central Asia, and in ECD Policy Development in Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University… more

Click here for her key publications



  • Alderman Harold – World Bank, USA
  • Baker – Henningham Helen – The University of the West Indies, Jamaica
  • Behrman Jere – University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Cabral de Mello Meena – World Health Organization, Switzerland
  • Carter Julie – University College, UK
  • Chang – Lopez Susan – The University of the West Indies, Jamaica
  • Cheung Yin Bun – London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, UK
  • Cueto Santiago – Group for the Analyses of Development, Peru
  • Ertem IIgi – Ankara University School of Medicine, Turkey
  • Fernald Lia – University of California, USA
  • Gertler Paul – University of California, USA
  • Glewwe Paul – University of Minnesota, USA
  • Grover Deepa – UNICEF
  • Hamadani Jena – ICDDR, Bangladesh
  • Holden Wayne – Research Triangle Institute, USA
  • Huffman Sandy – Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, China
  • Hurley Kristen – University of Maryland
  • Iltus Selim – Bernard Van Leer Foundation, Netherlands
  • Jolly Richard – University of Sussex, UK
  • Kapiriri Lydia – University of Toronto, Canada
  • King Elizabeth – World Bank
  • Lombardi Joan – ACF, US Dept of Health and Human Services, Washington DC
  • Martorell Reynaldo – Emory University, USA
  • Myers Bob – Tlalcoligia, Mexico
  • Nelson Charles – Harvard Medical School, USA
  • Nsamenang Bame – University of Yaoundé
  • O’Gara Chloe – Save the Children, USA
  • Pollitt Ernesto – University of California, USA
  • Powell Christine – The University of the West Indies, Jamaica
  • Rahman Atif – University of Liverpool, UK
  • Richter Linda – Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa
  • Rudan Igor – Croatian Centre for Global Health
  • Schofield Dominic – Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Switzerland
  • Strupp Barbara – Cornell University, USA
  • Ulkuer Nurper – UNICEF HQ, USA
  • Vazir Shahnaz – National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR), India
  • Wasserman Gail – Columbia University, USA
  • Young Mary – World Bank, USA
  • Yousafzai Aisha – Aga Khan University, Pakistan

Steering Committee

Professor Maureen Black

Professor Maureen Black is a Professor of Paediatrics. She is the Director at the Growth and Nutrition Clinic, University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is also a Professor at the Department of Paediatrics at the same school and an adjunct Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County as well as at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, John Hopkins University. She is also a Professor at the University of MD, School of Medicine. Professor Black has contributed in the capacity of a President at PACT, Serving Children with Special Needs, Inc, Child, Youth and Family Services, American Psychological Association and the Society of Paediatric Psychology. She has been a fellow with the American Psychological Association (1995) and American Psychological Society (1997).She has been a scholar in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio, Italy (1998). She was also the recipient of the University of Maryland Regent’s Award for Excellence in Inter-institutional collaboration (2002). She has a PhD in Psychology from Emory University.

Click here for her key publications

Dr. Lia C. H. Fernald

Lia C. H. Fernald is an Associate Professor in Community Health and Human Development at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a Ph.D. in international nutrition and child development from the University of London and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on health management. Dr. Fernald was a Fulbright Scholar in Jamaica and has been working in the field of public health nutrition for over fifteen years focusing specifically on children in developing countries. Her research focuses primarily on how inequalities in socio-economic position contribute to growth and developmental outcomes in children, and secondarily, on how interventions can address socio-economic and health disparities. The majority of her research has been focused on the examination of large samples of low-income populations in rural and urban Mexico, Ecuador, South Africa and Madagascar. Much of her work for the past decade has centered on looking at the effects conditional cash transfer programs, microcredit interventions, and community based nutrition interventions and their effects on child development.Click here for her key publications
Professor Sally McGregor

Professor Sally Grantham-McGregor is Emeritus Professor of International Child Health at the Institute of Child Health, University College London and Honorary Professor at University of the West Indies. She has served as a Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Lancet Series on Child Development in Developing Countries (2005-2007) and of the Subcommittee of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences on Nutrition and Mental Development (1994-2002). She has also been the recipient of several awards including the UNICEF Caribbean Award for Excellence in Child Research (2006), Caribbean health research Council, special award for “ Outstanding achievements in research in nutrition and child development” (2002) and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, UK,2001. She has provided consultancies to UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, PAHO, Wellcome Trust, WFP, IDB, Ford Foundation, U.S.A amongst others. She has a MD from the University of London, backed by a Diploma in Public Health from the University of the West Indies and FRCP from the Royal College of Physicians, London.Click here for her key publications
Professor Julie Meeks Gardner

Julie Meeks Gardner is Professor of Child Development and Nutrition, Head of the Caribbean Child Development Centre, and Director of the Consortium for Social Development and Research of the University of the West Indies, Open Campus. Her work has focused on child development and behaviour of children in difficult circumstances. She carried out longitudinal observations of stunted children and examined their behavioural responses to nutritional supplementation and psychosocial stimulation, including interactions with their caregivers, other adults and children. She has studied the multiplicative effects of lead coupled with undernutrition, and the benefits of zinc supplementation on the growth, morbidity and development of undernourished children. More recently Prof. Meeks has focused on issues of children and violence, including the developmental trajectory of aggression and violence among children in a developing country, the effects of violence on child development, and assessing interventions which benefit aggressive behaviour. The Centre has also started a program of research related to the psychosocial effects of HIV. Prof. Meeks serves the University of the West Indies in a number of capacities, including on the Senate, the Open Campus Council and the Appointments Committee. She also represents the UWI at the regional level on the CARICOM Working Group for Early Childhood, and serves on many boards, agencies and committees in Jamaica.Click here for her key publications
Professor Ted Wachs

Theodore D. Wachs is Professor of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University. He received his PhD in Psychology from George Peabody College in 1968. In 1995-1996 he was a Golestan Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and in 2003 he was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at the Centre for International Child Health, University of London. Currently he is a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Behavioral Development and the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. His research focuses on: (1) Chaotic family environments and infant development; (2) Micro-nutrient deficiencies in infancy and cognitive and social-emotional development; (3) Temperament in infancy and childhood. In addition to his research in the United States he has also been involved in research projects in Egypt, Jamaica and Peru. He has authored or co-edited 9 books, numerous book chapters and over 90 research and review articles in scientific and professional journals.Click here for his key publications
Professor Susan Walker

Susan Walker, PhD is Professor of Nutrition at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. She heads the Child Development Research Group in the Epidemiology Research Unit, Tropical Medicine Research Institute, UWI. The group’s research focuses on psychosocial and nutritional factors that affect children’s cognition, behaviour and educational achievement and on the development and evaluation of interventions to improve children’s development. This work has influenced the policy and programs of international agencies. Her recent research includes the long term effects of undernutrition on cognitive and psychological functioning in young adulthood and follow-up to age 22 years of children who participated in a randomised trial of early childhood interventions. This study has shown that a home visiting stimulation program delivered by community health workers has sustained benefits for cognition, education and psychological functioning. Other research areas include the development of term low birth weight infants and interventions to promote social and emotional competence in young children.Click here for her key publications

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