- June 17, 2017
I started my career in technology, working on artificial intelligence and database systems in São Paulo, Brazil. In the early 2000s, I became involved with an education-focused nonprofit and that eye-opening experience instilled in me the aspiration to transition to the social sector.
I vividly remember Vicente to this day, an eight-year-old boy who proudly showed me written sentences in his notebook. These writings seemed unremarkable to me – until I learned later on that Vicente had been considered a deeply troubled child, unable to read or write and frequently trying to escape from school, until he started to attend our afterschool program and benefitted from the education, nutritious food, and love offered there.
That set me off on what ended up being a 10-year journey to fully align my strengths, values, and passion. I attended business school at Duke University and went on to management consulting and strategic marketing roles in the private sector before joining PATH, a global health NGO, in 2012. At PATH, I was honored to lead the rice fortification effort that culminated with fortified rice becoming PATH’s first consumer product to break the 3 million consumer mark and reaching over 4 million beneficiaries in Brazil, India, Myanmar, and Cambodia. I also co-led the development of an interdisciplinary nutrition innovation strategy, resulting in a whole new area of opportunity for the organization including projects on edible insects and fermented foods in Ghana and Senegal.
“A healthy body is the foundation for all human achievement. Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Einstein’s general relativity, Mandela’s liberation of South Africa, as well as the daily contribution of billions through their work – all rest on that foundation. And it all starts with consumption of nutritious foods in the first 1,000 days. Affording this opportunity to every child and mother, no matter where they are born, is what fuels my passion for nutrition.” – Peiman Milani
I was delighted to join Sight and Life in January 2017 to lead public-private partnerships, one of the keys for effective, scalable, and sustainable approaches to address malnutrition. Engaging with my teammates and partners to improve nutrition outcomes globally is an enormous source of inspiration and joy for me.