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UNF’s Dr. Lauri Wright named 2022-23 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics president-elect

Headshot of Dr. Lauri Wright

Dr. Lauri Wright, University of North Florida Department of Nutrition and Dietetics chair, has been named the 2022-23 president-elect of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

The Academy represents more than 112,000 credentialed practitioners — registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered, and other food and nutrition professionals holding undergraduate and advanced degrees in nutrition and dietetics, and students — and is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of nutrition and dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

Wright has served as an Academy’s delegate and national spokesperson, and a past president of the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND). Serving as the Academy spokesperson for eight years, Wright has participated in hundreds of media interviews, translating nutrition science into information consumers understand and can apply.

In addition to her role as department chair and associate professor at UNF, Wright is the director of UNF’s Center for Nutrition and Food Security, and co-director of the Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN) program.

Her research interests include food-insecure individuals, malnutrition, global nutrition and the nutritional needs of people with HIV/AIDS. She has published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed journals.

She has spent the last decade working in malnutrition in developing countries including Uganda, India, Dominican Republic, Belize, and Ghana. For the past five years, she has collaborated with the University of Ghana to provide training to Ghanaian dietitians, provide nutrition care in hospitals and the community, and provide transformational learning experiences for UNF nutrition and dietetics students.

One of Wright’s most passionate projects is her work with the UNF Meals on Wings program. The innovative program recovers unused food from hospitals, repackages into healthful meals, and delivers to homebound older adults on the waitlist for Meals on Wheels. The student-run program has provided 50,000 meals to older adults in the Jacksonville community.

Wright previously worked as an assistant professor at University of South Florida, College of Public Health. Prior to that she founded and directed the dietetic internship at Bay Pines VA Hospital. She also worked as a clinical dietitian at the Tampa VA Hospital, providing medical nutrition therapy for veterans with chronic disease and specializing in infectious disease.

Wright received her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida, a coordinated master’s degree/dietetic internship at Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland VA Hospital, and her bachelor’s in dietetics from The Ohio State University.