Iodine Global Network (IGN)

New Executive Director for IGN

IGN appoints Werner Schultink as Executive Director

IGN is pleased to announce that Dr. Werner Schultink has joined us as Executive Director, replacing Dr. Jonathan Gorstein.

Dr. Schultink has had broad experience in nutrition, public health, development and humanitarian programme implementation. He was Chief of Nutrition for UNICEF from 2007 to 2016, providing leadership, guidance and strategic direction for UNICEF nutrition programs worldwide. He has also served as Chief of Nutrition and Early Child development for UNICEF India from February 2003-2007.

Most recently, he has been UNICEF Country Representative in Somalia, and before that he worked as Country Representative in Kenya from 2016-2019, leading the implementation of UNICEF’s programs in these countries. As Senior Advisor for Micronutrients at UNICEF from 1999 to 2003, he helped improve micronutrient nutrition worldwide, including iodine nutrition.

With a scientific background focussed on nutrition, epidemiology and public health, he has provided guidance and leadership on strategic program implementation and capacity building for countries around the world.

He has a doctorate degree in Nutrition from Wageningen University and lives in Canada.

Our new Regional Coordinator for South Asia is Dr. Renuka Jayatissa

Dr. Jayatissa joined Sri Lanka’s Medical Research Institute (MRI) in 1997 as a consultant community physician. She did her in-service training in nutrition at the University of London/Royal London hospital, returning to Sri Lanka to create the National Iodine Laboratory at MRI and conducting her country’s first national iodine survey in 2000. She led four more national iodine surveys, sparking public policy changes that resulted in the elimination of iodine deficiency in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Jayatissa worked with UNICEF on nutrition in Sri Lanka and then returned to MRI as Head of Nutrition, where she successfully advocated for the establishment of MSc and MD in nutrition postgraduate training programs, leading to There are now 150 physicians, who were trained in nutrition under the guidance of Renuka, embodying her vision across Sri Lanka.

Renuka has profoundly impacted the field of iodine in Sri Lanka. Her vision as the new Regional Coordinator for South Asia is to strengthen the iodisation programme in supporting monitoring systems to align with salt reduction strategy, thus sustaining iodine nutrition in Asia.