Andrea Spray, MPH ’11, Changes Lives as a Nutrition Specialist with the World Bank

Alumni; Public Health

​Andrea Spray was working in the corporate world for seven years, at the agricultural giant Monsanto. When she had the opportunity to involve herself in a project related to her company’s human rights policy, Andrea saw that her efforts there could have a positive impact on the lives of millions of workers around the world.

“It snagged my heart. I loved doing qualitative research; I loved working with people; I loved doing work that mattered—work that made someone else’s life better.  I just wanted more of it.

“A friend of mine was just finishing up her MPH and, through her, I learned about the field of Public Health. The more I looked into the Brown School, the more excited I got. The more people I talked to, the more it seemed actually feasible.For me it was just one of those serendipitous things. I was ready for the next big thing and every step along the way it felt more and more like the right move to make.

“But ultimately what sealed the deal for me was access to financial assistance. I was awarded a full-tuition scholarship in Health Communications. Walking away from a successful career was not easy. The scholarship made it possible; indeed it made it impossible to pass up. I knew I would never again in my life have the opportunity that I had before me.”

As a student, Andrea quickly distinguished herself with her focus on global nutrition. She used her practicum experience to carry out a study for Helen Keller International looking at geographical barriers to vitamin A supplementation among hard-to-reach communities in Nigeria.

After graduation, Andrea worked as a consultant on global issues of undernutrition before becoming a senior nutrition advisor for USAID’s flagship 5-year nutrition project, SPRING (Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally) with Save the Children.

Andrea now serves as a nutrition specialist at the World Bank, where her work with the SecureNutrition Knowledge Platform focuses on multisectoral approaches to improving nutrition outcomes in low- and middle-income client countries.