Action Against Hunger’s Technical Director, Silke Pietzsch, has worked in the humanitarian and development sectors since 1998, specializing in food security and livelihoods and emergency nutrition programs.
Ms. Pietzsch has worked in Action Against Hunger’s U.S. headquarters since 2008, initially as the agency’s Senior Food Security & Livelihoods Advisor, and later as the organization's Technical Director. She currently oversees all technical aspects of the organization’s work, providing policy expertise, positioning, and representation in international forums, and leadership in emerging sectors like cash transfer programs in emergency and recovery contexts. Ms. Pietzsch manages the organization’s Nutrition & Health, Food Security & Livelihoods, Water/Sanitation and Hygiene, Resilience/Disaster Risk Management, Cash & Markets, Social Behavior Change, and Research teams. She also sits on the Board of the Cash Learning Partnership and the Global Steering Committee of the Integrated Phase Classification of Food Security in Emergencies (IPC).
Ms. Pietzsch started her career with the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), working in India and Nepal to improve drought-resistant seed varieties for subsistence farming communities subject to erratic rainy seasons. In 2000, she worked for Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), carrying out community development work in Nepal and Sri Lanka, before joining Action Against Hunger to launch programs in Malawi and Zimbabwe while facilitating exploratory missions into Swaziland and Lesotho.
Ms. Pietzsch next worked in a range of contexts with Oxfam Great Britain, supporting the agency’s response to floods in Bangladesh, India and Nepal in 2004; post-tsunami relief efforts in India and the Nicobar and Andaman Islands in 2005; food security activities to counter the droughts and food shortages that afflicted Niger and Mali in 2005; and livelihood support programs in response to the regional climate problems affecting East Africa in 2006. Ms. Pietzsch rejoined Action Against Hunger in 2006, working in Niger as a Food Security & Livelihoods Coordinator overseeing a range of programs designed to improve agro-pastoral production: enhanced farming techniques and seed varieties, natural resource management (e.g., agro-forestry), income diversification for vulnerable groups, and contributions to national and regional surveillance systems, including GIS remote sensing in pastoral areas as part of early warning systems.
A native of Germany, Ms. Pietzsch holds a MSc in Food Science and Household Economy from the University of Kiel, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.