UW-Madison Cooperative Extension recently named Amber Canto director of the Extension Institute for Health and Wellbeing. The Institute Director is responsible for providing creative, administrative and visionary leadership for Health and Wellbeing programming within Cooperative Extension, working with county-based educators, FoodWIse educators and staff, specialists and partners across the state.
Canto has been with Wisconsin Cooperative Extension since 2011, as the UW-Extension Poverty & Food Security Specialist with Family Living Programs and as the FoodWIse State Program Coordinator providing administrative oversight and leadership to the EFNEP and SNAP-Ed grants. In these roles, she has sought opportunities for interdisciplinary programming and applied research, with an emphasis on addressing environmental, policy and systems approaches to healthy food access and availability, food security and socio-economic disparities in health outcomes.
Previous to that, Canto worked as a Nutrition Consultant for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Dominican Republic, where she coordinated infant and young child feeding interventions along the Haitian-Dominican border.
She holds a Master of Public Health & Global Health Certificate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Spanish from UW-Madison. Canto spent much of her childhood in Waunakee.
Canto will be starting her new position on July 1.