For over 30 years, Shirley Chao was the Director of Nutrition Services at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. During her tenure, the Massachusetts Elderly Nutrition Program expanded to 10 million meals a year without a waiting list due to food cost or supply issues. She is a firm believer of collaboration with local communities and started an annual regional nutrition/COA training conference in 2016. Currently, she serves as co-chair of the Massachusetts Commission on Malnutrition Prevention Among Older Adults. She was on the Executive Board of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) and was the past Chair of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Health Aging DPG. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics and served as an external reviewer for the 2020-2025 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans. She has authored, co-authored, and reviewed books and journal articles related to nutrition services for older adults.
Dr. Chao received her doctoral degree from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy of Tufts University.