Dr. Clifton Kenon, Jr. is a dedicated lactation consultant and avid breastfeeding supporter. A registered nurse by training, he led the first hospitals within the Indian Health Service to become Baby Friendly, as well as the first and only hospitals within the states of North and South Dakota (U.S.A.). Additionally, he created the first national nurse residency program to train nurses to work in resource constrained rural settings, and wrote the National Indian Health Service Breastfeeding Protection Guidelines.
For Clifton’s leadership in the area of breastfeeding, he was recognized by the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama through her “Let’s Move” initiative, and was invited to speak at the White House in 2012. He has been recognized by the Surgeon General of the United States and received the 2011 Lucille Woodville Award in honor of his contributions to the health of women and newborns in the United States. In 2013, he took home the top national award at the Indian Health Service, the Reyes Award, making him the first nurse and the youngest person ever to receive this honor. He was the Award of Excellence in Practice Recipient from the Association of Women’s Health Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses in 2014.
Dr. Kenon has lectured worldwide on the importance of breastfeeding and reproductive health, and has published a variety of pieces in the areas of human lactation and reproductive health. He currently serves as Senior Diversity & Inclusion Officer with the United States Agency for International Development, where he continues to work on breastfeeding, maternal child survival, and reproductive health. When not working at USAID, he is happily consumed in his lactation practice, helping vulnerable populations attain their breastfeeding goals.