In 2007, Navyn Salem set out to help end the crisis of malnutrition for over 250 million children around the world by starting a factory in Tanzania, her father's home country, that would produce Plumpy'Nut®, a ready-to-use therapeutic food that treats severe acute malnutrition in young children. To further expand the reach of Plumpy'Nut and other evidence-based nutrition solutions, she founded Edesia, a U.S. non-profit food aid manufacturer, in 2009. From Edesia's North Kingstown, RI facility, a full range of peanut-based, ready-to-use foods supply UNICEF, the World Food Programme, USAID/USDA, and other humanitarian aid agencies working in emergency and conflict zones. Since production began in March 2010, Edesia has helped nearly 5 million malnourished children in 50 countries, including in Somalia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Pakistan, and Syria.
In 2012, Navyn was named New England Business Woman of the Year by Bryant University, received the Roger E. Joseph Prize from Hebrew Union College for being an outstanding humanitarian, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in social sciences from Boston College, her Alma Mater. In 2013, Navyn received an honorary degree in business administration from Bryant University and became a Trustee of Boston College. In 2017, she received an honorary doctorate from Providence College. She EndFragmentis a member of the Chicago Council's Global Agricultural Development Initiative Advisory Group, as well as a 2014 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.