Working to improve lives, reduce inequality and protect the environment

The world is complex, and the challenges can seem overwhelming. Here in the Department of Global Development, we unlock the energies and talents of experts from a range of disciplines to address some of the biggest problems facing humanity. We know solutions are hard. But we never stop asking questions, seeking answers and partnering with people and communities to make life better, everywhere. 

With a focus on education with impact, our transdisciplinary approach emphasizes real-world engagement with communities in New York state and around the globe. Our dynamic learning atmosphere and academic culture goes beyond purely technical work to provide deep analysis and transformative solutions.

This is what we do. We catalyze change and provoke fresh understanding. We develop next-generation leaders through engaged and active learning that connects students with field experiences. This is who we are. We are committed to justice, to science, to people and we never stop striving to make direct social impact all around the globe.

60+

Researchers

186

Undergraduate students

54

Graduate students

The world is complex. But we believe understanding is possible.

We take a multidisciplinary approach to tackle the biggest challenges of our time.

Food Security & Nutrition

Feeding 9 billion people by 2050 

Development Sociology

Understanding human behavior and interactions

Rural & community development

Solving local problems with homegrown solutions

Climate change

Sustaining a healthy Earth

Gender, race and ethnicity

Fighting for equality for everyone, everywhere

Economics

Confronting the cycle of poverty 

Education & leadership

Cultivating next-generation leaders  

Plant Sciences

Breeding crops for a food-secure world

Demography

Studying the structure of the human population

On the international stage

A woman with glasses on the top of her head sits at a desk in an office
Engaged research

54+

Visiting scientists & fellows

from over 20 countries

Making a sustainable impact

Recent insights, news and events in the Department of Global Development

A group poses in a field in Africa

News

Scientists convene research showcase on gender responsive crop breeding
On Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, Gender-Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) will host its first virtual Symposium on Gender Responsive Crop Breeding: Community Research Showcase. The live event will be accessible by...
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Global Development
Crates full of apples outside in autumn sunshine

News

$4.8M grant helps optimize apple yields with digital ag
A Cornell-led, multi-institution team of plant scientists, university and private-sector engineers, economists and outreach agents seeks to use computer vision, automation and robotics to optimize per-tree apple production, which is currently a...
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Horticulture Section
Soybeans in a field

News

$2M grant supports more sustainable path for organic farmers
In New York state, these issues threaten the ability to remain the national leader in the production of certified organic field crops – a market that yielded 166,543 acres of harvested crops and more than $46 million in sales in 2019 according...
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Department of Global Development