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

Tanzanian farmers standing and talking in a field

News

Tanzanian farmers boost diets with sustainable methods
The farmers experimented with practices introduced to them by Malawian farmers and Tanzanian and American scientists, decided which ones to incorporate within their own farms, and met monthly to share experiences and problem-solve. The three...
  • Atkinson Center
  • Department of Global Development
  • Agriculture
Group of Cameroonian youth pose with their hands raised

News

Shifting demographics, transforming generations

  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
A group of women with bt eggplant in a field

News

Evanega wins 2021 Borlaug CAST Communication Award
The award recognizes Cornell Alliance for Science Director Sarah Evanega, Ph.D. ’09 for outstanding achievement in the advancement of science in the public policy arena.
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section