We confront the most urgent and complex challenges facing people and the planet.

By uniting critical scholarship and practice at the intersections of agricultural, environmental, life, and social sciences, we advance a more equitable, sustainable, and food-secure world for all. Side-by-side with our diverse network of global and community partners, we engage in education with impact and create a flourishing world now and for future generations.

With a focus on education with impact, our transdisciplinary approach emphasizes real-world engagement on a global scale — with communities in New York State, across the United States, and around the world. Our dynamic learning atmosphere and academic culture goes beyond purely technical work to provide a balance of skill-building and analytical coursework toward transformative solutions.

60+

Faculty and academic staff

200+

Undergraduate students

70+

Graduate students

A multidisciplinary approach

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

Wellbeing and inclusion

“A World that Leaves No One Behind”

Studying the causes, manifestations and consequences of poverty and inequality in the global political economy, the histories and legacies of development projects, and alternative models to promote wellbeing

Environmental sustainability

“A Greener World and Greener Economies”

Addressing strategies to mitigate or reverse the effects of climate change, helping people and communities adapt to new environmental realities, and researching the social and political dimensions of human-environment interactions

Food and nutritional security

“Sustainable and Sustaining Food Systems”

Identifying pathways to sustainable food systems while investigating the social and political dynamics of these systems across the cycle from cultivation to distribution, consumption, and recycling

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

Land acknowledgement

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York State and the United States of America. 

We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' people, past and present, to these lands and waters.

Making a sustainable impact

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

Breeders from the Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria and local farmers review sorghum crop in Costa Rica.

News

International partnership aims to improve sorghum breeding

A partnership from the Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement seeks to improve sorghum breeding in Senegal and Costa Rica.

  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Wheat field with an orange overlay

News

CIMMYT and Cornell University are offering an innovative online course to empower global scientists with the most advanced training in wheat improvement.
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section
Two women engage in research in Xinjiang, China

Field Note

Meet Ding Fei, a new senior research associate and lecturer in the Department of Global Development. As a development and economic geographer with a regional focus in East Asia and Africa, Fei studies the political economy of development, global...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development