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

Louise Erskine looks off into the distance holding a camera

Field Note

Building Food and Community Solidarity Across North America: A Photo Series
  • Department of Global Development
  • Agriculture
  • Global Development

News

Migrations initiative wins $5M Mellon grant for racial justice

Migrations: A Global Grand Challenge, part of Global Cornell, has won a three-year, $5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Just Futures Initiative that will bring together scholars across the university and beyond to study the links between racism, dispossession and migration.

  • American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development

News

Center’s grants seed diverse research in the social sciences

Researchers posing those questions were among more than 20 awarded grants last fall by the Cornell Center for Social Sciences (CCSS). In total, two dozen projects led by scholars spanning 11 colleges and schools – on diverse topics ranging from...

  • Department of Global Development
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management