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

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

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

People sitting on chairs on a stage at the Grow NY Summit talking

News

Cornell experts to discuss food, ag trends at Grow-NY Summit
“A Call For Innovation: New York’s Agrifood System,” a report published this past spring by Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement, is the basis for the topics to be addressed at this year’s Grow-NY Summit, slated to bring food and ag innovators together at the Syracuse Oncenter on Nov. 16-17.
  • Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
A group speaks together outside in a field

News

Two Cornell alumni with deep ties to plant breeding efforts in Africa were recognized for outstanding work building capacity to improve food security on the continent. Ronnie Coffman, Ph.D. ’71 and Joe DeVries, Ph.D. ’95 received the...
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
A busy street in Shanghai

News

The answer: China must take responsibility for developing sustainable international trade, according to scientists and economists from around the world – including Cornell’s Mario Herrero. Their research published Oct. 18 in the journal Nature...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Agriculture
  • Environment