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.

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

How will you change the world?

Latest news

Discover how Global Development is committed to making a sustainable impact

Student hosts workshop in computer lab

Field Note

Visualizing data for food security at the New York Youth Institute
Each year, high school students from around New York State gather at Cornell University to explore ways they can help develop real-world solutions to the greatest challenges in agriculture and food systems. At the 2022 New York Youth Institute...
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Global Development
Men work in field

Field Note

Public plant breeding programs play a central role in tackling local food security challenges around the world, but how can we be sure that they are operating effectively and optimally at the institutional level? In this blog series, the Feed...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development

Field Note

Multimedia

This summer, international agriculture and rural development major Jensen Njagi ’25 interned for Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Conservation Biocontrol on Urban Farms in New York City project. This three-year project is designed to help urban...
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Department of Global Development
  • Agriculture

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.