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  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development

Ed Mabaya, MS ’98, Ph.D. ’03 has been named director of Cornell’s Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a premier training program for mid-career professionals from developing and emerging economies in areas of agriculture, rural development and natural resource management.

Mabaya, a research professor in the Department of Global Development, is a globally recognized scholar and development practitioner with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. His applied research revolves around food marketing and distribution, seed systems, digital agriculture, enabling environments for agribusiness and the role of efficient agricultural markets in Africa’s economic development. Mabaya succeeds Peter Gregory, who is retiring after serving as director for the past 10 years. Mabaya takes over the director position July 1.

Sponsored by the U.S. State Department and organized through the Institute of International Education, the Humphrey Program offers a specialized non-degree program that fosters leadership and training for mid-career professionals from around the world. Fellows are placed at one of 13 university campuses across the country; Cornell’s fellows focus on overlapping areas of interest in agriculture, rural development and natural resource management. More than 400 professionals from 115 countries have taken part in the program at Cornell since it launched in 1980.

“I am excited to take on this new position that supports capacity development for professionals from developing and emerging economies,” Mabaya said. “I am a product of such investment having come from Zimbabwe to Cornell for graduate studies in the mid-1990s. I look forward to working with Fellows to enrich their experiences in the USA while sharing their global expertise with faculty and students at Cornell.”

Lori Leonard, professor and chair of global development, said “The Cornell Humphrey Program catalyzes incredible growth in global leadership. Ed is deeply committed to developing positive change through innovation and training, and he will be a wonderful guide to Fellows on their paths to leadership in their home countries.”   

Mabaya served as a senior research associate at Cornell from 2003-2018. During that time he led many research project initiatives, including as director for Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Teams (SMART), associate director of the Cornell International Institute for Food and Agricultural Development (CIIFAD), and associate director for the Emerging Markets Program.

From 2018-20 Mabaya managed the Agribusiness Development Division of the African Development Bank. He led agribusiness development initiatives under the bank’s $24 billion feed Africa strategy, with his work dedicated to transforming African agriculture into a sustainable, inclusive and business-oriented sector that is globally competitive and able to cover the food needs across the continent.

Mabaya returned to Cornell in 2020 as a research professor in the new Department of Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences where his research and outreach work focuses on food security and economic development in Africa.

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