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  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • Department of Global Development
  • Climate Change
  • Food
  • Global Development

COVID-19 has ravaged global health and locked down countries around the world, exposing the fragile systems that connect people to food.

Global food systems expert Johan Swinnen, Ph.D. ’92, will explore the lessons learned and the steps needed to prevent a hunger catastrophe in the first talk of a new speaker series dedicated to confronting the world’s most urgent and complex challenges.

The talk, “Transforming Global Food Systems After COVID-19,” will be held in 401 Warren Hall on April 11, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and streamed to a global audience. Cornell community members are welcome to attend in person, and can register here.

The Global Development Distinguished Speaker Series aims to bring leading minds to campus to explore topics across the Department of Global Development’s signature strengths: wellbeing and inclusion; environmental sustainability; and food and nutritional security.

“Global Development is engaged at the nexus of the leading challenges faced by humanity,” said Ed Mabaya, research professor of global development and chair for the new series. “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Swinnen as our inaugural speaker and engage together on the critical and timely issues surrounding food security.”

April 11: Transforming Global Food Systems After COVID-19

11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
401 Warren 

Zoom option available 

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated policy responses has significantly impacted food and nutrition security and livelihoods for large parts of the world’s population, most especially the poor in developing countries. The pandemic’s impact on food systems and value chains has varied, showcasing the ways in which e-commerce, technologies, and value-chain integration can help countries and regions become more resilient against future shocks. This presentation will delve into the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19, and offer lessons for transforming food systems so that they are not only resilient, but also healthy, efficient, sustainable, and inclusive of the world’s most vulnerable people. Register

Johan Swinnen

Swinnen will explore ways in which e-commerce, technologies and value-chain integration can lead to more resilient food systems that are sustainable and inclusive of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Swinnen is director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute and global director of the CGIAR Systems Transformation Science Group. CGIAR is a global network of 15 research institutions dedicated to issues around food, land, and water systems. The network has more than 9,000 staff working in 89 countries, with annual research expenditures over $900 million.

“Global Development is engaged at the nexus of the leading challenges faced by humanity. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Swinnen as our inaugural speaker and engage together on the critical and timely issues surrounding food security.” - Ed Mabaya 

In 2020, CGIAR launched its “One CGIAR” initiative, which strives to integrate research and operations across the 15 institutions. As a global director, Swinnen is tasked with forging multi-sectoral policies and strategies.

Swinnen, who earned his Ph.D. in applied economics and management, is a leading global researcher on agricultural and food policies, international development, political economy, institutional reforms, trade and global value chains. He previously served as a lead economist at the World Bank and economic adviser to the European Commission.

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