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  • International Programs
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
Alexander King ’15 rides the wave of his international agriculture training to a promising career abroad
A headshot of Alexander King
Alexander King '15

Agriculture's role as a mobilizer in emerging markets was a core theme of my undergraduate studies in International Agriculture and Rural Development (IARD). Understanding this concept allowed me not only to engage more deeply with my work but gave me a critical understanding of how agricultural markets play out across economic, social and environmental areas. IARD’s undergraduate program provided active and engaging international experiences on- and off-campus, both of which helped prepare me for my career moves abroad.

I am now based in Zambia as the chief of staff of FirstWave Group, a pan-African aquaculture firm specializing in large-scale tilapia production. Prior to that, I worked in Mumbai as both a consultant in the Mahindra Group Strategy Office and as an export manager for Mahindra's agribusiness vertical. In January, I will be moving to start up the FirstWave Uganda operations as a data and analytics manager.

If I could give current students some IARD course recommendations it would be: Food Policy for Developing Nations (with Dr. Prabhu Pingali––my thesis advisor!) and Contemporary Controversies in the Global Economy (with Dr. Chris Barrett). Those both really stand out in my memory and complemented my work with the Cornell Social Business Consulting Group. I encourage all IARD students to take classes that give them hard skills in the field that they are pushing to enter––the combination of technical skills with the agricultural and emerging market subject focus is powerful.

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agricultural fields


The findings The study identifies stark discrepancies in food production data worldwide, notably within livestock, fisheries, and aquaculture sectors. These sectors experience pronounced data gaps, especially at national and local levels, due to...
  • Cornell Atkinson
  • Department of Global Development
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Woman tends to a strawberry field in Nigeria

Field Note

In the wake of Nigeria's devastating 2022 floods, Mercy Awazi Abutsa, MPS ’24 , a dedicated advocate for climate action and rural development, found renewed purpose. Inspired by the urgent need to address climate change alongside existing...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development