Columbia Climate School welcomes new faculty member Jessica Fanzo
Jessica Fanzo, a leading scholar in the interdisciplinary field of food systems, will serve as the Join the Climate Academy Faculty As July’s climate professor.
Fanzo comes to the Climate Institute from Johns Hopkins University, where she was the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics and director of the Hopkins Global Food Policy and Ethics Program. Previously, she worked at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where she was director of nutrition policy at the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development, and director of nutrition at the Center for Global Health and Economic Development. She has also held appointments at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the School of International and Public Affairs.
Fanzo’s research focuses on the links between agriculture, health and the environment. These need to be studied together to improve food systems to achieve greater dietary diversity and quality, and better nutritional outcomes, while reducing severe carbon footprints and increasing resilience to climate change. She also works to restore food security and agriculture-based livelihoods in post-conflict areas through better governance and food policy. One of her current projects is building a “Food System Dashboard”, an open access platform that provides content to inform policy about food choices and the environment.
Jessica has been a member of high-level task forces for USAID, G20, the EAT-Lancet Commission, and the Rockefeller Foundation, and was a team leader for a report by the UN Commission’s High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition on Food Security. For the past 15 years, she has worked as a Nutrition Policy Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a Research Scientist at Bioversity International, a Program Officer for the UN World Food Program REACH Interagency Partnership Assessment and Monitoring, and a Program Officer for Medical research program focused on the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Global Health Initiative.
Fanzo has published extensively and has received numerous grants and awards, including the inaugural Daniel Carasso Premio recipient in 2012 for her work on sustainable food and diets that promote long-term human health. She holds a PhD in Nutrition from the University of Arizona and completed the Stephen I. Morse Postdoctoral Fellowship in Immunology at Columbia University.
Her return to Colombia as a faculty member at the Climate Institute furthered the school’s commitment to addressing climate and food, among many other important sustainability challenges facing society.