State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Columbia Climate School Welcomes New Faculty Member Jessica Fanzo

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Jessica Fanzo will be joining the Columbia Climate School faculty as professor of climate in July.

Columbia Climate School founding dean Alex Halliday announced on Monday that Jessica Fanzo, a leading scholar in the transdisciplinary field of food systems, will be joining the Climate School faculty as professor of climate in July.

Fanzo comes to the Climate School from Johns Hopkins University, where she was the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics and the director of Hopkins’ Global Food Policy and Ethics Program. Previously, she worked at Columbia’s Earth Institute, where she served as the director of nutrition policy at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, as well as the nutrition director at the Center for Global Health and Economic Development. She has also held roles at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the School of International and Public Affairs.

Fanzo’s research focuses on the linkages between agriculture, health, and the environment. These need to be studied together to improve food systems to achieve greater diversity and quality of diets, as well as better nutritional outcomes, at the same time as reducing severe carbon footprints and building resilience to climate change. She also works on regaining food security and agriculture-based livelihoods in post-conflict regions through better governance and food policy. One of her current projects is establishing a “Food Systems Dashboard,” an open-access platform that provides content to inform policies on food choice 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 the team leader for the high-level panel of experts report on food systems and nutrition for the UN Committee on Food Security. Over the last 15 years, she was a nutrition policy officer for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, a research scientist at Bioversity International, a program officer in evaluation and monitoring for the REACH Interagency partnership at the UN World Food Programme, and a program officer for the medical research program focusing on global health initiatives at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Fanzo has published widely and is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the first laureate in 2012 of the Daniel Carasso Premio for her work on sustainable food and diets for long-term human health. She has a PhD in nutrition from the University of Arizona and completed a Stephen I. Morse postdoctoral fellowship in immunology at Columbia University.

Her return to Columbia as a faculty member of the Climate School furthers the school’s commitment to addressing climate and food, as well as many of the other important sustainability challenges facing society.

Columbia campus skyline with text Columbia Climate School Class Day 2024 - Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

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