Jessica Fanzo, a leading scholar in the transdisciplinary field of food systems, is the new Professor of Climate at the Columbia Climate School, as of July 2023. She will also serve as the Director for the Climate School's Food for Humanity Initiative and the Interim Director for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, also known as IRI.
Her previous role was at 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. Before that 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.