Phil Pardey to lead CFANS' global research strategy

Renowned economist Philip Pardey will be the first director of global research strategy at the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS).

CFANS is recognized around the world for its agricultural and environmental research; this week, U.S. News and World Report ranked three of the college’s research areas in the top 20 such programs in the world.

Creating a position specifically aimed at developing global research partnerships and innovation reflects the priorities of the college as well as those of the university. “CFANS is committed to solving the global challenge of food security while at the same time rejuvenating our global natural resources to sustain our global community’s quality of life,” says Brian Buhr, dean of the college. The college is uniquely positioned to lead that challenge because of its research capabilities and location amid leading private sector firms in agriculture, forestry, and food production.  

pardey_headshot“The university and college were central to the Green Revolution of the 20th century, and now we’re seeking to lead the 21st century in an economically savvy, more environmentally sustainable, more inclusive and more collaborative push to end global hunger and restore our natural resources,” he said. “Phil Pardey’s expertise and experience make him the perfect fit for leading this effort.”

Pardey, a professor since 2002 in the college’s Department of Applied Economics, will be responsible for creating new international opportunities and partnerships in policy, technology and research for CFANS and the university’s Agricultural Experiment Station.  He will lead interactions with private-sector firms, commodity organizations and non-governmental organizations. He’ll also play a role in engaging researchers from many disciplines to find collaborative solutions to complex bio-physical and economic challenges, and will help build relationships with international partner and potential partner universities and research agencies.

 “The landscape of global agricultural R&D is changing rapidly—not least in terms of who does what research where, and how that research is funded—at the very time concerns about our ability to sustainably feed a large and still growing population have resurfaced,” Pardey said.  “I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to help forge the new partnerships with leading public and private research and related agencies here at home and abroad that will enable CFANS to once again play a leading role in addressing these global challenges.”

Pardey, a native of Australia, has been a professor in the Department of Applied Economics since 2002 and earned his Ph.D. here in 1986.  He’s also co-leader of HarvestChoice, the Gates Foundation-funded initiative that generates new data and analyses to help guide strategic investments to improve the well-being of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa through more productive and profitable farming.  He also directs the university’s International Science and Technology Practice and Policy (InSTePP) center.  Previously, he was a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington D.C., and at the International Service for National Agricultural Research in The Hague, Netherlands.  Phil is a 2012 Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture laureate, a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association, and a Distinguished Fellow and Past President of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.  

His research programs in CFANS will continue as he assumes this new role. He’ll also continue as a faculty leader in Global Food Ventures, one of four initiatives in MnDRIVE, a public-private partnership between the university and Minnesota industry that includes many multi-national agribusiness and food companies.