Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and the Environment, a joint effort of FSI and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, addresses critical global issues of hunger, poverty and environmental degradation by generating vital knowledge and policy-relevant solutions. An interdisciplinary team of scholars accomplishes this mission through a focused research portfolio, teaching program, and direct science and policy advising.
FSE Overview Video
At FSE's core is a collaborative, interdisciplinary team of scholars from departments such as economics, political science, biology, civil and environmental engineering, law, earth sciences, medicine, anthropology, education, and history. FSE is currently engaged in over 17 different research projects, and offers courses for graduate and undergraduate students at Stanford interested in issues of hunger, rural development, global resource and environmental degradation, agricultural technology, climate impacts on food security, and agricultural trade and policy.
FSE provides direct science and policy outreach through international development and aid institutions, the international agricultural research centers (CGIAR), the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), environmental non-profit organizations, private sector firms, and other groups that play significant roles in the agricultural development and environment arenas.
- Design new approaches to solving global hunger and environmental degradation by building an evolving research portfolio and convening an interdisciplinary team of scholars inside and outside of Stanford with relevant scientific, economic, and policy expertise.
- Become the premier destination for undergraduate and graduate students both at Stanford and abroad interested in food and nutrition security, intensive food systems, climate impacts, food-energy linkages, and policy interventions.
- Emerge as the go-to-center for policy advice on issues relating to agricultural technology and development, food security, and environment and climate linkages to agriculture.
Leadership & Organization
FSE is directed by Rosamond Naylor and deputy director Walter Falcon. Both share a long history at Stanford studying international agricultural economics. Naylor received her PhD from Stanford’s Food Research Institute in 1989, and is now a professor in the department of Environmental Earth System Science. Her interdisciplinary approach to teaching has resulted in popular courses such as the World Food Economy (which she co-teaches with Falcon,) and Human Society and Environmental Change. Naylor was appointed the William Wrigley Senior Fellowship in 2008 in recognition of her multidisciplinary, cutting-edge research and long-term commitment to combating global hunger and environmental degradation.
Falcon, the Helen Farnsworth Professor of Agricultural Policy, Emeritus, served as the director of Stanford’s Food Research Institute from 1972 to 1991. Falcon’s leadership role continued as FSI’s director from 1991 to 1998. Between 1998 and 2007, he co-directed the Center for Environmental Science and Policy out of which grew the Program on Food Security and the Environment.
FSE is a joint center between the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment (Woods). Scholars centrally involved with the center have senior fellow appointments within FSI, Woods, and/or professorial positions within university departments.
What is Food Security?
Food security embraces three important components: the consistent and sufficient availability of safe and nutritious foods; assured access to food through poverty alleviation and household income growth; and the ability of individuals to utilize food effectively within the context of their physical health, water supplies, and sanitation.
Improving food security at global, regional, and local scales requires more than a direct focus on these three pillars of food security. Food security is also intertwined with other key issues, such as governance, national security, gender, education, infectious disease, water and nutrient management, energy trajectories, and climate change. FSE encompasses this broader set of issues to design new solutions to global hunger and environmental degradation, and to provide sound policy advice.
Rosamond Naylor, Director
Walter Falcon, Deputy Director
Ashley Dean, Communications & External Affairs Manager
Lori McVay, Associate Director for Finance and Administration