Senior Research Scientist
James Hansen is a Senior Research Scientist at the IRI, where he has worked since 1999. With a background in Agricultural Systems, his work focuses on improving the management of climate risk and the use of climate information for farmer livelihoods, agricultural development and food security in the developing world.
Dr. Hansen served on the leadership team of the CGIAR research program on Climate, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), leading its Flagship 4 Program on Climate Services and Safety Nets from 2009 to 2019. CCAFS is a partnership of all 14 International Agricultural Research Centers of the CGIAR, and a range of research, development and funding institutions, that aims to ensure a food-secure future across the developing world in the face of a variable and changing climate. With an average annual budget of $62M (2010-2019), it is the world’s largest applied research initiative working in this space. Flagship 4 contributions during this period included enabling several million smallholder farmers to access and use improved climate information through multiple delivery models; equipping National Meteorological Services to overcome data and technical constraints to provide locally useful climate information with complete national coverage; expanding the suite of available index-based agricultural insurance options and tools; advancing agricultural climate service good practice; and deepening the body of evidence of climate services benefits to smallholder agriculture.
Dr. Hansen currently leads ACToday Columbia World Project work in Senegal; and works on climate service communication strategies and training curriculum for farmer intermediaries (Ethiopia), climate-informed agricultural decision support tools, climate information tools for aquaculture (Bangladesh), agricultural climate service development in Rwanda, and synthesis of knowledge on climate service impacts on food security and rural livelihoods. His past research contributions have included developing effective climate services for farmers at scale; integrating climate information with agricultural modeling; the economics of risk and information in agriculture; farm sustainability analysis; spatial scaling in agricultural modeling; stochastic weather modeling; and multiple cropping systems modeling. Web of Science recognized Dr. Hansen with a Highly Cited Researcher award for 2020. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Florida, and an M.S. in Agronomy and Soil Science and B.S. in General Tropical Agriculture from the University of Hawaii.
- Design and effective delivery of climate services for smallholder farmers;
- Translation of climate information into actionable forms for agriculture and food security management;
- Understanding and supporting climate-informed decision making; and
- Livelihood and food security impacts of climate information and climate risk management.