Jessica Fanzo, Ph.D., is a Professor of Climate and the Director of the Food for Humanity Initiative at Columbia University’s Climate School in New York City. She also serves as the Interim Director for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, also known as IRI. Before coming to Columbia in 2023, Professor Fanzo was the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at Johns Hopkins University. She has also held positions at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN), the UN World Food Programme, Bioversity International, the Earth Institute, the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She has participated in various collective endeavors, including the Food Systems Economic Commission, the Global Panel of Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition Foresight 2.0 report, the Lancet Commission on Anaemia, and the EAT-Lancet Commissions 1 and now 2. She was also the Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report and Team Leader for the UN High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition. She currently leads the development of the Food Systems Dashboard and the Food Systems Countdown to 2030 Initiative in collaboration with the Global Alliance of Improved Nutrition.
With twenty years of research and program experience working in the field in sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, Professor Fanzo’s research is on sustainable food systems and their impacts on healthy and equitable diets in resource-constrained contexts. She was the first laureate of the Carasso Foundation’s Sustainable Diets Prize in 2012 for her research on sustainable food and diets for long-term human health.
Jessica has worked as an advisor for various organizations and governments, including DFAT, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), PATH, the Scaling Up Nutrition movement (SUN), the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN), USAID, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Jessica has a Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of Arizona and completed a Stephen I. Morse postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.