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About the Center on Food Security and the Environment

Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and the Environment, a joint effort of FSI and the 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 L. Naylor and deputy director David Lobell. 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 Walter 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. Lobell is Associate Professor of Environmental Earth Systems Science and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and at the Stanford Woods Institute for 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.

For additional questions, please consult our FAQ page.

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FSE Contacts

Rosamond L. Naylor, Director

David B. Lobell, Deputy Director

Laura Seaman, Communications & External Relations Manager 

Lori McVay, Associate Director for Finance and Administration



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