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About the Center on Food Security and the Environment

Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and 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:

  • focused research portfolio in seven key areas: food and nutrition security, aquaculture, biofuels, climate and agriculture, agricultural innovations, "deadly connections" and crop and livestock systems
  • A robust teaching program
  • Direct science and policy advising

FSE is a joint effort of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.


FSE Video


At FSE's core is an, 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 engaged in over 20 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 advising to 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 leading groups in the agriculture 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 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 food security, agricultural technology and development, and the links between environment, climate and 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 William Wrigley Professor in Earth Science. Her interdisciplinary approach to teaching has resulted in popular courses such as the World Food Economy and Human Society and Environmental Change. Lobell is Associate Professor of Environmental Earth Systems Science and the William Wrigley 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). Many of the center's core researchers have senior fellow appointments within FSI, Woods, and/or professorial positions within university departments.

For additional questions, please consult our FAQ page or contact us.

Subscribe to FSE's enewsletter and events list.

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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