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Rachel Bezner Kerr

Rachel Bezner Kerr

Director, Institute for African Development

Rachel Bezner Kerr is a professor of global development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her research interests converge on the broad themes of sustainable agriculture, food security, health, nutrition, and social inequalities, with a primary focus in southern Africa. She has four major areas of research:

  • historical, political and social roots of the food system in northern Malawi 
  • sustainable agriculture, food security and social processes in rural Africa
  • social relations linked to health and nutritional outcomes
  • local knowledge and climate change adaptation 

Her general approach to food systems is holistic, interdisciplinary, and collaborative, drawing from both the natural and social sciences, including collaborations with those working in agricultural and nutritional science, public health, and ecology. Most of her research is also applied, community-based, and participatory, involving local organizations and community members addressing ways to develop a sustainable food system.

Additional Information



  • Faculty
  • IAD Core Faculty
    • IAD Director
      • IAD Advisory Council
        • Einaudi Faculty Leadership


Phone: 607-255-3213