International Association of Agricultural Economics

towards a prosperous, sustainable, well-nourished world

Madhu Khanna: Chair of ICWAE

Madhu KhannaDr. Madhu Khanna is the ACES Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and Associate Director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also the Theme Leader for the Sustainability Theme in the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research examines the incentives for adoption of efficiency-enhancing technologies, their potential for protecting the environment and the design and implications of alternative policies to induce adoption. 

She has co-authored more than 150 papers, chapters and reports and co-edited two volumes of the Handbook of Bioenergy Economics and Policy. She has served as a member of the Science Advisory Board of the US Environmental Protection Agency and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and the South Asian Network of Development and Environmental Economists. She has held editorial positions at several environmental and agricultural economics journals, including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. She is currently a subject editor of GCB Bioenergy and a member of the USDOE/USDA Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. She is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, a University of Illinois Scholar and a Leopold Leadership Fellow of the Woods Institute at Stanford University.

Surabhi Mittal: Member Secretary of ICWAE

Surabhi Mittal is a Senior Agricultural Economist and is working with various think tanks and research organizations as independence consultant and resource person. She has over 21 years of experience in management, analytical, development and policy oriented research on a wide range of topics, including: food security, seed sector development, productivity analysis, food demand projection, supply response models, gender mainstreaming, the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to manage climate risk. She has worked with TCI-TARINA, CGIAR-CIMMYT, ICRIER, NIAP and IARI. 

Surabhi has several international publications, books, editorials and reports to her credit. She is a two-time recipient of the Doshi Foundation Award of the Agricultural Economics Research Association for best research contribution in agricultural economics and was nominated by the United States Government for the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) in 2011. She was among the top ten finalists at the “mBillionth Award South Asia 2014” under “m-Agriculture and Ecology” for her ICT and agriculture work.

She is based in New Delhi, India and is part of the National Organising Committee of ICAE 2021.

Claudia Ringler

Claudia RinglerClaudia Ringler is Deputy Division Director at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). A thought leader on water for food, she manages IFPRI’s Natural Resource Theme, co-leads the Institute’s water research program and is a co-manager of the Managing Resource Variability, Risks and Competing Uses for Increased Resilience (VCR) flagship of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Claudia also chairs the Food, Energy, Environment and Water Network (FE2W) and is associated with the Sustainable Water Futures Program of Future Earth. She published more than 100 journal articles in the areas of global water and food security, gender-water and gender-climate change linkages and the synergies of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Claudia has a PhD in agricultural economics from University of Bonn and an MA in International Development Economics from Yale University. Email:

Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Ruth Meinzen-DickRuth Meinzen-Dick is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). She received her MSc and PhD degrees in Development Sociology from Cornell University. Much of her work has been interdisciplinary qualitative and quantitative research on land and water policy, property rights, governance arrangements, gender analysis, and the impact of agricultural research on poverty, drawing on field work in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. She is co-leader of the program on Governance of Natural Resources under the CGIAR program on Policies, Institutions and Markets and past president of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), and recipient of the Elinor Ostrom Award on Collective Governance of the Commons 2019 Senior Scholar award.

Sangeeta Bansal

Sangeeta BansalSangeeta Bansal is a Professor at the Centre for International Trade and Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. Her main research interests are in environmental economics, new agricultural technologies, corporate strategies for environmental protection, nutrition and game theory.  She works in economic theory, empirical economics and experimental economics. She has published her research in the area of environmental economics, agricultural economics and food policy. She is a co-editor of the journal Resource and Energy Economics and has served as an editorial board member of the journal Environmental and Development Economics. She was awarded Fulbright Research Fellowship in 2013 – 2014 to visit University of California, Berkeley. She has provided consultancy to IFPRI, Washington, D.C., on several research projects, to Vi UNCTAD and South Asian Network for Development and Environment and Economics (SANDEE). She is a member of a scientific panel of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. She holds a PhD in economics from Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre.

Sara Savastano

Sara SavastanoSara Savastano is the Director of IFAD’s Research and Impact Assessment Division.

Starting in 2016, Savastano worked at the World Bank as Senior Economist with the Development Economic Research Group. From 2008 to 2016, she was an Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. After working from 2001 to 2005 with the Development Economic Research Group of the World Bank, Savastano was an economist at the Public Investment Evaluation Unit of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance until 2008. She is the Secretary General of the International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research. Her research focuses on land policies and institutions, rural development, agricultural efficiency and productivity, and technology adoption. She has worked as a consultant with FAO, the World Bank, IFPRI, and other public and private institutions. Savastano holds a PhD in economics from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

Dina Umali-Deininger

Dina Umali-DeiningerDina Umali-Deininger is the Agriculture Practice Manager for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. She manages analytical and advisory services and a $2 billion lending portfolio which focus on promoting climate resilient and nutrition sensitive agriculture and food systems, linking farmers to markets, value chain development, improving rural livelihoods and creating jobs. She formerly served as the Agriculture and Water Practice Manager in the Europe and Central Asia Region, and Central and Eastern Africa. She was a member of the  WDR 2008 team on Agriculture for Development. Prior to joining the World Bank, she held a teaching position in the University of the Philippines and was a Research Associate at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.  She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Stanford University, and a B.A. in Agribusiness Management from the University of the Philippines.

Cheryl Doss

Cheryl DossProfessor Cheryl Doss is an agricultural economist in the Oxford Department of International Development with over 25 years of research experience in collecting and analyzing data on rural households in developing countries. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She moved to Oxford University in 2016 after 17 years at Yale University. Professor Doss is widely known for her work on the quantitative analysis of gender issues in development, and especially for her pioneering work on the collection of gender-disaggregated data. She has advised international organizations, including the World Bank, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UN Development Program, UN Women, and UN Statistics. Her work has also involved frequent engagement with the CGIAR and she currently leads a portfolio of research on gender for the CGIAR Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets. Prof. Doss has published extensively in leading journals in both agricultural economics and development economics.

Karen Brooks

Karen BrooksKaren Brooks is Adjunct Professor of Global Human Development at Georgetown University. She retired in 2018 as Director, CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets, led by IFPRI. Prior to joining IFPRI in 2012, Brooks worked for over twenty years in the agricultural programs of The World Bank in Europe and Central Asia and in Africa south of the Sahara, including as Sector Manager, Agricultural Operations, the Africa Region. She has taught applied economics at The University of Minnesota and holds a PhD in economics from The University of Chicago. She has published in the fields of agricultural policy in centrally planned economies, price and land policy in transition economies, jobs and employment in Africa south of the Sahara, and major trends shaping agricultural and food policies.

J.V. Meenakshi

J.V. MeenakshiJ.V. Meenakshi is Professor at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India, where she teaches courses in econometrics and food and agricultural policy. Her research areas include health, nutrition and food; cereal and water markets; and evaluation of agricultural and nutrition interventions. The primary geographical focus of her research is India but she has also worked on several countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  Her research is informed by active collaborations with nutritionists, medical professionals, and policy makers, and uses a mix of field-based research and nationally-representative data sets.  She serves as an associate editor of Agricultural Economics and the Indian Economic Review.    Meenakshi obtained her Master’s and PhD degrees from Cornell University in Agricultural Economics.

Loraine Ronchi

Loraine RonchiLoraine Ronchi is a Practice Manager for South Asia in the Food and Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank Group (WBG).

Prior to joining South Asia, she led the Global Agribusiness team in the Industry Solutions group of the Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation (FCI) Global Practice. She was the WBG’s first Global Solutions Lead for Value Chains and Agribusiness. Her focus as Global Lead was on regional cross fertilization and solution creation in the agribusiness space. In her 14 years at the WBG, she has led agriculture programs and policy dialogue on the agricultural sector from both headquarters and country office base in East Africa. She also served as technical lead for agribusiness private sector development in the IFC’s advisory services for three years. As such, her expertise in value chain development spans from farm to fork.


Jing Zhu

Jing ZhuProf. Zhu Jing is Professor and Dean of College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU), China. She obtained her Ph.D in NAU before joined International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) of the CGIAR as a post-doctoral research fellow, with also training received in Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States. Prof. Zhu’s research areas include agricultural and rural development, food security, and international trade. She has published widely in leading academic journals in China as well as in international journals, and is a recipient of a series of awards for research achievements. She served as consultant to several international organization such as FAO and the World Bank, and as a member of the Global Future Council on Food Security and Agriculture of the World Economic Forum.

She is currently appointed as Cheung Kong Scholars Chair Professor (distinguished professor) by the Ministry of Education of China, Chairperson of the Agricultural and Forestry Economics and Management Disciplinary Appraisal Committee of the State Council Academic Commission of China, and a member of the Expertise Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture of China. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of ILRI, CGIAR.

Rhoda Mofya-Mukuka

RhodaRhoda Mofya-Mukuka is a Senior Research Fellow at the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) in Lusaka, Zambia, spearheading policy research on agriculture, food security and nutrition. She is a trained Agricultural Economist with more than 20 years engagement in agricultural policy and rural development in Southern Africa. In the last eight years, her work has extended to designing and implementing large national agriculture, rural livelihoods and nutrition surveys. Since 2015, Rhoda Mofya-Mukuka is the National Chairperson of the Zambian Women in Agricultural Research and Development (ZaWARD). Some of her activities include mentorship for young women agricultural scientists under ZaWARD and the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) mentorship programs. She is also Board Chairperson of the Zambia Civil Society for Scaling up Nutrition. 

Rhoda Mofya-Mukuka has a Ph.D in Agricultural Economics from Kiel University and a Master’s Degree in Small Business Studies from Leipzig University in Germany. She obtained a BSc in Tropical Agriculture from Larenstein University in the Netherlands. Her previous work experience include the GIZ office and the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia.


Miet Maertens

Miet Maertens is heading the Agricultural and Rural Development Economics research group and is professor at the Division of Bio-economics, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at KU Leuven. She holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the Georg-August University in Goettingen, Germany and MSc. degrees in Economics and in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium. Her research focuses on global food systems, agricultural intensification and rural development in low- and middle-income countries. She investigates vertical and horizontal coordination in food value chains; the sustainability impact of private food standards; the role of food trade as climate change adaptation mechanism; rural labour market dynamics; and the process of agricultural and rural transformation – with gender as a thread running through these research topics. She is leading several research projects on these topics and cooperates intensively with several universities in Africa (Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia), Latin-America (Peru, Ecuador) and Asia (Indonesia), and with CGIAR and other international institutes. She has co-authored numerous scientific articles and book chapters.