Ralph Christy – Director
Professor Ralph D. Christy is Director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development and Professor of Emerging Markets at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches and conducts food marketing research and educational programs on the economic performance of markets and distribution systems. He has advised industry leaders and public policy makers on food marketing strategies, economic development, and the organization of the global food economy.
A Ph.D. graduate of Michigan State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, Christy is past President of the American Agricultural Economics Association, and is currently a Board Member of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, WinRock International, and the Agribusiness Capital Fund.
He is the author of three books, A Century of Service: Land Grant Colleges and Universities, 1890-1990(1992); Achieving Sustainable Communities in a Global Economy (2004); and Emerging Markets(forthcoming). His most recent research calls attention to the role of creating an enabling environment for accelerating agro-industries’ contributions to sustain economic growth and development.
Edward Mabaya – Assistant Director
Ed is an academic and a development practitioner with more than a decade of experience with African seed systems. He is involved in several programs that seek to improve the lives of African farmers through private enterprises. Ed established and coordinates the Seeds of Development Program, a business development services and networking program for emerging seed companies in East and Southern Africa. As a Research Associate in the Department of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, he conducts research on food marketing and distribution, seed systems and the role of efficient agricultural markets in Africa’s economic development. He is Assistant Director at the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development. Ed earned his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics at Cornell University and his B.Sc. from the University of Zimbabwe. In 2007, Ed was an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow at the African Leadership Institute at Oxford University. During 2010-2011, he was a Visiting Researcher at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.