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Laurian Unnevehr

  • Division Director, Food Economics Division, USDA-Economic Research Service, 2008–present
  • Professor Emerita, Professor, Associate, and Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, 1985–present
  • Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, National Academies, 2006–2008
  • USDA National Agricultural Research Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, 2005–2008
  • President and Executive Board, AAEA, 2003–2006
  • Publication of Enduring Quality Award (with James Eales), AAEA, 2004
  • Committee on Enhancing the Data Infrastructure in Support of Food and Nutrition Programs, Research, and Decision Making, National Research Council, 2003–2005
  • Editorial Council, Review of Agricultural Economics, 2002–2004, 2007–2009
  • Mansholt Institute Scholar, Wageningen University, 2001–2002
  • President and Executive Board, AAEA Foundation, 2001–2003
  • Editorial Board, Food Policy, 2001–present
  • Paul A. Funk Award, College of ACES, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000
  • Chair, National Research Council Committee on Frontiers in Agricultural Research: Food, Health, Environment, and Communities, 2000–2002
  • Acting Director and Associate Director, Food and Consumer Economics Division, USDA-Economic Research Service, 1994–1995
  • Branch Chief, Environmental and Health Risk Branch, Resources and Technology Division, 1993–1994
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Choices, 1993–1997
  • Quality of Communication Award (with co-authors), AAEA, 1993
  • Panel on Animal Health and Veterinary Medicine, National Research Council, 1992–1994
  • Research Associate and Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Postdoctoral Fellow, International Rice Research Institute, Department of Agricultural Economics, 1982–1985
  • PhD, Food Research Institute, Stanford University, 1982
  • MA, Food Research Institute, Stanford University, 1977
  • BA, Economics, University of California, Davis, 1974

During her two decades as a Professor in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Laurian Unnevehr met the challenge of addressing emerging food policy issues, through contributions in research, teaching, and outreach. In the mid-nineties, she took a leave of absence from academe to serve in a leadership position at USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). She used that time and experience to transition her foundations in research to effective public policy outreach and helped bridge the gap between economists in academia and Washington policymakers. Her return to ERS in 2008 as Director of Food Economics has brought her interests in food policy full circle.

Unnevehr’s research and collaborative works have been published in leading journals and have won recognition by the profession. She was among the first to publish research on the economics of risk-based food regulation, functional foods, food safety barriers to developing country exports, and bio-fortification, appearing in outlets as diverse as the AJAE, Harvard Business Review, Agricultural Economics, and Food Policy.

Unnevehr has also consistently offered her time and talents to AAEA serving as AAEA President in 2005, as well as on several other AAEA committees and on the AAEA Foundation Board.