Adjunct Professor of Public Policy
Assistant: Beth Tremblay

Robert Paarlberg, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy, is an independent scholar and consultant specializing in global food and agricultural policy. He is the Betty Freyhof Johnson Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College and an Associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He received his BA in government from Carleton College and his PhD in government from Harvard. Paarlberg has recently been a member of the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Research Council and a consultant to the National Intelligence Council (NIC), USAID, COMESA, IFPRI, the World Bank, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2009 he presented testimony on U.S. agricultural development assistance policy to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. His 2008 book from Harvard University Press was titled Starved for Science: How Biotechnology is Being Kept out of Africa. His 2010 book from Oxford University Press is titled Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Transparent Engagement

Harvard Kennedy School is proud of its energetic involvement in the world. To better understand how to solve public problems by improving policy and leadership, we engage directly with policymakers, public leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses whose activities affect those problems. However, we recognize that such engagement can raise questions about perceived and potential conflicts of interest, so we disclose publicly the key professional activities of our faculty outside the Kennedy School.

Outside Professional Activities For Robert Paarlberg

1. Compensated external consulting since January 2011:

Chicago Council on Global Affairs (authored 2012 Progress Report on U.S. Agricultural Development Assistance Policy)

International Food Policy Research Institute (authored 2012 Impact Assessment of international conference on agriculture, nutrition and health)

International Food Policy Research Institute (member of external advisory committee to "Agriculture for Nutrition and Health" research program.

Member of external advisory board for VALGEN (publicly funded, Canadian university-based research consortium)

Advisor to United Nations funded project on volatility in international commodity markets, chaired by Prof. Per Pinstrup-Andersen at Cornell University

2. Compensated external speaking since January 2011: Cornell University, Harvard University, Michigan State University, University of Alberta, the Nitze School, Purdue, Wisconsin, Oregon Humanities, North Carolina State, McGill University, Rutgers.

3. Compensated publishing since January 2011: periodic columns for China Daily.


Phone: 617-494-5899
Assistant: Beth Tremblay

Mailing Address

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138