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Jessica Fanzo

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Food Ethics and Policy

Director of the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program


Jessica Fanzo PhD is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food & Agricultural Policy and Ethics at Johns Hopkins SAIS, the Berman Institute of Bioethics, and the Department of International Health of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

She also serves as the Director of the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program at Hopkins, and plays key advisory roles in Johns Hopkins’ Alliance for a Healthier World on the food security and nutrition theme, as well as the Bloomberg American Health Initiative on obesity and food systems.

She is currently serving as the co-Chair for the Global Nutrition Report, and is the Team Leader for the High-Level Panel of Experts for Food Systems and Nutrition for the UN Committee on Food Security. She also serves on the Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets for Sustainable Food Systems.

Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, Fanzo was an Assistant Professor of Nutrition in the Institute of Human Nutrition and Department of Pediatrics as well as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of International Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York. She also served as the Senior Advisor of Nutrition Policy at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development. Before joining Columbia University, Fanzo was the Evaluation and Monitoring Officer for the REACH Interagency partnership at the UN World Food Programme in Rome Italy. From 2010-11, Jessica was a Senior Scientist at Bioversity International, a Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) center, in Rome Italy, where she led their Nutrition and Biodiversity program. From 2007-2010, she served as the Nutrition Director at the Center for Global Health and Economic Development at the Earth Institute, and the Nutrition Regional Advisor for East and Southern Africa at the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya. Prior to joining the Earth Institute, she was a Program Officer for the Medical Research Program focusing on global health initiatives at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Fanzo has worked as an advisor, consultant, researcher and reviewer for various organizations and governments including DFAT, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), PATH, the Scaling Up Nutrition movement (SUN), the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN), USAID, the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

With fifteen plus years of research and program experience working in the field in sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, her area of expertise focuses on the multi-sectoral and system approaches to ensure better nutrition and diets concentrated in three areas: (1) on the linkages between agriculture, the environment and climate, and health to improve food systems and environments, diversity and quality of diets and nutrition outcomes (2) the importance of regaining food security and agriculture-based livelihoods in post-conflict regions through better governance and food policy and, (3) the emerging area of equitable, ethical, and sustainable diets and food systems. She was the first laureate of the Carasso Foundation’s Sustainable Diets Prize in 2012 for her research on sustainable food and diets for long-term human health.

Fanzo has a PhD in Nutrition from the University of Arizona and completed a Stephen I. Morse postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Columbia University.

Byerlee D and Fanzo J (2019) The SDG of zero hunger 75 years on: Turning full circle on agriculture and nutrition. Global Food Security. 21: 52-59.

Ghosh-Jerath, S., Downs, S., Singh, A., Paramnik, S., Goldberg, G. and Fanzo, J. (2019) Innovative matrix for applying a food systems approach for developing interventions to address nutrient deficiencies in indigenous communities inIndia: a study protocol. BMC Public Health. 19: 944.

Shapiro, M.J., Downs, S.M., Swartz, H.J., Parker, M., Quelhas, D., Kreis, K., Kraemer, K., West, K.P. and Fanzo, J. (2019) A Systematic Review Investigating the Relation Between Animal-Source Food Consumption and Stunting in Children Aged 6–60 Months in Low and Middle-Income Countries. Advances in Nutrition.

Sinharoy, S.S. and Fanzo, J. (2019) Ethical and human rights considerations related to access to anemia diagnosis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Downs, SM, Kauai, J, Smith, S, Sackey, J and Fanzo, J. (2019). A mHealth voice messaging intervention to improve infant and young child feeding practices in Senegal. Matern. Child Nuts. 2019 Apr 4:e12825. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12825

GBD 2017 Diet Collaborators. (2019). Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet. In Press.

Willett, W, Rockstrom, J, Loken, B, Springmann, M, Lang, T, Vermeulen, S, Garnett, T, Tilman, D, DeClerk, F, Wood, A, Jonell, M, Clark, M, Gordon, L, Fanzo, J, Hawkes, C, Zurayk, R, Rivera, J, De Vries, W, Sibanda, L, Afshin, A, Chaudhary, A, Herrero, M, Agustina, R, Branca, F, Lartey, A, Fan, S, Crona, B, Fox, E, Bignet, V, Troell, M, Lindahl, T, Singh, S, Cornell, S, Reddy, S, Narain, S, Nishtar, S and Murray, C. (2019). Our Food in the Anthropocene: The EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems. The Lancet. 1-47.

Fox, E.L., Davis, C., Downs, S.M., Schultink, W. and Fanzo, J., (2019). Who is the Woman in Women's Nutrition? A Narrative Review of Evidence and Actions to Support Women's Nutrition Throughout Life. Current Developments in Nutrition. 3(1): 1-22.

Fanzo, J, Cordes, K, Fox, E and Bulman, A (2018) Tying the Knot: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Human Right to Adequate Nutrition. Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. 57(1): 62-114.

Downs, S. M., Glass, S., Linn, K. K., and Fanzo, J. (2018). The interface between consumers and their food environment in Myanmar: an exploratory mixed-methods study. Public health nutrition, 18: 1-14.

Quelhas, D., Kompala, C., Wittenbrink, B., Han, Z., Parker, M., Shapiro, M., Downs, S., Kraemer, K., Fanzo, J., Morris, S. and Kreis, K. (2018). The association between active tobacco use during pregnancy and growth outcomes of children under five years of age: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health18(1), 1372.

Fanzo, J., and Glass, S. (2018). Ethical and Sociocultural Considerations of Biofortified Crops: Ensuring Value and Sustainability for Public Health. Advances in Food Security and Sustainability. 93-132.Volume 3.

Lozano, R., Fullman, N., Abate, D., Abay, S.M., Abbafati, C., Abbasi, N., Abbastabar, H., Abd-Allah, F., Abdela, J., Abdelalim, A. and Abdel-Rahman, O., et al. 2018. Measuring progress from 1990 to 2017 and projecting attainment to 2030 of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals for 195 countries and territories: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet392(10159), pp.2091-2138.

Springmann, M., Clark, M., Mason-D’Croz, D., Wiebe, K., Bodirsky, B.L., Lassaletta, L., De Vries, W., Vermeulen, S.J., Herrero, M., Carlson, K.M., Jonell, M., Troell, M., DeClerck, F., Gordon, L.J., Zurayk, R., Scarborough, P., Rayner, M., Loken, B., Fanzo, J., Godfray, H.C.J., Tilman, D., Rockström, J., Willett, W., n.d. Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits. Nature. Oct;562(7728):519-525. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0594-0

Fanzo, J. (2018) The Ethics of Food in the Health System Architecture. AMA Journal of Ethics. 20 (10): E913-917.

Fanzo, J. (2018). Does Global Goal Setting Matter for Nutrition and Health? AMA Journal of Ethics20(10), 979-986.

DeFries, R., Chhatre, A., Davis, K. F., Dutta, A., Fanzo, J., Ghosh-Jerath, S., ... & Smith, M. R. (2018). Impact of Historical Changes in Coarse Cereals Consumption in India on Micronutrient Intake and Anemia Prevalence. Food and Nutrition Bulletin39(3), 377-392.

Fanzo, J., Davis, C., McLaren, R., & Choufani, J. (2018). The effect of climate change across food systems: Implications for nutrition outcomes. Global Food Security, 18, 12-19.

DeFries, R., Chhatre, A., Davis, K. F., Dutta, A., Fanzo, J., Ghosh-Jerath, S., ... & Smith, M. R. (2018). Impact of Historical Changes in Coarse Cereals Consumption in India on Micronutrient Intake and Anemia Prevalence. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 0379572118783492.

Fanzo, J. (2018). The role of farming and rural development as central to our diets. Physiology & Behavior. Sep 1;193(Pt B):291-297. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.05.014

Fanzo, J. (2018). Addressing poverty in rural Africa. Nature Sustainability, 1(6), 269.

Rao, N. D., Min, J., DeFries, R., Ghosh-Jerath, S., Valin, H., & Fanzo, J. (2018). Healthy, affordable and climate-friendly diets in India. Global Environmental Change, 49, 154-165.

Nicholas, K., Fanzo, J., & MacManus, K. (2018). Palm Oil in Myanmar: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of the Effects of Industrial Farming on Biodiversity Loss. Global Health: Science and Practice, 6(1), 210-222.

Graziose, M. M., Downs, S. M., O’Brien, Q., & Fanzo, J. (2018). Systematic review of the design, implementation and effectiveness of mass media and nutrition education interventions for infant and young child feeding. Public Health Nutrition, 21(2), 273-287.

Wood, S. A., Smith, M. R., Fanzo, J., Remans, R., & DeFries, R. S. (2018). Trade and the equitability of global food nutrient distribution. Nature Sustainability1(1), 34.



In the News

A research vision for food systems in the 2020s: Defying the status quo.

Jessica Fanzo wrote in Global Food Security, 7/21

New tool enables countries to improve their food systems.

Jessica Fanzo quoted in EcoWatch, 7/15

Finally, a one-stop shop for researching food systems data.

Jessica Fanzo cited in A Green Living blog, 6/19

Professor Jessica Fanzo Awarded COVID-19 Launchpad Grant

Professor Jessica Fanzo was awarded a COVID-19 launchpad grant by Johns Hopkins University's Alliance for a Healthier World.

Researchers outside medicine have a new focus: COVID-19.

Jessica Fanzo quoted in The Wall Street Journal, 5/27

Eating our way through the Anthropocene.

Jessica Fanzo wrote in ScienceDirect, 5/26

COVID-19 threatens to starve Africa

Jessica Fanzo wrote in Bloomberg, 4/27

Redesigning the food system for planetary health

Jessica Fanzo quoted in Nutrition Connect, 4/24

What is driving unsustainability in the food system?

Jessica Fanzo cited in Food Navigator, 4/9

Malnutrition hits the obese as well as the underfed.

Jessica Fanzo quoted on Vermont Public Radio, 12/24

Changing incentives and policies crucial to end hunger and malnutrition.

Jessica Fanzo interviewed for Thomson Reuters Foundation, 10/16

After 75 years, agriculture and nutrition meet again.

Jessica Fanzo wrote for International Food Policy Research Institute, 7/31

If you're poor in America, you can be both overweight and hungry.

Jessica Fanzo wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 7/17

Who will feed the world’s cities? The rural-urban convergence.

Jessica Fanzo wrote in International Affairs Forum, 6/11

Ethical and human rights considerations related to access to anemia diagnosis.

Jessica Fanzo wrote in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 6/3

Oh, the places you'll goat!

Jessica Fanzo interviewed on We All Gotta Eat podcast, 4/24

Tying the knot: An interdisciplinary approach to understanding the human right to adequate nutrition.

Jessica Fanzo wrote for Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, 3/18

Protein of the future.

Jessica Fanzo quoted in Johns Hopkins HUB, 3/18

FOLU Champions.

Jessica Fanzo interviewed in Food and Land Use Coalition blog, 2/15