Media Contacts:
Berman Institute: Leah Ramsay, 202-642-9640
SAIS: Lindsey Waldrop, 202.650.6005

July 13, 2015
For Immediate Release

Johns Hopkins Invests in Ethics and Food Policy With New Professorship

Among the most dynamic and critical global challenges humanity will face in the next generation is ethically feeding a rising population in a changing climate. A new professorship at Johns Hopkins University, a partnership between the Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, will be devoted to tackling this challenge and educating students on the important role they can play in a sustainable future.

Jessica Fanzo, PhD, a nutritionist, professor, and expert in the fields of biodiversity and food security, will be the first Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor and will help lead the university’s collaborative efforts in ethics, global food, and agricultural policy.

“At Hopkins, where there is such a strong international focus, there is an opportunity to build a food security and food systems program between Berman and the School of Advanced International Studies,” says Fanzo, whose research will be part of the university’s Global Health Institute signature initiative.

For more than a year, Fanzo has been an integral member of the Global Food Ethics Initiative Working Group, a project led by the Berman Institute in collaboration with the School of Advanced International Studies and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, that has brought together global experts to propose an ambitious agenda for progress on global food security in the next five years.

Since 2007, Fanzo has served as nutrition director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. She also has provided technical and policy counsel on international development projects and programs as the senior adviser for nutrition policy at Columbia’s Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, and at the United Nations World Food Programme, World Health Organization, UNICEF, and World Bank.

The Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships are the centerpiece of the university’s focus on strengthening its “capacity for faculty-led interdisciplinary collaboration” as outlined in President Ronald J. Daniels’ Ten by Twenty vision plan. A total of 50 endowed professorships, to be appointed over five years, are supported by a gift to the university by Johns Hopkins alumnus and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Johns Hopkins announced four new Bloomberg Distinguished Professors in early July, including Fanzo.

“The solutions to the world’s biggest challenges do not lie in any one discipline—they lie in the connections among big thinkers and bridge-builders,” the university’s announcement begins.

Fanzo says she is especially looking forward to creating new courses to get students interested in issues of food security, equity, and ethical issues around global food systems. “For example, how do we ensure people in low-income countries have enough animal-source food, and that people in high-income countries don’t eat too much? How can we balance demand for these foods with planetary health? There are a lot of moral and ethical issues to understand,” she says.