Universal Food Security:

How to End Hunger While Protecting the Planet


Glenn Denning

BAgrSc/MAgrS, U. of Queensland; MPA, Harvard; PhD, U. of Reading
Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs
Dir. Master of Public Administration in Development Practice, Columbia University


Jeffrey Fralick

SPS'20, Climate Risk Analyst at the Environmental Defense Fund
DC Lead, Columbia Alumni Global Sustainability Network

What would it take to achieve a genuinely food-secure world—one without hunger or malnutrition, where everyone gets to consume the right quantity and quality of food to live a healthy, active, and productive life? Bringing about such a future requires transforming how our food is grown, managed, and distributed. From production to consumption, food systems must be sustainable, halting environmental degradation and even repairing the damage we have previously done.

In anticipation of Earth Day celebration on April 22, Prof. Glenn Denning provides guidance on how to make healthy diets from sustainable food systems available to all, in an all-encompassing conversation with Jeffrey Fralick. Denning bridges the divisive worlds of science, policy, and practice. He lays out key priorities—sustainable intensification, market infrastructure, postharvest stewardship, healthy diets, and social protection—and presents how to achieve food systems transformation.

Identifying the education and development of practitioner-leaders as the critical trigger of change, Denning drives to inform and inspire those leaders—acting on their own and with others through institutions—to achieve a food-secure world.

Time will be allocated for Q&A.

Cosponsored by:
  • Harvard Club of Washington DC
  • University of Queensland in America
  • The Columbia Alumni Global Sustainability Network

This program is part of the ColumbiaDC CUP series.

"Universal Food Security is an extraordinary book by an extraordinary individual. Glenn Denning offers a comprehensive approach to one of the world’s greatest challenges: how to feed humanity, including the poor and vulnerable, while protecting the Earth’s environment. The book covers an enormous range of topics with remarkable clarity and wisdom, drawing upon Denning’s long career as a world-leading practitioner, scholar, teacher, and policy advisor of agricultural systems. This book will educate, inspire, and help to guide today’s and future leaders in the global effort to achieve a world without hunger" Jeffrey D. Sachs, University Professor at Columbia University and president of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Picture1.jpgGlenn Denning joined SIPA in 2009 as founding Director of the Master of Public Administration in Development Practice (MPA-DP), a joint undertaking of SIPA with Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He teaches core courses on Global Food Systems and Sustainable Development Practice and Policy.

From 2011 to 2014, Denning served as Director of the Earth Institute’s Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development. He continues to serve on the Earth Institute faculty as Chair of the Practice Committee. Prior to joining SIPA, Denning helped establish The MDG Centre of East and Southern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, serving as its founding director from 2004 to 2009.

Over the past 40 years, Denning has advised governments and international organizations on agriculture and food policy in more than 50 countries. At the global level, he served on the UN Millennium Project Hunger Task Force (2004-6) and the Senior Steering Group of the UN High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (2009-13). Denning worked in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research for 24 years and held senior management positions at the International Rice Research Institute and the World Agroforestry Centre.

Denning contributed to the design and establishment of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and served on GAFSP’s Technical Advisory Committee (2010-14), reviewing, evaluating, and endorsing country proposals that resulted in approval of over $1 billion of grant funding to more than 25 countries. He also served on the founding board of the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (UONGOZI Institute). Denning has advised the Asian Development Bank on aligning its strategy and operations to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

In 2000, Denning was honored by the Government of Cambodia as Commander of the Royal Order of Sahametrei for his role in establishing the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute and his contributions to increasing national rice production. In 2014, Denning received the Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching..

JeffreyFralick.jpgJeffrey Fralick is a Climate Risk Analyst at the Environmental Defense Fund. Prior to joining EDF, Jeff worked as an environmental scientist for the Department of Homeland Security. Originally from Pennsylvania, Jeff moved to New York City in 2018 to pursue his MS in Sustainability Science from Columbia's School of Professional Studies. He has lived in Washington, DC since 2021.

While in graduate school, Jeff had several opportunities to work for Columbia's Earth Institute, most recently as a research assistant on a project focused on using satellite imagery to monitor and track fugitive bauxite dust from mining operations in Guinea. This past year, he served as an Alumni Teaching Associate in the Sustainability Management program. Jeff also spent nearly a year as a graduate research and policy assistant in the Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General.

In addition to his MS in Sustainability Science from SPS, Jeff earned his BS in Environmental and Sustainability Science from Cornell University, where he also minored in climate change. At his core, Jeff is a huge weather nerd who is passionate about identifying and implementing solutions to combat the climate crisis.

The Columbia Alumni Global Sustainability Network (CAGSNis an international, multidisciplinary community interested in creating a shared sustainable future. They are committed to building an alumni network of professionals interested in promoting sustainability and fostering meaningful connections within the University and worldwide. CAGSN is a volunteer-run Shared Interest Group (SIG) of the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA). Sign up to their distribution list here and connect with them on LinkedIn here.  

CUP Series: This is a new initiative between ColumbiaDC and Columbia University Press to showcase acclaimed and pioneering work by renowned academics, scholars, and researchers published by the Columbia University Press.

April 19, 2023 at 6:30pm - 8pm


Washington, DC
United States

Miyako Yerick


Will you come?