Prabhu Pingali, director of the Tata-Cornell University Initiative for Agriculture and Nutrition, has more than 30 years of experience in the field of food policy, particularly in assessing the extent and impact of technical change in agriculture in developing countries, including Asia, Africa and Latin America.
He was named the founding director of the Tate-Cornell initiative when it was established in 2013 with a $25 million endowment from the India-based Tata Education and Development Trust. The goal of the initiative is to solve the problems of poverty, malnutrition and rural development in India.
Prior to joining the initiative, Pingali spent five years as deputy director of agriculture development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He began his career as an economist with the World Bank in 1982; followed by stints as an agricultural economist at the International Rice Research Institute, director of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, and director of the Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Pingali was named a fellow of the International Association of Agricultural Economists in 2009, a foreign fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2007, and a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association in 2006. In 2010, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from North Carolina State University where he earned his PhD in economics in 1982. A native of Hyderabad, India, Pingali earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in 1977.
Pingali and his wife, Kumari, are the parents of two daughters, Samira and Priya.