Robert L. Thompson

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture

Areas of expertise: Global Food & Agriculture, Global Economy


Robert L. Thompson is a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, where he held the Gardner Endowed Chair in Agricultural Policy from 2004 to 2010. He is a senior fellow with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and serves on the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council. Previously, Thompson served as director of rural development at the World Bank (1998 to 2002); president of Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development (1993 to 1998); dean of agricul¬ture (1987 to 1993) and professor of agricultural economics (1974 to 1993) at Purdue University; assistant secretary for economics at the US Department of Agriculture (1985 to 1987) and senior staff economist for food and agriculture at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (1983 to 1985).

Thompson received his BS degree from Cornell University and MS and PhD degrees from Purdue University and holds honorary doctorates from Pennsylvania State University and Dalhousie University (Canada). He is a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ukrainian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He is a former president of the International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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