Thomas Reardon

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture

Areas of expertise: Global Food & Agriculture


Thomas Reardon is professor of agricultural, food, and resource economics at Michigan State University (MSU) since 1992 and at International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) for a decade before that since his PhD at UC Berkeley in 1984. From 2012 to 2014 Reardon was also a 1000 Talents Program Scholar at Renmin University in Beijing, and from 2007 to 2011 resident in New Delhi in a joint program with the IFPRI South Asia Office. Reardon is a global leader on research on urbanization, diet change, and transformation of agrifood value chains, including the rapid rise of supermarkets, and modern processing, wholesale, and logistics companies, and their effect on food security, agricultural technology intensification (he coined the term “sustainable intensification” in 1995), and rural nonfarm employment. Most recently he is a leader in a new wave of research on developing country food system transformation, this time on the “Quiet Revolution in food supply chains in Asia and Africa,” emphasizing the rapid development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) along rural-urban food value chains. He has 12 years of experience in Asia, 10 in Latin America, and 13 in Africa, with 19 years of in-country residence in these. He is listed in Who’s Who in Economics, is a fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA, formerly called American Association of Agricultural Economics), has 19,200 citations in Google Scholar as of August 2015, was a personal invitee by World Economic Forum to Davos, and was featured on the front page of The New York Times and in the UK Parliament. He has been a featured speaker at agribusiness and food industry conferences and conventions in a number of countries, including the Produce Marketing Association of the US.