Jessica Fanzo, PhD

Core Faculty; Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food & Agricultural Policy and Ethics
  • Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics
    Berman Institute of Bioethics
    Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
    Dept. of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Director
    Johns Hopkins Global Food Ethics and Policy Program
    Food & Nutrition Security, JHU Alliance for a Healthier World

Jessica Fanzo, PhD is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at the Berman Institute of Bioethics, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University in the USA. She also serves as the Director of Hopkins’ Global Food Policy and Ethics Program, and as Director of Food & Nutrition Security at the JHU Alliance for a Healthier World.  From 2017 to 2019, Jessica served as the Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report and the UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition. Before coming to Hopkins, she has also held positions at Columbia University, the Earth Institute, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme, Bioversity International, and the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya. She was the first laureate of the Carasso Foundation’s Sustainable Diets Prize in 2012 for her research on sustainable food and diets for long-term human health.

Jessica has worked as an advisor for various organizations and governments including DFAT, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), PATH, the Scaling Up Nutrition movement (SUN), the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN), USAID, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

With twenty years of research and program experience working in the field in sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, and the United States, her area of expertise focuses on the impact of transitioning food systems on healthy, environmentally sustainable and equitable diets, and more broadly on the livelihoods of people living in resource-constrained places.

Jessica has a PhD in Nutrition from the University of Arizona and completed a Stephen I. Morse postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Columbia University.

Research Interests

  • Linkages between agriculture, the environment and climate, and health to improve food systems and environments, diversity and quality of diets and nutrition outcomes
  • The importance of regaining food security and agriculture-based livelihoods in post-conflict regions through better governance and food policy
  • The emerging area of equitable, ethical, and sustainable diets and food systems


  • Ph.D., Nutrition, University of Arizona
  • Stephen I. Morse Postdoctoral Fellow, Immunology, Columbia University

Recent Publications

1.      Downs, SM, Kauai, J, Smith, S, Sackey, J and Fanzo, J. (2019). A mHealth voice messaging intervention to improve infant and young child feeding practices in Senegal. Matern. Child Nuts. 2019 Apr 4:e12825. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12825

2.      GBD 2017 Diet Collaborators. (2019). Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet. In Press.

3.      Willett, W, Rockstrom, J, Loken, B, Springmann, M, Lang, T, Vermeulen, S, Garnett, T, Tilman, D, DeClerk, F, Wood, A, Jonell, M, Clark, M, Gordon, L, Fanzo, J, Hawkes, C, Zurayk, R, Rivera, J, De Vries, W, Sibanda, L, Afshin, A, Chaudhary, A, Herrero, M, Agustina, R, Branca, F, Lartey, A, Fan, S, Crona, B, Fox, E, Bignet, V, Troell, M, Lindahl, T, Singh, S, Cornell, S, Reddy, S, Narain, S, Nishtar, S and Murray, C. (2019). Our Food in the Anthropocene: The EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems. The Lancet. 1-47.

4.      Fox, E.L., Davis, C., Downs, S.M., Schultink, W. and Fanzo, J., (2019). Who is the Woman in Women’s Nutrition? A Narrative Review of Evidence and Actions to Support Women’s Nutrition Throughout Life. Current Developments in Nutrition. 3(1): 1-22.

5.      Fanzo, J, Cordes, K, Fox, E and Bulman, A (2018) Tying the Knot: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Human Right to Adequate Nutrition. Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. 57(1): 62-114.

6.      Downs, S. M., Glass, S., Linn, K. K., and Fanzo, J. (2018). The interface between consumers and their food environment in Myanmar: an exploratory mixed-methods study. Public health nutrition, 18: 1-14.

7.      Quelhas, D., Kompala, C., Wittenbrink, B., Han, Z., Parker, M., Shapiro, M., Downs, S., Kraemer, K., Fanzo, J., Morris, S. and Kreis, K. (2018). The association between active tobacco use during pregnancy and growth outcomes of children under five years of age: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health18(1), 1372.

8.      Fanzo, J., and Glass, S. (2018). Ethical and Sociocultural Considerations of Biofortified Crops: Ensuring Value and Sustainability for Public Health. Advances in Food Security and Sustainability. 93-132.Volume 3.

9.      Lozano, R., Fullman, N., Abate, D., Abay, S.M., Abbafati, C., Abbasi, N., Abbastabar, H., Abd-Allah, F., Abdela, J., Abdelalim, A. and Abdel-Rahman, O., et al. 2018. Measuring progress from 1990 to 2017 and projecting attainment to 2030 of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals for 195 countries and territories: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet392(10159), pp.2091-2138.

10.    Springmann, M., Clark, M., Mason-D’Croz, D., Wiebe, K., Bodirsky, B.L., Lassaletta, L., De Vries, W., Vermeulen, S.J., Herrero, M., Carlson, K.M., Jonell, M., Troell, M., DeClerck, F., Gordon, L.J., Zurayk, R., Scarborough, P., Rayner, M., Loken, B., Fanzo, J., Godfray, H.C.J., Tilman, D., Rockström, J., Willett, W., n.d. Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits. Nature. Oct;562(7728):519-525. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0594-0

11.    Fanzo, J. (2018) The Ethics of Food in the Health System Architecture. AMA Journal of Ethics. 20 (10): E913-917.

12.   Fanzo, J. (2018). Does Global Goal Setting Matter for Nutrition and Health? AMA Journal of Ethics20(10), 979-986.

13.   DeFries, R., Chhatre, A., Davis, K. F., Dutta, A., Fanzo, J., Ghosh-Jerath, S., … & Smith, M. R. (2018). Impact of Historical Changes in Coarse Cereals Consumption in India on Micronutrient Intake and Anemia Prevalence. Food and Nutrition Bulletin39(3), 377-392.

14.    Fanzo, J., Davis, C., McLaren, R., & Choufani, J. (2018). The effect of climate change across food systems: Implications for nutrition outcomes. Global Food Security, 18, 12-19.

15.    DeFries, R., Chhatre, A., Davis, K. F., Dutta, A., Fanzo, J., Ghosh-Jerath, S., … & Smith, M. R. (2018). Impact of Historical Changes in Coarse Cereals Consumption in India on Micronutrient Intake and Anemia Prevalence. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 0379572118783492.

16.    Fanzo, J. (2018). The role of farming and rural development as central to our diets. Physiology & Behavior. Sep 1;193(Pt B):291-297. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.05.014

17.    Fanzo, J. (2018). Addressing poverty in rural Africa. Nature Sustainability, 1(6), 269.

18.    Rao, N. D., Min, J., DeFries, R., Ghosh-Jerath, S., Valin, H., & Fanzo, J. (2018). Healthy, affordable and climate-friendly diets in India. Global Environmental Change, 49, 154-165.

19.    Nicholas, K., Fanzo, J., & MacManus, K. (2018). Palm Oil in Myanmar: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of the Effects of Industrial Farming on Biodiversity Loss. Global Health: Science and Practice, 6(1), 210-222.

20.    Graziose, M. M., Downs, S. M., O’Brien, Q., & Fanzo, J. (2018). Systematic review of the design, implementation and effectiveness of mass media and nutrition education interventions for infant and young child feeding. Public Health Nutrition, 21(2), 273-287.

21.    Wood, S. A., Smith, M. R., Fanzo, J., Remans, R., & DeFries, R. S. (2018). Trade and the equitability of global food nutrient distribution. Nature Sustainability1(1), 34.