Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals

2006 Recipients

Dr. Shenggen Fan, China
Ph.D., Applied Economics (1989)

Dr. FanDr. Fan is a distinguished alumnus of the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, where he earned a doctorate in applied economics in 1989. The research he conducted for his Ph.D. thesis was later published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. This was the first research to measure separate effects of the “green revolution,” technical changes, and the institutional reforms associated with the “responsibility system” on output and productivity growth in Chinese agriculture.

Since completing his graduate work, Dr. Fan has served with the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) in the Netherlands, the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Arkansas, and the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR).

In 1995 he began work as a research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which has been called one of the world’s premier think tanks on the food policy problems confronting developing countries. Dr. Fan is now the division director of development strategy and governance, one of the youngest division directors in the 30-year history of the institute.

Dr. Fan has devoted most of his professional life to working in international development. While much of his fieldwork has been in China, he has also done extensive work in India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Tanzania. His research is designed to analyze and assess the roles that targeted investments in agricultural research and development and public infrastructure can play in alleviating chronic poverty and hunger. In 2005, the National Science Foundation of China recognized his work by giving him its prestigious Outstanding Young Scholar award.

With Dr. Fan’s encouragement, the Moroccan government held a two-day conference in 2005 to discuss the strategy and process of moving from a low-growth to a high-growth path that benefits the poorest of the poor. Following the conference, he remained in the country to help design a research program to complete the policy decisions needed to assess the challenge of pursuing a more pro-poor growth strategy. In addition he led an effort to obtain financial support from several foreign agencies.
In naming Dr. Fan as a recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals, the selection committee cited his important work to alleviate hunger and poverty in China and also India, Thailand, and parts of Africa. Dr. Fan has been described as one of the best agricultural economists working on the transition economy and China’s rural development today.