Professor Nitya Rao

Director of Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development
Professor at the School of International Development, UEA.

Nitya oversees the strategic direction of NISD, a new UK centre of excellence which will apply world-leading transdisciplinary research to pressing global problems. A key strategic focus for her and the Institute is to change the way we work – to make sure that innovations meet farmers’ needs around the world, supporting farming communities to make agriculture more resilient and supporting the world’s food supply.

As Professor in Gender and Development, Nitya brings deep experience and understanding of farmer livelihoods, in contexts of climate variability, economic precarity and social inequality.

Driven by a commitment to social and gender justice, her work has a strong focus on the impacts of change and innovations on improving wellbeing of people, especially ensuring food and nutrition security.

At present, Nitya is a member of the Steering Group of the High Level Panel of Experts to the Committee on Global Food Security, with oversight for the recently launched 16th HLPE Report on youth engagement.

Nitya is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Group to the Global Challenges Research Fund of the UK Government, engaging in policy discussions on the direction of UK aid for research and innovation in the current pandemic year, but looking into the future.

Our mission

To create synergies across the natural and social sciences for excellent research and global public good. Transforming research and practice to enable equitable, food secure and sustainable futures.