David R. Lee

David R. Lee

  • Professor Emeritus
  • Cornell University Faculty Trustee

Interdisciplinary Theme

Faculty Expertise

  • Food and Agricultural Economics
  • International and Development Economics and Policy
  • Economics
  • Management
  • Applied Economics
  • Environmental, Energy and Resource Economics and Policy


Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management



Cornell Directory Entry


David R. Lee is international professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and provost's fellow for internationalization in the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs at Cornell University. He received his BA degree from Amherst College and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lee's research focuses mainly on the interface between economic development, agriculture, and the environment, including food security, sustainable agriculture, technology adoption, environmental services, climate change, and agricultural and environmental policy. He has conducted research or consulted in nearly 30 countries, principally in Latin America, but also in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. He has served as a visiting economist in the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (Rome), in the chief economist's office of the U.S. Agency for International Development (Washington, DC) and in the Economic Research Service of USDA (Washington, DC); as a visiting fellow at the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi in Turin, Italy; and as a visiting professor at universities in Italy, the Netherlands, Venezuela, and Honduras.

Lee teaches a university-wide undergraduate course, International Trade and Finance and a graduate course Natural Resources and Economic Development. He has served as an economic consultant and technical advisor for many organizations, including the World Bank, FAO, USAID, UNDP, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In both 2007 and 2011, Lee was a co-recipient of the World Bank's Green Award, awarded annually by the Environment Sector Board of the World Bank to recognize excellence in addressing environmental and sustainability concerns in the bank's country programs around the world.

Selected Publications

Academic Degrees

  • PhD University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1981
  • MA University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1980
  • BA Amherst College, 1972