David R. Lee

David R. Lee


435 Warren Hall


International Professor,
Provost's Fellow for Internationalization, 
Office of Vice Provost for International Affairs

Areas of Expertise

  • Agricultural Policy
  • Climate Change
  • International Trade, Finance and Development
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Technology Adoption

Graduate Fields

  • Applied Economics and Management
  • Conservation and Sustainable Development
  • International Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Latin American Studies
  • Natural Resources


  • Doctorate University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1981
  • Master's Degree University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1980
  • Bachelor of Arts Amherst College, 1972

David R. Lee is International Professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and Provost’s Fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs at Cornell University. He received his B.A. degree from Amherst College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His 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.

Prof. Lee teaches a university-wide undergraduate course in “International Trade and Finance,” and a graduate course on “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, Prof. 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

Journal Publications



  • AEM 2300: International Trade and Finance 
  • AEM 6600: Natural Resources and Economic Development