Monday, April 14, 2014

Member Profile: Willi Meyers

Willi Meyers
Howard Cowden Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics
University of Missouri

AAEA Activities:
  • Chair-Elect, Chair, and Past Chair AAEA International Section, 2012-2015
  • AAEA Membership Committee, 2011-2014
  • Executive Committee of the AAEA International Section 2009
  • AAEA Distinguished Policy Contribution Award, 1991
  • AAEA Quality of Communication Award, 1991
  • Associate Editor, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1987-1990
  • AAEA Liaison to National Agriculture Forum, 1983-1984
Willi Meyers is the Howard Cowden Professor of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS), and Director of CAFNR International Programs, University of Missouri. He previously was Professor of Economics at Iowa State University (1979-2003) and Service Chief and later Director, Agriculture and Economic Development Division of FAO-Rome(1999-2002). He served as Senior Fellow at University of Bologna (2011), Visiting Consultant at the World Bank (1999), and Visiting Professor at University of Kiel (1991). He co-founded the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI), led FAPRI-Iowa State for 15 years and was Co-Director of FAPRI-University of Missouri (2003-2010).

His PhD in agricultural economics with Willard Cochrane at the University of Minnesota and MS with Randy Barker at the University of the Philippines both instilled a strong emphasis on practical applications and policy analysis. He earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics at Goshen College, and his international engagement began there and continued in 1963 with International Voluntary Services, Inc.

Willi’s career has been devoted to quantitative analysis of agricultural trade and policy interactions and impacts for the US and internationally; policy reforms and economic development in Europe’s transition economies; and international agricultural and rural development policy.He has published widely in journals, books and proceedings as well as in CARD and FAPRI reports and other publications that serve the public.

His work in FAO coincided with a series of high-level events, including the World Food Summit five-years-later in 2002, for which his Division had a lead responsibility. The publications which he produced with his team addressed pertinent issues of food security and sustainable development. It was during this time that FAO’s call to give agriculture and rural development higher priority in international efforts to fight hunger and poverty was widely heard and recognized. He also organized the first International Scientific Symposium on the Measurement and Assessment of Food Deprivation and Undernourishment in 2002 which focused on estimating chronic undernourishment, a highly complex and politically sensitive part of FAO’s work.

Over his career, he has engaged in many policy evaluation, decision-making support, and technical assistance projects in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa with funding from USAID, USDA, EU, FAO, Templeton Foundation, World Bank and the ADB. His graduate students have conducted dissertation and thesis research on agricultural trade and policy interactions and have contributed substantially to development of the international models and analytical systems of FAPRI, while also building their own capacities in policy and trade analysis. He has been major professor to 17 PhD and 16 MS graduates from 18 countries between 1982 and 2013 and has also advised numerous Fulbright, Cochran, Borlaug and other visiting scholars.

Since 2012 he has served on the Board of Directors for the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD). Aside from the AAEA roles listed, he served IAAE on the Editorial Board of Agricultural Economics, 1989-1991, Editor for North America, 1991-1994; and Co-Chair for Poster Sessions Organization, 26th IAAE International Conference, 2006 and is active in EAAE as well.

This post is part of an ongoing series of profiles of AAEA members. Have a suggestion for a future profile? Send them to or use the Submit a Member Profile form.

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