Skip to Main Content


Alex Winter-Nelson was named Associate Dean of the Office of International Programs in the College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences in the fall of 2018, after serving as director since 2013. Winter-Nelson is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.

He has been at the University of Illinois since completing doctoral studies in applied economics at the Stanford University Food Research Institute in 1992. His research has been motivated by a desire to understand the relationship between market institutions and poverty in developing countries. Most of this research has related to Eastern and Southern Africa, with some work in other regions of Africa and Latin America. Winter-Nelson has also been active in developing academic programs and has served as graduate program director in the Center for African Studies and the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.

He has done extensive research on the effects of agricultural policy in Kenya and on the impact of development interventions on poverty in Ethiopia. He is currently involved in ongoing research in Zambia to evaluate the impact of livestock development on poverty and malnutrition among smallholders. Another strand of his research concerns the potential for commodity exchanges and other market based mechanisms to mitigate risk for farmers in developing countries. His work in Africa was reinforced through visiting appointments at Egerton University in Kenya and at The University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Winter-Nelson has authored dozens of scholarly papers appearing in academic journals and books. His recent book, The Atlas of World Hunger, has been used as a text in courses on global food issues and was the winner of the 2011 James M, Blaut Innovative Publication Award from the Association of American Geographers. His research has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, USAID, the USDA, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has been a consultant for The World Bank, The Nile Basin Initiative, The International Food Policy Research Institute, and The International Center for Research in the Semi-Arid Tropics.

He teaches classes on the world food economy and on international development to undergraduates and graduate students. Past teaching recognitions include the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Hughes Award for Teaching Enhancement and consistent rankings of excellence by his students.


  • Director of ACES Office of International Programs
  • Professor



  • ACE 454: Economic Development of Tropical Africa ACE 251: World Food Economy ACE 551: International Food Policy


My research is motivated by an interest in reducing poverty in developing countries. More specific research issues that I address include food and cash crop marketing in Africa, the relationship between agricultural technology and nutrition, and the impacts of animal disease on trade and development.


  • Policy, trade, and development


  • Liverpool, Saweda and Alex Winter-Nelson (2012). “Social Learning and Farm Technologies in Ethiopia/” Journal of Development Studies 48: 1501-1521.
  • Takeshima, Hiroyuki and Alex Winter-Nelson (2011). “Sales Location of Semi-Subsistence Cassava Farmers in Benin.” Agricultural Economics 53: 655-670.
  • Liverpool, Saweda, and Alex Winter-Nelson (2011). “Asset versus Consumption Poverty and Poverty Dynamics in Rural Ethiopia.” Agricultural Economics 42: 221-233..
  • Liverpool, Saweda and Alex Winter-Nelson (2010). “Poverty Status and the Impact of Formal Credit Technology Use and Wellbeing among Ethiopian Smallholders.” World Development 38: 541-554.
  • Winter-Nelson, Alex (2009). “International Food Safety Regulations in the United States and the European Union: Balancing Consumer Confidence and Trade.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 91: 1491-1492.
  • Winter-Nelson, Alex and Karl Rich (2008). “Mad Cows and Sick Birds: What International Response to Animal Disease in Developing Countries?” Development and Policy Review 28: 211-226.
  • Stevens, Robyn, and Alex Winter-Nelson (2008). “Consumer Acceptance of Biofortified Maize in Mozambique.” Food Policy, 341-351.
  • Lim, Sung Soo, Alex Winter-Nelson and Mary Arends-Kuenning (2007). “Household Bargaining Power and Agricultural Supply Response: Evidence from Ethiopian Coffee Growers.” World Development 35: 1204-1220.
  • Rich, Karl and Alex Winter-Nelson (2007). “An Integrated Epidemiological-Economic Analysis of Foot and Mouth Disease: Applications to the Southern Cone of South America.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 89: :682-697.
  • Winter-Nelson, Alex and Anna Temu (2005). “Impacts of Prices and Transactions Costs on Input Usage in a Liberalizing Economy: Evidence from Tanzania,” Agricultural Economics 33: 243-253.

Find a Career at DPI

See Open Positions