Applications are open for Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is pleased to announce that applications are open for its Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture, which will be held at Columbia University from July 12-21, 2017. This training course is designed primarily for public sector officials and civil society representatives from low- and middle-income countries, whose responsibilities relate to investments, agriculture, land, or rural development. The deadline for applying is March 31, 2017.


Download the 2017 Executive Training Brochure here.

The application for the program is available here.

Increased international investment in agriculture can accelerate sustainable development and help to meet growing food security needs at domestic, regional, and global levels. Yet, if not structured equitably or regulated carefully, investments can also lead to social and environmental degradation. These risks have only heightened as investments in land for agriculture have become increasingly attractive to foreign investors and host countries alike.

In seeking to promote responsible international investment in agriculture and encourage sustainable development, countries face both challenges and opportunities. These include: developing robust legal and fiscal frameworks; negotiating equitable deals with investors; leveraging investments for greater sustainable development outcomes; and mitigating environmental impacts while protecting human rights.

To help stakeholders in addressing these issues, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) has developed an annual executive training on international investments in agriculture. The next training is planned for July 12-21, 2017.

The program adopts an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable investments in agriculture. It provides an overview of pressing issues related to agricultural investments, as well as an introduction to relevant practical skills. The overarching goal of the course is to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to support responsible agricultural investment, and to facilitate a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe. By working through case studies with practitioners and experts in the field, participants will focus on how to use analytical tools and frameworks to harness international agricultural investments for sustainable development.

The 2017 Executive Training Brochure is available for download here.

Who should attend?

This interdisciplinary program is designed for mid-level public sector officials and civil society representatives from low- and middle-income countries, whose responsibilities relate to investments, agriculture, land or rural development. A select number of representatives from development agencies and the private sector may also be admitted. (Please note that all participants must be able to read and communicate in English.)

Where and when will the program be held?

The 2017 program will be held at Columbia University (New York) from July 12-21.

What are the program fees?

The program fee for this eight-day training is USD $3,750 – this covers lectures, on-campus accommodation, breakfasts and lunches, and social events. Without accommodation, the program fee is USD $2,000. A limited number of partial scholarships are available.

The on-campus accommodations included in the program fee have a twin size bed (which comfortably sleeps one) and a private bathroom; more information available here. If you prefer to secure your own housing, a few off-campus options are listed here.

How can I apply?

To apply, please complete and submit our online application form (available here).  The deadline for applying is March 31, 2017; applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.


The course draws primarily from among faculty and experts at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Outside experts also teach specific topics related to their expertise. Faculty from the 2015 and 2016 trainings have included:

  • Ward Anseeuw, Research Fellow, CIRAD
  • Joseph Bell, Of Counsel, Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Karol Boudreaux, Land Tenure Practice Lead, The Cloudburst Group
  • Lorenzo Cotula, Principal Researcher, IIED
  • Esther Delbourg, École Polytechnique
  • Heather Eisenlord, Human Rights Director, ISLP
  • Joshua Fisher, Director, Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity
  • Bruce Gilchrist, Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Michael Jarvis, Executive Director, Transparency & Accountability Initiative
  • Kiersten Johnson, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, USAID Bureau for Food Security
  • Jon Lindsay, Lead Counsel for Land and Natural Resources, Environmental and International Law Practice Group, World Bank
  • Mark Musumba, Associate Research Scientist, Agriculture and Food Security Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Carolyn Mutter, International Program Manager, Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)
  • Ruth Rawling, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Cargill
  • Amanda Richardson, Co-Founder and Program Director, Resource Equity
  • Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
  • Senior legal, economics, and technical staff of CCSI

If you have any questions about the program or if you would be interested in sponsoring participants for the 2017 program, please contact:


Source: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment 

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