Joseph Lanning, PhD

Joe is an economic and agricultural anthropologist who has worked in higher education as both an educator and administrator while conducting research on agricultural decision making and food security. He holds a BA in anthropology, with a focus on gender studies, and an MA in global history from the University of Rochester and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Georgia. Much of his work focuses on the agricultural livelihoods of rural Malawians as they navigate climatic, environmental, and economic risk and uncertainty in their efforts to achieve food security. Joe is an alum (fall ’98) of SIT’s semester abroad program in Kenya. His time as an SIT student inspired him to volunteer with the US Peace Corps and work in the areas of public health, irrigation, and alternative agriculture. His research and teaching has since led him to work and travel through much of southern Africa, and, in addition to directing the Rethinking Food Security program, he is currently a managing partner for a small-scale permaculture demonstration farm in Malawi. Joe has more than a decade’s experience teaching and managing anthropology research methods field schools in Malawi and Samoa for undergraduate, high school, medical, and graduate students.


  • PhD, University of Georgia
  • MA, University of Rochester
  • BA, University of Rochester
Joseph Lanning, PhD

SIT Study Abroad

Program Director

IHP: FOOD SYSTEMS: Agriculture, Sustainability, and Justice

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SIT Graduate Institute

Program Chair

Global Master of Arts in Development Practice

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Affiliated Faculty

Master of Arts in Sustainable Development

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