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Eric  Holt-Gimenez

Eric Holt-Gimenez

Agroecologist & Political Economist

Eric Holt-Gimenez

Agroecologist & Political Economist


Eric Holt-Giménez, Ph.D. is the executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy (July 2006—Present). Called one of the country's “most established food think tanks” by the New York Times, Food First’s mission is to end the injustices that cause hunger, poverty and environmental degradation throughout the world. Food First believes that a world free of hunger is possible if farmers and communities take back control of the food systems presently dominated by transnational agri-foods industries.

A political economist and agroecologist, Eric grew up working on farms in Northern California and worked for over 30 years in international agricultural development. He has published many magazine and academic articles on agroecology, development, food justice and food sovereignty and is author/editor of several Food First books, including: Can We Feed the World without Destroying It?; A Foodies Guide to Capitalism: Understanding the Political Economy of What we Eat; Land Justice: Re-imagining land, food, and the commons; Food Movements Unite! Strategies to transform our food system (2011); Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice (2009); and Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America’s Farmer to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture (2006) in which he chronicles his involvement with this movement in Mexico and Central America over two and a half decades. 

Eric lectures internationally and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of California, Boston University, University of the Pacific, Antioch University in Colombia and the National Gastronomic University of Italy. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California—Santa Cruz and a M.Sc. in International Agricultural Development from University of California—Davis.  

At Food First, Eric’s research and writing has included issues such as the global food crisis, the U.S. Farm Bill, the expansion of agrofuels, land grabs, neighborhood food systems, dismantling racism in the food system, the agrarian question and the rise of food movements. 

In his words, “Successful social movements are formed by integrating activism with livelihoods.  These integrated movements create the deep sustained social pressure that produces political will—the key to changing the financial, governmental and market structures that presently work against sustainability.”

Speech Topics

Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice

Food Security, Food Justice, Food Sovereignty: Food Movements Unite!

Beyond the World Food Crisis: Ending the Injustices That Cause Hunger