Erin McGuire is the director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, a U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Feed the Future initiative program based at the University of California, Davis, within the Department of Plant Sciences. In this role, she leads all global research and partnership initiatives, advocating for innovations and policies to advance the program's mission and vision to improve the lives of smallholder farmers while empowering communities through horticulture, including better access to nutrition and healthy diets. McGuire is a champion for sustainability and social justice, promoting collaboration and partnerships across all sectors; and with her specialization in the diversification of agricultural innovation pipelines and equity in scaling, she worked closely with experts from the CGIAR and Wageningen University and Research to build GenderUp, a conversational method for responsible scaling.
Before coming to the Innovation Lab for Horticulture, McGuire served as the policy director for the National Farm to School Network, where she focused on children's nutrition and boosting small farm income. Empowering disadvantaged women and children with better health, and small-scale farming communities with financial prosperity are important drivers of her work. McGuire spent time working for the U.S. Congress, for a congressional member that served on the House Agriculture Committee where she developed policies that benefited rural communities through better investments in government purchased local agriculture products.
She has also worked as an economic analyst and researcher at UC Davis, where she set-up D-Lab curricula in Honduras and Thailand, co-authored research with Agricultural Resources and Economics faculty on the effects of purchasing local foods, and led a project with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences International Programs Office on understanding call center efficacy in agricultural extension in Ghana and Bangladesh.
Erin McGuire has a PhD in Geography from University of California, Davis, where she focused on Equity in Agricultural Innovation Systems. She holds a master's degree in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis, and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the College of Santa Fe.
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