Leif Jensen, Ph.D.

Leif Jensen, Penn State professor rural sociology
Distinguished professor
  • lij1@psu.edu
Based In
University Park, Pennsylvania (USA)

Leif Jensen is Distinguished Professor of Rural Sociology and Demography in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education at The Pennsylvania State University. His areas of research and teaching include poverty, inequality, demography, and international development. With the Horticulture Innovation Lab, Jensen is Co-PI on the project focused on empowering women through Horticulture in Honduras (also called the Women and Agriculture Network (WAgN) Honduras project).

Jensen is a sociologist and demographer who is interested in understanding the state and determinants of social and economic well-being of individuals, families, and households. His policy-relevant research is motivated by the need to inform and address structured inequalities related to gender, race/ethnicity, immigrant status, rural versus urban residence, and other characteristics of people and the places that affect life chances. How these inequalities play out among smallholders engaged in horticultural production is another focus.

Jensen is a past president of the Rural Sociological Society, past director of the Population Research Institute at Penn State, and has been a Fulbright Scholar in the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty at the University of Bergen (Norway). He received master's and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his undergraduate degree is in sociology from the University of Vermont.

When I'm not working, you can find me…
Playing the tuba.

Favorite vegetable:

Best thing about collaborating across borders:
Learning almost as much about your own country through comparison, as you do about other countries.