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Roni Neff

@rneff1 on Twitter

111 Market Place, Suite 840, Baltimore MD 21202

Program Director, Research Program and Food System Sustainability & Public Health

Roni is an Associate Professor in the Bloomberg School’s Environmental Health & Engineering and Health Policy & Management departments. She also directs CLF's Food System Sustainability and Public Health program. Roni’s research is driven by concern about global environmental challenges, including the opportunity for mitigation through food system interventions addressing waste and consumption patterns; the need to adapt food systems in order to improve resilience to climate change and other threats; and the need for attention to equity issues throughout.

Roni’s research, policy and practice efforts focus mainly on wasted food and urban food system resilience to climate change and other threats. She also works on other issues including sustainable diets, urban systems, food system workers, and equity. She uses qualitative and quantitative tools to explore the social and policy questions needed to understand and address food system challenges, with particular focus on behavior and communications. She is especially interested in grappling with the complex social realities that complicate well-meaning public health efforts. She speaks widely on these issues and has frequently been quoted in the media. Her current service and leadership roles include participation on the National Academy of Sciences Food Forum, a National Academies panel on wasted food, and on the Board of the Agriculture, Food & Human Values Society.

Roni edited the first-ever textbook on food systems and public health. She teaches two courses: Baltimore Food Systems: A Case Study in Urban Food Environments and Food System Sustainability Practicum. Roni also co-leads the school’s Certificate and MPH concentration on food systems and public health.

Roni grew up in Queens, New York. She obtained an BA from Brown University, a Masters in Health and Social Behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a PhD in Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School. Prior to joining the tenure track, she worked in public health practice and policy for over 15 years, focusing on diverse topics from reproductive health and HIV/AIDS to lead poisoning prevention to environmental and occupational health policy, and finally, food systems. While the topics of her public health work have varied, her commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability are threaded throughout. She eventually came to see food as a perfect vehicle to bring together these concerns (and others) for the long-term.

Roni loves working at the CLF because she can focus on specific projects while simultaneously engaging in the range of issues her colleagues are working on; because of the Center’s commitment to communications, policy and practice; and because she gets to work with so many wonderful students.

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