Jessica Agnew has been working internationally for nearly 10 years, building interdisciplinary expertise that spans across the field of agricultural economics, nutrition, behaviour change, and business. She holds a PhD in Planning, Governance, and Globalization with a specialization in International Development Planning and an MPH from Virginia Tech. She also earned her MSc and BA in Food, Agriculture, and Resource Economics from the University of Guelph, Canada. Agnew's research focuses primarily on advancing market-based approaches to nutrition, strengthening behavioral and social change communication to improve nutrition using novel, evidence-based approaches, and development of agricultural value chains in East Africa. In 2020, she was a USAID-funded research grant to investigate the use of blockchain in strengthening value chains for African indigenous vegetables in western Kenya. In addition to her international work, Agnew also works to improve food security at Virginia Tech. Since 2017, she has served as part of the research team investigating the state of food access and security at Virginia Tech, served as part of the task force to identify pathways to improve students' access to nutritious foods, and assisted with evaluation of The Market at Virginia Tech in its formative stages to help meet students' needs more effectively.
As the associate director for CALS Global, Agnew will leverage her global networks to find and create interesting opportunities for students and faculty of CALS and collaborating units on campus. She will also help create and implement strategic priorities for CALS to deepen its impact as a global land grant university.