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Ricardo Salvador

Ricardo Salvador

Senior Fellow, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems


  • Senior Fellow, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems


Ricardo J. Salvador is Director and Senior Scientist of the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in Washington DC. He leads a team of scientists, economists, policy analysts and organizers to make the case that modern, sustainable practices can be highly productive while also protecting the environment, producing healthy food, and creating economic opportunity for all. He is a member of the Board of Agriculture and National Resources of the National Academy of Sciences, and of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food. He has advised a range of leading organizations in sustainable and equitable agriculture, including the Food Chain Workers Alliance, the Fair Food Program of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, The Land Institute, FoodCorps, National Farm to School Network, Center for Good Food Purchasing, Food System 6, and the HEAL Food Alliance.

He is an agronomist with a focus on sustainability and systems analysis. His undergraduate degree in agriculture is from New Mexico State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in crop production and physiology are from Iowa State University. Prior to joining UCS, Ricardo worked for the Texas A&M University Extension Service, was on the Iowa State Agronomy faculty for 18 years (where with colleagues he established the first graduate program in sustainable agriculture within the Land Grant University System), and subsequently became Program Director for Food, Health and Wellbeing at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. At the Kellogg Foundation, Ricardo partnered with colleagues to create grant-making programs that addressed the connections between food and health, environment, economic development, sovereignty, and social justice.