Dr. M. Jahi Chappell

Director of Agroecology and Agriculture Policy


Telephone (612) 870-3434
Email Jahi

In his path to IATP, M. Jahi Chappell has been a bodywash formulation engineer, agroecologist, science and technology studies postdoc, and assistant professor of environmental science and justice. He has worked with and consulted for groups like Via Campesina, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the urban agriculture nonprofits Growing Hope (Ypsilanti, Mich.) and Growing Gardens (Portland, Ore.). In academia, his research in political agroecology combined conservation biology, political economy and ecology, science and technology studies, sociology, and ecological economics to create a unique understanding of the stakes and opportunities within contemporary food systems. He is a leading scholar of the food security policies of the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, which served as a basis for Brazil’s acclaimed national Zero Hunger programs. The underlying purpose of his work has been and continues to be the construction of a participatory, socially just, ecologically sustainable food system that serves and supports both farmers and citizens (not just “consumers”!). His experiences across sectors and countries has helped him learn how to listen to and work with a wide diversity of groups.

He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering (both from the University of Michigan), and conducted postdoctoral research at Cornell University. He served as Chair of the Agroecology Section of the Ecological Society of America from 2012–14.