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International food security and trade expert Sophia Murphy returns home to IATP

MINNEAPOLIS—Today, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce Sophia Murphy as IATP’s new executive director. Sophia is a leader on global food security, international trade and corporate concentration, focused on the importance of food systems that support rural communities and the environment.

“I can’t imagine a better choice to lead IATP in the coming years. Sophia Murphy has a long and deep history with IATP, and she will hit the ground running to continue and amplify our important work on trade, agriculture and climate justice. Her work and IATP’s have been intertwined for decades, and we are thrilled Sophia will lead us in this next chapter,” says IATP Board Chair Pamela Saunders.

“Food and agricultural systems are a powerful source of hope and innovation. They connect us to our past and provide living proof of humanity’s astonishing adaptive capacity. IATP has a world class reputation for research, analysis and advocacy. I could not be prouder for this chance to lead with this team in the shared fight for just food systems that protect human and ecosystem health,” says Executive Director Sophia Murphy.

An internationally recognized policy expert and advocate focused on resilient food systems, agriculture and international trade with 30 years of experience, Sophia has served as board chair, program and research director and policy analyst. A published writer, she has worked within national and international civil society organizations and with government, intergovernmental organizations and universities. Most recently, she served as a specialist on agriculture, trade and investment in the Economic Law and Policy Program at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Sophia previously worked at IATP, starting in 1997 as a policy officer working on trade, then directing the trade program from 2000 to 2006 and acting as senior advisor until 2018. Sophia possesses a deep-seated knowledge of IATP’s history, mission and vision for the future. As our world faces multiple crises simultaneously — crises resulting from systemic failures and requiring policy solutions — Sophia will lead IATP’s efforts to bring about policy reforms that repair our broken systems and are good for people and our planet.

Sophia holds a BA in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University, a MSc from the London School of Economics, University of London and will defend her PhD thesis from the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability in 2021.

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Based in Minneapolis with offices in Washington, D.C., and Berlin, Germany, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. To learn more, visit: