Melissa Leach

Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, United Kingdom, ISC Fellow.


Melissa Leach is Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. She co-founded and co-directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre (www.steps-centre.org) from 2006 – 2014. As a social anthropologist she led numerous interdisciplinary, policy-engaged research programmes in Africa and beyond, while engaging with scientific, policy and public debates around food, health, gender, environmental sustainability and development.

Amongst external roles, she was vice-chair of the Science Committee of Future Earth 2012 – 2017, lead author of the 2016 World Social Science Report 2016 on Challenging Inequalities, and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food). She is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy for Social Sciences, and Academia Europea as well as the International Science Council.

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