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.