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Vice Provost for International Affairs

Wendy Wolford, vice provost for international affairs since 2018, sees global engagement as the central way to “grapple with the big problems in the world today”—and a responsibility shared by the entire Cornell community.

Wendy Wolford headshot

Wolford is Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Professor of Global Development in the Department of Global Development. As vice provost, she is responsible for strengthening the university’s global connections and worldwide interdisciplinary initiatives. Her research focuses on international development, land use and distribution, social mobilization, and agrarian societies with a regional concentration in Latin America—particularly Brazil. For 20 years, she has worked with one of the most important grassroots social movements in Latin American history: the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), or the Movement of Rural Landless Workers. Part of Cornell’s faculty since 2010, Wolford served as the faculty director of economic development at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, where she co-led CARE-Cornell and Oxfam-Cornell collaborations.

"In an era of persistent inequality and shared vulnerabilities, it is our collective obligation to be good global citizens."

Before joining Cornell, she was a faculty member in geography at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. She spent 2016–17 as a Fulbright scholar in Mozambique and Portugal. She is currently working on a book on the politics of inequality and rural development in Brazil and Mozambique. Wolford’s This Land is Ours Now (2010, Duke University Press) was a groundbreaking book that presented an original framework for understanding social mobilizations. Wolford holds a PhD in geography from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in economics and international development from McGill University.

At Home in the World

Stone entrance to Cornell with nameplate.

Wendy spoke at the Cornell Leadership Week lunch in March 2022 and focused on how Cornell has "always been at home in the world." Enjoy the remarks and accompanying slides.

Vice Provost In the News

Full listing

Vice Provost Wendy Wolford presented "The Elusive Plantation: Imagining Development in Mozambique" at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In November 2023, the Cornell-China Forum, hosted in Guangzhou, China, showed Cornell's research and commitment to addressing urgent global challenges and collaborations with a global scope, with Vice Provost Wolford delivering the opening remarks.


Global Cornell leadership visited India in April, where they met with alumni and institutional partners.


Plaksha University, India, has signed an MoA with Cornell to advance academic exchange and encourage joint research initiatives.