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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

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.

Meet Wendy


Listen to remarks made by the vice provost during the 2021 International Student Graduation Reception. Enjoy the complete video of graduating international students and their families from around the world as they came together virtually in May. 

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