Duncan Boughton

Duncan Boughton

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Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics


Ph.D., Michigan State University
M.Sc., University of Reading (UK)
B.Sc., (Hons.) University of Reading (UK)

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Duncan Boughton is a fixed-term professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics (AFRE).  Duncan was resident in Myanmar from January 2016 until the February 2021 military coup, serving as team leader for the USAID Burma funded Food Security Policy Project and the UN LIFT funded Agri-food Value Chain Development project. Both projects were implemented in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington D.C.

Following the military coup, Duncan re-located to Kasetsart University in Thailand where he is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. While continuing to work on food security in Myanmar he works with Kasetsart University faculty on climate smart innovations in Thai agricultural value chains as part of the Winrock-led Regional Agricultural Innovation Network. 

Before moving to Myanmar, Duncan served as program director for the USAID funded Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy (FSP). Working with partners in 11 countries, FSP focused on bridging evidence gaps to create inclusive policy processes incorporating four cross-cutting themes: climate change, gender, nutrition, and youth employment.

While currently based in Asia, Duncan has lived and worked for much of his professional life in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to beginning his PhD at MSU in 1988 he worked for the UK international aid program in The Gambia for five years as an agricultural economist for the Department of Agricultural Research Services. Duncan conducted doctoral and post-doctoral research with the national agricultural research program of Mali (IER) during the period 1992 to1996. After an assignment as Senior Scientist with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in Malawi he rejoined AFRE in 1998 as Mozambique Project Country Coordinator. He returned to campus in August 2004 and served as a Food Security Group Co-Director from 2006 to 2015.

Current Projects

  • USAID Burma Myanmar Agriculture Policy Support Activity (MAPSA)
  • Livelihoods and Food Security (LIFT) Agri-food Value Chain Development Project
  • USDA Regional Agricultural Innovation Network (RAIN)
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Policy Research, Capacity Building and Influence (PRCI)

Past Projects

  • Food Security II Cooperative Agreement. [1992 - 2002]
  • Food Security II Technology Assessment Studies [1992 - 1995]
  • Mali Food Security Initiative [1992 - 1996]
  • Food Security II Strategic Planning Studies [1993 - 1996]
  • Mozambique Food Security Project. [1998 - 2002]
  • Mozambique Policy Analysis and Research Support [2002 - 2004]
  • Food Security III Cooperative Agreement. [2002 - 2012]
  • Mozambique Policy Analysis and Planning Capacity for Improved Food Security and Nutrition Outcomes. [2002 - 2014]
  • Project to Mobilize Food Security Initiatives in Mali - Phase II [2006 - 2011]
  • Guiding Investments in Sustainable Agricultural Markets in Africa – GISAMA [2008 - 2012]
  • Improving Food Security Research and Analysis Capacity in Burma (Myanmar) [2013 - 2014]
  • Burma Food Security Policy Project [2014 - 2020]
  • Strengthening Impact Assessment in the CGIAR System - SIAC [2013 - 2016]

Research and Outreach Interests

  • Agricultural and food system policy analysis
  • Climate change and food system innovations
  • Agricultural research and policy systems
  • Human and organizational capacity building


  • J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Award. 2019/20.
  • Ralph H Smuckler Award for Advancing International Studies and Programs. 2016.

Host Country Program Young Professional Mentoring

  • Burma/Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Mozambique
  • Malawi
  • Mali


  • J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Award. 2019/20
  • Ralph H Smuckler Award for Advancing International Studies and Programs. 2016