Faculty and Researchers
Daniel MaxwellHenry J. Leir Professor in Food Security and Research Director
Director, Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance (MAHA) Program
Daniel Maxwell is the Henry J. Leir Professor in Food Security at the Friedman School of Nutrition and Research Director at the Feinstein International Center. In 2016-2017, he served as the acting director of the Center. His recent research focuses on food security and the re-emergence of famines in the 21st century. He teaches courses on humanitarian action and humanitarian policy, as well as famine and food insecurity. He directs the Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance (MAHA) program at Tufts.
He is the author, with Kirsten Gelsdorf, of Understanding the Humanitarian World (Routledge, 2019). He is the author, with Nisar Majid, of Famine in Somalia: Competing Imperatives, Collective Failures (Oxford University Press, 2016). He is the co-author, with Chris Barrett of Cornell University, of Food Aid After Fifty Years: Recasting Its Role (Routledge, 2005).
Since 2014, Dan has been a member of the Famine Review Committee for the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification system—the formal mechanism by which contemporary famines are analyzed and declared. Prior to joining the faculty at Tufts, Dan worked for two decades for humanitarian agencies, mostly in Africa. His most recent position was Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Central Africa for CARE International.
He holds a B.Sc. from Wilmington College, a master’s degree from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
- Famine and acute humanitarian crises
- Humanitarian information systems and the politics of information and analysis
- Early warning and anticipatory action
- Emergency preparedness and contingency planning
- The “localization” of humanitarian action
- Resilience, livelihoods, food security, and food security measurement
- Livelihood systems under stress
- Humanitarian action and policy
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Greater Horn of Africa
- North Africa/Middle East
- Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies (NUTR 229/DHP D230), Fall Term
- Seminar in Humanitarian Issues (NUTR 223), Fall Term
- Famine, Livelihoods, and Resilience (NUTR 339), Spring Term
- International Humanitarian Response (NUTR 324/DHP D-213), Spring Term
- Maxwell, Daniel G. “Measuring Food Insecurity: the Frequency and Severity of ‘Coping Strategies.’” Food Policy 21, no. 3 (1996): 291–303. https://doi.org/10.1016/0306-9192(96)00005-x.
- Maxwell, Daniel, Carol Levin, Margaret Armar-Klemesu, Marie Ruel, Saul Morris, and Clement Ahiadeke. “Urban Livelihoods and Food and Nutrition Security in Greater Accra, Ghana.” International Food Policy Research Institute 112 (2000). https://doi.org/10.2499/0896291154rr112.
- Maxwell, Daniel G. “Alternative Food Security Strategy: A Household Analysis of Urban Agriculture in Kampala.” World Development 23, no. 10 (1995): 1669–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-750x(95)00073-l.
- Barrett, Christopher, and Daniel Maxwell. “Food Aid after Fifty Years: Recasting Its Role.” London: Routledge (2005).
- Maxwell, Daniel. “The Political Economy of Urban Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.” World Development 27, no. 11 (1999): 1939–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0305-750x(99)00101-1.
- Maxwell, Daniel. “Humanitarian Challenges and Implications for Famine Early Warning Systems” in Accountability for Mass Starvation, eds. Bridget Conley, Alex de Waal, Catriona Murdoch, and Wayne Jordash QC (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022).
- Lentz, Erin and Daniel Maxwell. 2022. “How do information problems constrain anticipating, mitigating, and responding to crises?” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Vol. 81 (October) Article 103242. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2022.103242
- Maxwell, Daniel, and Peter Hailey. 2021. “Analyzing Famine: The Politics of Information and Analysis in Food Security Crises.” Journal of Humanitarian Affairs Vol. 3 (1), pp. 16-27 http://dx.doi.org/10.7227/JHA.055.
- Maxwell, Daniel, Abdullahi Khalif, Peter Hailey, and Francesco Checchi. 2020. “Viewpoint: Determining Famine: Multi-Dimensional Analysis for the Twenty-First Century.” Food Policy 92: 101832. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101832.
- Bapu Vaitla, Jennifer Cisse, Joanna Upton, Girmay Tesfaye, Nigussie Abadi, and Daniel Maxwell. 2020. “How the choice of food security indicators affects the assessment of resilience—an example from northern Ethiopia.” Food Security. Vol. 12(1), pp.137–150. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-019-00989-w.
- Maxwell, Daniel, and Kirsten Heidi Gelsdorf. Understanding the Humanitarian World. (London: Routledge 2019).
Dan Maxwell participates in Scholars’ Circle Podcast about famine
Famine and food insecurity threaten the lives of nearly a billion people worldwide. And the number of people living in food insecurity is increasing. Why is there food insecurity and…Read More
Dan Maxwell receives award for public impact
Dan Maxwell received the Mozaffarian Family Award for Public Impact in May 2023. This award is made annually to a Friedman School faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional public impact…Read More
Feinstein Research Projects
Preventing Famine in the 21st Century
This project reconsiders our understanding of famines, the dynamics that give rise to famines, the resilience of populations subjected to these dynamics, and the means of prevention at the disposal of governments, humanitarian agencies, donors, and the affected populations.Read More
Localization of Humanitarian Assistance
This research program seeks to understand the enabling and hindering factors that support localized or locally led humanitarian responses to natural disasters, conflicts, and prolonged complex emergencies.Read More
Famine Prevention: A Landscape Report
This study reviews what we have learned regarding policies and interventions to prevent famine, and how these can be scaled up more rapidly.Read More
Another Humanitarian (and Political) Crisis in Somalia in 2022
This report rings the alarm about likely famine in Somalia in 2022 by comparing the situation today with the situation before and during the famine in 2011.Read More