Paul Howe

Paul HoweDirector and Irwin H. Rosenberg Professor of Nutrition and Human Security
Working with Feinstein Since: 2021
Based in: Brookline, MA

As director, Paul Howe is responsible for the overall strategy and administration of the Feinstein International Center. A recognized expert on the topic of famine, he brings to his role over 17 years of experience working with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). In his last assignment, he served as WFP Country Director in Nigeria. He previously worked in Afghanistan, Uganda, and Laos and at WFP’s headquarters in Italy. Even while serving as a senior leader in WFP, Paul continued his research and publication activities on the issues of hunger, famine, and the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.

Paul received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from Princeton University, and a doctorate from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.

He lives in Brookline, MA, with his wife and daughter.

Research Interests:
  • Hunger and Famine 
  • Humanitarian/Development/Peace Nexus 
Most Cited Books and Articles:
  • Howe, Paul, and Devereux, Stephen. “Famine intensity and magnitude scales: A proposal for an instrumental definition of famine.” Disasters no. 28(4), (December 2004): 353-372.
Most Recent External Publications:
  • Howe, Paul and Naumova, Elena. “Poverty and famines 2.0: the opportunities and challenges of crisis modeling and forecasting.” Journal of Public Health Policy (2022).
  • Howe, Paul. “The triple nexus: A potential approach to supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals?” World Development, no. 124 (December 2019): 104-629.
  • Howe, Paul. “Famine systems: A new model for understanding the development of famines.” World Development, no. 105 (May 2018): 144-155.

News Items

Hackathons to forecast famine highlighted by Tufts Now
May 16, 2023

Can more accurate models of famine, supported by historical data and the most up-to-date tracking tools, lead to better predictions and save more lives? As part of the Forecasting Famine…

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Paul Howe discusses making the world more resilient with TuftsNow
October 7, 2022

A year after Paul Howe assumed leadership of the Feinstein International Center, TuftsNow sat down with him to understand his aspirations for the center and his thoughts on humanitarian assistance. Read the…

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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.

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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.

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Feinstein Publications

Famine Prevention: A Landscape Report
Thumbnail of Famine Prevention Report Cover

This study reviews what we have learned regarding policies and interventions to prevent famine, and how these can be scaled up more rapidly.

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