ASI Director

Tom Tomich


Tom Tomich joined the University of California-Davis faculty in January 2007. He is founding director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, inaugural holder of the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, and professor of community development, environmental science and policy at UC Davis. He also serves as director of the UC statewide Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. Tomich was principal economist for the World Agroforestry Centre from 1994-2006. During that time, he worked with the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins, first in Southeast Asia and then as ASB global coordinator, based in Nairobi, Kenya, leading long-term collaborative partnerships at sites in the Amazon, Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia aiming to raise productivity and income of rural households without increasing deforestation or undermining essential environmental services. Before that, Tomich spent 10 years as a policy advisor and institute associate with the Harvard Institute for International Development and also served as a lecturer in economics and in public policy at Harvard University. He has broad interests and experience in agriculture, including agroforestry and other farming systems; economic development strategy and policy; hunger and food policy; natural resource management (land, water, trees, forests, air quality); integrated ecosystem assessment; sustainability science; global and regional environmental issues; strategic planning and adaptive program management. He has worked in Brazil, Cameroon, Egypt, the Gambia, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Peru, Tajikistan, Thailand, and the United States. Tomich was raised on a family farm in Orangevale (near Sacramento). He received his BA in economics from UC Davis in 1979 and his PhD in Food Research from Stanford University in 1984.