Nayga, a Distinguished Professor and Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at University of Arkansas, will begin as department head Aug. 1.
Although new to the position, Nayga is not new to Texas A&M. He received his doctorate from the university and was a professor of agricultural economics at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for 12 years before joining the University of Arkansas. He has also been a faculty member at Rutgers University in New Jersey and at Massey University in New Zealand.
Nayga earned his bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos and master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Delaware.
Academic focus and research
Nayga’s research interests include the economics of food policy and quality and how these and emerging consumer issues affect food and nutrient consumption, obesity and public policy.
His research has been used to assess the efficacy of federal food programs on health outcomes such as food consumption and obesity. It has also provided important insights on the effect federal food programs and policies have on the health of various segments of the population, including children and the disadvantaged.
Another area of Nayga’s research has been toward assessing the value of novel food products, programs and policies. Data from this research has been used by policy analysts and policymakers to make food program benefit-cost analyses and assess their degree of public support.
“Dr. Nayga’s work has addressed such important topics as poverty, nutrition, obesity and novel food technologies,” said Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. “He is an internationally known and respected expert in the policy, economic and health aspects of food. We are fortunate he has decided to return to Texas A&M and that he will be using his extensive experience and insights to benefit the college and the people of Texas.”
Credentials and publications
Nayga’s international academic credentials include his appointment as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and as an adjunct professor at Korea University and Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research. He was also a research economist with the National Bureau of Economic Research and a senior research fellow at the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study in Tokyo. He is currently an executive board member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University in Belfast.
Nayga has published more than 250 refereed articles in numerous journals related to economics, public health, behavioral science and more. According to Google Scholar, his work has been cited about 14,000 times, with an H-index of 64. A standardized citation metrics rank him in the top 1% of roughly 6.9 million scientists and among the top 1% of agricultural economists on their citation list.
He is or has been a member of the editorial board of 17 scholarly journals as well as associate editor for the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and co-editor of Choices, a publication of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
Grants, lectures and panels/boards
Nayga has received about $30 million in grants and contracts from various national and international agencies, research organizations, foundations and institutes. He has given more than 450 invited talks and lectures in the U.S. and other countries.
He also has served as an expert evaluator and/or a member of many panels or boards organized by various organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations, International Rice Research Institute, International Foundation for Science and U.S. National Science Foundation.
Professional affiliations and recognition
Nayga’s professional affiliations include work for the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine; U.S. Food and Drug Administration; National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board; American Society for Nutritional Sciences; Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics; USDA’s Agriculture and Food Initiative Program and National Institute of Food and Agriculture Competitive Grants Program; and the USDA Economic Research Service’s Food and Nutrition Research Programs.
He is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Awards from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Delaware, and the University of the Philippines at Los Banos.
Nayga has received numerous awards including the Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award and the Presidential Recognition Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association.