Dan Sumner, Director

Daniel A. Sumner is the Frank H. Buck, Jr., Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis and the Director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center. He participates in research, teaching, and directs an outreach program related to public issues related to agriculture.

He has published broadly in academic journals, books, and industry outlets. His research and writing has received numerous awards for research quality, quality of communication and contribution to policy.   He has served as Chair of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium, a consultant for farm organization, government agencies and firms and is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and symposia.  In 1998, he was named a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association for his career achievement.

From 1978 to 1992, Dan was a professor in the Division of Economics and Business at North Carolina State University. He spent much of the period after 1986 on leave for government service in Washington, DC, where he served at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers before moving to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Immediately prior to moving to California in January 1993, Dan was the Assistant Secretary for Economics at the USDA, where he contributed to policy formulation and analysis on the whole range of topics facing agriculture and rural America — from food and farm programs to trade, resources, and rural development. In his role as supervisor of the USDA’s economics and statistics agencies, Dan was also responsible for data collection, outlook and economic research.

Dan was raised on a fruit farm in Suisun Valley, California and was active in 4-H and FFA activities as a youth. He received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural management from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 1971, a master’s degree from Michigan State in 1973, and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1978.


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