George Kennedy

George Kennedy

Associate Professor Emeritus, Food & Resource Economics (MFRE)

MacMillan, 2357 Main Mall

Born and raised in Vancouver, George Kennedy first experienced agriculture on his grandparent’s dairy farm in the Fraser Valley. After high school, he took general arts and science courses at UBC and earned a BA in Psychology and Sociology in 1968. He then spent a summer establishing an alfalfa field on his family’s farm in the Okanagan Valley. This experience convinced him to pursue a career in agriculture. He began with a year of course work at the University of Guelph, then to the University of Minnesota for an MSc (1970), and to Purdue University for a PhD (1973), all in agricultural economics.

In 1974, Dr Kennedy began working for Agriculture Canada as a research economist for two years before joining the Department of Agricultural Economics at UBC as an Assistant Professor in 1976. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1985. His teaching and research have spanned a number of areas, from farm management to agricultural policy. His research interests have increasingly focused on international development. He spent 1982-83 researching economic development in Japan as a Visiting Scholar at Kobe University. In 1988, he spent six months in Nepal as the economist on an IDRC sponsored watershed study.

In 1991, Dr Kennedy was appointed Director of International Programs in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. Under Kennedy’s leadership, the Faculty has become one of the most internationally active at UBC. He spent 1993-94 on sabbatical at Lincoln University, New Zealand. On returning to UBC, he was named Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics for the period 1994-1996. Kennedy continues to serve as Director of Global Partnerships (formerly International Programs) for the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. He is also Academic Coordinator for the Faculty’s Global Resource Systems Undergraduate program.

As Director of the Faculty’s Global Partnerships, Dr Kennedy was instrumental in UBC’s becoming a member of the South East Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources; in the Tokyo University of Agriculture exchanges; in the Faculty’s participation in the Student Exchange Program; and in other initiatives involving international education. In 2002, he won the Scotiabank-AUCC (Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada) Award for Excellence in Internationalization for the Global Resource Systems Program in the category “Broadening the Student Experience.”

Dr Kennedy has received research funding from a number of local, national and international agencies. He has presented papers on topics such as Interdisciplinary Teaching, International Agri-Food Trade Patterns and Sustainable Agriculture at a number of international conferences. He has also published papers in several Canadian and international journals dealing with agricultural economics and international development.

In 2010, George helped launch the Master of Food and Resource Economics program, the first professional masters degree in Canada to offer a combination of applied economics, policy analysis and agribusiness management. George serves as Academic Advisor and Manager for the MFRE program.

R Blair and C R Nichols 2002