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Garrick Louis
University of Virginia

Dr. Garrick Louis is Associate Professor of Systems Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Engineering & Society, as well as the founding director of the Small Infrastructure and Development Center at the University of Virginia. His research explores models for building local capacity for sustained access to essential human services in rural, low-income, and other developing communities. He analyzes how this capacity can facilitate economic and broader sustainable human development.  Dr. Louis’ background is in the engineering of decentralized water and sanitation systems, but he collaborates with other researchers on shelter, household energy, indoor air, food, and personal security.  His BSc. and MSc. degrees are in Chemical Engineering, and his PhD is in Engineering & Public Policy.  He was a Warren Weaver Fellow in the Global Environment Division of the Rockefeller Foundation, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers in 2000, and was a 2006 AAAS Science & Policy Fellow at the Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Louis has partnered with universities, local governments, and NGOs in the US, as well as Brazil, Cameroon, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, and  Zimbabwe to conduct his research on capacity building for access to basic human services. At the Rockefeller Foundation Dr. Louis helped to set up the Leadership for Environment & Development (LEAD) – Southern Africa Trust, as well as the Plant Oil Biofuel Initiative.

State Department Profile

Secretary’s Office of Global Food Security 

Garrick Louis serves in the Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary for Global Food Security (S/GFS). His assignment is to explore the policy and program options for Urban Food Security (UFS) in the context of Food Loss and Waste (FLaW) and the nexus of Food, Energy, and Water (FEW). Garrick has determined that urban and rural food security are interdependent challenges, and that policies to address them effectively should be simultaneous and complementary. He has developed the conceptual approach that connects urbanization to increased food production and livelihoods in rural areas along the continuum of people and settlements between the rural and urban poles. It would use Rural Town Centers (RTCs) to deliver food and value added products from rural areas to Urban Village Centers (UVCs). In return, the UVCs facilitate the transfer of remittances and specialized services, like healthcare and vocational training, to rural areas, where they are dispensed at the RTCs. This concept is being developed in consultation with other offices within the State Department, other U.S. government agencies and international development organizations.