Daniel Maxwell is the Henry J. Leir Professor in Food Security at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the Acting Director of the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University—an institute researching humanitarian crises and populations at risk. He is the author, with Nisar Majid, of Famine in Somalia: Competing Imperatives, Collective Failures (2016, Oxford University Press). He is the author, with Kirsten Gelsdorf, of Understanding the Humanitarian World (2019, Routledge). At the Feinstein Center he leads research on famine, food security, livelihoods systems in crisis, and and humanitarian information systems. He teaches courses on famine, livelihoods and humanitarian action.
Dan works with governments, humanitarian agencies, and affected communities at the grass roots, national, and regional levels to build the evidence base for improved humanitarian and resilience programming and policy. He developed the coping strategies index (CSI), one of the most commonly used food security indicators that enables governments and NGOs responding to crises to quickly understand the food security status of large numbers of people.
From 2008–2011, he served as the chair of the Department of Food and Nutrition Policy at the Friedman School. Prior to joining Tufts, Dan spent twenty years in leadership positions with international humanitarian agencies and research institutes. He was deputy regional director for CARE International in Eastern and Central Africa, Rockefeller Post-Doctoral Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, and worked for the Mennonite Central Committee for ten years in Tanzania and Uganda.