Maximo Torero is an economist. Throughout his career at multilateral organizations and global research institutions, he has provided intellectual and strategic leadership to translate research into policy, fighting poverty.

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A prolific researcher, Torero has published scores of articles in top academic journals analyzing poverty, inequality and behavioral economics. At the country level, he has led multiple research and evaluation programs to enhance the role of infrastructure, institutions and technology in reducing poverty and inequality. Scroll down to learn more.


Maximo Torero is Assistant Director General for economic and social development at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome.

Before joining FAO, he served at the World Bank Group as Executive Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. At the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., he led the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division. He is a Professor at the University of the Pacific, Perú (on leave) and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at University of Bonn, Germany.

He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed academic articles analyzing poverty, inequality and behavioral economics in top journals – including in Quarterly Journal of EconomicsEconometric TheoryAmerican Economic Journal: Applied EconomicsReview of Economics and Statistics and Journal of Labor Economics. Specifically, he has studied the role of infrastructure, institutions and technology on poverty reduction, and the importance of geography, infrastructure access and assets in explaining poverty. He is the author of 14 books, including Food Price Volatility and its Implications for Food Security and Policy and Innovations for Inclusive Value Chain Development: Successes and Challenges.

He has led several research programs and impact evaluations. For example, he led the impact evaluation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s $450 million-investment in El Salvador’s Northern Transnational Highway and rural electrification to increase access to markets.

Torero received the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole from the French government for exceptional contribution to agriculture. The Global Development Network awarded him twice for outstanding research on development. His work has been cited in numerous media outlets, including CNN, BBC, The Economist and The New York Times. He has a Ph.D. in economics from University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.S. from University of the Pacific in Peru.

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Applied Research and Evaluation Programs

Torero’s work on applied research projects spans Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa (specifically, sub-Saharan Africa) and Asia in six areas: poverty alleviation, infrastructure, human capital, food systems, institutions, risks and uncertainties. He has a unique expertise on impact evaluation on initiatives linked to infrastructure, water and sanitation, electricity, information and communications technology, and public services delivery.

Torero and his research team have worked with schoolchildren in Peru to bridge the digital divide. They are building capabilities of children who promote positive behavior change at home. Click here to learn more about kid power.

Fighting Food Loss and Waste

Our lack of knowledge of the magnitude of food loss and waste is a major barrier to addressing the problem. Torero’s role in leading the G20’s efforts to measure and identify where in the food system food loss and waste occur is well reflected in the policy brief Clarifying the Problem of Food Loss and Waste to Improve Food and Nutrition Security.

He was also instrumental in launching the Technical Platform on Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste, which aims to coordinate the global efforts. Click here to learn more.