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Max Pfeffer

Max Pfeffer

Executive Dean

271 Roberts Hall
(607) 255-3755

Max J. Pfeffer, International Professor of Development Sociology, is Executive Dean in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. He focuses on special initiatives for the college. Pfeffer’s expertise and research in key policy areas—including land use and environmental planning, rural and agricultural labor markets, and rural-to-urban and international migration—have helped Cornell develop a reputation with policy makers for innovative solutions to pressing social issues. His academic work has focused on a variety of rural and urban communities in New York, Mexico, and Central America. Funding for his research has been provided by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative and its Fund for Rural America, and the Social Science Research Council. Pfeffer has published a wide range of scholarly articles and has written/co-edited four books, including (with John Schelhas) Saving Forests, Protecting People? Environmental Conservation in Central America. Pfeffer has served on and led National Research Council committees of the Water Science and Technology Board, and has served as Chair of the New York Sea Grant Board of Governors. He has been Senior Associate Dean, Chair of the Development Sociology Department and the Associate Director of both the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cornell University Center for the Environment.

Research Focus

I have conducted research on a variety of topical areas including community development, international migration, agricultural labor, rural labor markets, land use and environmental planning. Primary data collection and field research have been a defining features of my research which has centered on a variety of rural and urban communities with a particular emphasis on rural/urban fringe areas in rural New York, Mexico and Central America.

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Presentations and Activities

  • Immigrants and Communities. 2018 ICMA Annual Conference. January 2018. International City/County Management Association. Baltimore, MD United States.