Valerie Mueller is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Prior to joining IFPRI, she was a postdoctoral research associate in the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. She received a M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2005) from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Dr. Mueller’s research falls largely into three main themes. The first quantifies rural household vulnerability to climate variability, focusing on migration, nutrition, and health markers in Africa and Asia. The second area of research uses randomized control trials to identify mechanisms to improve the delivery of rural services (legal justice for women, agricultural extension, and the equitable allocation of irrigation water) in East African countries. Her third area of research is on the prospects of youth employment in Africa. She is currently co-editing a volume, which studies the evolution of youth employment and its role in the structural transformation process in Africa.
Her research contributions on the issue of environmental migration have been featured in Nature Climate Change, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and the Journal of the Association for Environmental and Resource Economists, and have received significant media coverage in over 15 major media outlets (including Le Monde, Science, and Scientific American). Despite her presence in the research community, she remains involved in the field and aims to provide relevant technical expertise by repeated interaction with donor communities, local policymakers, and government officials.