Water for Food
Water for food
Who We Are


The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute was founded in 2010 to address the global challenge of achieving food security with less pressure on water resources through improved management of water in agricultural and food systems. We are committed to ensuring a water and food secure world without compromising the use of water for other human and environmental needs.

Our approach is to extend the University of Nebraska’s expertise through strong partnerships with other universities and public and private sector organizations. Together we are developing research, education and engagement programs in a focused effort to increase food security while ensuring the sustainability of water resources and agricultural systems. We work locally and internationally, bridging the water and agriculture communities and the worlds of small- and large-holder farmers to deliver innovative solutions to this complex global challenge.


Our vision is a food and water secure world, where global food security is ensured without compromising the use of water to meet other pressing human and environmental needs.


Our mission is to have a lasting and significant impact on achieving more food security using less water by (1) conducting scientific and policy research and developing advanced decision-making tools and knowledge delivery systems, (2) using the results of scientific and policy research to inform policy and advise policy makers, and (3) educating the necessary human talent.


Roberto Lenton
Founding Executive Director
Board of Directors  
James Linder
Interim President, University of Nebraska
Mogens Bay
Chairman, Robert B. Daugherty Charitable Foundation
James B. Milliken
Chancellor of The City University of New York
Jeff Raikes
Co-Founder, Raikes Foundation
International Advisory Panel Members  
View individual bios  
Margaret Catley-Carlson
Vice Chair, Canadian Water Network
Colin Chartres
Director of Training and Master Classes, Crawford Fund, Australia; Adjunct Professor, Institute of Applied Ecology, University of Canberra
Marcos Folegatti
Professor of Biosystems Engineering, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Bashir Jama
Director of Soil Health Program, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Kenya
Uma Lele
Independent Scholar and Development Economist, Washington, D.C.
Martin Pasman

President, Valmont Industries de Argentina
Peter Rogers
Gordon McKay Research Professor, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
Pasquale Steduto
Deputy Regional Representative for the Near East & North Africa Region, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Egypt

Water for Food Institute  
Roberto Lenton
Founding Executive Director &
Robert B. Daugherty Chair
Nicholas Brozović
Director of Policy
Janet Means
Administrative Specialist
Craig Eiting
Web Developer and Graphic Design Specialist
Molly Nance
Public Relations & Communications Director
Karen Hansen
Proposal Development Coordinator
Christopher Neale
Director of Research
Rachael Herpel
Research and Outreach Coordinator
Jesse Starita
Education/Outreach Specialist
Dana Ludvik
Communications and Marketing Specialist
Richael Young
Program Associate
View Student Interns  
Nebraska Water Center  
The Nebraska Water Center was established in 1964 by Congressional mandate as one of 54 Water Resources Research Institutes in the United States. It supports the University of Nebraska as an international leader in water research, teaching, extension and outreach.
Chittaranjan Ray
Director, Nebraska Water Center
Steven W. Ress
Communication Coordinator
Daniel Snow
Director, Water Sciences Laboratory
Tricia Liedle
Program Assistant
Faculty Advisory Board  
Charlie J. Bicak
Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Mark Lagrimini
Professor, Agronomy and Horticulture
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Kenneth G. Cassman
Professor, Agronomy and Horticulture
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Harmon D. Maher
Professor, Department of Geography and Geology
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Bruce Dvorak
Professor, Civil Engineering – Lincoln
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Scott D. Snyder
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Sherilyn Fritz
Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Donald A. Wilhite
Professor, School of Natural Resources
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lilyan E. Fulginiti
Professor, Agricultural Economics
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Ronnie D. Green
Vice President, University of Nebraska
Harlan Vice Chancellor, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Steve Goddard
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Ronald E. Yoder
Associate Vice Chancellor, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Sandi B. Zellmer
Professor, Law
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Faculty Fellows

DWFI Faculty Fellows are faculty within the University of Nebraska system who contribute to the Institute’s research, scholarship, engagement and education programs. Faculty Fellow status gives formal recognition of an individual’s accomplishments and expertise and includes the Fellow in a community of faculty with complementary interests. It is intended for faculty who collaborate with the Institute for a sustained period of time. Appointments are non-salaried and made for one year, beginning January 1.

View Faculty Fellows

Faculty Affiliates

DWFI Faculty Affiliates are faculty within the University of Nebraska system who express interest in participating in DWFI research, education, and engagement programs. These individuals play an important role in the Institute’s ability to build bridges across academic disciplines to find solutions to the water for food challenge. Faculty Affiliates include, but are not limited to, faculty members who identify with the DWFI mission and vision, have received DWFI competitive grants funding, collaborated with DWFI on developing and submitting grant proposals, or hold positions supported by the Water Resources Research Initiative Program of Excellence.


  • Eligibility to apply to DWFI competitive research and education/engagement grants programs
  • Eligibility to apply for funding for DWFI Undergraduate Scholars and DWFI Graduate Research Assistantships
  • Involvement in transdisciplinary research dialogues
  • Participation on DWFI collaborative research teams
  • Participation in the global Water for Food Conference and other DWFI-sponsored forums and programs

DWFI will also connect faculty affiliates with external partners and experts and foster communication among faculty affiliates on the NU campuses.

To learn more, contact Rachael Herpel at (402) 472-4977 or rherpel@nebraska.edu.

View Faculty Affiliates

The University of Nebraska

Founded in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1869, the University of Nebraska (NU) is a four-campus, public university that serves the citizens of Nebraska through quality teaching, research, outreach and engagement. One of the early land-grant universities, founded less than two years after Nebraska became the nation’s 37th state, NU is the state’s only public university. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln was the first institution west of the Mississippi River to offer graduate education.  The university’s medical center in Omaha was founded in 1902 and given its own campus by legislative act in 1968 at the same time that the University of Nebraska at Omaha was added to the university.  In 1991, the University of Nebraska at Kearney became a campus of the university.  Today, the University of Nebraska system has a total enrollment of 50,000 students, 4,500 faculty and an annual budget of $1.8 billion.  The four campuses that make up the NU system are:

University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the state’s land grant and comprehensive research institution
University of Nebraska Medical Center, the state’s only public academic health sciences center
University of Nebraska at Omaha, a comprehensive metropolitan university in the state’s largest city
University of Nebraska at Kearney, a public, residential, mid-sized, comprehensive university in central Nebraska emphasizing undergraduate education

With a total enrollment of 50,000 students and an employee base of 13,000 individuals, NU is one of the largest universities in the country.

Identity Standards

Requirements for use of the logo and visual standards can be found on the Identity Standards page.

The DWFI is a proud member
of the World Water Council.

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