Prominent Economist Joins Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty

October 4, 2021
Craig Gunderson, Ph.D.

Craig Gundersen, Ph.D., has joined Baylor University and the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty as the inaugural Jim and Tammy Snee Family Chair in Food Security. (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)

Craig Gundersen becomes inaugural Snee Family Chair in Food Security at Baylor University

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WACO, Texas (Oct. 4, 2021) – The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP) announced today that Craig Gundersen, Ph.D. – one of the nation’s leading experts and sought-after voices on strategies to address food insecurity, with a special emphasis on publicly funded nutrition programs – has been selected as the inaugural Jim and Tammy Snee Family Chair in Food Security. Gundersen comes to Baylor University from the University of Illinois, where he was a Distinguished Professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Economics.

The Snee Family Chair in Food Security will provide support for Gundersen’s research within BCHP, expanding the organization’s work to alleviate poverty and hunger in communities around the country and the world. The Snee Chair, which was announced earlier this month, was established by Jim and Tammy Snee of Austin, Minnesota, through the Baylor Academic Challenge, a dollar-for-dollar matching program intended to encourage other members of the Baylor community to contribute to endowment in support of research and to help recruit new faculty members within the initiatives of Illuminate, Baylor’s strategic plan.

Gundersen will strengthen BCHP’s focus on research as an essential tool in addressing challenges associated with poverty and lack of access to food resources. The Baylor Collaborative’s work is among the strategic initiatives outlined within Illuminate, with Baylor becoming a recognized leader on poverty research and integrating social science with social responsibility.

“Our work at the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty stands on the pillars of research, policy and practice,” said Jeremy Everett, executive director of BCHP. “Our field staff and partners around the country are on the front lines, practicing innovative solutions for lifting the burdens of poverty on individuals and communities. And our policy team works with legislators to create more just and equitable systems. But all this work would amount to spinning our wheels without solid research and evaluation to inform what we are doing. This has always been a vital component of our work, but the addition of Dr. Gundersen exponentially elevates our status as the premier research-focused organization devoted to alleviating hunger.”

Speaking to Gundersen’s future impact on the University, Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., said, “We are excited to welcome Dr. Craig Gunderson as the Snee Chair for the Baylor Collaborative for Hunger and Poverty. He is an accomplished economist and scholar working in applied areas studying how best to distribute food in ways that can serve the most vulnerable most efficiently. In addition, his commitment to ending hunger aligns well with Baylor’s commitments as a Christian university.”

Kathy Krey, Ph.D., BCHP’s director of research and administration, noted that Gundersen’s “exceptional knowledge on the economics of food insecurity and personal commitment to the intersection of economics and public service is a game-changer for us. We are truly honored to welcome him to the Baylor community.”

In addition to his work with BCHP, Gundersen will be a valuable addition to the Department of Economics at Baylor, teaching courses on the economics of food security.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty is a capacity-building project that develops and implements strategies to end hunger through policy, education, research, community organizing and community development. BCHP works to increase food security by ensuring that every individual has access to three healthy meals a day, seven days a week. BCHP convenes federal, state, and local government stakeholders with non-profits, faith communities and business leaders to create an efficient system of accountability that increases food security in Texas, the United States, and globally. Along with its office located within the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor, BCHP has offices located in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen and San Angelo.