Lauren E Parnell

Lauren E Parnell

Lauren E Parnell

Adjunct Faculty

International development, humanitarian affairs, emergency management, and food policy

Adjunct Faculty Member Lauren Parnell aims to inspire students to be informed participants in the food system through her courses on food policy and sustainability.  


Lauren has considerable academic and practical experience in international development, humanitarian affairs, emergency management, and food policy.  She brings real-life examples, case studies and current events into the classroom to demonstrate that food policy is all around us.  She challenges students to explore their local food community and think deeply about the people and places, near and far, involved in bringing food to their plate.


Lauren spent the formative years of her career in the restaurant and hospitality industry and has been an avid researcher, organizer, and advocate for sustainable food policy in Northern Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region ever since. 


For the last nine years, Lauren has worked for the U.S. Department of State, on a broad range of topics including political and economic issues with Latin America, conflict prevention, stabilization operations, peacekeeping, refugees and humanitarian assistance, and, now, domestic emergency management.


Her research interests include disaster resilience in coastal communities, food ethics, sustainable seafood, and labor issues in farming and seafood harvesting.




Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in Latin American Studies, a Master’s of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University, and a Graduate Certificate on Latin America and the Caribbean, also from Syracuse.