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US Rep. Melanie Stansbury M.S. ’07 is set to speak on Wednesday.

September 13, 2021

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury M.S. ’07 to Discuss Equitable Development Strategies

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Rep. Melanie Stansbury (NM-01) M.S. ’07 will be the next guest speaker for The Perspectives in Global Development Seminar hosted by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’s Global Development department this Wednesday afternoon.

The series of seminars showcase global development through the point of view of experts from various parts of the world, with some presenters speaking on campus and others over Zoom. This is the third semester the series will be taking place, beginning in the fall of last year with a 10-part series. 

This semester, the series has planned 11 seminars with guests ranging from Prof. Mario Herrero, global development, who will discuss sustainable global food systems, to Sudha Narayanan Ph.D. ’11, a senior research fellow in the International Food Policy Research Institute’s South Asia Regional Office, who will talk about farmer protests in India.

On Wednesday, Stansbury will discuss, over Zoom, strategies she uses as a congressperson in New Mexico to create policies and programs that aim to reduce social and economic disparities by meeting the needs of underserved communities. Her talk will center around how she tackles economic development, food and water security and climate change legislation in New Mexico.

Stansbury has previously served as a staffer in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources while she was also an aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The New Mexico congressperson also served in the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama.

Stansbury made headlines after she unseated seven-term Republican incumbent Jimmie C. Hall for the New Mexico state representative seat. 

Throughout her time in the House of Representatives, Stansbury has held committee assignments in the Committee of Natural Resources and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

“[Stansbury] is a champion of efforts to address hunger, food, and water insecurity, conservation and climate change, and economic development and recovery,” Stansbury’s biography for the event says.

The congressperson has been an advocate for many progressive issues, including the Green New Deal, reducing economic inequality, Medicare for All, a federal assault weapons ban and the cancelation of student loan debt.

Stansbury began her run for the special election following President Joe Biden’s appointment of Debra Haaland as United States Secretary of the Interior, who is in charge of the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resources. 

The Albuquerque native won the special election in a landslide, defeating her opponents with 60.4 percent of the vote.

The former Development Sociology Ph.D. candidate has discussed in the past how her Cornell experience –– particularly her Cornell in Washington experience — has informed her political career . 

“I was always interested in community development and policy, but through that [Cornell in Washington] class I got to see how accessible policy makers are and how academic knowledge and community work can be put to use in the public policy space,” Stansbury said in a University press release. “That was really transformative for me.”

The Perspectives in Global Development seminars will be held Wednesdays from 12:25 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET during the semester. Those who wish to view the event in-person may attend at 135 Emerson Hall.