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Faculty Leaders

Scott Pearson

As a 6-year-old growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, Scott Pearson was fascinated by geography. After he mastered the state capitals, his interest shifted to foreign countries and eventually to the seven continents. He remembers voraciously reading National Geographic articles, particularly those on the peoples of Africa. He joined the Peace Corps in 1961 and served in Nigeria, which strengthened his commitment to understand and improve the lives of others less fortunate. Thereafter, Scott realized his childhood dream of experiencing the world and studying its people; his career focused on international trade and development and his retirement on the rise and fall of empires. Since retiring, he has lectured on more than 70 educational travel trips, and he is one of Stanford Travel/Study’s most popular lecturers.

"Scott is a consummate Travel/Study Lecturer. He is always well prepared, insightful and interesting and a very affable person. He is always available for interaction, questions, discussion."

Mary Mizroch, Sailing the Western Mediterranean, 2017


  • Served on the Stanford faculty from 1968 until his retirement in 2002 as professor of agricultural economics
  • Director, Food Research Institute, 1991–1996
  • Regularly advised governments in Asia, Africa and southern Europe on food and agricultural policy

  • Dean’s Award for Teaching in Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences, 1978
Academic History:

  • MA, International Relations, Johns Hopkins University
  • PhD, Economics, Harvard University