Dr. Babu was educated at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (M.S. Economics and PhD Economics). Before joining IFPRI in 1992 as a Research Fellow, Dr. Babu was a Research Economist at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Between 1989 and 1994 he spent 5 years in Malawi, Southern Africa on various capacities. He was Senior Food Policy Advisor to the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture on developing a national level Food and Nutrition Information System; an Evaluation Economist for the UNICEF-Malawi working on designing food and nutrition intervention programs; Coordinator of UNICEF/IFPRI food security program in Malawi. During 1989-1994, as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Malawi, he helped initiate post graduate programs by developing and teaching computer-based policy-oriented courses.
At IFPRI, he has been involved in institutional and human capacity strengthening for higher education and research in many countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, including, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa for the past 23 years. He was IFPRI’s coordinator of its Central Asia program during 1997-2003 and the coordinator of the South Asia Initiative of IFPRI during 2001-2006. He leads IFPRI program on Learning and Capacity Strengthening. He was also the program coordinator for the Agricultural Open Curriculum and Learning Initiative (AGROCURI) a consortium of 40 partners from CGIAR centers, universities in developing and developed countries and international organizations. His current research includes human and organizational strengthening of food policy systems, policy processes, and agricultural extension in developing countries.
Dr. Babu has published more than 60 peer reviewed journal articles and authored or edited 14 books and research monographs. He was a coordinating author of the Millennium Ecosystems Assessment. He has been an honorary visiting professor at The Indira Gandhi National Open University of India, a guest professor at the China Center for Rural Development, Zhizhang University, China and an honorary professor of University of KwaZulu-Natal University in South Africa. He is currently on editorial board of 4 peer reviewed journals. He serves on several international advisory committees including, the Advisory Board of the World Agricultural Forum (http://worldagforum.com).