Rich is the Director for Agriculture Initiatives at WRI within the Food, Land, and Water Program. He provides strategic leadership and oversight to WRI’s agriculture initiatives aimed at supporting food security and livelihoods, sustainably boosting yields, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving water management, and building resilience to climate change.

Since joining WRI in 2007, Rich has conducted extensive research on food systems and climate change, including for two landmark reports, the World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future, and The Global Land Squeeze. These reports focus on solutions to meet growing demand for food and wood while protecting and restoring nature and stabilizing the climate, including improving agriculture, reducing food loss and waste, and shifting toward plant-rich diets. He has also conducted research to quantify the economic value of natural ecosystems.

Rich has collaborated with the private sector since 2016 to help food and agriculture companies set science-based targets, measure progress, and implement solutions. He was a co-inventor of Coolfood, an initiative now working with more than 60 food providers to reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions in line with climate science. He is a co-author of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance and the Science Based Targets Network Guidance for Land

Prior to joining WRI, Rich lived in Cameroon for four years, where he served as an agroforestry extension agent with the United States Peace Corps and helped coordinate the U.S. Embassy’s international development programs.

Rich holds an M.A. in International Development Studies, with concentrations in Environment and Food Security, from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and a B.A. from Hamilton College.