Howard W Buffet is a professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He serves on the advisory committee of the Jameel Index for Food Trade and Vulnerability, a research initiative launched by the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which studies the implications of climate change on food trade.
Howard’s award-winning research introduced the 'Impact rate of return'—an innovative methodology to measure and analyse social and environmental impact—and was published in his paper, 'Social value investing: A management framework for effective partnerships' in 2018. Previously, Howard was executive director of the Howard G Buffett Foundation, which strengthens food security for vulnerable populations across nearly 100 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller '40 chances: Finding hope in a hungry world' (2013) on the subject of global food security.
Prior to that, Howard oversaw economic development and stabilisation programmes for the US Department of Defense in Afghanistan and Iraq. For his work in Afghanistan, he received the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award—the highest-ranking civilian honour presented by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also served as a policy advisor for the 'White House domestic policy council', where he co-authored the President’s cross-sector partnership strategy, and he was a member of the 'Technology, innovation and government reform' policy working group for the 2008-09 Presidential Transition Team. Howard also held roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Office for Partnerships.
Howard holds a BS from Northwestern University, an MPA from Columbia University and executive education certificates from Harvard Business School. He sits on several corporate boards and advisory boards where he focuses on ESG and sustainability strategies, including at: Columbia University, for its USD 14 billion endowment; Case New Holland Industrial (NYSE:CNHI); Toyota Motor North America (NYSE:TM); Inari Agriculture; StateBook International; REEF Technology; and Reflection Analytics. He also chairs the advisory council for Harvard’s International Negotiation Programme.