Brenda Boonabaana
Brenda Boonabaana

Cross-cutting themes co-lead

Brenda Boonabaana is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment, College of Liberal Arts, the University of Texas at Austin, USA. Her research focuses on feminist geography, sustainable development, social equity, women empowerment and sustainable agriculture/tourism, environmental justice, and climate change resilience.

She has provided technical expertise to numerous international and national organizations. Among her many international roles, she serves as trainer and mentor for the Gender-Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT), a joint Makerere/Cornell University program that builds gender capacity for interdisciplinary agricultural research teams (biophysical and social-economic/gender scientists) in sub-Saharan Africa. She has worked for the United Nations Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) as a Regional Field Expert for Africa, towards producing the Second Global Report on Women in Tourism (published in 2019), and was part of the team that won a global award of excellence for human development reporting in 2016, for the UNDP country report focused on: Unlocking the development potential of Northern Uganda.

She is a Fellow of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and IFPRI/GAAP2 project. She was part of the expert team selected by the IFPRI GAAP2 team to develop and test the qualitative protocols for the project-specific Women Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI). She holds a Ph.D. in gender and sustainable tourism from the University of Otago, New Zealand, a Master of Arts in land use and regional development, and a Bachelor’s degree in education (geography major), both from Makerere University, Uganda. She completed international professional training in Sustainable Environmental Management from the University of California, Berkeley (under the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Programme, Berkeley Rausser, College of Natural Resources) and a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin.

Brenda cares about good environmental quality, biodiversity conservation, women and girls’ empowerment, safe and empowered families, as well as food secure and poverty-free communities. She enjoys traveling, reading, multi-cultural interaction, and giving back to the community.

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