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Elizabeth L. Fox, PhD, RDN

Department of Public & Ecosystem Health

Assistant Professor of Practice

Cornell Public Health

Department of Public & Ecosystem Health
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ithaca, NY 14853


Office: 607.253.3597

Research Interest

  • Improving the implementation of nutrition policies and interventions such that they are culturally and contextually appropriate for target beneficiaries in low-, middle-, and high-income countries
  • Using focused ethnographic methods to capture the priorities, preferences and value tradeoffs involved in nutrition decisions
  • Investigating approaches across food systems, including those related to the food environments and provider behaviors, to support equitable and sustainable diets


  • 2019, Dietetic Internship - Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • 2016, PhD, International Nutrition, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Minor fields: Epidemiology, Social Policy
  • 2009, BS, Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Minor: Global Health

Biography/Professional Experience

Elizabeth L. Fox is a nutritionist and a social scientist whose work focuses on the intersection of nutrition, food systems, and ethics. Her research and teaching interests revolve around better understanding how food systems interact with individual stakeholders’ lived experiences, with an emphasis on the complexity of nutrition decisions, including the tradeoffs, value judgments, and risks involved in those decisions.

Prior to joining Cornell’s faculty, Elizabeth was a Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellow with the Berman Institute of Bioethics, working in the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program. She received her PhD in International Nutrition from Cornell University’s Division of Nutritional Sciences in 2016. She has also worked at the Women, Infants and Children program in San Diego, California and with the pediatric nutrition program at Les Centres GHESKIO, an HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Elizabeth received her BS at the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University with a minor in Global Health.


Refereed Journal Articles

Downs S, Fox EL, Zivkovic A, Mavros T, Sabbahi M, Merchant E, Kedeen OC, Kimenju S. Drivers of food choice among women in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. Appetite. 2021; In press. 

Fox EL, Davis C, Downs SM, McLaren R, Fanzo J. A focused ethnographic study on the role of health and sustainability in food choices. Appetite. 2021; 165:105319.

Fox EL, Timmer A. Children’s and adolescents’ characteristics and interactions with the food system. Glob Food Secur. 2020; 27:100419. 

Raza A, Fox EL, Morris S, Dalmiya N, Timmer A, Kupka R, Fanzo J. Food systems and children and adolescents’ diets: a conceptual framework. Glob Food Secur. 2020; 27:100436.

Hawkes C, Fox EL, Downs S, Fanzo J. Child-centered food systems: Reorienting food systems towards healthy diets for children. Glob Food Secur. 2020; 27:100414.

Willett W, Rockström J, Loken B, Springmann M, Lang T, Vermeulen S, et al (contributing author). Food in the Anthropocene: The EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. Lancet. 2019; 393(10170):447-92.

Fanzo J, Cordes KY, Fox EL, Bulman A. Tying the Knot: An interdisciplinary approach to understanding the human right to adequate nutrition. Colum J Transnatl Law. 2018; 57(1):62-114.

Walker AK* and Fox EL* (*equal contributions). Why marginalization, not vulnerability, can best identify people in need of special care in medicine and nutrition. AMA J Ethics. 2018; 20(10):e940-946.

Fox EL, Davis C, Downs SM, Schultink W, Fanzo J. Who is the woman in women’s nutrition? A narrative review of evidence and actions to support women’s nutrition throughout life. Curr Dev Nutr. 2018; 3(1):nzy076.

Fox EL, Pelto GH, Bar H, Rasmussen KM, Young SL, Debrosse GM, Rouzier V, Pape JW, Pelletier DL. Capturing changes in HIV-infected, breastfeeding mothers’ cognitive processes from before delivery to five months postpartum: An application of the pile sorting technique in Haiti. Curr Dev Nutr. 2018; 2(6):nzy017. (Editor’s Choice)

Fox EL, Pelto GH, Rasmussen KM, Rouzier V, Debrosse GM, Pape JW, Pelletier DL. Who knows what: An exploration of the infant feeding message environment and intracultural differences in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Matern Child Nutr. 2017; 14(2):e12537.

Koenig SP, Bornstein A, Severe K, Fox E, Dévieux JG, Severe P, Joseph P, Marcelin A, Bright A, Cremieux P, Pape JW. A second look at the association between gender and mortality on antiretroviral therapy. PLOS One. 2015; 10(11):e0142101.

Reports and Other Publications

United Nations Children’s Fund and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (principal author). Food Systems for Children and Adolescents: Working Together to Secure Nutritious Diets. New York, NY: UNICEF; 2019.

United Nations High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (contributor). Nutrition and Food Systems: Call for coherence, action and accountability. Rome, Italy: Committee on World Food Security, Food and Agriculture Organization; 2017.

Fox E*, Toure D*, Beaulier JM, Heidkamp R, Gervais S, Pelletier D (*equal contributions). Feasibility of a multiple intervention indicator. Operations Research Report, Integrated Community Nutrition Program “Program Assessment Guide”. Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Haitian Ministry of Health, UNICEF and Micronutrient Initiative; 2012.


Fox EL. Breast Practices: An exploration of intracultural variation in mothers’ perceptions about infant feeding recommendations in the context of HIV. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University; 2016.

Awards and Honors

  • 2016, First Place, Student Poster Competition, Society for Applied Anthropology 76th Annual Meeting
  • 2015-16, American Dissertation Fellowship, American Association of University Women
  • 2014, Graduate School Deans Scholar, Provost’s Diversity Fellowship, The Graduate School, Cornell University
  • 2008-09, Sphinx Head Senior Honor Society, Cornell University
  • 2007-09, Cornell University Tradition Fellowship, Cornell University

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • American Association of University Women
  • American Public Health Association
  • American Society for Nutrition
  • Society for Applied Anthropology
  • Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition