I came to Stanford because I am passionate about the intersection of energy and food security, and wanted to help make sure the world didn't exist one-third rich and two-thirds hungry. For me, this meant making sure that farming communities like the one my father grew up in, could experience through food, the same joy and love I grew up with as a child.
Before the GSB, I launched an agricultural startup in East Africa, worked for the Boston Consulting Group (focused on their Energy Practice Area) and for the United Nations World Food Programme, in a Chief of Staff Role in the Department of Innovation & Change Management. And while I was fortunate to have had these professional experiences, I realized I had minimal exposure to the technical side of sustainable food and agriculture, especially how our evolving energy systems interacted with our overburdened food systems. Also, I wanted to understand how individual consumer behavior can shape large-scale legislative action.
Being part of the E-IPER Joint MS-MBA program showed me how interdisciplinary approaches can help both developed markets and emerging markets move from subsistence to sustainability. I had access to a wide breadth of classes and interactions with topic area experts to learn how to deconstruct complex problems like food and energy insecurity and craft actionable solutions at the intersection of the private, public, and social sectors to achieve both scale and impact.
I did this firsthand through my Capstone Project, for which I worked with a fellow E-IPER classmate, to design a pilot program linking crop insurance subsidies to conservation practices. We submitted our proposal for inclusion in this year’s Farm Bill. By providing similar opportunities to work with like-minded peers from highly diverse backgrounds, the E-IPER MS helped me gain technical expertise to complement the rigor of business thinking from my MBA.
Today, as a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, I'm doubling down on the Energy Practice Area. But my love for food has always been and will continue to be a core part of my identity. I spent much of the last five years exploring ways to encourage consumers to rethink their relationship with food. I continue to do this in addition to my job at BCG, through my blog, The Urban Farmie, to encourage consumers to take a more active role in the food system.
E-IPER provided me with the perfect opportunity to achieve my longer-term goal of combining the heart of the public sector with the head of the private sector, both in terms of technical and business skills. One day, I am confident that it'll help me build on my engineering background and professional experiences to help smallholder farmers in emerging markets pave their path out of poverty.
Danielle T. Tucker
School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences