Faculty Spotlight: John Beghin

John Beghin
John Beghin
October 26, 2020

About John

I am from Belgium originally, which I left in 1979 to work in West Africa. I came to the US in fall of 1981 as a graduate student and “never left,” except for sabbaticals in Europe and Australia. I have spent more time in the United Sates than anywhere else, and it is home. I am a naturalized United States citizen.

I joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2019. My teaching, research and outreach programs at UNL focus on international agricultural trade. Prior to joining UNL, I was a Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) at NC State University and Iowa State University. I earned a master’s degree in agricultural economics at NC State and then received my doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1988. After returning to NC State for 10 years, I went on to Iowa to serve as Director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute and Marlin Cole Professor of international agricultural economics at Iowa State University, from 1998 to 2016. I returned to NC State in January 2017 and served as department head for two years.

My areas of interest include trade and the environment, global food security and trade policy analysis. I have been elected a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the main professional association of agricultural economists. 

I am married to Yalem Teshome, a professor of practice in CASNR. We have a daughter named Carla, an economist, who lives in Cincinnati, and two ferocious labradoodles, Jack and Jill. We usually travel a lot, from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Port Stevens in Australia. The current sedentary state of life is quite a discovery! We love walking our dogs around Lake Holmes.

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I am a professor and the Michael Yanney Chair in International Trade and Finance in the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance. I am also a faculty fellow with the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at UNL and with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

The Yeutter Institute did. It is a relatively new venture at UNL with a unique blend of law, economics and public policy. It has a lot of potential and offers many opportunities to make a mark in research, teaching and engagement with Nebraskans and beyond, on my favorite topic. I also knew several faculty members in agricultural economics for many years, so the decision was easy when the door opened.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

I meet and interact with smart colleagues and students who keep me intellectually engaged and stimulated. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Raising a successful and well-adjusted kid trumps everything else! I have been very fortunate.

What is something that most people don’t know about you? 

I am a design buff, from furniture to architecture, to cars.

What is your life like outside of work?

As partially mentioned above, I enjoy long dog walks with my wife, bike rides, jogging, family time, international travel when possible, cooking and socializing with friends and colleagues and gardening time permitting.