Jim Harkness joined the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in July 2006. Previously he served as executive director of the World Wildlife Fund in China from 1999–2005, where he expanded the organization's profile from a strict focus on conservation of biodiversity to also addressing the consequences of China's economic growth on a broader sustainable development agenda.

From 1995–1999, Harkness worked as the Ford Foundation's environment and development program officer for China. Harkness has written and spoken frequently on China and sustainable development, and has served as an adviser for the World Bank and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Harkness grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin where he majored in Asian studies. He received his graduate degree in development sociology from Cornell University.

Last Updated: July 10, 2017