Katie Farrin has always had a strong interest in international affairs, but an interesting and diverse path brought her to the door of Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE) PhD program of study. Farrin, who is from Ohio, completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California with a focus on International Affairs and Broadcast Journalism. She was interested in the field of journalism as she wanted to tell the stories of individuals living in the developing world. After completing her undergraduate degree she interned in diplomatic security at the U.S. Department of State in Los Angeles. She also worked as a paralegal in southern California, choosing the field of law due to an interest in possibly pursing a degree in international law. However, it wasn’t until she joined the AEDE Master of Science degree program that she found her fit in the field of international development economics.
Farrin was drawn to Ohio State’s MS degree program due to the applied nature of the degree. After beginning the MS program, and in consult with the department’s administration, Farrin transitioned to AEDE’s PhD program of study. As a PhD student she is specializing in the study of rural finance and agriculture. Farrin, who is fluent in Spanish, focuses a significant amount of her research on Latin American communities. Additionally, due to opportunities available to her through the research of her faculty advisor, Dr. Mario Miranda, AEDE's Andersons Professor of Finance and Risk Management, Farrin also focuses on food security issues in West Africa. In particular, Farrin is working with Miranda on a research project with the World Bank and USDA focused on recent food price spikes and the impact of these spikes on East African communities. Based on their research, Farrin and Miranda are formulating policy recommendations to alleviate the problems in this region caused by the price hikes.
During the summer of 2012, Farrin interned at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington D.C. where she provided research support for the Development Research Group at the organization. The Development Research Group is the in-house research department at the World Bank, which aims to conduct research to help guide development policy for both the organization and the World Bank’s external clients. The Development Research Group produces the majority of the World Bank’s research and enjoys a respected international profile. While at the World Bank, Farrin focused on research on the food security policy response after the 2008 and 2011 food price spikes felt around the world. In this role, she conducted metadata analysis and created a comprehensive database of the data she gathered. She notes that this experience was crucial to her real world learning as a PhD student and has solidified her interest in future work on policy analysis and food security for the developing world. Her background in journalism has only strengthened her abilities in the field, giving her a critical advantage, as she’s found that the skills she learned in her undergraduate studies help her to translate policy from academic and political levels to laymen’s terms for use by a wide range of audiences.
Farrin credits the high quality of the AEDE faculty, their extensive connections in their fields of study, and the personal time and commitment she’s received from her advisor, Dr. Miranda, as crucial to her success in the AEDE PhD program.
To learn more about Katie Farrin, please see her job market profile.