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Faculty Profile

Shamma Alam

Assistant Professor of International Studies (2014)

Contact Information

Althouse Hall Room 115


Shamma Alam’s research focuses on different aspects of international development, such as health economics and health measurements, fertility issues, agricultural economics, public finance, and microcredit. He has worked as a Consultant with different development organizations. He served as a Consultant at the World Bank several times, including in their Economic Policy, Poverty and Gender Group, Development Data Group, and East Asia and Pacific Region group. He also previously served as a consultant in the Agriculture Policy Team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition to teaching at Dickinson, Shamma Alam serves as a Research Associate at the CEQ Institute at Tulane University and contributes courses at the U.S. Army War College. Shamma Alam received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington, Seattle, and B.A. in Economics from Franklin & Marshall College.


  • B.A., Franklin & Marshall College, 2009
  • M.A., University of Washington-Seattle, 2011
  • Ph.D., 2014

2019-2020 Academic Year

Spring 2020

INBM 200 Global Economy
Cross-listed with INST 200-02.Permission of Instructor Required.

INST 200 Global Economy
Cross-listed with INBM 200-02.Permission of Instructor Required.

ECON 240 International Development
Cross-listed with INST 240-01.

INST 240 International Development
Cross-listed with ECON 240-01.

INST 404 Integrated Study
The purpose of the course is to help students review and integrate the diverse components of the International Studies major. Prerequisites: senior standing in the INST major and prior completion of INST 401.

GRDS 803 Food Security in Rap Chng Wrld
World hunger and a lack of food security continue to be among the biggest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. This course will focus on the causes of food insecurity and the implications for worldwide hunger in the coming years. For most people, food security is often confused simply with lack of income. However, lack of food security is a very complicated issue in both the developing and the developed world. As pointed out by the famed economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, the reason for world hunger is not that developing countries do not produce enough food. Rather, world hunger is because of poor government policies. This issue is now becoming even more complicated due to climate change. Rising global temperatures are affecting agricultural yields, food production, and fresh water supply. The goal of this course is to shed light on the complicated issue of food insecurity and on how policymakers are trying to deal with the challenges. The class will start by considering how achieving food security was the key to helping European nations become colonial powers. Next, the class will focus on modern challenges: the water-food-energy nexus; the looming water crisis for a quarter of the world’s population; climate change; why many countries seem to be in a poverty trap and find it difficult to get out of poverty; how foreign aid may or may not help those countries; the role of agriculture and farming practices; the importance of access to credits for food security; effects on child labor and education; rising income and changing food diet; how migration and refugee crises may be affected by food insecurity; how malnourishment can be tied to lack of proper sanitation rather than lack of food; and how future demographic shifts may affect food security. Overall, these water security and food security issues will help us understand how international security, terrorism, social unrest, rise of dictatorships, and migration may affect the world, including in developed countries, in coming years.