Who We Are

 CSRL's activities center on small landholder farmers to achieve food security, improve household nutrition, and stabilize income through sustainable crop production and access to marketing opportunities. We also provide support for malnourished children, widows, and families living with HIV/AIDS.   

Denise Bjelland

CSRL Managing Director and Global Programs Director

Denise Bjelland is serving as interim director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. She has served as director of Global Programs for CALS since 2011, and has served in several capacities in that office for 25 years. Bjelland has worked at ISU since 1976, including positions in the ISU office for the Vice President of Business and the President’s Office. She earned a master’s degree in international development studies and a bachelor’s in communication studies, both from Iowa State.


(515) 294-2883

Dr. David Acker

Dr. Acker is Associate Dean, Academic and Global Programs; Professor, Agricultural Education; and Raymond and Mary Baker Chair in Global Agriculture. Dr. Acker Began work with CSRL during the country selection process in 2004 and has been a member of the management team since that time. He has over 30 years of experience in agriculture and education and has served on the faculty for 20 years.   He has spent 8 years working at secondary agricultural education institutions in Greece and Tanzania.  Acker completed a Ph.D. from Oregon State University, two degrees from the University of California, Davis (M.Ed. and M.S.), and undergraduate degrees from Wilmington College and Alice Lloyd College. He has directed agricultural and natural resource programs in Tanzania, Malawi and Senegal, and has been a Fulbright fellow in Greece.  Dr. Acker has lectured in Austria, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Greece, Guinea, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Uganda, and Ukraine.   Since 2002, he has assisted the UN Food and Agriculture Organization with efforts to promote education as a key to rural prosperity as elaborated in a book he co-authored (with Lavinia Gasperini) that was published by FAO in 2009 entitled Education for Rural People.  He was part of a team that wrote a book entitled Tapping Philanthropy for Development published in February 2015.


(515) 294-6614

Dr. Tom Brumm

Dr. Tom Brumm, the Mary and Charles Sukup Global Professor in Food Security in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU).  He is the Director of Assessment for the College of Engineering and Associate Director of the ISU Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. Dr. Brumm's disciplinary research and outreach efforts focus on post-harvest technology, especially for developing countries.  He is a faculty leader for Iowa State’s service learning student program in Uganda.  He is a leader in assessment, learning communities and competency-based learning at Iowa State, incorporating these activities into engineering and technology curricula.  He has extensive experience teaching online and managing online course delivery programs. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State, and his Master’s degree from Purdue University, both in Agricultural Engineering.  He received his Ph.D. from Iowa State in 1990 in Agricultural Engineering with a minor in Chemical Engineering.  He worked for nine years in the seed industry before joining the Iowa State faculty in 2000.


(515) 294-5145

Ray Klein

Executive Director of Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University Foundation


(515) 294-3303

Tammi Martin

Program Coordinator


(515) 294-9237

Dr. Dorothy Masinde

Dr. Dorothy Masinde is the Associate Director of Nutrition Education for CSRL and is active in the ISU-Uganda Program where she manages nutrition programs to improve the nutritional status of women of reproductive age, infants and children.  She is a lecturer for the Global Resource Systems program and serves on the faculty of the Department of Horticulture for ISU. 


(515) 294-0029

Dr. Gail Nonnecke

Dr. Gail Nonnecke earned her Ph.D. from Ohio State University, and her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Pennsylvania State University.  Dr. Nonnecke is a University Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University (ISU) and also serves as the Faculty Coordinator for Global Resource Systems, an interdisciplinary major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  She is also an Associate Director for CSRL and has been actively involved in the ISU-Uganda Program initiating, developing and delivering the Service Learning school garden program in Uganda with teams of students and faculty from ISU, Makerere University, and staff from VEDCO (Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns) in the Kamuli District.


(515) 294-0037

Dr. Max Rothschild

Max Rothschild is a CF Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Science and holds the ME Ensminger Chair in International Animal Agriculture.  Rothschild received his B.S. in animal science at the University of California, Davis in 1974 and his M.S. at the University of Wisconsin in animal science in 1975.  In 1978 he obtained his Ph.D. in animal breeding from Cornell University.  In 1980 he joined the Department of Animal Science at the Iowa State University.  From 1993 to 2003 Rothschild has served as the USDA Pig Genome Mapping Coordinator.  At ISU from 2007-2012 he was director of the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics.  Rothschild has devoted his research and teaching career to the field of animal breeding and molecular genetics.  Recent research has been directed towards identifying genes controlling traits of economic importance in the pig, and several other livestock species.  He has presented numerous invited papers in nearly 50 countries and has nearly 350 referred publications, 500 other publications and 12 US patents.  His many awards include AAAS fellow, USDA Group Honor Award, ASAS award in Animal Breeding and Genetics and the ASAS International Service award, two R&D100 awards and was named Iowa Inventor of the year in 2002.  Rothschild also has been active developing livestock projects in developing countries and has been associated with the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods working with families to learn livestock production.  From 2011-2012 Rothschild was a Jefferson Science fellow working at the US Agency for International Development.


(515) 294-6202

Josanne Six

Associate Director of Budget and Finance, Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods


(515) 294-8920

Dean Wendy Wintersteen

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen is the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station at Iowa State University (ISU).  She received her B.S. degree in Agriculture in 1978 from Kansas State University and her Ph.D. in Entomology in 1988 from ISU.  Prior to being Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dr. Wintersteen served as the Interim Dean for the College of Agriculture, and as the Interim Director of the Experiment Station at ISU from August 2005-December 2005.  From 2000-2005, she served as the Senior Associate Dean and Associate Director of the Experiment Station, and was the Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension at ISU from 1995 to 2000. Dean Wintersteen provides support for CSRL programs through college administrative and professional expertise, and serves on the center's Executive Committee.  She has visited CSRL sites in Uganda four times since 2006.


(515) 294-2518