Portrait of David Wilsey
Director, Master of Development Practice
258 Humphrey School
Currently reviewing Ph.D. applicants
Global Policy Area
Areas of Expertise
Livelihood systems; market systems; natural resources; program design and development; sustainable development; strategic planning


    David Wilsey’s research and practice focus on development of integrated natural resource conservation and livelihood programs, generally focusing on forest- and farm-based livelihood systems. A particular interest is the role of non-timber forest products in food and livelihood systems, and in the development of market-based interventions to support livelihood and lifestyle goals. Wilsey joined the Masters in Development Practice (MDP) program in 2013 as the program coordinator and a lecturer. Prior to joining the program, he spent five years as an associate Extension professor and educator with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences. His Extension work focused on three themes: natural resource-based livelihood systems, non-timber forest products, and cross-cultural program development. Although Wilsey was situated within the forestry program area, his work regularly crossed boundaries and he established productive collaborations with the small farms team, community vitality and economics, family resource management, and the American Indian leadership team, of which he was an active member. Though his interests are broad ranging, over the course of his career Wilsey primarily worked with forest-based and forest-oriented groups in the Americas: in Minnesota, several states in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador. The opportunity to expand this portfolio to include other themes and regions is one of the great privileges of working with the MDP program.


    PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology (University of Florida, 2008)

    MS in Conservation Biology (now Sciences) (University of Minnesota, 2002)

    BBA in Finance (University of Wisconsin, 1994)

    Wilsey, D. S., Galloway, G., Reid, C., Scharffenberger, G. & Brown, K. (2019). The Masters of Development Practice (MDP): Reflections on an adaptive and collaborative program strategy to develop integrative leaders in sustainable development. In . University of Minnesota Libraries: Minneapolis, Minnesota United States