Dr. Spiro Stefanou

Spiro Stefanou

ERS Administrator


Spiro Stefanou is the Administrator of the Economic Research Service. He provides leadership and guidance for the agency research, analytical, and technical operations. Since 2015, Dr. Stefanou was a Professor of Economics in the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida.

Dr. Stefanou's research activities address themes of competitiveness and growth, and related policy implications. His research revolves around how firms make decisions when current decisions impact future production possibilities. How firms choose to adopt effective technologies and their capabilities to extract the maximum potential from these technologies is a key feature of these frameworks. These investigations also address investment and innovation patterns, firm learning, and capacity utilization. The policy stories associated with the dynamic capabilities and productivity have wide interest since growth can come from firms wasting fewer resources or adapting their size to extract the full potential of technologies in place, and/or firms looking to push the technological envelope.


Prior to his time at the University of Florida, Dr. Stefanou was Professor of Agricultural Economics at Penn State University since 1983 and currently holds a part-time appointment as a Professor in the Business Economics Group at Wageningen University (Netherlands). 


Dr. Stefanou received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Davis, his M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from George Washington University.

Professional Affiliations

He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and was a Marie Curie Senior Fellow at the University of Crete (Rethymnon, Greece), Mansholt Senior Fellow at Wageningen University (Netherlands), and Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). He has been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna, Austria), and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (at Chania). Dr. Stefanou has served on the editorial boards of six national and international journals. He is past editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. He recently published Dynamic Efficiency and Productivity Measurement (Oxford University Press) with Elvira Silva and Alfons Oude Lansink. He has been interviewed and quoted by local, national and international news media, including the Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Reuters, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), CBS News Sunday Morning, NBC Nightly News, Dan Rather Reports and Marketplace.