Academic profile



Dr Nazia M Habib, FRSA, is the Founder and Research Centre Director for the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD). She holds a Professor equivalent post with appointments at the Department of Engineering and Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge.

Trained at Oxford University and at University of Cambridge, Dr Habib believes that to reduce inequality, inability and inefficiency experienced globally, the decision makers and Social Science academics need to improve the methods used to create evidence for decision making. Out of that quest to find better answers to these complex problems, Dr Habib has dedicated her scholarship to develop twenty-first century action-research methodologies that will harness the power of collective intelligence, smart technologies and open innovation to aid and add greater resilience to the cohesive decision-making process. Leaders of more than 57 countries have benefited from her research methods and have seen improvements in their abilities to manage uncertainty. Dr Habib has also advised over 20 governments on sustainable development and climate change related policy issues. She was recognised on the Commonwealth Day 2023 by the King of England at the Buckingham Palace for her research on the Commonwealth Small State. Dr Habib has set up the world’s first food system leadership academy for the North Africa and Near East region (NENA) with The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  This food system leadership academy builds on Dr Nazia’s scholarship which is the foundation of her action-research Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (CRSD). She was a runner up for a prestigious University of Cambridge Vice Chancellor’s Award for her action-research innovation and impacts made in the Small Island Developing Countries (SIDS).

Prior to founding CRSD, Dr Habib was a founding University Lecturer for the MPhil in the Public Policy degree programme at Cambridge. She has been awarded Newton Fellowships, Commonwealth Scholarships and numerous research grants.





Dr Habib has previously been a Sustainability Science fellow at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Research interests


Dr Habib works with the CRSD team to apply systems thinking methods to political economic theories to influence one's worldview of decision making. Worldview is the glue behind every decision, which is absorbed in the process of acculturation of oneself. Dr Habib’s research currently focuses on integrating systems thinking for applied resilience and sustainable development in the context of good governance, responsible innovation and sustainable investment. 




At Cambridge, Dr Habib received the Claydon Prize for her outstanding PhD thesis in Economics, and her book 'Biofuels, Food Security, and Developing economies' (2016) was ranked among the top three highly influential books of 2016 by Food Tank.


Recent PhD students


Dr Nazia Habib has co-supervised 5 PhD who are now employed at top universities in the world.




Sustainable Development


Research Centres


Dr Habib is a Board Member of the University of Cambridge’s Board of Scrutiny, Special Advisor for the EAT Foundation, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), among others. Previously was a Fellow with the World Economic Forum (WEF),  Non-Executive Board member for TISATech to help improve thinking around resilience and technology. Dr Habib is active within several Cambridge University based research centres: Sanger Institute, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy (CSAP), Cambridge Global Food Security (CGFS), Cambridge Zero and Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment (CFSE) to name a few.