Erin Sweeney

Erin Sweeney is a graduate of the University at Buffalo’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MUP) program, specializing in community health and food systems. She is a member of the American Planning Association, and a Western New York Prosperity Fellow alumna.

Her career prior to the MUP program focused on rural community development through just food systems, for consumers and farmers. During her time at UB, Erin co-authored a food system assessment for rural Chautauqua County, and conducted self-directed research on urban-rural narratives. As a research assistant in the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab (Food Lab) and the Community of Excellence for Global Health Equity (CGHE), Erin both led and supported multiple projects in the Food Lab, including the haakh project in Kashmir, the Global Policy Database for City and Regional Food Systems, Plan-REFUGE, and several university-wide innovation workshops. She led teams to Odisha, India and Clarendon, Jamaica to collect data about the impact of urbanization, globalization and climate change on smallholders and other food system sector actors. Erin’s research explores inequities, disparities and power structures in planning processes and policies, particularly through food system-based channels and rural livelihoods.

As a Fulbright Student Scholar, Erin is currently living and Singapore to study food resiliency in Southeast Asia, developing policy recommendations that support small-scale farmers and food enterprise. She can be contacted at, or