Elinor Benami has been named an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

She is one of a number of new faculty members hired in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences this academic year. New positions were identified to bring talent to the college's focus areas, including food, health, the environment, and the economy. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Benami’s research centers on environment, development, and agriculture, with a focus on how advances in remote sensing and machine learning can help improve programs to manage weather risk around the globe. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Stanford RegLab, helping lead projects that leverage novel data sources and experiments to equitably improve environmental quality in the US. Previously, Benami was a postdoc in the Markets, Risk, and Resilience Innovation Lab at UC Davis following her Ph.D. from Stanford and work experience as a climate policy analyst. She has been funded by NSF, USAID, and NASA, among others.

In addition to earning her Ph.D., Benami earned her bachelor of arts in economics from the University of North Carolina.