Ericksen leads the research program on Sustainable Livestock Systems at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). She has a PhD in Soil Science and an MSc in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BS in History from Swarthmore College. She has over 18 years of experience working on agricultural development, natural resource management and global environmental change in developing countries. This includes experience working for the World Agroforestry Centre, Catholic Relief Services, a research fellowship at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), and five years at the University of Oxford working with the Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) initiative of the Earth Systems Science Partnership. She has served the ILRI focal point for the Dryland Systems and CCAFS programs.