About me

I am an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Research Scientists and Fellow, member of the Financial Instruments Sector Team (FIST), and the Columbia World Project: "Adapting Agriculture to Climate Today, for Tomorrow" (ACToday) at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia University. My general interest is to understand sustainable agricultural systems that promote profitable, equitable, and environmentally viable opportunities. My current research focuses on understanding mechanisms by which farmers can adapt to increasing climate variability risk. In particular, I am working on understanding innovative ways to incentivize and scale-up smallholder's generation, translation and use of climate information, useful for the co-design of improved financial instruments. Also, my research evaluates how climate and financial information affect individual and collective efforts to adopt specific production and land-use practices in tropical agriculture. I received my Ph.D. in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University. While there, I focused on sustainable agriculture of coffee and led diverse multidisciplinary research projects where I evaluated the impacts of smallholders’ participation in specialty coffee value-chains. Also, I modeled profitable agroecological cropping systems that preserve bird populations.  I also hold degrees from the University of Pittsburgh (MPA/Fulbright Fellow) and Universidad de Los Andes-Colombia (BA, MSc.).

Aside to my research, I serve as Principal Instructor for the Economics of Sustainability Management course at the M.Sc. in Sustainability Management Program, Columbia University. I have also served as an instructor and teacher assistant at Cornell University and University of Pittsburgh for the following courses: Resource Economics, Strategy in Emerging Markets, Game Theory, Behavioral Economics, and Quantitative Methods. Besides, I served as Adjunct Professor for Universidad de Los Andes and Universidad del Rosario in Colombia, where I taught Macroeconomics and Colombian Political Economy.

Earlier in my career, I worked at the Central Bank of Colombia at the Research Unit and the Macroeconomic-programming Department developing multivariate time series analysis and neural networks to forecast macroeconomic variables required for monetary policy decisions.  I also represented Cornell at the Land Grant University Consortium “Alianzas para la Agricultura,” a program sponsored by the State Department to contribute to the post-conflict in Colombia.

Juan Nicolas Hernandez Aguilera

Ph.D. in Applied Economics | 2018

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Thesis: “Three Essays on the Economics of Sustainable Coffee Systems”

Committee: Miguel Gomez (Chair), Dr. Jon Conrad and Dr. Arnab Basu


Master in Public Administration | 2012

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Major in Policy Research and Analysis

Minor in Development Planning and Environmental Sustainability
Certificate in Latin American Social and Public Policy Studies

M.Sc. in Economics | 2006

Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Thesis: “A Review of The Macroeconomic Determinants of Household Consumption: the Colombian Case”

Download CV        
Fulbright Colombia.

Fulbright Colombia

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. In 2010 I was honored with a J. William Fulbright Scholarship and since then I am vey compromised in fostering bilateral understanding and cooperation between U.S. and Colombia.

View details