President and CEO
Tim Hanstad is President and CEO of Landesa. Hanstad’s international work experience spans 15 countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America, including more than four years living in India, where he helped launch and grow Landesa’s program. He has more than 25 years of experience in non-profit leadership, social entrepreneurship, project management, research, policy advocacy, training and writing on land rights and international development.
Hanstad is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, World Economic Forum community, Bretton Woods Committee and Global Washington Policy Panel, and serves on the board of Global Washington. He received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2011 and has been recognized as a leading social entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. He has authored numerous publications, including his most recent book, published in 2009, One Billion Rising: Land, Law and the Alleviation of Global Poverty (with Roy Prosterman and Robert Mitchell).
Hanstad is an associate faculty member at the University of Washington School of Law. He holds a J.D. and an LL.M. (both with Honors) from the University of Washington School of Law, and a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Seattle Pacific University in Political Science and History. Hanstad lives in Seattle with his wife Chitra and four children.
Senior Director, Program Partnerships
David Bledsoe is engaged in strategic program work for Landesa and leading our efforts to secure mission-compatible fee for service and public grant work. He is a land law and policy specialist with experience in land expropriation; land valuation; and land-related institutional capacity building.
He has performed rural fieldwork, conducted surveys, and developed training programs for government officials and landowners alike. Bledsoe’s international experience includes Albania, Angola, Burundi, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ukraine. He has extensive expertise in a broad range of issues surrounding the work of Landesa.
Before coming to Landesa, he served as in-house counsel for two large consulting engineering firms and was previously a senior attorney with us for 10 years beginning in 1998. Bledsoe received his LL.M., Law of International Sustainable Development degree with Honors from the University of Washington and his J.D. with honors from University of Puget Sound.
Robert M. Buergenthal
Chief Program Officer
Robert M. Buergenthal oversees Landesa’s global program work. Buergenthal brings over twenty years of senior international development experience, having served in management, legal and specialist capacities with NGOs, bilateral donors, the private sector and international organizations. He most recently served as Director, Programs Management with the International Development Law Organization based in Rome, Italy and previously worked with The World Bank Group, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw, Poland; Chemonics International, USAID, and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica. Buergenthal speaks Spanish and holds a B.A., (summa cum laude), in Political Science and Latin American Studies from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Senior Attorney & Senior Advisor, Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights
Renée Giovarelli has more than 15 years of experience in the legal and sociological issues concerning land tenure reform, land market development, land titling and registration, farm reorganization, rural development, pasture management, and land conflicts. Her areas of specialization are intra-household and gender issues related to land tenure and customary and legal property rights. She has worked extensively in the former Soviet Union on land legislation, primarily focused on arable land and pasture land. Giovarelli has designed and conducted fieldwork on women and their access and rights to land in the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Russia, India, China, Uganda, Ghana, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia. She was the team leader for a year-long study evaluating the impact of World Bank land projects on women in four key geographic regions (represented by Bolivia, Azerbaijan, Laos, and Ghana).
Her experience includes policy-oriented research and writing on land rights, pasture rights, rural development, and gender issues related to these issues. She has conducted extensive training, research, advocacy, publishing, and consulting services on women’s land rights. Giovarelli is one of the most distinguished experts on women’s land rights. She earned her J.D. with honors from Seattle University, and an LL.M. with honors in law of international development from the University of Washington. She also has a B.A. from the University of Arizona and an M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Global Human Resources Director
Barbara Holland provides direction and leadership for organization-wide human resource strategy, programs and policies to help employees develop and successfully deliver Landesa’s mission. Before joining Landesa, Holland directed HR for Grameen Foundation and Freedom from Hunger. She also has extensive HR management experience in the health sector, is a qualified trainer of Myers-Briggs®, and a current member of the board for Reach Global. Holland holds a B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Business Management and Human Resources from California State Polytechnic University.
Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer
Amy Low oversees Landesa’s external relations strategies, elevating the cause of land rights within the public square to complement and strengthen field programs. She and her team design advocacy strategies to forge new partnerships with development organizations, while also expanding Landesa’s base of individual supporters. She joined Landesa after nine years with GMMB where she served as a senior vice president, primarily advising the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There she developed long term advocacy strategies, managed high level media assignments for the foundation, and worked with cross cutting teams to ensure that the foundation’s voice amplified and advanced its grantmaking initiatives.
Low has also created communications campaigns for several global NGOs, including World Vision and the World Wildlife Fund, and has led branding assignments for Thrive by Five Washington and the Vitus Group. Before joining GMMB, Low worked with Porter Novelli, a global public affairs firm, where she developed public health campaigns and also created a training program for staff working across borders on global accounts. She is also a former board member to the International Justice Mission and Successful Schools in Action, a community-based partnership to strengthen neighborhood schools in Seattle. A Southern California native, Low earned her B.A. from Westmont College in Santa Barbara.
Deputy Chief of Programs & Africa Program Director
Lincoln Miller joined Landesa in 2005. He works with our CPO to provide strategic leadership and oversight of Landesa’s program work throughout the world. He has held several senior positions at Landesa including as chief operations officer for four years, then as chief program officer for sixteen months, and chief financial officer before returning to lead our program work. Before coming to Landesa, Miller spent twenty-five years working within the business and government sectors, holding a number of positions in the educational travel industry, serving as a founding member of a start-up international tour operator, and is a former CPA. Working in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, he has initiated and executed successful growth strategies that have yielded financial, social, and organizational returns in many different structural and challenging environments. He holds an M.B.A. from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) and a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.
Landesa India Country Director
Greg Rake manages Landesa’s work in India. Rake’s career has been dedicated to advancing human and social rights around the world. He began his career in Bolivia and Latin America with a focus on public and community health and then moved into the area of land access and community development for the landless and poor in Central America and Mexico. Three themes have guided his service in the field of development: stewardship of human and environmental resources, development of human capacity, and sustainability. He is implementing Landesa’s projects which focus on advising Indian state and national governments on how to provide their poorest citizens with access to land and livelihood development. Rake received a B.A. in theology from the University of San Francisco and an M.A. in health services administration from Antioch University. In addition, he has discovered the richness of on-going learning from those he works with at every level and in every setting.
Chief Operating Officer
Richard Wardell brings over 20 years of management experience in financial services and strategy consulting in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, with such firms as Lloyds TSB Group, the Boston Consulting Group, Washington Mutual, and Unitus. Richard has spent several years on the board at Navos, a community mental health provider, and is currently serving as the board president. He has worked around the globe including Europe, India, East Africa, and Latin America and speaks Portuguese, German, and French. Wardell holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Physics and Electronics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
China Country Director
Yu Gao brings a wealth of experience to Landesa and leads our program strategy and operations in China. He has near two decades’ working experience in areas of poverty reduction, international relations and environmental policy. This includes his previous undertaking as the Global Director for Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF)’s China for a Global Shift Initiative. He also served the United Nations Development Program in different management and research roles on issues of poverty, regional economic and social cooperation and human development reports. Yu was educated at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and the University of Cambridge.