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 a law lecturer 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.
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.
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.
Sr. Director, Program Management
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.
Robert G. Mitchell
Senior Attorney & Director of Program Quality and Learning
Robert Mitchell has 22 years legal experience and 16 years of research, consulting, and writing experience with land tenure reform, land market development, rural legal aid and other rural development issues in developing countries and transition economies. His technical assistance experience includes on-site assessment of land policy and legislation in South Asia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South East Asia, as well as drafting and managing implementation of legislation and programs related to land rights legal aid, government allocation of micro-plots, tenancy liberalization, privatization of agricultural and non-agricultural land, subdivision of collectivized agricultural enterprises, land survey and delimitation, land titling and property rights registration, mortgage, sale and lease of land, land consolidation, eminent domain, women’s land rights and strengthening land tenure security.
Mitchell received his LL.M., Law of Sustainable International Development degree and J.D. degree from the University of Washington. He also holds a B.A. with honors in economics from the University of Utah.
India Country Director
Sanjoy Patnaik has over two decades of experience in land rights and forestry issues. He has also spent more than a decade working with the State of Odisha as a researcher working with development NGOs and international aid organizations and donors. Prior to joining Landesa India, he worked for the Regional Centre for Development Co-operation (RCDC) in Bhubaneswar in a variety of capacities including Director of Research Advocacy and Campaigns, Director of the Centre for Forestry and Governance, and Secretary (Chief Functionary). The Regional Centre for Development Co-operation promotes community based management of natural resources in Odisha, with a focus on sustainable management of forestry and agricultural resources. In addition to his work with NGOs, Patnaik is actively engaged in civic life in Odisha and has published extensively on current land and forest practices in India.
Patnaik holds a degree in Political Science and Anthropology from Utkal University, Odisha and a Masters in Philosophy from the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Patnaik has been trained on forestry policy and advocacy issues from the National Board of Forestry in Sweden, and on Development Communication from Oslo University.
As Communications Director of Landesa, Rena Singer develops and guides Landesa’s efforts to elevate the issue of land rights as an essential tool in global efforts to address poverty and hunger.
Rena is an international communications expert with 20 years of experience at non-profits and global news organizations. Before joining Landesa, Rena spent 10 years working as a foreign correspondent based in Africa, the Middle East, and Japan, for U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, the BBC, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Boston Globe, and other media outlets. Ms. Singer also worked as an editor for the Japanese National Broadcaster’s 24-hour English language international news channel. She began her career in journalism as a staff writer at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Before working as a journalist, Rena worked in both the non-profit sector and in China.
She has a B. A. in Anthropology and Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a M.A. in Journalism with an emphasis in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan.