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Jolyne Sanjak Chief Program Officer


Dr. Jolyne Sanjak is an agricultural economist with specialization in development economics. She has more than 30 years of experience related to inclusive global economic development. Her principle expertise areas include rural and urban land governance, rural livelihoods and agricultural development. Currently serving as Landesa’s Chief Program Officer, she provides strategic leadership, oversight and technical support to Landesa’s programmatic work worldwide. Prior to joining Landesa, Dr. Sanjak founded and was the Executive Director of the Land Alliance, a not-for-profit organization engaged in supporting land-based development around the globe. She served the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) as Deputy Vice President for the Technical Services Division and in other roles before that. At the MCC , Jolyne  led teams working on private sector development, agriculture, land tenure, gender and social assessment, health, education, and community development, fiscal accountability, procurement, economics and monitoring and evaluation. She also helped shape MCC strategic direction and policy. She has served as a lead for the United States government in intergovernmental negotiations including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of the Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the context of National Food Security (VGGT). Her earlier professional experiences include being  an Assistant Professor of Economics, joint with Latin American Studies and a land tenure consultant for the World Bank, IFPRI, the FAO and the IADB with specialized expertise in land markets, land tenure, land policy, property registration, agricultural productivity and gender and impact evaluation.


Ph.D., Agricultural Economics & Development Economics, University of Wisconsin

M.S., Agricultural Economics & Natural Resources, Penn State University

B.S., Agricultural Economics & Rural Sociology, Penn State University


English, Spanish, French