Who We AreProgram Leadership

Elizabeth “Cedar” Louis Sr. Research and Evaluation Specialist

Why I am passionate about Landesa’s mission:

Access to land and security of tenure are fundamental to improving the lives of women and the poor in rural areas. I am proud to work for Landesa, whose ability to influence pro-poor land policies in Asia and Africa means that millions of poor and landless women and men have a better chance to live lives of dignity and achieve livelihood security.


Elizabeth Louis, who goes by Cedar, works on Landesa’s Research, Monitoring and Evaluation team as a Senior Research and Evaluation Specialist. Cedar comes to Landesa with 10 years’ experience in research, policy analysis, monitoring & evaluation, and project management in the field of food security, rural livelihoods, rural vulnerability and health. She is a political ecologist with extensive field-work in India who has also lived in the Middle East, Latin America and spent extended periods of time in Nepal. She earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Madras, India, her M.S. in Natural Resource Management Sociology from the University of Washington, Seattle, and her PhD in Human Geography from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. A native of India, Cedar grew up in Madras. In her free time, she enjoys cooking for friends, reading, traveling, and spending time outside.


  • Ph.D., Department of Geography, (2012), University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Specialization: Development Geography, Rural Geography, Food Security, Political Ecology, Political Economy, Gender Studies
  • M.S. Natural Resource Management Sociology, (2004), University of Washington, Seattle
  • B.A. Sociology, (1989), Stella Maris College, University of Madras, Madras, India


English, Hindi, Telegu, Spanish, Tamil , Malayalam


India, Nepal, Ecuador, USA


  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Methods
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Project Management
  • Land Tenure Policy
  • Land Rights Formalization
  • Women’s Access and Rights to Land
  • Rural Development
  • Agricultural Development
  • Training and Capacity Building Support