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Emmanuel K. Urey Liberia Country Director


Land is life and it is fundamental to survival especially for rural people. Landesa works on the issue of land rights for people living in the world’s poorest places, a key poverty alleviation strategy. This work aligns perfectly with my background and interest.


Dr. Urey is a native of Liberia born in 1981. Growing up, he struggled with the loss of his mother at the age of 3, had no access to the walls of the classroom for most of his childhood, and escaped multiple conscriptions as child soldier during the Liberian civil war. He started school at the age of 13, ultimately obtaining two Master of Science degrees and a PhD. His work has focused on reducing poverty among the world’s poorest people.

As the Country Director for Landesa’s work in Liberia, Dr. Urey is responsible for working with lawmakers, government officials, and civil society to promote land-related legislation and policy, including implementation of the 2018 Liberia Land Rights Act. Additionally, Dr. Urey represents Landesa in Liberia, and works to develop project proposals and strategize project implications and implementation.  He currently hosts a popular radio show called “Land is Life” on State Radio, ELBC.

International Experience:

  • West Africa
  • East Africa
  • Western Europe
  • North America


  • English
  • Kpelle


  • Ph.D., Environment and Resources (Land Resources), 2018, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • MSc, Environment/Land Resources Management, 2013, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • MPH, Public Health, 2011, Cuttington University-Monrovia, Monrovia, Liberia
  • B.S., Biology, 2008, Cuttington University-Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia

Areas of Expertise:

  • Land administration
  • Land-use planning
  • Land policy, law and regulation
  • Customary and informal land tenure
  • Rural land governance
  • Large-scale land concessions
  • Qualitative and quantitative research
  • Grant and proposal writing

Selected Publications