Who We Are

Jennifer Duncan Sr. Attorney & Land Tenure Specialist

Why I am passionate about Landesa’s mission:

I’ve committed my career to land because  it is the primary asset of production for rural men and women in many parts of the world today. Securing land rights for smallhold farmers—and especially women—thus means transferring to them their primary asset of production. This has the power to transform lives, economies and social structures for untold generations into the future.


Jennifer Duncan has worked in international development for more than 20 years, with an emphasis on land and housing rights. She has considerable experience in legal analysis and drafting, program design and management, and advocacy around rights to land and natural resources. She has written and published extensively on land tenure issues. Duncan has focused on gender perspectives and women’s rights to land and housing throughout her career, and is leading Landesa’s work on climate change. She has previously conducted policy work and field research on land issues across Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to her international experience, she has worked with socio-economic development and legal issues among minority groups within the US, including migrant farm worker communities in California and the Makah Nation in Washington State.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Qualitative research
  • Research methods
  • Legal and policy research
  • Project management
  • Land tenure policy
  • Land rights formalization
  • Pasture tenure
  • Land administration
  • Land management
  • Tenancy and leasing
  • Women’s access and rights to land
  • Inheritance law and practice
  • Family and marital property law
  • Customary law systems
  • Land dispute resolution
  • Expropriation
  • Resettlement law and policy
  • Community land tenure systems
  • Community mobilization
  • Community-investor-government partnerships
  • Urban land policy
  • Participatory processes
  • Training and capacity building support


  • J.D., University of Washington
  • B.A. (honors), International Politics and Economics, Middlebury College.

International Experience:

  • Bolivia
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Mozambique
  • Republic of Georgia
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • USA


  • English