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Karol Boudreaux Chief Program Officer


I believe that all people should have the opportunity to thrive socially, economically and culturally in ways that they find to be most beneficial. For many millions of people, having secure rights to the land and the resources found on land is an essential foundation for creating a safe, productive and peaceful life. Having this secure foundation in land is particularly important for women and their children who are especially vulnerable to displacement, loss of critical assets and, as a result, economic, social and physical harms. Landesa has been working for many decades now to ensure that women and men benefit from improved legal and policy frameworks, documented land rights, and increased awareness of and capacity to exercise and enjoy land rights and build better lives. I am thrilled to be a part of this incredible mission.


Karol Boudreaux is a lawyer and land tenure and resource rights expert with two decades of experience in the field and as a researcher. Throughout her career she has supported improvements to the land tenure and resource rights of individuals and communities around the world, with a strong focus on women’s land rights, responsible land-based investments and conflict, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. She has managed innovative pilot projects that developed and deployed gender-sensitive technology solutions to map and record land rights and enhance tenure security in Tanzania and Mozambique. She has written widely on topics including land tenure, land rights and human rights, land conflict, indigenous land rights, intimate partner violence and land and responsible land-based investing in over 30 journal articles, book chapters, policy articles and reports, and opinion editorials.

Karol served as Land Tenure and Resource Rights Practice Lead at the Cloudburst Group from 2014 to 2018 working closely with USAID’s Office of Land and Urban. Before that she was a member of the Property Rights group at the Omidyar Network and she served as USAID’s Africa Land Tenure Specialist from 2011-2013. At USAID, she routinely conducted country-level land tenure assessments; supported work on women’s land rights and social change; developed and supported US Government programs addressing pastoralist land rights in Ethiopia and women’s land and property rights in Kosovo; provided policy guidance on women’s land rights and food security; land and natural resource management; reviewed draft legislation, and in 2012 supported the US Government’s team at international negotiations that led to the endorsement of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. Before joining USAID, Karol was an instructor and assistant dean of George Mason University’s School of Law.

Karol currently serves as Co-Chair of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Thematic Network 10 on the Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources. She also serves on the Advisory Council of the ABA’s Business and Human Rights Working Group; on the Working Group of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment’s Negotiation Support Portal; and has participated as an expert in the Expert Working Group of the Global Land Indicators Initiative of the Global Land Tools Network and UN-Habitat. Ms. Boudreaux also served on the Property Rights Working Group of the UN’s Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor.


  • JD: University of Virginia
  • BA: Douglass College, Rutgers University


English, French (conversational)

Areas of Expertise:

  • Project management
  • Legal and policy research
  • Land tenure policy
  • Land rights formalization
  • Women’s access and rights to land
  • Customary law systems
  • Expropriation
  • Community land tenure systems
  • Land dispute resolution
  • Community natural resource management
  • Participatory processes
  • Training and capacity building support
  • Policy advocacy and communications
  • Evidence based advocacy

International Experience:

  • Botswana
  • East Timor
  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

Selected Publications:

  • Boudreaux, K. (2018). Intimate Partner Violence and Land Tenure: What Do We Know and What Can We Do? USAID. https://land-links.org/document/intimate-partner-violence-land-tenure/.
  • Boudreaux, K., Vhugen, D., Walter, N. (2017). Community Land Conflicts: How Local Land Disputes Affect Private Sector Investments and Development Projects. https://cloudburstgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Community-Land-Conflicts-9.29.17.pdf.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2016). Land Tenure Rights: The need for greater transparency among companies worldwide. Global Reporting Initiative.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2016) Corporate Performance Standards: Strategies for Engagement for the Global Donor Working Group on Land. Paper presented at the 2016 World Bank Annual Land and Poverty Conference, Washington, DC. https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/GRI-G4-Land-Tenure-Rights.pdf.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2015) Normative Shifts in the Legal Landscape: Where are We? Where are We Headed with Indigenous Land Rights?” Paper presented at the 2015 World Bank Annual Land and Poverty Conference, Washington DC.
  • Boudreaux, K. and Neyman, Y. (2015). Operational Guidelines for Responsible Land-Based Investment. USAID. http://www.usaidlandtenure.net/responsible-investment.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2014) Why natural resources matter for improving governance in Namibia. Devex. https://www.devex.com/news/why-natural-resources-matter-for-improving-governance-in-namibia-85048.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2014). The Two-Edged Sword of Administratively Derived Data in Sub-Saharan Africa. USGIF Monograph Series Vol. 1. U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2014). Innovative Ways to Reduce Risks In Farming. Devex. https://www.devex.com/news/innovative-ways-to-reduce-risks-in-farming-by-advancing-land-ownership-83854.
  • Boudreaux, K. and Mennen, T. (2013). Response to Mosbacher and Diamond’s Petroleum to the People. Foreign Affairs.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2013). Addressing land rights can make social change possible. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2013/may/23/land-rights-partnerships-social-change.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2013). Stemming the Tide on Land Grabs. MDInterAction, pp. 22-24.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2013). Womens’ Dreams. Skoll World Forum. http://skollworldforum.org/2013/08/28/womens-dreams
  • Boudreaux, K. (2013). Why Property Matters. Devex. https://www.devex.com/en/news/why-property-matters/81281
  • Boudreaux, K. and Tobias, J. (2011). The role of entrepreneurship in conflict reduction in the post-genocide Rwandan coffee industry: Quantitative evidence from a field study,” Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Vol. 24, Issue 2.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2010). Land Reform as Social Justice: The case of South Africa. Journal of Economic Affairs. Vol. 30, No. 1.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2010). A Better Brew for Success: Economic Liberalization in Rwanda’s Coffee Sector. Yes Africa Can: Success Stories from a Dynamic Continent. The World Bank.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2010). Land Conflict and Genocide in Rwanda. Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development. Vol. 1, No. 3.
  • Ahluwalia, P. and Boudreaux, K. (2009). Cautiously Optimistic: Economic Liberalization and Reconciliation in Rwanda’s Coffee Sector. Denver Journal of International Law and Policy 37 No. 2.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2008). Fighting the Food Crisis: Feeding Africa One Family at a Time. Environs: Environmental Law and Policy Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2008). The Legal Empowerment of the Poor: Titling and Poverty Alleviation in Post-apartheid South Africa. Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2008). Informality and Housing Markets in Africa. Journal of Economic Affairs.
  • Boudreaux, K. and Cowen, T. (2008). “The Micromagic of Microcredit,” The Wilson Quarterly.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2008). Langa Township, South Africa, International Property Rights Index, 2008 Report. Property Rights Alliance.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2007). The Business of Reconciliation: Entrepreneurship and Commercial Activity in Post-Conflict Rwanda. Journal of Economic Affairs.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2007). A New Call of the Wild: Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia. Georgetown International Environmental Law Review. Vol. 20, No. 2.
  • Boudreaux, K. and Dragos, Aligica, P. (2007). Paths to Property: Approaches to Institutional Change in International Development. Institute for Economic Affairs, Hobart Paper No. 162.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2006). Property Rights and Resource Conflict in Sudan. Realizing Property Rights. Hernando de Soto and Francis Cheneval, eds, Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Boudreaux, K. (2005). The Human Face of Resource Conflict: Property and Power in Nigeria. 7 San Diego International Law Journal, 61.