Who We AreGlobal Leadership

Leonard Rolfes Jr. Chief Operating Officer


Land is a foundational source of wealth, and an income-generating asset, that people can use to work their way out of poverty. Strong land rights also give people a stake in their community, which leads to stability and an environment conducive to consistent economic development. I find that highly compelling. 


Leonard Rolfes has worked in the international development field for 27 years, with a concentration on strengthening private rights to land through law reform, along with design and management of complementary field programs. Notable work over the past decade included managing or supervising three large development projects: the U.S Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Evaluation, Research and Communications Program; the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Rural Land Governance Project in Burkina Faso; and MCC’s Property Rights Project in Mongolia. Mr. Rolfes worked at Landesa from 1992-2007, and recently returned to serve as Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Rolfes and his wife Christine have two college-age daughters and live on an island near Seattle.


  • Tulane University (B.A. in History, 1986)
  • University of Washington (J.D., 1990)

Areas of Expertise:

  • Qualitative research
  • Legal and policy research
  • Land tenure policy
  • Project management
  • Land rights formalization
  • Land administration
  • Tenancy and leasing
  • Customary law systems
  • Resettlement law and policy


  • English (native)
  • Russian (professional competency)
  • French (advanced conversational)

International Experience:

  • Burkina Faso
  • Georgia
  • Indonesia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Lithuania
  • Mali
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Niger
  • Poland
  • Philippines
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Tanzania
  • Ukraine