Leon Verstappen - Chair


Prof. dr. L.C.A. (Leon) Verstappen, a Dutch national, founded the International Alliance on Land Tenure and Administration (IALTA, www.ialtanetwork.org), and leads a team of researchers working on land tenure, mainly focusing on land law. He studied Dutch Law and Dutch Notary Law (1983-1989) at the Radboud University Nijmegen, defending his thesis on ‘Transition of property’ in 1996 and earning his PhD in law. He practiced law as a notary for a decade, and in 1998 became a full professor of private law, with a focus on notarial law, at the Department for Private and Notarial Law of the Law Faculty, University of Groningen. Professor Verstappen has served in the past as Dean of the Law Faculty and as Academic Director of the Groningen Centre for Law and Governance. Among other positions, he is Deputy  Judge at the Court of Appeals of The Hague and Associate and Counsellor of Hekkelman lawyers and notaries in Arnhem and Nijmegen (the Netherlands). He has been engaged with the Land Portal since 2009 when IALTA became a member of the Land Portal partnership.


Magdalena Anna Kropiwnicka


Magdalena Anna Kropiwnicka is a food and land policy advisor experienced in governance, advocacy and multi-stakeholder partnerships and projects. In 2010, she founded Food and Climate Consulting, whose clients have included the European Commission, UK’s Department of International Development (DFID), the International Land Coalition, the Representation of the Republic of Poland to the Rome based UN Agencies and various international NGOs. From 2004 to 2009 Ms. Kropiwnicka led the establishment of an ActionAid office in Rome for the Rome Based Agencies (RBAs), where she served as a co-director, a member of ActionAid’s international management team, and co-managed the International Food Security Network (IFSN) representing 28 countries. In 2010, she advised the Chair of the UN Committee on Food Security (CFS) facilitating an in-depth UN system reform, and in 2011 was elected as Chair of the Rome-based EU and Swiss Working Group on Land as the EU’s key negotiator of the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Land, Fisheries and Forests. Ms. Kropiwnicka acted as the EU spokesperson at the 37th CFS, coordinating Rome’s agenda with EU institutions and EU Member States. From 2012-2015, she focused on the climate-agriculture nexus in the EU biofuels legislation process, land governance and EU’s policy coherence for development. She is base based in Kampala, Uganda.


Terry Parnell


Terry Parnell is the Mekong Regional Land Governance Information Platform Coordinator . She has more than 30 years of experience in development and humanitarian relief programs, including more than 20 years in Southeast Asia, most of that in Cambodia. Previously, as Program Director for East West Management Institute’s Open Development Initiative, she led the regional expansion of the Open Development platform, for which Open Development Cambodia (ODC) was the flagship. The Open Development model was conceived by Ms. Parnell in 2010 as a way to open up access to development information, across sectors and borders, to encourage constructive public dialogue on development trends and plans. Ms Parnell is now also working on the independent development of a platform to crowd-source stories related to people’s experience with environmental change. Ms. Parnell holds Masters degrees in both Education and Agriculture Education and Extension, with a focus on sustainable development and planned change, and a minor in Farming Systems Research and Development. She also has Certificates in African Studies and Tropical Agriculture. She is originally from Florida, in the United States, where she worked with the rural poor. She began her international career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Papua New Guinea. Ms. Parnell has also worked with grassroots groups advocating land and natural resources rights in Cambodia.


Annette Jaitner


Annette is a senior expert in programme development and implementation, guided by high ethical standards and integrity, and she is passionate about land governance, social inclusion and development. Annette joined Transparency International (TI) in September 2009 to coordinate the multi-country project Poverty and Corruption in Africa, and since 2014 has been leading the development of TI’s new  thematic area on engaging partners and people in counteracting land corruption. Before joining TI, she worked with various civil society and UN organisations in Africa for over ten years, mainly on participatory approaches to socio-economic development and civil society capacity building. Thematic focus areas are land tenure, food and livelihood security, responsible and sustainable governance, and gender. Annette holds degrees in Agricultural Economics, Humanitarian Assistance, and Environmental Management from the Universities of Giessen and Bochum in Germany, and the University of London, Wye College. Annette lives in Berlin with one wonderful son.


Timothy Fella


Tim Fella is the Global Business Development Manager for Land Administration at Esri. He comes to ESRI with 12 years of experience with land tenure and land administration issues from across the globe. Just prior to Esri, Mr. Fella led new business development and consulting for the land and natural resources sectors at Indufor North America. Before this, he spent approximately 10 years with the U.S. Federal Government (Millennium Challenge Corporation & USAID) where he led the design, management and evaluation of large land administration reform projects for national governments in more than 20 countries across Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. During his final year at USAID, he was nominated to chair the working group on land rights for the White House National Action Plan for Responsible Business Conduct. Mr. Fella has a MA in Social Sciences for International Development and BA in International Relations.


Dr. Ritu Verma


Dr. Ritu Verma is an anthropologist, international development expert and civil engineer with over 20 years of research experience in East and Southern Africa and the Buddhist Himalayas. She specializes in land tenure, livelihoods and climate change, from the perspective of the anthropology of development and political ecology, with a focus on indigenous knowledge, socio-cultural relations, human wellbeing and natural resource management. Her work has been published extensively, and she has contributed to high-level initiatives of the UNFCCC, IPCC and SNDP. Dr. Verma is a senior researcher at the Tarayana Foundation, adjunct professor at the College of Language and Culture Studies, and director at Out of the Box Research and Action. She has held senior research positions at CIAT, ICIMOD, PLAAS, CBS, RTC, and has carried out work on the land rights, pastoralism, natural resource management and gender equality for UNDP, FAO, UNIFEM, IDS, NPA, WISPIUCN, RECONCILE, and Oxfam.


Johannes Keizer


Johannes Keizer has worked in the area of Agricultural Information Management for the last 25 years. He is responsible for partnerships in Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) secretariat and works in the project coordination of the H2020 Project eROSA on roadmaps for eInfrastructures in Agricultural Research and Development. Until the end of 2016 he worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He was responsible for the transformation of the International Information System for Agricultural Science and Technology (AGRIS) from a bibliographical database into a Global Linked Open Data Application.  Johannes Keizer has an MSc in Biochemistry (“Diplombiochemiker”) and a PhD in Biology (“Dr.rer.nat”).  He started his professional career as researching the environmental impact of pesticides.