Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Coordinator
Since 2012 Laura Meggiolaro has been responsible for the overall management, implementation and expansion of the Land Portal as its coordinator. Laura holds a master’s degree in communications science and a master’s degree in economics for development. She has extensive experience (12 years) in the development sector, with particular emphasis on the land governance, collaborating with UN agencies and civil society organizations, including the FAO, the International Land Coalition and ActionAid, specializing in information and knowledge management. Laura led the Land Portal through an in-depth assessment that resulted in the formulation of a new development strategy establishing the Land Portal as an independent foundation with the aim of becoming a hub for Linked Open Data and a clear example of innovation and open development in action contributing to policy formulation and better decision making and increasing transparency in the land sector.
Neil Sorensen, Communications and Resource Mobilization Specialist
Neil Sorensen joined the Land Portal as its Communications and Resource Mobilization Specialist in October 2015. He has extensive experience leading communications for international organizations and developing relationships with civil society, donors, intergovernmental agencies, the media and the private sector. Previously, Neil worked for the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) as a Governing Bodies Officer and Strategic Adviser to the Secretary of IFAD. He has also led communications for three international organizations, including the International Land Coalition, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). He has a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in German and Sociology from St. Cloud State University, and is currently working to obtain a Master’s degree in Global Diplomacy at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Nicholas Tagliarino, Research Analyst
Nicholas joined the Land Portal in September 2016 as a Research Analyst. Previously, he worked at the World Resources Institute (WRI), an environmental think tank in Washington D.C. At WRI, he assessed the land tenure security of indigenous and community lands for LandMark, a global platform of community lands. He also examined and wrote about expropriation laws and practices as well as environmental regulatory frameworks for WRI's The Access Initiative. In 2012-2013, Nicholas worked for the Law Reform Commission of Liberia in Monrovia and Oxfam India in New Delhi, where he conducted legal research related to land tenure, local governance, and other issues. He has a B.A.in Economics and Political Studies from Pitzer College and Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) from Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Currently, he is pursuing at PhD at the University of Groningen Faculty of Law. His dissertation will focus on whether national expropriation, compensation, and resettlement laws in developing countries are adopting international standards designed to secure tenure rights and ensure responsible land governance.
Marcello Demaria, Data Analyst
Marcello joined the Land Portal in July 2015 as a Junior Researcher and Data Analyst. Previously, he worked at the Italian National Institute of Agricultural Economics (CREA, ex-INEA) for more than three years as data analyst on issues related to sustainable agriculture in the context of both National and EU-funded projects. While obtaining an MSc in Agricultural and Development Economics at the University of Reading, where he was awarded with the Faculty Prize for the Best Master Dissertation, global land issues became his main research interest. In February 2015 he was awarded with the PM Italia Campus - Empowering Research Award. In June 2015, he successfully defended his PhD thesis on Large-Scale Land Acquisition at the University of Bari (Italy) - a previous version of which was presented at the 2015 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty. In October 2015, he started his second PhD at the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading (UK). Marcello is strongly interested in land issues and he joined the Land Portal Foundation with the belief that improving land governance globally is one of the main challenge that the world is facing today.
Jules Clement, Technology Officer
Jules Clement joined the Land Portal Foundation in September 2014 as Technology Officer to take the lead on systems management and technology. Prior to joining the Land Portal Foundation, Jules worked as a System and Technology Officer at the Web Foundation. He also worked as project manager for Gandi SAS (a French registrar) in Paris, for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as a webmaster and a systems engineer in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA). Jules has a keen interest in the Internet and more specifically the Web, as an Information technology medium and a way to enhance abilities to access information. He also enjoys hacking, particularly Web standards, new technologies and data. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer science from Epitech (Paris, France).
Carlos Tejo Alonso, Data Officer
Carlos Tejo Alonso joined the Land Portal as Data Officer in January 2016. He is a Linked Open Data specialist with wide knowledge and expertise in semantic web technologies, computer science, software design and development, human computer interaction, productivity and networking. Previously, he worked for 7 years at the Fundación CTIC as a researcher of the Semantic Technologies Unit in the R&D Department, and has taken part in several national and European R&D projects and initiatives. He holds a Masters of Science in Engineering and Computing Science from the University of Oviedo.
Lisette Meij, Administrative Officer
Lisette Meij joined the Land Portal Foundation as its Administrative Officer in April 2015, and is based in Groningen, the Netherlands. She is a recent law graduate from the University of Groningen, where she specialized in Constitutional and Administrative law. During her studies, she had several legal jobs, including three years as a court clerk in the Criminal Court of Groningen. In the summer of 2013, she completed an internship at the Urban Legislation Unit at UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya, where she became familiar with the issues around land and development. Subsequently, she served as an intern for the Land Portal Coordination Unit in Rome, Italy, providing support to the Land Portal Coordinator. During the last months of her studies, she worked as an independent consultant for a collaborative project between the University of Groningen and the Global Land Tool Network, focusing on electronic information sharing and learning, as well as designing a GLTN-research program for graduate students.