Board of Directors | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data


Leon Verstappen - Chair


Prof. dr. L.C.A. Verstappen, a Dutch national, founded the International Alliance on Land Tenure and Administration (IALTA), and leads a team of researchers working on land tenure, mainly focusing on land law. He studied Dutch Law and Dutch Notary Law at the Radboud University Nijmegen and later earned his PhD in law. He practiced as a notary for a decade, and went on to become a full professor of private law, at the Department for Private and Notarial Law of the Law Faculty, University of Groningen. In the past, Professor Verstappen served as Dean of the Law Faculty and as Academic Director of the Groningen Centre for Law and Governance.  He has been involved with the Land Portal since 2009.


Magdalena Anna Kropiwnicka


Magdalena Anna Kropiwnicka is a food systems, land policy and women’s rights advisor with experience in governance, advocacy and multi-stakeholder partnerships. In 2010 she founded Food and Climate Consulting whose clients have included the EC, DFID, ILC, the Representation of Poland to the Rome based UN Agencies and various international NGOes.  Previously she was a Chair of the EU Working Group on Land in Rome and as the EU negotiator of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests.   She has also led opening of ActionAid’s Rome office where for 7 years she was responsible for the organization’s relations with the UN Agencies and for policy support to the International Food Security Network in 28 countries.  She has worked on the EU biofuels legislation, commercialization of land pressures and women’s land rights from Brussels and from Kampala and is currently based in Kingston, Jamaica.  


Timothy Fella - Treasurer


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.

Share this page