In many countries, unidentified private individuals and legal entities obtain significant economic benefits from land. This lack of transparency can make it harder for affected communities and governments to hold them accountable for land use decision-making and any sort of violation they commit. It can also leave investors open to risk if they do not know who is truly behind a company they are doing business with.
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.