Elisa is a lawyer and practitioner and is the Director of Land and Resource Rights initiative at WRI, working to strengthen land, environmental, and natural resource rights of indigenous peoples and local communities through high impact research, engagement, and capacity enhancement.

Elisa is a leading land and resource rights practitioner, having worked for 15 years as a lawyer and international expert on land tenure and gender equity and social inclusion. Elisa's work focuses on systemic change that is driven by the needs of women and men in affected communities for whom land and resources are fundamental to life, and who face internal and external pressures on land. She has done this through technical support on legal, policy, and regulatory reforms and implementation of laws, piloting innovative approaches for inclusive and equitable governance and decision-making on land at the local level, enhancing equity in benefit sharing, and facilitating enforcement and protection of indigenous and local communities’ rights to land and natural resources. She also leads global analysis on how to improve land and resource rights in practice with a view to shaping policy and practice at national and global levels.

Prior to joining WRI, Elisa was the Executive Director and Co-founder of Resource Equity, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women’s land and resource rights. She has worked with partners in many countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, including: Cabo Verde, Lesotho, Liberia, Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroun, Namibia, Peru, Papua New Guinea, India, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, China, and Vietnam. She has also taught and contributed to graduate-level courses on Poverty, Law and Development at the University of Washington School of Law and Resource Equity’s Women's Land Rights Institute and has published widely on these issues.

Elisa now lives with her beautiful little family in the Hague, Netherlands.