4th Class, 2007-2009
Field Placement: Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA), Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Alexis Jones worked with the Association for Rural Advancement, a local NGO in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa dedicated to improving land access and tenure security to strengthen the livelihoods of the rural poor. At AFRA, her main objectives were to support research and improve internal capacity. Alexis organized a steering group to coordinate research at AFRA, which developed a strategic framework to guide future research and provide support for research projects in progress. She also played a supporting role in proposal-writing and fund-raising, monitoring and evaluation, and the development of a gender policy at AFRA, as well as in assisting another South African land rights NGO to mobilize a regional network of civil society organizations working on land issues.
Policy Placement: International Land Coalition (ILC), Rome, Italy
At the International Land Coalition, Alexis coordinated preparations for the 2009 Assembly of Members in Nepal, including fund-raising for the event. Her policy-relevant responsibilities included supporting the creation of a strategy to guide ILC’s global thematic and policy work and assisting in developing ILC positions and submissions to international forums. She supported ILC’s regional work in Asia, ensuring effective communication between the Rome Secretariat and the regional platform. With the ILC’s monitoring and evaluation officer, she developed tools with which to implement a new M&E Framework.
Alexis graduated from Yale University with a BA in English in 2000. She then began service as an agriculture volunteer in the Peace Corps. After the Peace Corps, she worked as an outreach paralegal and advocate for Florida Rural Legal Services’ migrant farm-worker program. Immediately prior to the fellowship she earned an MS in International Agricultural Development at the University of California – Davis, with a human ecology specialization. Her Master’s thesis dealt with the vulnerability of households in rural Chiapas, Mexico to intense rainfall. She received the UC Davis Graduate Scholars Fellowship, the Jastro-Shields graduate research Fellowship, and an Association for International Agricultural and Rural Development Future Leaders award.