Vera headshot

Leland Fellow

Isis Blanco Vera

10th Class, 2019-2021

Isis Vera is a Program Analyst for the Africa Bureau's Office of Sustainable Development in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She holds a Master's Degree in Agricultural and Environmental Education from the University of Georgia with a certificate in International Agriculture. She served as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's Institute Nutrition Graduate Fellow, doing a rotation with the United States House Committee on Agriculture. Isis completed her fellowship as a Research Fellow with USAID's Global Development Lab. She has also worked as a Research Assistant with the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication Department at the University of Georgia. Isis has strong interests in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning; data analysis and visualization; and their nexus with agriculture and hunger. Originally hailing from Mexico, Isis is passionate about music, traveling, and food.

Host Organization: Foundation for Ecological Security & International Food Policy Research Institute

First Year Placement
Anand, Gujarat, India

Isis is currently in Anand, India, working with the Foundation for Ecological Security as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. As part of the study group, Isis is assisting FES with their Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning, and Impact Assessment work. Currently, FES works in 31 districts across eight states, positively impacting 11.6 million rural people across 8 states of India. However, FES is in the process of scaling up, aiming to restore 30 million hectares of degraded common lands by 2023. To this end, Isis is working with the study group to conduct an impact assessment of the FES method, helping to develop protocols for household and village institution assessments. Furthermore, she is also exploring opportunities for data to be collected through participatory data collection methods.

Second Year Placement
Washington, D.C.

Based in Washington D.C., Isis will work with the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Environment and Production Technology department, remotely supporting the Impact Assessment of the Foundation for Ecological Security’s Promise of Commons initiative. As a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Isis’ duties will involve exploring how to safely conduct evaluation assessments during a pandemic in addition to developing mechanisms to ensure that the data collected is used for learning.

Publications & Blog Posts