Johnson headshot

Leland Fellow

Jacob Johnson

6th Class, 2011-2013

Field Placement: Action Aid, Kigali, Rwanda

Jacob Johnson worked with ActionAid in Rwanda, where his primary responsibility was to coordinate a public financing for agriculture project aimed at training and strengthening the capacity of women’s and farmers’ organizations to understand and monitor public agricultural spending, assess its effectiveness and communicate the evidence to policymakers. The project also carried out an agricultural budget analysis at the national and district level to identify ways in which public investments can be of greater benefit to women smallholder farmers.

Policy Placement: ActionAid USA, Washington, DC

During the policy year, Jacob supported ActionAid USA in its policy and advocacy work around public financing for sustainable women smallholder agriculture in Africa. He designed and coordinated a research and advocacy project that provided analysis of the World Bank’s Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) for donors, policymakers and the GAFSP steering committee. The work educated members of Congress, administration officials and their staffs on GAFSP as they made funding decisions and analyzed issues of sustainable agriculture, women smallholder farmers and farmer participation in GAFSP-funded projects.

Pre-Fellowship Education/Experience:

In 2009 and 2010, Jacob Johnson was a Rotary World Peace Fellow, completing a Master’s degree in International Relations with a focus on Economics, Cooperation and Development at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He wrote his thesis on international cooperation, domestic policy and food insecurity in Guatemala and spent four months with World Vision-Mozambique as a Food Security Project Analyst. Prior to that, he volunteered with the Agros Foundation in the Ixil region of Guatemala, where he lived and worked with small farming communities. A native of Bellevue, Washington, Jacob holds a BS in Engineering Physics from Westmont College.