Leah Marie Lucas

Research Associate
Overseas Cooperative Development Council, International Cooperative Research Group

Leah Marie Lucas is an international development and humanitarian professional with work experience spanning five continents and eight countries. Since 2010, she has worked with research organizations, United Nations and nongovernmental organizations, specializing in agriculture, food security and nutrition, rural economic livelihoods, social enterprise, gender, and humanitarian emergencies. In her most recent placement in Mozambique as Director of Caritas Pemba, Lucas led projects with diverse UN and government partners, including WFP, FAO, UNICEF, IOM, AECID, and USAID/OFDA, among other public and private partners. She was a Fulbright Economic Development Research Scholar in Mozambique in 2015.

Lucas holds an MSc in African Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was active at LSE in various roles: Member of the African Land Politics Group, Graduate Student Research Assistant, and Representative of the African Development Major on the Student and Staff Liaison Committee. Lucas received her bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College, where she designed an independent major focusing on Latin American development and studied Amazonian Resource Management in Brazil through the School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad. At Grinnell, she worked as a Research Tutor, specializing in large data procurement and international development, and served on various Student Educational Policy Committees.

Through the World Food Prize Foundation’s Fellowship Programs for young leaders in agriculture and food security, Lucas has worked with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India, the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Washington DC. She was a 2014 Davis Project for Peace Grant Recipient and led a women’s cooperative development project in Guatemala. She was an Oxfam America Change Leader from 2012-2014, and founded and led the international social enterprise, Empowering Pachitulul, during this same time period.

Leah Marie Lucas is passionate about innovative approaches to social impact and data-driven program design. As a Research Associate with OCDC’s International Cooperative Research Group, she is eager to leverage research and analytics to inform development programming and promote inclusive public policies. She speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese fluently; and has basic knowledge of Makua, French and Kiswahili.