Dr. Leigh Ann Winowiecki joined the IFDC Board of Directors in 2023. She serves as a founding Board Member of the International Union of Agroforestry (IUAF) and is the Global Research Lead for Soil and Land Health at CIFOR-ICRAF, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Winowiecki co-founded the Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health (CA4SH), which aims to catalyze investments in soil health for human well-being and climate. She serves on the Scientific Task Force and the Monitoring Task Force for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration as well as the Scientific Steering Committee for the Global Soil Health Programme, in addition to co-leading the Landscape Restoration Transformative Partnership Platform.

Since 2009 she has co-developed and implemented the Land Degradation Surveillance Framework (LDSF) in over 40 countries across the tropics to assess soil health, land degradation, and vegetation dynamics and to track soil restoration efforts. As a soil scientist, Dr. Winowiecki’s research focuses on farmer-centered landscape restoration, drivers of soil degradation, and land management for soil health. She has published widely on her research, including open-access datasets. Dr. Winowiecki earned her doctorates from the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Costa Rica (CATIE) in Tropical Agroforestry and in Soil Pedology from the University of Idaho. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University – Earth Institute.