Leala joined CLP in June 2020 after completing an MPS in International Agriculture & Rural Development at Cornell University, where she studied the intersection of community-based natural resource management, sustainable food systems, and environmental conservation. Her master’s research centered around gender equity & social inclusion among community forest user groups in Nepal, where she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2014-2015. She has worked extensively in leadership/capacity building initiatives primarily in agricultural food systems and youth development. Leala enjoys foraging, birdwatching, hiking, and cooking. She has a BA in Sociology/Anthropology with a concentration in Environmental Studies from Hendrix College.