Our People

Jessica Musengezi

Governance Economist


Governance Economist

Jessica Musengezi Jessica Musengezi, applied scientist, The Nature Conservancy's Human Dimensions Program. Courtesy of Jessica Musengezi. © Jessica Musengezi


Market-Based Approaches to Conservation, Ecosystem Services, Sustainable Development


Matt Miller
ph. +1 208-350-2203


Jessica is a Governance Economist with the Human Dimensions Program, working to integrate social science and economics in to the Conservancy science. Her work involves developing and piloting approaches to integrate human-wellbeing considerations into planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of conservation projects. Jessica led a project to design a devolved social monitoring system to track the impacts of conservation on the many indigenous peoples living within the community conservancies in northern Kenya. Jessica is also involved projects on sustainable agriculture and befits cost analysis of conservation actions.

Prior to joining the Nature Conservancy, Jessica was an Economics of Ecosystems fellow with Defenders of Wildlife where her work focused on valuing grassland ecosystem services and developing payments for ecosystem services (water quality, water quantity, and biodiversity) accessible to ranchers. Jessica has also conducted research natural resource and development issues in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the USA on topics including sustainable wildlife use, community-based natural resource management, smallholder agricultural development, and fisheries management.

Jessica was born and raised in Zimbabwe where she developed a love for nature and a deep appreciation for the intricate relationship between nature and people. She holds a PhD and MSc in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida, and a BSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Zimbabwe.

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Allan, B.F., Tallis, H., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Huckett, S., Kowal, V.A., Musengezi, J., Okanga, S., Ostfeld, R.S., Schieltz, J., Warui, C.M., Wood, S.A. & Keesing, F. (2017). Can integrating wildlife and livestock enhance ecosystem services in central Kenya? Front Ecol Environ.

Horton, K., Knight, H., Galvin, K.A., Goldstein, J.H. & Herrington, J. (2017). An evaluation of landowners’ conservation easements on their livelihoods and well-being. Biological Conservation, 209, 62–67.

Robinson, B.E., Masuda, Y.J., Kelly, A., Holland, M.B., Bedford, C., Childress, M., Fletschner, D., Game, E.T., Ginsburg, C., Hilhorst, T., Lawry, S., Miteva, D.A., Musengezi, J., Naughton-Treves, L., Nolte, C., Sunderlin, W.D. & Veit, P. (2017). Incorporating Land Tenure Security into Conservation. Conservation Letters.


Leisher, C. (2014). A Comparison of Tablet-Based and Paper-Based Survey Data Collection in Conservation Projects. Social Sciences, 3, 264–271.

Tallis, H., Lubchenco, J., et al. (2014). Working together: A call for inclusive conservation. Nature, 515, 27–28.


Child, B.A., Musengezi, J., Parent, G.D. & Child, G.F.T. (2012). The economics and institutional economics of wildlife on private land in Africa. Pastoralism, 2, 18.

Musengezi, J., Alvarez, P., Bacon, M., Cheatum, M. & Ogg, C. (2012). The Feasibility of Water Quality Markets for Rangelands in California’s Central Valley. Conservation Economics White Paper. Conservation Economics and Finance Program, Defenders of Wildlife, Washington, D.C.

Rayburn, A.P., Spaulding, H., Musengezi, J., O’Geen, A.T. & Laca, E.A. (2012). Progress report: strip-seeding for low-cost rangeland restoration. Ecesis, 22, 4–6.

Rayburn, A.P., Spaulding, H., Musengezi, J., O’Geen, A.T., Schriefer, C. & Laca, E.A. (2012). Ongoing Study of Grassland Restoration Effects on Regionally Important Ecosystem Services in the Sacramento Valley. Grasslands, 22, 8–11.