Sandra Nichols Thiam

Sandra Nichols Thiam
Vice President, Research & Policy

Sandra Nichols Thiam is an attorney specialized in developing and implementing effective legal and policy approaches to solve sustainable development challenges. She conducts innovative research in these fields and is a skilled project manager with practical field experience. She has 21 years experience in strategic program development, promoting rule of law and good governance in natural resources sectors, advocating for communities, advising governments on comparative best practices, and designing and implementing training programs for a broad spectrum of stakeholders including high-level government officials. She has worked across the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and internationally on a broad range of topics including resource rights, forest legality and enforcement, biodiversity protection, climate mitigation and adaption, and on the nexus between natural resource management and peacebuilding. In addition to serving as the Vice President for Research & Policy, she is also ELI's Director of Judicial Education.

Media Guide
  • Community Resource Rights: governance for realizing benefit-sharing and transparency, equitable, and participatory management; community responses to pollution
  • Post-Conflict Natural Resources Governance: strengthening peacebuilding through environmental and natural resources legal development and implementation
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Capacity-Building: development, presentation, institutionalization of judicial education programs in developing countries; designing and presenting training programs for communities and government officials
  • State Environmental Programs: policies and legal tools for improved implementation of State Brownfields, Underground Storage Tank, TMDL, Wetlands, and Climate programs; facilitating improved collaboration between stakeholders and each level of governance
  • J.D. University of Virginia, 2003
  • B.A. in Earth and Environmental Science, 1997
Selected Publications

Carl Bruch, William Carroll Muffet, and Sandra S. Nichols (eds.), Governance, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (Earthscan 2016).

Sandra S. Nichols, William Carroll Muffet, and Carl Bruch, “Lessons Learned”, Governance, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (Earthscan 2015).

Sandra S. Nichols and Mishkat Al Moumin, “The Role of Environmental Law in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding”, Governance, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (Earthscan 2015).

Sandra S. Nichols, Paivi Lujala, and Carl Bruch, When Peacebuilding Meets the Plan: Natural Resource Governance and Post-Conflict Recovery, Whitehead J. Diplomacy & Int'l Rel. (Feb. 2011).

Stephanie Altman, Charles Benjamin, Sandra S. Nichols, and Boubacar Thiam, Community Forestry: A Cornerstone of Peace and Security in West Africa, Natural Resource Governance and Human Security in Africa: Emerging Issues and Trends (Pax Africa) (Mar. 2010).