Dr. Eve Crowley leads FAO’s interdepartmental work on poverty reduction, Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD), and institution building for agriculture and rural development and has helped to spearhead and facilitate a multi-stakeholder partnership known as the SARD Initiative. Previously she served as Senior Advisor on Household Food Security and Gender at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), as Land and Natural Resource Tenure Officer with FAO, as Programme Officer with the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) and with the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme (TSBF) in Nairobi, Kenya, and as a consultant with the Club du Sahel (OECD), UNESCO, USAID, and numerous other multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Dr. Crowley holds Ph.D. and M.Phil. degrees in Anthropology from Yale University and B.A. degrees in Government and Anthropology from Smith College and has been the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Rockefeller Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Fulbright-Hayes, and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, among others. She has a working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Kriolu of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde.

Dr. Crowley has worked on poverty, rural institutions, and the social and human dimensions of sustainable development in Africa, Asia and Latin America for over 20 years. Her research with rural communities on the history and legal, institutional, medical, and ethnic foundations of sacred forests, shrines, and healing centres in West Africa (1991 Contacts with the spirits: religion, asylum and ethnic identity in the Cacheu Region of Guinea-Bissau) has inspired a deep commitment to communicating the importance of spiritual values, customary institutions, and indigenous knowledge and technologies for sustainable development. She has published on organizations of the poor, local institutions and livelihoods, women’s property rights, household food and nutrition security, agrarian and land use change, rural labour dynamics, and soil management and agroforestry practices, as well as authored a number of encyclopaedia articles and other publications. Ms Crowley served as FAO’s focal point for the 2005 World Food Day theme “Agriculture and Intercultural dialogue” which highlighted the importance of culture for agriculture.

With a number of other organizations and individuals, Dr. Crowley is currently working on a Compendium of SARD Good Practices that have resulted in measurable and wide-ranging economic, environmental, and social benefits, particularly for the poor, over the past 10 years and is trying to draw lessons on the factors that have facilitated or hindered scaling up or “massification” of these practices. She welcomes any contributions by participants of the World Rural Forum to this effort.