Carol Colfer

Senior Associate
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)


Carol J. Pierce Colfer joined CIFOR in 1994, initially as a consultant for the Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management project, joining as a staff member in 1996. Colfer was the first leader of the Local People, Devolution and Adaptive Collaborative Management Programme (ACM), which involved research in Asia, Africa and Latin America from 1998 to 2002. From 2002 until mid-2003, she was on sabbatical leave at Cornell University, analyzing results from this programme. Following this, she worked on human health, forests and decentralization. From 2007 to 2009, she coordinated CIFOR’s Rights and Resources Initiative project and the Governance theme of the Landscape Mosaics project in the Biodiversity platform. In 2009, she became a Senior Associate, and focused on swidden agriculture in the tropics, gender, and intersectionality until 2018.

Colfer is now a Visiting Scholar at Cornell University’s Southeast Asia Program. Her current work includes a retrospective analysis of masculinities in Bushler Bay, WA, in the US, East Kalimantan and West Sumatra, primarily. Colfer has a BA in cultural anthropology from Portland State University (Oregon, USA), a Master’s in public health from the University of Hawaii (USA) and an MA and PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Washington (Seattle, USA).