Dr Romola Sanyal (LSE)

Romola Sanyal is Associate Professor of Urban Geography at the London School of Economics. She studies forced migration, urbanization and urban politics in the Global South through an interdisciplinary lens. She has worked on the Middle East (Lebanon) and South Asia (India) with a focus on the urbanization and shelter politics of refugees and has published widely on the subject. She is also the co-editor of Urbanizing Citizenship: Contested Spaces in Indian Cities with Dr Renu Desai (Sage, India) and Displacement: Global Conversations on Refuge with Dr Silvia Pasquetti (Manchester University Press). She is currently studying the management of refugee and migrant crises in cities by local governments and humanitarian organizations in different parts of the world through a project titled Urban Humanitarianism. She has a PhD in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Synne Bergby (Urban-A)

Ms. Bergby is general manager and senior analyst at Urban-A. She is an urban development professional specialised in urban analysis and planning, with rapid urban growth, migration affected cities, urban poverty, the relation between the formal and informal city, and urban crisis response as focus areas. She has more than 10 year experience, including her role as a Programme Planning Advisor to UN-Habitat Lebanon between 2013-2017.

Ida Lien (Urban-A)

Ms. Lien is head of analysis at Urban-A. She is an urban economist with a MSc in City Design from London School of Economics. Her focus is on urban market systems and how urban analysis and programming can link vulnerable groups to markets and jobs in complex and humanitarian settings. She has previously worked for UN-Habitat Afghanistan, and Rodeo Architects in Oslo, Norway. 

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Lefteris Papagiannakis

Lefteris Papagiannakis was born in France in 1971. He completed his primary and secondary education in Greece. He returned to France to study public law in the University of Lille II, followed by a DEA in European Community Law and International Economy. After the completion of his studies he worked in the European Parliament as a parliamentary assistant. Since then he also worked on the education of the muslim minority in Greece (in Thrace), as a legal counselor for the political party Ecologists Green and the Special Secretariat on environmental inspection. He was elected in the municipal council of Athens in 9/2014 and named vice mayor on migrant and refugee affairs from 3/2016 to 8/2019. Following the end of his term he was named Head of Advocacy Policy and Research for SolidarityNow. He was chair of the working group Migration and Integration of the Eurocities Network and vice President for Refugee Issues of ECCAR (European Coalition of Cities against Racism) and president of the Council for the Integration of Migrants of the Municipality of Athens.

Currently he is the Director of the Greek Council for Refugees.

Dyfed Aubrey

Dyfed Aubrey is an Inter-Regional Advisor at UN-Habitat and provides technical and policy advice on a broad range of urban issues including forced displacement in cities. He also coordinates UN-Habitat’s Sub-Programme - Enhanced Shared Prosperity of Cities and Regions, and the flagship initiative, SDG Cities. Previously he headed UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Arab States, and prior to that UN-Habitat’s country programme in Iraq, where he led the UN’s work on land, housing and shelter. His international experience also includes working with INGOs in Sri Lanka, Kenya and Kosovo in reconstruction and slum upgrading. Prior to working internationally, he was an architect and urban designer in London. He has a Masters Degree in Development Planning from the University College London.

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Annabella Skof

Annabella Skof is an expert in socio-economic crisis response specialising in economic inclusion of refugees and IDPs, local economic development and private sector development. She brings about 20 years of experience, in particular in fragile and/or conflict-affected contexts with resident assignments with the ILO and the World Bank in Lebanon, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands. Ms Skof has been working as an independent consultant since mid 2017 supporting numerous clients including from donors, UN agencies, international NGOs. Prior to that Annabella was the resident Socio-Economic Recovery Expert of the International Labour Organization’s Regional Office for Arab States leading the Syrian refugee crisis response in Lebanon, and among others managing and developing a programme that included support to local economic and value chain development in Akkar. Ms Skof has a strong interest in market systems development and supporting the deployment of market-based approaches within crisis response in line with the humanitarian – development nexus. She has supported a variety of humanitarian and development organisations in designing and implementing market-based livelihoods or economic development programmes. Annabella Skof holds Master’s degrees in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies and in International Economic and Business Studies from the Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck.

Salma Khatun

Salma Khatun is Deputy Mayor of Pokhariya Municipality, Pokhariya Parsa, Nepal. She has a background in journalism and has been trained in human rights, Do No Harm, Peace Circle and Peace Journalism. She has a B.Ed from Tribhuvan University, Nepal and a Regional Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism from Dhaka University, Bangladesh.

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Jak Koseff

Jak Koseff serves as Senior Advisor on Economic Acceleration & Special Projects to the Member of the Executive Council (MEC / Provincial Minister) for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture & Rural Development in the Gauteng Provincial Government (the region encompassing Johannasburg, Pretoria and surrounds), South Africa. He is one of the leads on the Gauteng Provincial Government policy initiatives to facilitate and promote economic growth and development in the Africa's most economically advanced city region, with a targeted commitment to focus on enhancing inclusivity of the economy, whilst improving its competitiveness. These efforts have been organised as a set of apex programmes focused on economic acceleration and investment fast-tracking, which Jak has the strategic responsibility to coordinate and track from the MEC’s office, and as strategic advisor to the Gauteng Economic Acceleration War-Room. As part of this strategic role, he is heavily engaged in the development and implementation of key policy initiatives focused on high growth sectors, green industrialization, innovative financing for public infrastructure as a catalyst for new urban nodes and the deployment of new township enterprise zones which stack benefits to develop structurally disadvantaged areas. He has previously served in the Office of the Premier of Gauteng running Tshepo 1Million, the province’s mass scale youth workforce development programme and as Special Advisor on Priority Projects to the Mayor of Johannasburg. Jak holds a Masters in Public Administration jointly awarded by the London School of Economics (LSE) and Columbia University in the City of New York, as well as a Masters In Politics from Rhodes University, South Africa.

Hodan Ali

Hodan is an experienced global health clinician and a seasoned development expert. A leading voice on finding durable solutions for internally displaced persons in the Horn of Africa and serves as a Senior Policy Advisor at Mogadishu Municipality on internal displacement. Hodan led the establishment of the first Durable Solutions Unit in Somalia and developed the regional strategy at the municipality to address protracted displacement. She spearheaded the design and implementation of the first social housing project in thirty years. She’s a consistent advocate for aid reform and empowering local actors to end aid dependency.

Hodan is a Primary Healthcare Nurse Practitioner and is the founder of Refuge Newcomer Health Centre, a medical center dedicated to providing primary healthcare for immigrants and refugees in Hamilton, Ontario.

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Professor Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose is the Princesa de Asturias Chair and a Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics, where he directed the Department of Geography and Environment. He is also the Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre. He is a past-President of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI) (2015-2017) and served as Vice-President of the RSAI in 2014. He was Vice-President (2012-2013) and Secretary (2001-2005) of the European Regional Science Association.

He has a long track record of research in regional growth and inequality, fiscal and political decentralization, institutions, regional innovation, migration, and development policies and strategies. His research is widely cited in academic circles —he was named by Clarivate as a Highly Cited Researcher in 2020 and 2021—scholars who in the last decade have written multiple papers ranked in the top 1% by citations in the Web of Science. According to Scopus, ranks in the top 0.1% of researchers worldwide. He 0is an editor of Economic Geography, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Geographical Systems, and sits on the editorial board (or equivalent) of 34 other scholarly journals

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Emmanuel G Michael Biririza

Emmanuel G Michael Biririza is Electrical Engineer, Renewable Energy and Energy Access Expert with seventeen years’ experience in the sector - worked on various aspects including technical design, policy, programming, project innovative financing and implementation. Experiences working for various organisations on national and international space including with the United Nation organisations (UNIDO, UNHCR and UN-HABITAT), Multilateral Bank (the African Development Bank-AfDB), and European Union Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EU-EIPDF), UNEP Risoe Centre (Denmark), among others. Worked on various interventions regionally where under his leadership several achievements were recorded including assisting African governments with creation of enabling frameworks for crowding-in investments to achieve low-carbon development path through adoption of green technologies and practices. He also supported a good number of projects/programmes across sub-Saharan Africa. Emmanuel works on Development, Built environment and Humanitarian sector.

He is currently working for UN-HABITAT, based in its Headquarters in Nairobi, in a capacity of Urban Energy Specialist. Working on promoting low-carbon and resilient urban development through the use of renewable energy resources to enhance energy access, embrace efficient use of resources and energy efficiency measures in urban and peri-urban settings. Emmanuel holds a MSc in Environmental & Energy Management, specializing on energy management from the University of Twente, in the Netherlands, and a BSc (with honours) degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania. He is also a certified Professional Electrical Engineer with the Engineers Registration Board of Tanzania.

Ali Ahmad

Ali Ahmad is a Research Fellow studying energy policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (HKS). His research interests include energy security and resilience and the political economy of energy transition, with focus on the Middle East. Prior to joining HKS, Ali served as Director of the Energy Policy and Security Program at the American University of Beirut. From 2013 to 2016, Ali was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security where he worked on informing nuclear diplomacy with Iran. Outside academia, Ali is a senior consultant at the World Bank advising the Energy and Extractive Industries Global Practice. Ali holds a first degree in Physics from the Lebanese University and a PhD in Engineering from Cambridge University.

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Pierre T. El Khoury

Pierre El Khoury is the General Director and President of the Board of the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC). El Khoury worked on the development of Lebanon’s national energy efficiency and renewable energy action plans as well as BDL’s NEEREA national financing mechanism. El Khoury is the secretary of the World Energy Council (WEC) Lebanon Committee, a Board of Trustees’ member representing Lebanon in the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE).

He holds a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master degree in Engineering Management, both from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

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Jørn C. Øwre

Jørn C. Øwre works with UNHQ partnerships, Rapid response teams and knowledge development within Urban Emergency Responses, Resilience, Clean Energy, Sustainability and Sites and settlements in the Norwegian Refugee Council: NRC-NORCAP/ Global CCCM Cluster. He has a consultancy and corporate background and has been working for Innovation Norway as an Innovation Mentor to enable Norwegian Companies to develop solutions and capacity to serve the global development and humanitarian markets in addition to providing global national authorities with innovative solutions to sustainable growth and poverty reduction.

He has led collaboration with UNHCR and IOM from the NRC/NORCAP side to develop new solutions and to respond to mass displacement in humanitarian emergencies. He has managed the production of new tools and new thematic approaches for the Global Shelter Cluster and the Global Camp Cluster regarding responses to Disaster Risk Reduction, Urban Displacement and Out of Camp Responses. His achievements within Urban Development and humanitarian responses are based on a fusion of social and physical structures in the response mechanisms to crisis.

Øwre is centrally placed within the UN coordination of emergency responses within the Global Shelter and CCCM Cluster, the New Urban Agenda and Global Alliance for Urban Crisis as well as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Working group on meeting humanitarian challenges in urban areas. He has managed NRC/NORCAP several emergency responses to natural disasters and conflicts in close coordination with the relevant UN agencies. He has field experience from various organisations in both emergencies and development work and as a corporate consultant. He lectures frequently at the Norwegian Universities AHO and BAS and the University IUAV, Venice in architectural solutions in emergencies. He is frequently called to speak at conferences, and he has been a driving force in the development of the collaboration between UN and NRC and universities and architect schools globally.

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Dr Neil Quilliam

Dr Neil Quilliam is an energy policy, geopolitics and foreign affairs specialist, with extensive knowledge and experience of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. He is Managing Director at Azure Strategy Consulting, and an associate fellow with Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. He headed the programme’s Future Dynamics in the Gulf project. Prior to that, Neil was project director of the Syria and Its Neighbours policy initiative and acting head of the MENA Programme, having first joined Chatham House as a senior research fellow in January 2014. He has also served as senior MENA energy adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), senior MENA analyst at Control Risks, London, and senior programme officer at the United Nations University, Amman.

Neil has lived in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and UAE, and has travelled extensively around the MENA region, working on a variety of development, education and research projects. He has published a number of books and articles on international relations and political economy of Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the GCC states.

Angela Franco

Angela Franco is an Architect, specialist in Urban Planning, MSc in Sociology and PhD in Architecture from University of Cambridge. In 2011, she received the Hubert H. Humphrey Fulbright Fellowship Award to be part of the Special Programme of Urban and Regional Studies at MIT. Currently, she is an Associated Professor at the Department of Architecture of the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia where she leads the research group "Observatory of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism”. Her research and consultancy projects are mainly focused on urban marginality, informal settlements and planning and housing policies from a sociological approach. Her research projects on socio-spatial impacts of urban renewal in Bogotá was awarded as best academic research by the National Council of Architecture in Colombia and her PhD thesis was the basis for her last book “Marginalidad Oculta. Políticas de Vivienda Social y Vivienda gratuita en Colombia” published in 2020.

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Dora Kokozidou

Dora Kokozidou has been working as a lawyer in Thessaloniki, Greece, since 2003. Since 2016, has been working with UNHCR initially in the field (Lagkadikia refugee camp) and from 2017 onwards provides technical support to municipalities in the field of refugee integration.

Panos Hatziprokopiou

Panos Hatziprokopiou is Associate Professor at the School of Spatial Planning & Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greecce. His research interests focus on aspects of migration and migrants’ incorporation particularly in urban contexts, and on questions of migration, diversity and the city.

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Nikolaos Vrantsis

Nikolaos Vrantsis is an independent researcher and a PhD candidate in Human Geography in Uppsala University and is affiliated with the Institute for Housing and Urban Research. His research is focused on the political economy of violence and aims at providing historical and geographic contextualisations of vigilant violence incidents in urban settings. As an independent researcher he writes on topics related to urban and social marginality and housing exclusion with a special focus on Greece.

Khondaker Hasibul Kabir

Khondaker Hasibul Kabir is a community architect. He prefers to work with disadvantaged human communities and spontaneously grown plant communities. Kabir is the co-founder of Co.Creation.Architects that works with communities to co-create better built and natural habitats. He is a core team member of Platform of Community Action and Architecture (POCAA) that works in Bangladesh and Community Architects Network (CAN) that works in 19 Asian countries. He teaches landscape and architecture at BRAC University. Kabir has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and a Master’s in Architecture in Landscape Design from the University of Sheffield, UK. His research and practice focus on ecological landscape and people-led design and planning.

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Dr Jonathan Darling

Dr Jonathan Darling is Associate Professor in Human Geography at Durham University. His research focuses on the spatial politics of asylum, sanctuary and solidarity movements, and the urban dynamics of forced migration. Most recently, he has done extensive research on the UK’s dispersal system of housing and support for asylum seekers and refugees. He is co-editor of three books, Encountering the City (Routledge, 2016), Sanctuary Cities and Urban Struggles (University of Manchester Press, 2018), and Research Ethics for Human Geography (Sage, 2020). His first monograph, Systems of Suffering: Dispersal and the Denial of Asylum, will be published by Pluto Press in May 2022.  

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