Meet the team

Meet the team

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Lauren Sorkin

Executive Director

As Executive Director, Lauren oversees global efforts to strengthen cities in the face of the complex and interconnected challenges they face. Leading a team of professionals in London, Mexico City, New York, and Singapore in collaboration with Chief Resilience Officers in over 40 countries, she drove the co-design process to launch the Resilient Cities Network as an independent city-led network organization.

Lauren serves as an advisor and spokesperson on urban resilience, women’s leadership, sustainable finance, climate risk, stakeholder engagement, and urbanization trends. She is on the Advisory Board of several sustainability-focused initiatives including Food Tank, the Singapore Sustainability Summit (S3), and Natural Capital.

Previously with the Asian Development Bank, Lauren led the Bank’s first-ever climate change investment plan before moving to the ADB’s Vietnam Office to mainstream climate risks and opportunities in the country’s US$7-billion portfolio. Before joining the ADB, she worked with USAID to implement clean energy, climate change, and conservation projects in Asia, Africa, and South America. She has published work on biofuels, climate change, public speaking for social impact, infant mortality, and HIV/AIDS.

Lauren holds a BA in International Relations from Tufts University, and an MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics.

Lauren lives in Singapore with her husband and two daughters where she can be found practicing contemporary dance, yoga, and singing while working towards a better future.

Katrin Bruebach

Global Director, Programs, Innovation & Impact

Katrin is responsible for the development of R-Cities’s thematic priorities: circular economy, climate resilience, and equity in recovery. In this role, she oversees the design and delivery of R-Cities programs that connect city needs with resilience solutions from partners and investors. Previously, she was Director of Water Supply and Sanitation Solutions at 100RC, where she supported city efforts in areas such as water resilience, climate adaptation, sanitation, and solid waste.

Katrin has spent over 15 years developing the capacities of organizations and building partnerships, to produce lasting and meaningful results in improving water supply and sanitation service provision in developing countries across Africa and the Middle East. Katrin is fluent in German and English and holds an advanced degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Hannover, Germany.

Lina Liakou

Global Director, Engagement & Knowledge
Europe & Middle East

Lina leads the resilience practice in Europe and the Middle East for the Resilient Cities Network. She is also responsible for the organization’s global governance, city engagement and knowledge.

Before joining R-Cities, Lina was Deputy Mayor and Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Thessaloniki, Greece. As Deputy Mayor, she initiated collaborations with the European Commission, the EIB and The World Bank.

Prior to this, Lina was Chief Executive of the Metropolitan Development Agency of Thessaloniki, an intermunicipal company that coordinates national and international research projects. Lina was trained as an architect and urban designer at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London.

Dana Omran

Global Director, Operations Strategy
Africa

Dana leads the resilience practice in Africa for the Resilient Cities Network. She also oversees R-Cities’s strategy and operations.

Dana joined R-Cities after spending almost a decade with The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation working in financial and private sector development. As part of the Investment Climate Advisory Services team at the IFC, she worked with national and city governments across Africa and the Middle East on how to design and implement innovative technology solutions to improve and broaden the reach of public service delivery, increase government transparency, and support small and medium-sized business development. At The World Bank, Dana led the global research team responsible for benchmarking construction and urban planning regulations in 183 countries for the flagship Doing Business report. In addition to her work in international development, Dana has advised several start-ups and worked on a presidential campaign in her native Egypt.

Dana holds an MA in International Security Studies from Georgetown University. She received a BSc in Science and Technology in International Affairs and a certificate in Contemporary Arab Studies from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Eugene Zapata Garesché

Global Director, Partnerships
Latin America & the Caribbean

Eugene Zapata Garesché is Global Director, Partnerships Latin America and the Caribbean for the Resilient Cities Network. Before joining R-Cities he was International Advisor to the Mayor of Mexico City. In this capacity he headed the AL-LAs project, a Europe-Latin America network of cities working to professionalize their international affairs. He was also Latin American Regional Director for the World Fund for City Development (FMDV) as well as North American Secretary of METROPOLIS, the world association of the largest cities.

He has extensive experience in city-to-city cooperation, decentralization, and local government. He has authored dozens of books and articles and lectured on the topic of the international affairs of cities and mayors.

Eugene studied International Relations at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and holds a master’s degree in European Integration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a master’s degree in International Development and Cooperation from Paris-Sorbonne University.

In 2013, Eugene was chosen by CAF, the Latin American Development Bank, as one of the 30 Future Leaders in the region. In 2015, the French Republic granted Eugene the title of Knight of the National Order of Merit, in recognition of his outstanding career in building bridges across nations.

Luis Bonilla Ortiz-Arrieta

Senior Consultant, Partnership Strategy

Luis Bonilla Ortiz-Arrieta is Senior Consultant for R-Cities. He brings over 10 years’ experience in improving informal settlements, popular habitat, and community development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Luis was Director of the Central Office of TECHO International, and has worked in various countries in the region, such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Haiti. He has been a consultant for different regional and international organizations, and was an advisor to the Forum of Ministers and Highest Authorities of Housing and Urban Development of Latin America and the Caribbean (MINURVI). He was part of the Group of Experts for the preparation of the Regional Action Plan for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean, prepared by ECLAC and UN-Habitat.

Luis is an economist with a master’s degree in Latin American Political and Social Studies, and is an active member of the CLACSO Urban Inequalities Working Group.

Luciana Cardoso

Consultant, Programs & Impact

Luciana supports programs and operations in Latin America and the Caribbean for the Resilient Cities Network. She has previously worked at UN-Habitat, in Nairobi, with the flagship migration program and supporting the country activities in lusophone Africa. She has served as a Junior Consultant for the CAF-Sciences Po capstone partnership, working on a comparative study on access to clean water in slums in African and Asian cities. Luciana has also supported research projects about slum upgrading policy evaluation in Brazil (PAC-UAP), in collaboration with UFRJ, UFABC, and the Secretary of Housing of the Municipality of São Paulo.

Luciana holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from PUC-São Paulo, Brazil, and a master’s degree in Urban Policy from Sciences Po, Paris.

Fanny Chang

Global Operations Associate & Executive Assistant

Fanny is Global Operations Associate for R-Cities. She brings with her 8 years’ experience as a Legal Executive in the Singapore Government, followed by 8 years’ experience in the non-profit sector as an Executive Assistant to senior leadership in international NGOs. As a Legal Executive, she worked closely with legal counsel in the drafting and vetting of legislation for passage in Parliament. As an Executive Assistant, Fanny assisted the Regional Leader, Senior Director of Operations, and Executive Director in the smooth running of the Executive Office. Besides the usual secretarial duties of scheduling, taking minutes, and arranging travel and expenses submission, Fanny organizes international and global conferences. Before joining R-Cities, Fanny was a trust administrator with a trust company in the wealth management industry.

Laurian Farrell

Regional Director, North America

As Director for North America, Laurian works with cities to implement impactful resilience solutions. Throughout her 20-year career as a Water Resources Engineer with a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture she has worked at the confluence of engineering science, policy, and people to successfully execute visions at various municipal, engineering consulting, and philanthropic organizations.

Prior to joining R-Cities, Laurian worked at 100RC as an Associate Director of Global Resilience Practice. She was also the Senior Manager for Environment at the City of Brampton, Ontario, where she project managed the city’s Riverwalk initiative, a $250-million flood protection and downtown revitalization project.

Laurian spent 11 years at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, where she led the Flood Risk Management and Infrastructure Department and worked closely with municipalities on their flood and emergency preparedness plans.

Saurabh Gaidhani

Lead, Programs

Saurabh Gaidhani is part of the Programs, Innovation and Impact team at R-Cities, where he leads program design, strategic partnerships, and operations. Saurabh has over 10 years’ experience in international development. He has successfully curated collaborations between municipal authorities, international development organizations, non-profit organizations, regional-national governments, philanthropic organizations, private businesses, and civil-society stakeholders on large and complex projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

At 100RC, Saurabh worked on resilience planning, strategies, and innovative solutions with local partners on various scales. He was involved in project development to mitigate urban flooding, water security, and access to clean water in India, and in climate change adaptation and waste management issues in Southeast Asia. He has worked on city resilience strategies in eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Before joining 100RC, Saurabh was part of AECOM’s Singapore office, where he worked on large-scale strategic planning and urban design projects in the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Cristina Gregorio

SENIOR CONSULTANT, PROGRAMS

Cristina is an urban resilience and climate finance specialist. Before joining Resilient Cities network, she was an independent consultant undertaking climate risk-informed urban investment assessments in various cities in Asia. She previously analyzed the financial capacity for urban climate action among C40 cities in Asia and led the African and Asian report on Financing Resilient and Green Urban Solutions for UN-Habitat.

As a long-time consultant for ADB, Cristina has coordinated regional projects implemented across Asia on solid waste management and low-carbon infrastructure and contributed to country studies, more recently on the resilience of the urban poor. Prior to cities and climate change, Cristina’s work focused on regional cooperation and integration in Central Asia.

She holds a Master’s in Development Management from Ruhr University Bochum, a Master’s in Political Economy from the University of Asia and the Pacific, and a Diploma on Urban Planning from the University of the Philippines.

Fabiola Guillen

Consultant, Global Communications

Fabiola serves as Global Communications Consultant and is based in Mexico City. Before joining R-Cities, she worked as a communications manager for the largest micro-mobility start-up in Latin America. Prior to that, she worked as a communications manager in a nationwide political marketing agency, and as a public opinion consultant for political candidates at the local, state, and federal levels. She studied Political Science at Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology (ITAM).

Key Hill

Senior Consultant, Development & Partnerships

Key Hill brings over 20 years’ experience in the non-profit and government sectors. As Senior Director of Development at Resources for the Future, Key managed a $6-million portfolio of corporate, foundation, and individual donors at the pre-eminent think tank conducting economic environmental policy analysis in Washington, DC. As Senior Director of Business Development and Senior Partnerships Advisor at BoardSource, she worked with boards of directors at non-profits throughout the nation on the unique governance issues faced by mission-based organizations. She also worked at the White House for both the Office of the First Lady and the Travel Office from 1998 to 2001.

Key’s career began as a grant writer for the National Coalition for the Homeless. She received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Vassar College and a master’s degree in policy studies from the University of Sussex.

Mark Leong

Global Operations Lead

Mark has over three decades of experience in finance accounting roles in Singapore and Malaysia. In recent years, he worked in the logistics industry managing finance teams across South-east Asia. He was responsible for diverse finance and operations activities including ensuring proper compliance and controls. Mark is driven to help the less fortunate and improve the lives of others. He describes his core values as openness and integrity.
 
Mark is one of three children born and raised in Johor, Malaysia. He is passionate about music and sport having played competitive football (the beautiful game, not American) and badminton through school. Mark and his wife now live in Singapore with their three children and two dogs.

Nicole Ponce

Consultant, Programs Latin America and the Caribbean

Nicole provides support to programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has previously interned with architectural firms such as Ziger/Snead (Baltimore) and Adriana Hoyos Design Studio (Quito). She has also participated in an academic design program with Deltares dealing with growing population and sustainable urban systems.

Nicole holds a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Design (Magna Cum Laude) from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where she focused on understanding how architecture and planning can help mitigate the effects of global warming and create more resilient communities.

Nini Purwajati

Senior Manager, Programs & Knowledge

Nini is a Senior Manager for the Programs and Knowledge Team at the Resilient Cities Network. In her current role, she focuses on facilitating knowledge exchange between member cities and partners, including via Communities of Practices platforms and the weekly Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series. She is also supporting the delivery of R-Cities programs, especially for the Asia-Pacific region.

Nini has 10 years’ experience working on urban, housing, and governance issues, with strength in facilitating collaboration between stakeholders from local NGOs, international NGOs, academics, local governments, national government, and the UN. Her past experience includes working with 100RC, Mercy Corps, UN-Habitat, and the Indonesian Ministry of Housing.

Nini holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. She studied for master’s degree in Property and Development from the University of New South Wales, on an Australia Award Scholarship from DFAT.

Nikki Rudnick

Global Communications Lead

Nikki has more than 10 years’ experience working in media relations, strategic communications, and digital outreach. She is a city planning and policy expert with a specific focus on infrastructure and housing issues.
 
Nikki was previously a Consultant for the World Bank. In this role she helped develop the criteria for prioritizing infrastructure investments across ASEAN. She was a Director at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Here she worked to elevate policy ideas from drawing board to headlines. While working in the UK for a local strategic partnership, Bradford Vision, Nikki helped garner press coverage for the shared interests of public and private sector stakeholders. She has advised elected and appointed government officials, supported C-suite global executives, and advanced public private partnerships in the United Kingdom, Singapore, and the U.S.
 
Nikki holds a master’s in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Miami University. She is currently based in Singapore.

Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy

Director, Strategic Partnerships & Development
Senior Advisor, North America

Stewart is Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development and advices the North American region at the Resilient Cities Network. He previously served as Senior Advisor in Resilience Finance, Acting Director for Europe and the Middle East, and Acting Director and City Relationship Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. He was also the lead on the 100RC prize challenge, and Resilience Coordinator for Context Partners, where he was Managing Director and Partner.

Stewart served on President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and was Director of the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Stewart is Senior Advisor for the Global Island Partnership, member of the advisory committee for SeaAhead, member of the advisory council for The Policy Academies, and rapporteur for the evaluation task force of SMILO, the Small Island Organization. He is the founder of Precovery Labs, where creativity and community drive impact and awareness for clients such as NDN Collective/NDN Fund, Opportunity Finance Network, Ocean Conservancy, and the Intertribal Agriculture Council.

Stewart has a long history of work with indigenous communities, particularly in the areas of community finance and economic sovereignty. He is also a professional storyteller and photographer. He studied global management, marketing, languages, sustainability, and environmental science.

Alvaro Soldevila

Lead, Latin America & the Caribbean

Alvaro Soldevila works with cities in Latin America and the Caribbean to support them in advancing their resilience agendas. Building upon the work during his tenure at 100RC, he provides strategic planning, program development, and project preparation support in urban resilience.

Alvaro previously worked as Project Manager at Suez Environnement, focused on the implementation of water infrastructure projects in Haiti, Algeria, and Brazil. He has served as a Policy Consultant for the International Chamber of Commerce in London, where he assisted in policy development for environment and energy reform. He has also worked as a Management Consultant for Deloitte Consulting, where he delivered key projects within the Public Sector and Healthcare industry.

Alvaro holds a BA in Business Management and Administration from University Pompeu Fabra, an International Program Certificate in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University.

Gladys Tan

Associate, Communications and Programs (Singapore)

Gladys supports communications and programs for the Resilient Cities Network and is based in Singapore.

Gladys has experience working with both local and international NGOs, including UNDP, Temasek Foundation, and 100RC. Before joining R-Cities, Gladys was a program management trainee with a focus on crisis management at Temasek Foundation International. She previously interned with100RC, where she researched and analysed the impacts of Resilience Strategy projects in the APAC region for the 100RC Capstone Report. She also has over four years of experience in digital marketing.

Gladys is passionate about sustainable and inclusive development. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies with a minor in Environmental Studies from Yale-NUS College. During her undergraduate, she studied and researched in multiple cities across the world, including Barcelona, Cape Town, Chennai, New York, and São Paulo.