Meet the team
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.
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.
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.
Global Director, Operations Strategy
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Senior Manager, Engagement & Programs
Based in London, Femke is a Senior Manager in Engagement and Knowledge at the Resilient Cities Network. She has a background in urban development and climate adaptation, with a focus on capacity building within local governments. Femke brings insights from over five years’ experience in the not-for-profit and private sectors across Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North America. She holds a first-class honours degree from the London School of Economics.
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).
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.
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.
Regional Director, Asia Pacific
Amit leads the resilience practice across the Asia-Pacific region for the Resilient Cities Network. For over 20 years, he has led and worked with multidisciplinary teams on thematic topics that relate directly to urban resilience, including environmental planning, urban policy, land use planning, natural resource management, flood management, disaster risk reduction, housing, and community development.
Amit has worked with local and national governments across North America, Asia, and Africa on projects and studies funded by The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, The Rockefeller Foundation, US Government, and numerous municipalities and private-sector clients.
He holds a dual master’s degree in Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a BA in Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi. Amit pursued doctoral studies (ABD) in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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.
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.
Manager, Programs & Innovation
Alex is a Manager in the Programs, Innovation and Impact team. His core responsibilities include the creation, analysis, and management of R-Cities’s Project Pipeline, a database of initiatives from our network’s cities aimed at identifying thematic project demands at a global scale, and managing the development and delivery of resilience recovery tools for our C2R program.
Prior to this, Alex worked in the Strategy Delivery Team for 100RC. He project managed the delivery of Phase 1 of the Barcelona Resilience Strategy, and managed the delivery of a range of 100RC’s partners’ products in cities throughout the network, ranging from Montevideo to Manchester. Previous to 100RC, he worked as a consultant in AECOM’s Transportation team.
Alex holds an MSc in Transport and Sustainability from the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, and a BA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Liverpool. He is fluent in English and speaks proficient Spanish.
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.
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.