CO-FOUNDER, President, Organisational Development Director
Max is Global Business Development Manager in the Governor of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. His broader interests include the political economies and intersections of infrastructure systems, development finance, and urban planning. His writing has been published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Harvard Kennedy School Review, Mongabay, El Comercio, China Dialogue, Wild, and Global Americans, among other outlets. He has worked as a Research Associate at University College London’s Bartlett Development Planning Unit, a consultant for the World Economic Forum’s Future of Construction and Infrastructure Initiative, a researcher in Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government and Saïd Business School, and in the office of the Lieutenant Governor of Colorado. He is a former Research Fellow at the Bank Information Center's China-Latin America Sustainable Investment Initiative and was a visiting researcher at FLACSO-Ecuador in Quito. He holds a master's degree in Development Studies from the University of Oxford and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado, where he was a Norlin Scholar. He was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2017. Website | LinkedIn | Twitter
Guilherme Scardini da Silva
Latin America Coordinator
Guilherme Scardini is an architect and urbanist (Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil) and Masters student in Landscape Architecture (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Former research has focused on analysing urban mobility using transportation modals, focusing on new guidelines for a new development plan, and also on the therapeutical impact of gardens focused on healing stress and mental fatigue.
Prior to Oxford Urbanists, Guilherme was a Science Without Borders scholar, having attended a year at Szent István University (Budapest, Hungary - 2015/2016), under the Bachelors Course of Landscape Architecture. Also collaborated with the internal development sectors of the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, as an intern for the Landscape Design sector, and the Internal Infrastructure sector (respectively on 2015 and 2017).
Juan Sebastián Benítez Bustamante
Latin America Coordinator
Juan Sebastian holds a MSc in Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He is also a Civil Engineer from Los Andes University, Colombia. Through his academic and professional career, he has channeled his efforts and capabilities towards more just and livable cities.
His main interests focus on the design of sustainable and integrated planning strategies to address complex urban issues like poverty, informality, natural hazards, lack of social cohesion, urban and ecological degradation and lack of empowerment. He has addressed these topics through integrating participatory planning methods, placemaking strategies, urban experiments, urban agriculture or different mapping and data collection techniques, as main tools for development and triggering change. His additional 3-year-experience in the field of consulting for infrastructure projects in his country, has led him to build up very strong analytical and result-oriented skills.
Andrés Melendro Blanco
Latin America & China Coordinator
Andrés Melendro Blanco is currently studying mandarin and environmental policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing. His main interest is the spatial analysis of public policies. He is currently conducting research on China’s climate change adaptation strategies in light of its accelerated urbanization process. He is looking forward to contrasting them with Latin American experiences through Oxford Urbanists.
He previously worked as an editor for The Business Year, an international media group, as a consultant for UN-Habitat and as an urban development analyst at ProBogotá, a think-tank dedicated to fostering Bogotá’s sustainability.
He holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in Political Science and a master’s degree in Urban Policy, both from Sciences Po Paris.
Carl Hooks is a 2017 Yenching Scholar and an MA candidate in Economics at Peking University. Having grown up or studied in 11 cities across the US, Middle East, and China, he is interested in many facets of urban planning and design. He researches investment in Chinese "eco-cities" at the International Institute of Green Finance, a Beijing think tank, and was recently named a 2018 Local Pathways Fellow by the United Nations. Carl holds a BA in International & Area Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, where he focused on sustainable development and sociopolitical issues in both the US and China.
South East Asia Coordinator
Brandon is an MPhil student in Development Studies from the University of Oxford's Department of International Development. His current research focuses on contemporary networks of urban capital, technologies and knowledge circulating between Asian and African cities. He was previously a short-term researcher with the World Bank's Hub for Infrastructure and Urban Development . In addition, he has experience researching and writing on trade finance in emerging markets and complementary business interests between companies in Southeast Asia and Africa. He holds a Bachelors degree in History from the National University of Singapore.
Middle east and north africa coordinator
Jihane is an MPhil candidate at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID). Her current research focuses on post-conflict reconstruction in West Africa, with a special focus on agriculture, sustainable development, and institutional reform projects. Prior to joining ODID, she pursued a BSc in Foreign Service at Georgetown University, majoring in International Politics. During her time at Georgetown, she received a grant from the Qatar National Research Fund to undertake a comparative analysis of water security in the Gulf. Jihane also worked for the Brookings Centre as a research assistant, and her work focused on opportunities, challenges, and prospects of youth in the MENA region post the Arab Spring. Furthermore, she wrote her undergraduate honours thesis on Morocco’s political failure in building a sustainable model for development. At Oxford, she is also a committee member of the Oxford University China Africa Network (OUCAN).
CO-Founder AND editor-in-chief, oxford urbanists magazine
Gus is a PhD student in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, with expertise in international development, environmental policy, and organizations. He is primarily interested in understanding what drives the social and environmental sustainability of international development interventions. Previously, he worked as an energy economics analyst at The Brattle Group and researcher at International Rivers and Conservation Strategy Fund. He is a former Thomas J. Watson Fellow and OpenIDEO Climate Storytelling Fellow. He holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Oxford and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Amherst College.
Paul Healy is a J.D. candidate at Yale Law School with a background in development economics (University of Oxford 2018, M.Sc.), and experience with McKinsey & Co., in Washington D.C. where he primarily served local government agencies and private equity investors on topics related to infrastructure, transport, and public finance.
He is generally interested in the spatial aspects of economic prosperity—the economic mechanisms and legal determinants that can explain why prosperity happens in certain places and for certain people. His master’s dissertation provided an empirical investigation of the effects of a highway network on crop markets in India. In addition to writing and editing for the Oxford Urbanists, Paul has published pieces with the International Growth Centre (IGC) and Oxford’s Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE). @phealy8 | Linkedin
Gabriel Fine has worked as a summer reporter for Denver Westword, where he covered education, politics, gentrification and development. He was Editor-in-Chief of his college literary magazine,Leviathan, and serves as a volunteer reader for the literary journal Ploughshares. His broader interests include political theory, democratization and revolution, public policy, poetry, and the intersection of social thought and literature. He is a recent graduate of Colorado College, where received a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in English Literature.
Dr Binti Singh
Dr. Binti Singh (Ph.D.; MPhil) is an urban sociologist with expertise in urban planning, policy, and governance. Her current research engages with questions related to urban planning, politics, culture, climate change, and Smart Cities, and she is working on research and book projects with international institutions and publishers such as National Geographic, Deakin University, Springer and Routledge, Taylor & Francis, Business World, Domus India, and KKN India. She is the author of The Divided City: Policy and Ideological Contestations in Contemporary Urban India. Her ethnographic work on Lucknow was recently compiled into another book titled Lucknow: Culture, Place, Branding and Activism. Website.
Georgia is currently reading for an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy at the University of Oxford, where her research focuses on the intersection of development strategies in conflict resolution and mediation, multilateral diplomatic agents, and the impact of technological advances on international negotiations. In her previous research, she applied securitization theory to a critical discourse analysis of the language in the Brexit debate. Fluent in French, Georgia recently worked for The Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, serving as part of a team tasked with monitoring the implementation of the 2015 Peace Agreement in Mali. She previously served as senior editor on two editorial boards for foreign affairs societies. Georgia holds an MA degree in French and International Relations (honours) from the University of St. Andrews.
Anna Isabelle 'Sai' Villafuerte is reading an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford's Department of International Development. Her research interests include creative economies, technology and human capital development in East and Southeast Asia. She is currently researching the limits and capabilities of digital value chain upgrading in the Philippine motion picture industry. In 2015, she worked alongside Unicef UK's Head of Emergencies in drafting advocacy plans aligned with the then-recently implemented Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a writer and photographer, her work has been published in outlets such as VICE, The Huffington Post and intern Magazine. @saivillafuerte | www.saivillafuerte.com
Diana N. Huynh
Diana Huynh is a multidisciplinary practitioner of the built environment, continuously seeking to explore ways that build and sustain resilient communities, cities and regions. She is a former UN-Habitat intern, where she worked on capacity building, urban design and climate adaptation in Laos and the Philippines. Diana holds a master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Studies from Cambridge University and received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College in Art History and Political Science, where she was a UWC Davis Scholar.
Aaron Maniam is a Singaporean government official, currently working on a PhD at Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government on a Clarendon Scholarship. His research focuses on the digital transformation of governments, and other links between technology and public policy. He also has interests in the study of cities, complexity theory, communitarian political philosophy and deliberative democracy. In his government postings, Aaron has worked with the Singapore Foreign Service, served as founding Head of the Centre for Strategic Futures (an internal government think-tank studying long-term trends), taught at the Singapore Civil Service College, and led a team coordinating policy on manufacturing, services and economic transformation at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He serves as adjunct faculty at the National University of Singapore's Scholars Programme, is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Commerce and Manufactures, and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
Radiya is on the MSc Global Governance and Diplomacy programme at the Oxford Department for International Development. Having lived in dense cities her whole life, her interests lie at the intersection of environment, technology, and urban development. She previously completed her BA in Geography at the London School of Economics, where her dissertation examined the role, impact and effectiveness of civil society on urban conservation in Singapore.
Joanna de Boer
Middle east and north africa (MENA) coordinator,
& Innovations Coordinator
Joanna de Boer, originally from London and raised in India, the UAE, and Switzerland, is a masters student at Oxford reading for an MPhil in International Development. She completed her undergraduate degree in History and English at Brown University.
Joanna’s interests centre on the nexus issues of conflict-mitigation and climate-resilient development. For the former, she has worked with Mercy Corps on countering violent extremism in Syrian Refugee populations in Jordan, and with the Department for International Development on coordinating international donor response to the Rohingya Refugee Crisis in Myanmar. For the latter, she’s researched water scarcity in Gaza for the United Nations in Jerusalem, and refugee resettlement for the Portland Trust in Ramallah. Whilst at Oxford, she plans to continue exploring environmental peace-building, focusing on climate change’s role in exacerbating armed conflict and disrupting human population distribution.
Programs & Partnerships
Zoë Johnson is an MPhil student in Development Studies at Oxford's Department of International Development (ODID). Her research focuses on qualitative understandings of poverty in small urban centres with a particular focus on the relationships between wealth, welfare, and water. Most poverty measures used by governments and international agencies are derived from the characteristics of poverty in large cities and in rural areas, but given the rapid rate of urbanisation worldwide, there is a growing need to better understand poverty in small cities.
Before coming to Oxford, Zoë worked as the Program Coordinator for UBC’s Himalaya Program and as an editorial assistant. Zoë holds a BSc in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia. In this program, she studied globalisation, urbanisation, and international development through the lens of food systems and food sovereignty movements, with a regional focus on South Asia.
Paula von Krosigk
Paula von Krosigk is an undergraduate student in city and regional planning at the Technical University of Berlin. Currently, she studies urban design at the Brookes University, with special interest in public space and the urban commons. Her research focuses on the potential of the public domain as a shared resource. How can it be rethought, renegotiated and reclaimed?
While studying in Berlin, Paula was involved in several placemaking projects and worked for a planning office. Her work focused on local communities and the implementation of “Milieuschutz”, a framework of conservation guidelines designed to prevent gentrification of certain neighbourhoods.
Yuky Tam is a general practice surveyor of RICS, and her careers has a focus on real estate development and investment. She is currently an MBA student at University of Oxford. Before her MBA, Yuky worked in an international property company, Grosvenor, responsible for asset acquisition and management in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Grosvenor, Yuky contributed to urban regeneration by working in the Urban Renewal Authority and helped implement city wide redevelopment projects. Yuky holds a First Class Bachelor with majors in surveying and finance from the University of Hong Kong.
Projects & partnershipS Advisor
Gustavo Sbardelotto is an Architect and Urban Planner and holds a master degree in Architecture with a major in the project of Architecture and Urban Planning (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). His previous research addressed urban regeneration processes in former industrial areas, analysing the changes in the socio-economic dynamics of the neighbourhoods, the sense place and the diverse projects and actions that change the urban environment in these areas of rapid transformation. He focused on the differences between the actors involved: big corporations, through megaprojects, and the creative economy, through new sharing and cooperative relations in already existing properties. Furthermore, his most recent research interest is in the research of the interrelation of the sense of belonging among inhabitants, communities, gentrification, real estate developments, sharing economy and new technologies.
Gustavo is the founder of Sbardelotto Arquitetura, an architecture practice based in Brazil and was collaborator architect of the Spanish architecture office b720 - Fermín Vásquez Arquitectos on the Cais Mauá waterfront regeneration Project (Porto Alegre - Brasil). Beyond this, Gustavo was a part-time lecturer at ESPM (Porto Alegre - Brasil) and is a member of the research group “The project of socialising places and contemporaneity of the cities” lead by prof. PhD. Lineu Castello, at UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul). He is currently living in London as has been accepted to begin the Urban Regeneration MS.c, at Bartlett School of Planning (UCL) in the next year.
partnership Development officer
Renata Carvalho is an architect and urbanist (Universidade Federal de Vicosa, Brazil) and lato sensu postgraduate student in Sustainability of the Built Environment (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil). Her current research addresses walkability aspects surrounding metro stations in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Broader interests include sustainable urban mobility and transport terminus design, focusing on cities for people. Capital cities in Brazil typically prioritise individual transport and car-centered urban infrastructure, despite current guidelines for active, more sustainable and inclusive modes of transportation.
Previously, Renata was a Science without Borders scholar, having attended a year at Kingston University (London, 2013-14). She has also presented research analysing local residential architecture and modes of living at the Congresso Internacional de Habitacao no Espaco Lusofono (“CIHEL”, Lisbon, 2013). She is currently a partner at the Architecture and Urbanism firm Toca in Belo Horizonte and is a candidate for the Chevening scholarship for a MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance at Oxford’s School of Geography and Environment.
Outreach & Communications Team
Outreach and Communications Director
Aman Gupta is reading for an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford's Department of International Development. His current research focusses on the reconstruction of homes in post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico, in particular using the home as a lens unto the political economy. Aman is also on the executive committee of the Green Templeton College Graduate Common Room.
Prior to Oxford Aman obtained a First Class Honours Undergraduate degree from Durham University in Geography, Economics and Politics & IR. There, his research was on the flexibility of Modernist architecture in postcolonial India. He also presented on research that critiqued the commemoration of slavery in Bristol's (UK) built environment.
Tracy is our Strategy Director and is currently based out of Perth, Australia. She holds and MSc from the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford.