CO-FOUNDER, President, Organisational Development Director
Max is a research associate at University College London's Bartlett School of Architecture, working on the Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) project on global urban planning higher education. His broader research interests include the political economies and intersections of infrastructure systems, development finance, and urban planning, with focuses on Chinese infrastructure finance and Latin American development. 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 was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2017.
Previously, he worked in Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government and Saïd Business School, at FoodTank, 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 Oxford University and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado, where he was a Norlin Scholar.
CO-Founder AND editor-in-chief, oxford urbanists magazine
Gus is a PhD student in Environment and Resources at Stanford University and researcher at the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at the School for Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins University). His current research focuses on the evolution of social-environmental standards in development finance institutions and the political determinants of (un)sustainable energy policies, and he is more broadly interested in the social-environmental sustainability of large-scale infrastructure development. His writing has been published by Slate, Mongabay, Roads and Kingdoms, Latin America Bureau, The Lesotho Times, Mekong Commons, International Rivers, and Not One More (N1M), among other outlets.
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 and holds a masters degree in Development Studies from Oxford University and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Amherst College.
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.
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. Whilst at Durham, Aman lead the International Development society and pioneered UK wide association of International Development Societies, and ran multiple successful jazz bands.
Aman has lived in multiple mega cities, spanning from London to Hong Kong, Mumbai to Calcutta, as well as smaller cities, such as Durham, Oxford, and Ahmedabad. His broad experience across cities in various regions, continues to inspire his research.
Tracy Jin Cui
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.
Anna Isabelle 'Sai' Villafuerte is an MPhil student in Development Studies at Oxford's Department of International Development (ODID). Her research broadly focuses on the relationship between institutional innovation and human capital development in East and Southeast Asia. More specifically, she is exploring the role of digital technologies in the development of creative industries in the Philippines. With regards to urbanism, she is interested in the cultural economy of cities and how it can enable the development of creative skills.
Prior to Oxford, Sai earned her bachelor’s degree in International Politics at City, University of London where she wrote her thesis on the rise of private housing bonds in the Philippines. In 2015, she worked in Unicef UK alongside the Head of Emergencies, drafting advocacy plans on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Beyond her studies, she writes for The Huffington Post and has published pieces on topics relating to arts, politics and wherever they intersect.
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.
Aaron Maniam is a Singaporean government official, currently on study leave 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 research interests in the study of cities, complexity theory, communitarian political theory 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 to study long-term issues of significance to Singapore), 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.
An award-winning poet and trained facilitator of interfaith dialogues, he serves as adjunct faculty at the National University of Singapore's Scholars Programme, University College London's Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy programme, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Commerce and Manufactures. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013.