People Oriented Urbanization – Webinar


Opening Remarks

AKSEL JACOBSEN – State Secretary of International Development – Norway

Jakobsen is State Secretary of International Development for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to taking up his current post, he worked as an advisor to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and he has previously acted as senior policy advisor to the Christian Democratic Party’s Parliamentary group and as political advisor to the former Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour. He serves as member of the Board of the Norwegian think tank “Skaperkraft”, which aims to stimulate reflection and engagement around societal challenges. Jakobsen has a law degree from the University of Tromsø.

Keynote Speakers


Nathalie Röbbel is the Unit Head for WHO’s work on Air Quality and Health at the WHO. Prior to this she was a technical officer in the Department of Public Health, Environmental, and Social Determinants of Health at WHO in Geneva leading the department’s work on housing and health. One of her main areas of work was the development of WHO Housing and Health Guidelines and WHO’s efforts to address slum upgrading through housing policies and other social policies and interventions. Before joining WHO HQ, she worked as a technical officer at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, in Bonn and Copenhagen, where she was responsible for environmental health performance reviews and involved in several housing and health related projects. Ms Röbbel holds a Ph.D. from the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn, Germany.


Eduardo Moreno is Head of Knowledge and Innovation at UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and Director Interim for Mexico and Cuba country office. Prior, he was the Chief of the Global Urban Observatory from (2002-2008) and Senior Technical Adviser in the Bureau of Africa and the Arab States, UN-Habitat (1999- 2002). He has over 35 years of academic and professional experience in housing and urban development policies, policy evaluation, institutional analysis, global monitoring, and equity and urban poverty issues. His qualifications include a Ph.D. in urban geography and a master’s degree in urban sociology from the University of Paris III-Sorbonne.


JOSE SIRI – Wellcome Trust

José Siri is the Senior Science Lead for Cities, Urbanization and Health for the Wellcome Trust’s Our Planet Our Health Programme, helping to manage the programme’s portfolio of urban research and build strategic engagement to advance the field of planetary health. Over his career in research and policy, José has worked to develop and apply systems approaches to urban health, focusing on leveraging science for healthy development, developing simple systems tools to catalyze better decision-making, and improving understanding of complex challenges.



JO IVEY BOUFORD – International Society of Urban Health – ISUH

Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Global Health at the New York University School of Global Public Health and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at New York University  School of Medicine. She is President Emeritus of The New York Academy of Medicine and Immediate Past President of the International Society for Urban Health (2017-9). She served as Dean of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University from June 1997 to November 2002. Prior to that, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from November 1993 to January 1997, and as Acting Assistant Secretary from January 1997 to May 1997. While at HHS, she was the U.S. representative on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1994–1997. She served in a variety of senior positions in and as President of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal system in the United States, from December 1985 until October 1989. In NYC, she currently serves on the Board of the United Hospital Fund, is Vice Chair of the NYS Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) and Chair of its Public Health Committee. Nationally, she is on the Boards of the National Hispanic Health Foundation and the Health Effects Institute. She was elected to membership in the US National Academy of Medicine (formerly IOM) in 1992, served on its Board on Global Health, and served two four year terms as its Foreign Secretary from 2003 to 2011, She was elected to membership of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2015. She is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Boufford attended Wellesley College for two years and received her BA (Psychology) magna cum laude from the University of Michigan, and her MD, with distinction, from the University of Michigan Medical School. She is Board Certified in pediatrics.

CARLOS CADENA GAITAN – Secretary of Mobility – Medellin, Colombia

Dr. Cadena-Gaitán is currently serving as Transport Secretary for the City of Medellín. Carlos obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Maastricht in 2014, and since then has been an affiliated researcher at the United Nations University Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT). He was the director of the 4th World Bike Forum, which gathered 7000 people in Medellín. Due to that role and other art and urban activism initiatives, he was granted the 2015 “Future Sustainability Leader” Prize by the Danish Think-Tank Sustainia, and was nominated to the “Inspired Leadership Award” by The Performance Theatre in London. Previously Carlos worked as Academic Coordinator at the Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies –Urbam– at EAFIT University, where he coordinated the Masters in Urban and Environmental Processes and internal research projects, his main research interests include urban transport, air quality, urban governance, and education for sustainable development.

JENS AERTS – International Society of City and Regional Planners – ISOCARP

Jens Aerts is a senior urban planner and engineer with 20 years of experience working with local governments, non-for- profit organizations and international development organizations such as UNICEF, the World Bank and UN-Habitat. He is an associate partner of BUUR- Bureau for Urbanism in Belgium.




VIRINDER SHARMA – Asian Development Bank – ADB

Program Manager of the multi-donor $150m Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF) supported by UK Govt. FCDO, Swiss SECO and The Rockefeller Foundation. As a development specialist he has more than 20 years of experience in designing, planning, and implementing programs on Urban development, Climate Change, Health and Rural livelihoods.





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