Cities Programme International Secretariat

The Global Compact Cities Programme International Secretariat is governed by an Executive team comprising management staff in Australia and representation from the Global Compact office in New York. The Programme is administered by a Cities Development team, led by the Director and Deputy Director.

The Cities Programme actively encourages the development of young urban professionals and has a robust internship program. The Cities Programme’s expertise is enriched by the efforts and knowledge of a number of Research Fellows and Research Interns. These will soon be complemented by a Professorial group working and providing advice around urban issue platforms.

The Cities Programme works closely with its Strategic Partners and Global Advisors.


Incoming Director: Professor Ralph Horne Professor Ralph Horne

Ralph Horne is the Incoming Director of the Global Compact Cities Programme. Ralph’s expertise is in urban social and policy change for sustainable design and development. He has extensive experience of environmental techniques and sustainability appraisal and has a specific research interest in urban transitions, including socio-technical relations in the context of climate change and resource scarcity. He has led over 100 urban research projects, collaborating with researchers, cities, governments, and commercial organisations across all continents and including specifically studies of housing and development in Europe, Australasia, SE Asia and Latin America. He combines research leadership and participation in research projects concerning the environmental, social and policy context of production and consumption in the urban environment…(more)

Elizabeth Elizabeth Ryan

Elizabeth Ryan is the Deputy Director of the Global Compact Cities Programme. She is responsible for the management of the Cities Programme’s Operations: international liaison and partnerships; engagement of participant cities; expansion of the Programme; its communications and resource base. Elizabeth has over ten years experience in partnership development, project management, business development and stakeholder engagement. She has particular expertise and interest in facilitating cross sectoral partnerships that draw on collective resources for the benefit of society and the broader whole. She has Spanish language skills and keen interest in Latin American sustainable development…(more)

Walid Nagi, Head of the Local Networks for the United Nations Global Compact Walid Nagi

Walid Nagi is the Head of the Local Networks for the United Nations Global Compact and is the New York arm for the Global Compact Cities Programme’s International Secretariat. In his role with the UN Global Compact, Walid coordinates and manages close to 100 Global Compact Networks with the objective of deepening the knowledge of the business sector of the Global Compact ten principles and the broader UN goals. Walid joined the Global Compact in New York in 2010. Prior to that, Walid has more than 17 years experience working with the private sector and headed the sustainability and communications department in one of the largest private companies in Egypt…(more)

Cities Development Team

Helen Scott Helen Scott

Helen Scott holds the position Research Coordinator. She brings to the Cities Programme a diverse background covering business, state and local government, not-for-profit and education sectors. Helen enjoys working with organisations to translate complex sustainability principles into practical, robust processes to integrate sustainability into their planning, operations and decision-making processes. Her’s broad-based urban sustainability experience covers many areas, including urban sustainability planning, indicators and public agency sustainability reporting, as well as climate mitigation and climate resilience…(more)

Brendan Barrett. Brendan Barrett

Brendan Barrett holds the position of Research Fellow with the Global Compact Cities Programme. His role is to coordinate the programme´s research activities and to assist in the development of collaborative projects that support city participants in their advancement of the ten principles. This includes drawing on the urban expertise of RMIT University faculty, partners and global advisors. He was previously employed with the United Nations University in various capacities, initially in research (1997-2002), then as Head of Online Learning (2002-2010) and finally as the Head of Communications…(more)

Dr Tommaso Durante, Cities Programme's new Visual Specialist Dr Tommaso Durante

Dr Tommaso Durante holds the position of Visual Specialist with the Global Compact Cities Programme. He is responsible for the cities visual identity and imagery. He is also a member of the Cities Programme’s academic community. Tommaso is an international award-winning visual artist. His academic research is located at the crossroad of global, urban and media studies, he is the author and Project Manager/Designer of The Visual Archive Project of the Global Imaginary, an online visual database that…(more)

Sandra Moye Global Compact Cities Programme Sandra Moye

Sandra is a Project Coordinator and Research Assistant with the Global Compact Cities Programme and she has been with the Programme since January 2013. She holds a Master of Environment degree from Melbourne University, focused on Climate Change and Sustainable Community Development. Sandra is leading the Cities Programme’s 2014 Survey of Participant Cities. Sandra’s research is focused on developing in energy efficiency measures for low income housing with the Chilean NGO Techo….(read more)

Felicity Felicity Cahill

Felicity Cahill has had a range of diverse roles with the Cities Programme, with one of the most significant being her leadership of a major research project related to the resettlement of the Vila Chocolatáo community in Porto Alegre, Brazil, mapping the history of the project and developing a report. This research was the focus of her minor thesis ‘When Urban Resettlement Meets Public Participatory Processes, A Case Study of the Chocolatao Slum Community in Porto Alegre, Brazil’…..(read more)

Julia-web Julia Laidlaw

Julia is a Project Coordinator and Research Assistant with the Cities Programme. Her research with the Programme builds on her keen interest in environmental conservation, social and cultural sustainability, particularly systems that enhance food security and integrate food cultivation into the urban environment and lifestyle….(more)

Zulaikha Shihab Zulaikha Hussain Shihab

Zulaikha is an Administration officer with the Cities Programme with administration and communication responsibilities. She first commenced an internship with the Cities Programme in October 2013 as part of her Bachelors degree in International Relations from LaTrobe University in Melbourne. She is currently studying a Masters of International Development with RMIT….(more)