Cities Programme People

The Global Compact Cities Programme International Secretariat is governed by an Executive team comprising management staff in Australia and 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.


Paul-2011_08_10-02 Professor Paul James

Professor Paul James, who has held the Directorship of the Cities Programme since 2007, has taken up a professorial position with the University of Western Sydney at the Institute for Culture and Society. There is a six month transition in Directorship (until December 2014). Paul was the founding Director of the RMIT Global Cities Research Institute (2005-2013). Paul is Research Director of Global Reconciliation, an international organisation based in Australia that has been doing work in zones of conflict around the world including Sri Lanka and the Middle East, bringing people together in ongoing dialogue. He is on the Council of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (London). He is an editor of Arena Journal, as well as an editor/board-member of nine other international journals, including Globalizations and Global Governance…(more)

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)

Carrie-Hall Carrie Hall

Carrie Hall is Head of Communications for the United Nations Global Compact and has been the New York arm of the Global Compact Cities Programme’s International Secretariat since 2006. Her role is now transitioning to strategic overview of the Programme. In her role with the UN Global Compact, Carrie oversees a broad range of communications from stakeholder communications to publications and policy papers and contributes to the broader UN-business agenda, including input to UN Secretary-General speeches and statements, as well as UN reports…(read 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)

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. She is currently pursuing a Master of International Development at RMIT. Zulaikha has a Bachelors degree in International Relations from LaTrobe University in Melbourne. She is an international student from the Maldives and has an interest in the areas of climate change, sustainable development and foreign policy…(more)

Research Fellows

Liam-Magee-2011_08_10-01_1 Dr Liam Magee

Dr Liam Magee is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney. His many responsibilities with the Cities Programme have included the coordination and development of the Programme’s research activities which are conducted to support, inform and add value to cities’ innovation projects and enhance knowledge from their methodology and outcomes – development of new research projects, submissions for funding and supervision of interns’ research activities. Liam’s academic expertise and interest lies in the intersection between social research and new technology. The focus of his doctorate was on the social construction of information systems, with a principal focus on the Semantic Web…(read more)

ELIZABETH-KATH Dr Elizabeth Kath

Dr Elizabeth Kath is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at RMIT University. Her research interests include Latin American and Caribbean society, politics and culture (esp. Cuba and Brazil), public heath (esp. maternal-infant health), informal and second economies. In 2010 Elizabeth published a book, Social Relations and the Cuban Health Miracle, based on her study of the social and political dimensions of Cuba’s public health system, …(read more)

Andy Dr Andy Scerri

Dr Andy Scerri has a long standing association with the Global Compact Cities Programme relating to collaborative research and the supervision and mentoring of students in post-graduate research projects. This was through his role as Research Fellow at the Global Cities Institute, RMIT University. Dr Scerri is now based in the USA with the Department of Political Science at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr Scerri’s research focus is on city and metro-regional responses to the political challenges of sustainable development…(Read more)

Selver Sahin Dr Selver B.Sahin

Dr Selver B. Sahin is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Selver’s research is focused on the contemporary policies and practices of security, development and democratisation as a peace-building strategy. Selver brings expertise in Turkish culture and language to the Cities Programme, and undertakes liaison for UNCCP in Turkey in addition to supervision of postgraduate students with an interest in this country and her other research areas…. (read more)

Research Interns

kristian vaughn pic2 Kristian Vaughn

Kristian Vaughn is the Inaugural Senator Herb Kohl-Global Compact Cities Programme Intern which is based in the USA city of Milwaukee, which he commenced in October 2013. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts degrees in urban planning and public administration at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Kristian is based at the Milwaukee Water Council, his many duties include mapping and archiving the organization’s history… (more)

Constanza Constanza Gonzalez-Mathiesen

Constanza is an accredited architect and holds a Master of Urban Planning degree from Melbourne University, specialising in International Development planning. Costanza is from Chile; she is a native Spanish speaker, and is a fluent speaker of both French and English. She has worked with slums dwellers and victims of the 2010 disaster in Concepcion, Chile, in her role as a project coordinator for Techo…(more)

Shea-web Shai Diner

Shai Diner began his internship in March 2013 with the Cities Programme during his final semester of his undergraduate Bachelor of Social Science (Policy & Research) studies at RMIT University. With a keen interest in research and international development Shai conducted research into land rights in Cambodia to aid with projects …(more)

photo_lisa Lisa Roodenberg

Lisa Roodenberg lives in Amsterdam, where she completed a Bachelor in Human Geography at the University of Amsterdam. She is currently enrolled in the Research Masters in International Development Studies. Lisa’s interest lies in the relationship between the environment, development processes and poverty in urban settings.Lisa is currently based in the Philippines capital city, Manilla undertaking field research. For her thesis Lisa is researching household adaptive strategies in the face of floods in Metropolitan Manila…(more)

c, cash pic Corrine Cash

Corrine Cash is completing a PhD in Planning at the University of Waterloo in Canada. In her internship role with the Cities Programme Corrine involves developing profiles of the cities of Toronto, Canada and Johannesburg, South Africa around the domains of the Circles of Sustainability approach. Her PhD research focuses on examining decision-making patterns as they pertain to the rural-urban fringe in two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves: the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve, South Africa and the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve, Canada… (more)

Cynthia Lam-web Cynthia Lam

Cynthia Lam undertook a research-focused internship with the Cities Programme in late 2011/early 2012 where she explored sustainability initiatives in Melbourne local government, which led to a Minor Master’s thesis project. Her thesis explores the theory of ecological modernisation and argues its theoretical shortcomings and weaknesses when it informs environmental policy making, especially concerning the broad task of working towards more sustainability….(read more)

Project Interns

IMG_3898 Mushfiq Wahed

Mushfiq Wahed is pursuing his Masters of Professional Accounting and Finance at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. Mushfiq joined Global Compact Cities Programme as an Intern in February 2013 and his role at Cities Programme supports external partnerships and the Cities Programme communication activities…(Read more)

Raisa Raisa Ashrafi

Raisa Ashrafi has joined Cities Programme as an intern in September 2012. From Bangladesh, Raisa attained her Masters of Communication at RMIT in 2013. Having completed a BSc in Economics, Raisa brings with her the experience of working for development projects funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and other donors in Bangladesh. She has acquired leadership skills training during her stay in the U.S. from 2004-2005 as a foreign exchange student for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA)… (Read more)

Former Interns

Dennis-2011_08_10-02 Dennis Obel

Dennis Obel is an international development professional. His most recent role was in Timor Leste as a Technical Adviser with a HIV/AIDS program (3 years). Dennis has a Master of Project Management from the University of Southern Queensland and a Bachelor Arts from the University of Makere, Uganda.

Ginger Ekselman Ginger Ekselman

Ginger Ekselman completed her internship with the Cities Programme in May 2012 as part of her Masters of Social Science (International Development). Ginger has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work and also works as a Case Coordinator with Adult Migrant Education (AMES).

Adrian-2011_08_10-01 Adrian Thompson

Adrian Thompson undertook his internship as a completion to his Master of Social Science (International Development) at RMIT University. He has a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Sociology, Community Development) from Southern Cross University.

Joseph-Comer-web Joseph Comer

Joseph Comer joined Cities Programme as an intern in August 2012. He is currently pursuing his Master of Social Science (International Development) at RMIT. At present, his work with the Cities Programme includes coordinating RMIT Cities Programme’s development of hosted postgraduate research placements with private partners, assisting in the building of new partnerships and a strong framework for the future of the Cities Programme ….(read more)

Steph Stephanie Hume

Stephanie Hume undertook her internship with the Cities Programme September to November 2012 as part of her Masters of Communication at RMIT University. As a Political Science and International Studies major, Stephanie’s interest for international relations and political science was explored further during her Bachelor of Arts at The University of Melbourne, completed at the end of 2011.

Felix-Attard-2011_08_10-02 Felix Attard

Felix Attard undertook his internship as part of his studies in middle eastern political science, international relations, history, law and economics at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques Paris. This was during his University’s summer break (June to August 2011).

Sam Barrett Sam Barrett

Sam Barrett undertook his internship the Cities Programme during the final semester of his undergraduate Bachelor in Social Science (Policy & Research) studies at RMIT University. He completed his placement in October 2011, trhen headed overseas on his first international trip in late 2011/early 2012. He then commenced Honours study in 2012 focused on the City of Melbourne’s new Cities Programme Innovating project, Special Circumstances and Infringements.