Experts at CONNECTKaro 2015

Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, Director National Housing Institute, Mexico

From Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat is an active member of a new generation of Mexican politicians and the youngest person to occupy the position of CEO of the National Housing Fund for Workers (Infonavit) that provides affordable mortgages to Mexican workers. Infonavit has been dedicated for over 42 years to provide better housing solutions and higher returns to workers’ savings. Murat is a lawyer with a rising career in the public service.

 

Amit Bhatt, Strategy Head, Cities & Transport

Amit Bhatt is strategy head for integrated urban transport at EMBARQ in India. He provides vision and leadership to all transport initiatives, and manages relationships with partners and stakeholders. Bhatt leads the work around BRT projects and city bus services in Surat, Indore, Jaipur and Bangalore; urban transport projects in Naya Raipur; restructuring the auto-rickshaw sector in Rajkot; and developing a public bicycling scheme in Jaipur. He has over 12 years of experience in the sector, and was educated in transport planning, economics and transport economics and management.

 

Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Urban Development and Urban Poverty Alleviation (tbc)

Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, is a singer-actor turned politician and is the youngest minister in the Narendra Modi government. Prior to this, he was a member of the Lok Sabha committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture.

 

Daniela Faccini, Director, EMBARQ Brasil

Daniela Facchini is the Project and Operations Director of EMBARQ in Brasil, which works on sustainable mobility and urban development. She also works with national policies to scale up sustainable initiatives. Facchini was the first employee of EMBARQ in Brasil - started in 2006 prospecting cities and opportunities for sustainable urban transportation projects - and has helped EMBARQ Brasil grow into a multidisciplinary centre of 30 staff working in more than 50 projects in Brasilian cities. Facchini is educated in transportation engineering and civil engineering.

 

Dario Hidalgo, Director, EMBARQ

Dario Hidalgo guides the EMBARQ Network’s international team of transport engineers, urban planning specialists and environmental scientists. This team is involved in sustainable transport and urban development projects in India, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, the Andean Region and China. He also coordinates the Observatory of the BRT-ALC Center of Excellence. He has more than 20 years of experience as a transport expert, consultant, and government official. He has taken part in urban transport projects and taught training courses in 10+ countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa.He holds Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Transportation Planning from Ohio State University, and a Civil Engineering degree from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. He lives with his family in Bogotá, Colombia.

 

Dikshu Kukreja

Having worked in India, France and the USA, Dikshu Kukreja is an experienced architect whose firm is now ranked amongst the top 100 architecture firms in the world. Most recently, he was adjudged the ‘Face of the Century’ for architecture in India. He has a bachelor’s degree from School of Planning and Architecture, and a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard University.

 

Gerardo de la Peña Hernández, Infonavit, Mexico

Gerardo de la Peña Hernández has more than 15 years of experience in the fields of housing and urban development, finance, international trade and domestic policy planning. Mr. de la Peña Hernández has also held important government leadership positions in the area of competitiveness, which give him a unique and sound knowledge of key Mexican organizations in the public and private sector. As a key player in public policy making and implementation, Mr. de la Peña Hernández brings not only practical experience to the position but also a keen understanding of the important drivers in these areas. Gerardo has worked with public sector agencies, hospital administrators, and private industry leaders. While serving those clients, he developed a diverse set of skills including strategic planning and forecasting, efficiency finance, risk management, and economic consolidation, among many others. Currently, he serves as the Comptroller General in Infonavit. Mr. De la Peña has a degree in Economics (´97) from ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico and a master degree in Public Policies Studies from the University of Chicago (´01).
 

Holger Dalkmann, Director, Strategy And Global Policy, EMBARQ Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

Holger Dalkmann has fifteen years of experience working in the field of transport, sustainability and climate change. He joined WRI in 2011 as the director for its EMBARQ program, which catalyzes environmentally and financially sustainable transport solutions to improve quality of life in cities. He provides strategic leadership and management for EMBARQ’s global staff and partners, as well as direction for its fundraising and communication activities. Holger joins WRI with a strong background in business development, research, and policy in the transport and environment sectors. Formerly he worked as Programme Director for Sustainable Transport and Climate Change at TRL, a world renowned research and consultancy company with more than 450 people, where he was responsible for leading the business in his chosen field with a remit for business development, strategic planning and representation at the highest level.

 

Jamshyd Godrej, MD Godrej & Boyce and Chairman WRI India

Jamshyd Naoroji Godrej is managing director and chairman of Godrej & Boyce, the family's consumer durables holding company. In 2012, Forbes magazine named him one of the richest green billionaires. He is committed to halving the carbon footprint of the Godrej Group, and developing a new line of energy-efficient refrigerators for Asian and African markets. Godrej is also committed to making cities liveable, and mentors the World Resources Institutes’ Cities and Transport programme in India, in his role as Chairman of the Board.

 

Jeff Olson, Director Alta Planning

Jeff Olson is an architect, planner, and author who has been involved in greenways, open space, active living, and alternative mobility projects for more than 25 years. He was recognized in 2014 by the Association for Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Olson founded a successful bicycle planning and design consultancy and his public bicycle-sharing business was recently bought over by a leading real estate company responsible for operating 17, 351 bicycles from 1,534 stations across 10 cities and is interested in making bicycling the mainstream mode of transport in cities.

 

Luis Zamorano, Director, EMBARQ Mexico

Luis Zamorano is the Director of Urban Development and Accessibility for EMBARQ Mexico, and holds degrees in urban planning from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and and the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña. Prior to EMBARQ, Luis worked for the Mexican federal government, where he served for five years as the the Director General for Equipment and Urban Infrastructure in the office of the Secretary of Social Development. In this position, his primary responsibility was to direct the Reclaiming Public Spaces Program, which constructed or rehabilitated over 4,500 parks, plazas, and public sporting venues in 350 cities over six years. From 2002 to 2007, he was the Projects Coordinator for the Urban Studies program (Estudios sobre la Ciudad) at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

 

Madhav Pai, India Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

Madhav Pai is the Director, India of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, of which EMBARQ is an urban mobility offering.  EMBARQ provides technical support to transport and urban development projects across India. Previously, Madhav was regional director for South & South East Asia at Citilabs, a transport planning software company. In the San Francisco Bay Area, he spent four year working at Dowling Associates Inc. managing and executing several transport planning, demand estimation, transport modeling and traffic engineering projects. Madhav is educated in transport planning, and is a qualified civil engineer.

 

Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Delhi

Manish Sisodia has been deputy Chief Minister of Delhi since February 2015. He holds a slew of portfolios, ranging from finance and planning to power, education, information technology and administrative reforms. Previously, he was briefly a cabinet minister in the Government of Delhi between late December 2013 and February 2014, land and building. Before being elected to the Legislative Assembly of Delhi in December 2013, Sisodia was a social activist and journalist as well as a member of the national executive committee of the Aam Aadmi Party.

 

Marcio Lacerda, Mayor of Belo Horizonte, Brasil

Businessman, married, three children, Marcio Lacerda was born in Leopoldina, in Minas Gerais. He spent his childhood in Inhapim and, at 17, he moved to Belo Horizonte, where he studied in the Federal Technical School and got his first job in 1965, at the Telephone Company of Minas Gerais. It was a political activist during the military dictatorship. In 1975, he began a successful career as an entrepreneur, creating two telecommunications companies, with operations in 16 Brazilian states, plus Chile and Bolivia. In 2003, he became executive secretary of the Ministry of National Integration. From April 2007 to May 2008, he became Secretary of State for Economic Development of Minas Gerais. In 2008 he was elected mayor of Belo Horizonte. In 2012, was re-elected in the first round. Was considered for three consecutive times, the best mayor of Brazil by Datafolha and Ibope institutes. Recently, he was appointed by the Foundation City Mayor as one of the best mayors in the world.

 

Mark Robinson, Director Governance Centre, World Resources Institute

Mark Robinson is responsible for leading WRI's Governance Centre and providing strategic and intellectual leadership around analysis, strategy, fundraising and management. He also supports the integration of governance perspectives across the full range of WRI’s programmes. He has over 25 years’ experience, including at DFID, Ford Foundation and the Overseas Development Institute, spanning applied policy experience on governance, transparency and conflict. Robinson is educated in the comparative politics of contemporary India, social and political science as well as agrarian relations.

 

Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways

Gadkari is known for his tenure in public works in the state of Maharashtra, where he campaigned for increased private investments in infrastructure. Gadkari’s proposed road safety and transport bill incorporates best practices from around the world and includes better regulation, enhanced traffic management, simplified processes, and improved safety for all road users.

 

O.P. Agarwal, IAS (Retd.), Director, Indian School of Business

O.P. Agarwal is Executive Director, Punjab Lloyd Institute of Infrastructure Management, Indian School of Business. Prior to this, he was a Senior Urban Transport Specialist at the World Bank. For nearly 30 years, he was a member of the civil service in India where, as one his assignments, he headed the urban transport division of the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. He was the key author of India’s National Urban Transport Policy and also developed a five year action plan for improving urban mobility in Indian cities over the 11th five year plan. He served as the Managing Director of the Urban Mass Transit Company, a joint venture company in India, engaged in developing sustainable urban mobility solutions. He has a master’s degree in Transportation and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

 

Peter Piet, Deputy Head, Steer Davies Gleave

Peter Piet is Steer Davies Gleave’s Deputy Head of the Planning Division and leader of the Design for Movement team. He is a Chartered Landscape Architect with extensive Landscape Design, Urban Design and Senior Management experience. Prior to joining Steer Davies Gleave he was Director of Middle East Projects at Martha Schwartz Partners and before that Director of Urban Design at Project Centre, London. He has worked on a very wide range of projects and is skilled at examining place and purpose of urban centres and bringing forward creative and technically robust design solutions. Peter’s extensive international experience of developing streetscape solutions around transit hubs in cities as far apart as Moscow and Mexico City is rooted in working on complex public realm projects in London and across the United Kingdom.

 

Dr. PSN Rao

Dr. PSN Rao is a well-known academician and urban sector expert. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Delhi Urban Art Commission, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. In addition, he is the Head of Department of Housing at the School of Planning and Architecture. His experience over 28 years has been in urban planning, smart city development, housing, real estate, and others. He is a trained architect, engineer, urban planner, and management specialist.

 

Dr. Rajat Kathuria, CEO, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations

Rajat Kathuria is CEO of a leading research organisation, ICRIER, working on a range of topics including open economy and trade openness, financial sector liberalization and regulation, regional economic cooperation, and environment and climate change. Kathuria teaches managerial economics and has had in-depth economic policy experience in the Indian telecomm regulation environment. He has completed assignments for the ILO, UNCTAD and Ernst & Young amongst others.

 

Robin King, Director, EMBARQ

Robin King is the Director of Urban Development and Accessibility at EMBARQ. In this role, she promotes collaboration across the EMBARQ network and integration of sustainable transportation and urban development using her experience working in policy matters in the Americas and Asia. Prior to EMBARQ, she worked as Principal Research Scholar at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), in Bangalore, where she helped lead the Next Generation Infrastructure Laboratory since August 2008. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She spent a year as a Rotary Exchange student in Oruro, Bolivia, and more than a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico.

 

Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Railways, Government of India (tbc)

Suresh Prabhu is in charge of the Indian Railways, and has been an avid supporter of land and infrastructure development, including the disputed Land Acquisition Bill in parliament. He recently presented the Railway Budget 2015 which did not press a single new train service, but focused on the reform of current systems. Prabhu has had experience in power, forests, and environment projects. He has also worked with the United Nations as an advisor. He is educated in commerce, and is a qualified chartered accountant.