CO-FOUNDER, Organisational Development Director
Max serves as Global Business Development Manager for Colorado Governor Jared Polis, where he leads the State’s economic development efforts across a seven industry portfolio, as well as in Europe and Latin America. He also serves as a policy advisor for the Hickenlooper 2020 campaign. His broader interests include the political economies and intersections of infrastructure systems, development finance, and urban planning. His writing has been published by Foreign Policy, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Harvard Kennedy School Review, Mongabay, El Comercio, China Dialogue, Wild, and Global Americans, among other outlets. Previously, he worked at University College London’s Bartlett Development Planning Unit, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Construction and Infrastructure Initiative, Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government and Saïd Business School, 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 the University of Oxford and a bachelor's degree, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in Political Science from the University of Colorado, where he was a Norlin Scholar. He was named a 30 under 30 Innovator for Urban Development by UN-Habitat in 2019 and a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2017. Website | LinkedIn | Twitter
Guilherme Scardini da Silva
Latin America Coordinator
Guilherme Scardini is an architect and urbanist (Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil) and Masters student in Landscape Architecture (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Former research has focused on analysing urban mobility using transportation modals, focusing on new guidelines for a new development plan, and also on the therapeutical impact of gardens focused on healing stress and mental fatigue.
Prior to Oxford Urbanists, Guilherme was a Science Without Borders scholar, having attended a year at Szent István University (Budapest, Hungary - 2015/2016), under the Bachelors Course of Landscape Architecture. Also collaborated with the internal development sectors of the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, as an intern for the Landscape Design sector, and the Internal Infrastructure sector (respectively on 2015 and 2017).
Juan Sebastián Benítez Bustamante
Latin America Coordinator
Juan Sebastian holds a MSc in Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He is also a Civil Engineer from Los Andes University, Colombia. Through his academic and professional career, he has channeled his efforts and capabilities towards more just and livable cities.
His main interests focus on the design of sustainable and integrated planning strategies to address complex urban issues like poverty, informality, natural hazards, lack of social cohesion, urban and ecological degradation and lack of empowerment. He has addressed these topics through integrating participatory planning methods, placemaking strategies, urban experiments, urban agriculture or different mapping and data collection techniques, as main tools for development and triggering change. His additional 3-year-experience in the field of consulting for infrastructure projects in his country, has led him to build up very strong analytical and result-oriented skills.
Andrés Melendro Blanco
Latin America & China Coordinator
Andrés Melendro Blanco is currently studying mandarin and environmental policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing. His main interest is the spatial analysis of public policies. He is currently conducting research on China’s climate change adaptation strategies in light of its accelerated urbanization process. He is looking forward to contrasting them with Latin American experiences through Oxford Urbanists.
He previously worked as an editor for The Business Year, an international media group, as a consultant for UN-Habitat and as an urban development analyst at ProBogotá, a think-tank dedicated to fostering Bogotá’s sustainability.
He holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in Political Science and a master’s degree in Urban Policy, both from Sciences Po Paris.
Carl Hooks is a 2017 Yenching Scholar and an MA candidate in Economics at Peking University. Having grown up or studied in 11 cities across the US, Middle East, and China, he is interested in many facets of urban planning and design. He researches investment in Chinese "eco-cities" at the International Institute of Green Finance, a Beijing think tank, and was recently named a 2018 Local Pathways Fellow by the United Nations. Carl holds a BA in International & Area Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, where he focused on sustainable development and sociopolitical issues in both the US and China.
South East Asia Coordinator
Brandon is an MPhil student in Development Studies from the University of Oxford's Department of International Development. His current research focuses on contemporary networks of urban capital, technologies and knowledge circulating between Asian and African cities. He was previously a short-term researcher with the World Bank's Hub for Infrastructure and Urban Development . In addition, he has experience researching and writing on trade finance in emerging markets and complementary business interests between companies in Southeast Asia and Africa. He holds a Bachelors degree in History from the National University of Singapore.
South asia director
Mahak Agrawal is an urban planner and researcher from India. Currently working on the issue of sanitation deprivation and climate change response across coastal districts of India, she has served as an expert reviewer to the Second Order Draft of the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land.
She is also a Local Pathways Fellow to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solution Network (UN-SDSN). In different capacities, she has worked with non-profit organisations, development banks, universities and research institutes, as well as technical divisions of government-at the Centre and city level in India. Next to her contribution to the United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) initiative, Mahak explores innovative, enduring research- guided solutions for pressing urban and regional environmental problems. She is specifically interested in climate change and urban studies investigating multi-track approach and inequalities of adaptations and transformations, development and geography, associated global challenges and human geography.
An advocate of open data for effective urban management, monitoring and response, she often provides thought leadership to the Young Academic Network of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) and the South Asia Centre at London School of Economics. In 2017, she was awarded the Prof. V.N. Prasad Best Thesis Award for best thesis in Master of Planning in India.
Annie is a masters candidate at Sorbonne Université in Paris, where she is studying geography. Her research focus is in urban geography and social cartography, and specifically the relation between access to different modes of transportation with daily mobility. Prior to pursuing a masters in France, she had diverse experiences, working on the 2016 coordinated campaign for the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, then working as a journalist for a regional daily newspaper in Northeast Pennsylvania. She briefly worked for French publication, Libération, where she helped with coverage of the November 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Currently she is working at Autonomy & the Urban Mobility Summit in Paris as a content and communications officer. Autonomy is an annual event that brings together innovators and policy makers to change movement in cities.
CO-Founder AND editor-in-chief, oxford urbanists magazine
Gus is a PhD student in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, with expertise in international development, environmental policy, and organizations. He is primarily interested in understanding what drives the social and environmental sustainability of international development interventions. 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. He holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Oxford and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Amherst College.
Paul Healy is a J.D. candidate at Yale Law School with a background in development economics (University of Oxford 2018, M.Sc.), and experience with McKinsey & Co., in Washington D.C. where he primarily served local government agencies and private equity investors on topics related to infrastructure, transport, and public finance.
He is generally interested in the spatial aspects of economic prosperity—the economic mechanisms and legal determinants that can explain why prosperity happens in certain places and for certain people. His master’s dissertation provided an empirical investigation of the effects of a highway network on crop markets in India. In addition to writing and editing for the Oxford Urbanists, Paul has published pieces with the International Growth Centre (IGC) and Oxford’s Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE). @phealy8 | Linkedin
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.
Dr Binti Singh
Dr. Binti Singh (Ph.D.; MPhil) is an urban sociologist with expertise in urban planning, policy, and governance. Her current research engages with questions related to urban planning, politics, culture, climate change, and Smart Cities, and she is working on research and book projects with international institutions and publishers such as National Geographic, Deakin University, Springer and Routledge, Taylor & Francis, Business World, Domus India, and KKN India. She is the author of The Divided City: Policy and Ideological Contestations in Contemporary Urban India. Her ethnographic work on Lucknow was recently compiled into another book titled Lucknow: Culture, Place, Branding and Activism. Website.
Georgia is currently reading for an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy at the University of Oxford, where her research focuses on the intersection of development strategies in conflict resolution and mediation, multilateral diplomatic agents, and the impact of technological advances on international negotiations. In her previous research, she applied securitization theory to a critical discourse analysis of the language in the Brexit debate. Fluent in French, Georgia recently worked for The Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, serving as part of a team tasked with monitoring the implementation of the 2015 Peace Agreement in Mali. She previously served as senior editor on two editorial boards for foreign affairs societies. Georgia holds an MA degree in French and International Relations (honours) from the University of St. Andrews.
Diana N. Huynh
Diana Huynh is a multidisciplinary practitioner of the built environment, continuously seeking to explore ways that build and sustain resilient communities, cities and regions. She is a former UN-Habitat intern, where she worked on capacity building, urban design and climate adaptation in Laos and the Philippines. Diana holds a master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Studies from Cambridge University and received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College in Art History and Political Science, where she was a UWC Davis Scholar.
Michael is Senior Labour Mobility & Human Development Specialist with the UN Migration Agency (IOM). Within this capacity, his work focuses on improving governance of international labour migration, enhancing diaspora engagement in development, and facilitating immigrant integration in communities of destination. It is within this latter area that his work has most engaged with issues of urban planning and municipal governance, looking at how urban design and municipal programs may hinder or facilitate social and economic integration of immigrant communities. He is currently based in Vienna, covering the South Eastern, Eastern Europe & Central Asia regions and has previously worked for IOM in Cairo, Mauritius, and Bogota, as well as a brief stint with the Government of British Columbia.
Aaron Maniam is a Singaporean government official, currently working on a PhD 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 interests in the study of cities, complexity theory, communitarian political philosophy 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 studying long-term trends), 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. He serves as adjunct faculty at the National University of Singapore's Scholars Programme, is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Commerce and Manufactures, and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
Radiya is on the MSc Global Governance and Diplomacy programme at the Oxford Department for International Development. Having lived in dense cities her whole life, her interests lie at the intersection of environment, technology, and urban development. She previously completed her BA in Geography at the London School of Economics, where her dissertation examined the role, impact and effectiveness of civil society on urban conservation in Singapore.
Programs & Partnerships
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.
Paula von Krosigk
Paula von Krosigk is an undergraduate student in city and regional planning at the Technical University of Berlin. Currently, she studies urban design at the Brookes University, with special interest in public space and the urban commons. Her research focuses on the potential of the public domain as a shared resource. How can it be rethought, renegotiated and reclaimed?
While studying in Berlin, Paula was involved in several placemaking projects and worked for a planning office. Her work focused on local communities and the implementation of “Milieuschutz”, a framework of conservation guidelines designed to prevent gentrification of certain neighbourhoods.
Yuky Tam is a general practice surveyor of RICS, and her careers has a focus on real estate development and investment. She is currently an MBA student at University of Oxford. Before her MBA, Yuky worked in an international property company, Grosvenor, responsible for asset acquisition and management in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Grosvenor, Yuky contributed to urban regeneration by working in the Urban Renewal Authority and helped implement city wide redevelopment projects. Yuky holds a First Class Bachelor with majors in surveying and finance from the University of Hong Kong.
Projects & partnershipS Advisor
Gustavo Sbardelotto is an Architect and Urban Planner and holds a master degree in Architecture Urban Planning (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul). His previous research addressed urban regeneration, and changes in the socio-economic dynamics. His recent research interest is in the interrelation of the sense of belonging among inhabitants, gentrification, sharing economy, & new technologies.
He is the founder of Sbardelotto Arquitetura, an architecture practice based in Brazil collaborating on the Cais Mauá waterfront regeneration Project (Brasil). Beyond this, Gustavo was a part-time lecturer at ESPM (Porto Alegre - Brasil) and is a member of the research group “The project of socialising places and contemporaneity of the cities” lead by Prof. Lineu Castello, at UFRGS. He is currently living in London as has been accepted to begin the Urban Regeneration MS.c, at Bartlett School of Planning (UCL) in the next year.
partnership Development officer
Renata Carvalho is an architect and urbanist (Universidade Federal de Vicosa, Brazil) and lato sensu postgraduate student in Sustainability of the Built Environment (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil). Her current research addresses walkability aspects surrounding metro stations in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Broader interests include sustainable urban mobility and transport terminus design, focusing on cities for people. Capital cities in Brazil typically prioritise individual transport and car-centered urban infrastructure, despite current guidelines for active, more sustainable and inclusive modes of transportation.
Previously, Renata was a Science without Borders scholar, having attended a year at Kingston University (London, 2013-14). She has also presented research analysing local residential architecture and modes of living at the Congresso Internacional de Habitacao no Espaco Lusofono (“CIHEL”, Lisbon, 2013). She is currently a partner at the Architecture and Urbanism firm Toca in Belo Horizonte and is a candidate for the Chevening scholarship for a MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance at Oxford’s School of Geography and Environment.
Aamena Shan is a recent Landscape Architecture graduate from the University of Greenwich, London. She is interested in the design, impact and use of public spaces. Oxford is her home town and is interested in the inter relations of connecting the community. She wants to bring her existing knowledge to her home town, and see what she can contribute to plans of improving how visitors and residents see Oxford.
Prior to moving back to Oxford this October, she worked internally for a real estate firm based in New York, Queens. She learnt a great deal about community settlement and its contribution to town development.
In her spare time she plays hockey and enjoys photographing new landscape projects for her blog.
Event Planning Officer
Jeremy is an undergraduate visiting student at Mansfield College where he is studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. His prior studies of Political Science and Economics at William Jewell College in Kansas City, Missouri have allowed him to pursue his interest in public policy and its impact on macroeconomic health and individual well-being. After his year at Oxford, Jeremy plans to finish his BA at William Jewell and work towards a JD in pursuit of a career of civil service.
Outreach & Communications
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.
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.