Assistant Professor of International Development and Urban Planning, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
Gabriella is an assistant professor in the International Development Group, and an affiliated professor with the Housing, Community, and Economic Development and Environmental Policy and Planning Groups, in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at MIT. She has served as the lead chair of the Global Planning Educators’ Interest Group within the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, and within MIT works as a collaborating member of the Displacement Research and Action Network, the Faculty Council of the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), the MIT-AFRICA Advisory Committee, and as an advisor to the UrbanAfrica student initiative. Prior to arriving at DUSP, she taught at Rutgers’ Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and worked in various capacities with the UN Millennium Project, UNFPA, UN-HABITAT, Rockefeller Foundation, Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia’s Earth Institute, Oxford Analytica and a private management consultancy focusing on fixed income finance in New York. Gabriella has studied and been an affiliated researcher in universities in Brazil, France, Mozambique, and the UK. She holds a BA in Political Science from Columbia, a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies with a concentration on Economics from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia, where she was a NSF-IGERT fellow in international development and globalization.
Healthy Communities and Active Living, History and Theory of Planning, Infrastructure Systems, International Development
Program Manager, Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program, MIT
Selmah joined the Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program, a five-year collaboration between MIT and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia that documents sustainable urban development efforts in Malaysia, in 2016. Her previous work includes positions at the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development in South Korea and at the University of Pennsylvania. Selmah’s experience in international education has involved partnerships with institutions in Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. She holds an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a B.A. from Middlebury College.
International Development, Climate Change, Environmental Planning and Management
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Professor of Water Diplomacy, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts
Shafiqul ("Shafik") Islam was the first Bernard M. Gordon Senior Faculty Fellow in Engineering at Tufts University. Professor Islam's teaching and research interests are to understand characterize, measure, and model water issues ranging from climate to cholera to water diplomacy with a focus on scale issues and remote sensing. His research group WE REASoN integrates "theory and practice" and "think and do" to create actionable water knowledge. He maintains a diverse network of national and international partnerships including MIT, Columbia University, Purdue University, Penn State University, Princeton, BUET in Bangladesh, University of Tokyo, ETH in Switzerland, ICDDRB in Bangladesh, IIT in India, and SaciWATERs to conduct multi-year and multi-million dollar interdisciplinary collaborative research for a wide range of problems focusing on water, health, and climate. His major research sponsors include the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Communications Coordinator, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
Takeo completed a dual bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He graduated with Dean’s Honors and majors in East Asian Studies with a focus on Japanese, Asian American Studies, and two years of course work for a Biology major. He was a Joan B. Kroc Fellow at the University of San Diego where he completed a Masters in Peace and Justice. Takeo’s research centered on social constructions in visual and representational art and their roles in the planning for post civil conflict regions. His primary research site was Derry, Northern Ireland. He is currently pursuing a second masters degree at Harvard. He also works with the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program in the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and has the great privilege of being a graduate resident tutor at Simmons Hall, MIT.
Conflict, Social Construction, Participatory Planning, Mediation, Dispute Resolution, Digital Learning, Democratization of Information, Social Justice, Environmental Justice
Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, MIT
Miho is an assistant professor of architecture and urbanism at MIT and is the founder of the Urban Risk Lab. Working on a large, territorial scale with an interest in public spaces and the urban experience, she is known for her work in disaster resilience.
Urban Risk Lab is a cross-disciplinary organization of researchers, designers and decision makers affiliated with MIT – operating at the intersection of risk and disaster, storms and earthquakes, floods and fires, ecology and infrastructure, research and action, addressing the most challenging aspects of contemporary urbanization. The Urban Risk Lab is a place to research and innovate on technologies, techniques, materials, processes, and systems to reduce risk. We develop methods to embed risk reduction and preparedness into the design of the regions, cities and everyday urban spaces to increase the resilience of local communities.
Community Resilience, Urban Resilience to Natural Disasters, Risk Assessment, Built Environment, Climate Change, Urbanization, Innovation
Assistant Professor of Law Contact, Suffolk University Law School
Sharmila L. Murthy is an Assistant Professor at Suffolk University Law School, where she teaches property law, environmental law, international environmental law, and a course on global poverty and human rights. Her research focuses on the intersection of human rights, poverty, and the environment. She is particularly interested in examining legal and policy barriers to equitable water access and sustainable water management and a list of her scholarly publications is available here. In 2014, Sharmila was selected as a finalist for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.
Previously, Sharmila was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she served as the lead investigator for water for the Project on Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development through the Sustainability Science Program. She also co-founded the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program as a Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. In addition, Sharmila has taught as part of the Water Diplomacy Workshop since 2013.
Environmental Law, Human Rights Law, Poverty Law, Property Law
Associate Professor of Law and Development, MIT
Rajagopal is Associate Professor of Law and Development at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and founding Director of the Program on Human Rights and Justice at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the founder of the Displacement Research and Action Network. He is recognized as a leading participant in the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) Network of scholars and is one of its founders, and is recognized as a leading global commentator on issues concerning the global South. He has been a member of the Executive Council and Executive Committee of the American Society of International Law, and is currently on the Asia Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch, the International Advisory Committee of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and the International Rights Advocates. He is a Faculty Associate at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation and has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC, the Madras Institute of Development Studies and the Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, the Institute for Advanced Studies at Hebrew University and a Visiting Professor at the UN University for Peace, University of Melbourne Law School and the Washington College of Law, the American University.
Conflict, Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Participatory Planning, Economic Development, Globalization, International Development, International Studies, Land Use, Land Use Law and Planning, Law and Policy, Postcolonialism, Social, Inclusion, and Diversity Planning
Associate Professor of Data, Systems and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
Noelle is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Her research uses atmospheric chemistry modeling to inform decision-making on air pollution, climate change and hazardous substances such as mercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Professor Selin received her PhD from Harvard University in Earth and Planetary Sciences as part of the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group, where she developed and evaluated a global, 3D model of mercury pollution. Prior to her current appointment, she was a research scientist with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. In addition to her scientific work, she has published articles and book chapters on the interactions between science and policy in international environmental negotiations, in particular focusing on global efforts to regulate hazardous substances. Previously, she was a research associate with the Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a visiting researcher at the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, Denmark, and worked on chemicals issues at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning at MIT
Anne has an international reputation as the preeminent scholar working at the intersection of landscape architecture and environmental planning. Her first book, The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design, won the President's Award of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 1984, has been translated into two other languages, and remains a standard university text. Her new book, The Language of Landscape, sets out a theory of landscape and aesthetics that takes account of both human interpretive frameworks and natural process. She is a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Spirn is credited with playing a seminal role in applying theories and principles of ecological landscape design to urban areas. Her path-breaking scholarly research and writing applies ecological principles to urban settings. Since 1987, she has directed the West Philadelphia Landscape Project (WPLP), in an inner city community near the University of Pennsylvania. The WPLP links landscape design, community development, and urban stormwater management through an action research program integrating research, teaching and community service. Its goals include development of strategic landscape plans to enhance environmental quality, implementation of landscape improvements to stimulate economic development, and mutual strengthening of public school curricula and undergraduate and professional education. The project was cited as a "Model of Best Practice" at a White House summit in March 1999 for forty leading "Scholars and Artists in Public life.
Community Planning and Economic Development, Infrastructure Planning, Social, Inclusion, and Diversity Planning, Urban Design
Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, MIT
Professor Susskind's research interests focus on the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution, the practice of public engagement in local decision-making, global environmental treaty-making, the resolution of science-intensive policy disputes, renewable energy policy, climate change adaptation and the land claims of Indigenous Peoples. Professor Susskind is the author or co-author of twenty books including, most recently, Managing Climate Risks in Coastal Communities: Strategies for Engagement, Readiness and Adaptation (Anthem), the second edition of Environmental Diplomacy (Oxford Press), Good for You, Great for Me(Public Affairs Press) Water Diplomacy (Resources for the Future), Built to Win (Harvard Business School Publishing), Multiparty Negotiation (Sage), Breaking Robert's Rules (Oxford), The Consensus Building Handbook (Sage), and Dealing with An Angry Public (Free Press). Professor Susskind is currently Director of the MIT Science Impact Collaborative, the Director of the MIT-UTM Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program (MSCP) and co-director of the Water Diplomacy Workshop. He is Founder of the Consensus Building Institute, a Cambridge-based, not-for-profit that provides environmental mediation services around the world. He also was one of the co-founders of the interuniversity Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, where he now directs the MIT-Harvard Public Negotiations Program, serves as Vice Chair for Education, and co-directs the Negotiation Pedagogy Initiative.
Conflict, Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Participatory Planning, Environmental Planning and Management, Land Use Law and Planning
Associate Professor Urban Studies & Planning, MIT
Phil is an urban planner and political scientist. He received a B.A. in Sociology from Harvard University in 1977, a M.U.P. from Hunter College in 1986, and a PhD. in Political Science from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1990. Phil worked as Deputy General Manager of the New York Housing Authority, and as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Coordination. Phil is a frequent advisor to trade unions in their efforts to work with immigrant and community groups across the United States. Phil’s most recent academic work includes a 2004 review of public health interventions in poor black communities (written with Arline Geronimus) published in the Du Bois Review, entitled “To Denigrate, Ignore, or Disrupt: The Health Impact of Policy-induced Breakdown of Urban African American Communities of Support,” an article entitled “Judging Mayors” in the June 2005 issue of Perspectives on Politics, and a recent book called “Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black Communities and the Struggle for Deep Democracy” published by Oxford University Press
Community Planning and Economic Development, Housing, Social, Inclusion, and Diversity Planning
Lecturer Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
At MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Dr. Verdini’s research focuses on cognitive and emotional insights from the fields of negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution; management strategies from the practice of adaptive leadership and collaborative decision-making; and the narrative structure of compelling political communication.
Dr. Verdini received MIT’s first ever interdisciplinary and interdepartmental Ph.D. in Negotiation, Communication, Diplomacy, and Leadership. His work, which explores how to improve transboundary natural resource management negotiations, won the 2015 Harvard Law School Award for the best research in negotiation, competitive decision-making, mediation, and dispute resolution. Selected from across diverse fields of study, including business, economics, law, government, and psychology, this is the first time that the annual award has been given to an MIT alumnus, as well as the first time it has been awarded to someone from Latin America.
Alternative Energy, Climate Change, Conflict, Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Participatory Planning, Environmental Planning and Management, Government, International Studies, Resource Management, Water Conservation
Aga Khan Professor of Architecture, MIT
James's research has concentrated on water systems in South Asia and the US from the site to river basin scales. For the greater part of his career, Professor Wescoat has focused on small-scale historical waterworks of Mughal gardens and cities in India and Pakistan.
He led the Smithsonian Institution's project titled, "Garden, City, and Empire: The Historical Geography of Mughal Lahore," which resulted in a co-edited volume on Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, Prospects, and The Mughal Garden: Interpretation, Conservation, and Implications with colleagues from the University of Engineering and Technology-Lahore. These and related books have won awards from the Government of Pakistan and Punjab Government.
More recently, he has organized a garden and waterworks conservation workshop at the Nagaur palace-garden complex in Rajasthan for the Mehrangarh Museum Trust; and a workshop on the "Three Shalamar Baghs of Delhi, Lahore, and Srinagar" with colleagues from those cities.
At the larger scale, Professor Wescoat has conducted water policy research in the Colorado, Indus, Ganges, and Great Lakes basins, including the history of multilateral water agreements. He led a USEPA-funded study of potential climate impacts in the Indus River Basin in Pakistan with the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). More recently, he led an NSF-funded project on "Water and Poverty in Colorado." He is currently conducting comparative research on international water problems.
In 2003, he published Water for Life: Water Management and Environmental Policy with geographer Gilbert F. White (Cambridge University Press); and in 2007 he co-edited Political Economies of Landscape Change: Places of Integrative Power (Springer Publishing) for LAF Landscape Futures Initiative.
Environmental Planning and Management, Infrastructure Systems, Landscape Architecture and Natural Systems