Economic Development Planner, Washington D.C. area
Year Graduated: 2011
Specialization: Economic Development
Economic development planner. International development experience. Her interests span urban revitalization, climate change and science, cities+jobs, innovation, gender equality. I am interested in devising ways to create more opportunities for people and how to heighten the influence and impact of women in making decisions that shape our planet.
Why did I pursue a career in city planning?
Very simple: I wanted to impact society, create opportunities for people and vulnerable populations. When I was in undergrad school studying political science and international relations, I participated in projects to help people living in vulnerable situations and felt I could be instrumental to help them achieve personal and community goals.
I saw planning as very pragmatic field where I could develop skills to see things as a system and how to make it work. Why some cities/places have been able to thrive while others have not? Having a planning lens, have allowed me to explore and tackle some of these issues some places are facing today.
Where am I now?
While at DCRP I was a Rotary Peace Fellow which gave me an international exposure and allowed me to take a wider range of international development classes at Duke and UNC. I had the opportunity to do an internship during the summer at the United Nations Environmental Program (UNDP) in Panama and learn about the connections between poverty, environment and economic development. After that I realized that I wanted to include the environmental variable in my career, and its importance for economic development.
After I left DCRP I thought I’d go back to Cordoba (Argentina) my hometown and apply what I learnt there. Instead I was offered to work at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington DC for a year, and I have been in this city for the past six years already. After working in innovation, sustainability, and economic development and cities at IDB, I moved to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to help rural communities in Central America combine environmental planning and local economic development. There I had the opportunity to be part of a regional discussion about how to encourage conservation of natural areas and sustainable economic development. Now I work as a consultant for The World Bank, where I get the chance to help governments in strategic planning, including innovative approaches to promote local and regional competitiveness.
All these experiences have contributed on me to be a hybrid environmental and economic planner. I have a curious mind and want to keep pursuing innovative approaches to development so I am always in the search for new ideas and policy approaches to create opportunities for people in cities.
What does the future hold?
The nearby future is super exciting. In December 2018 I’ll be part of the 3rd largest expedition of only women to Antarctica, through the Homeward Bound Program. HB is a ground-breaking leadership initiative that aims to empower women to take a more leadership role in sustainability and climate change issues. Why Antarctica? Because regions of Antarctica are showing the fastest responses to some of the climate change problems we currently face. Antarctica offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe first-hand the influence of human activities on the environment and provide critical insights into the global-scale change required. I’ll be 3 weeks in a boat receiving specific training along with another 80 women to improve our clarity, confidence, shared vision and strategic capability to take up leadership roles globally and proactively contribute to sustainable growth.
I am super excited about this opportunity because Antarctica is an iconic environment that has captured the imagination of leaders in the past and the expedition experience will create a network of women that want to contribute to solve the problem and find innovative approaches for impacting policy together. The vision of HB is to create a network of 1,000 women in 10 years, and how cool I’ll be one of them!