Technical Officer for EO4SD-Urban, European Space Agency
Zoltan Bartalis works as an Earth Observation (EO) Exploitation Engineer in the EO Directorate of the European Space Agency (ESA ESRIN, Italy). His main focus is on growing the prospects of satellite EO data and applications being used in a coherent and sustainable way in the day-to-day activities of various user groups and organizations. He is also actively supporting geospatial information service providers in ESA member states in developing their commercial activities. Thematically, his present interest is in EO applications for urban development, energy and natural resources, especially in the context of international development. Zoltan received an MSc degree in Space Engineering from Luleå University of Technology (Sweden) and a Ph.D. in Satellite Remote sensing from Vienna University of Technology (Austria). His science and research background is in microwave remote sensing globally over land, in particular for the hydrological cycle.
Global Lead, Territorial Development; Global Co-Lead, Transport Economics and Policy
Somik V. Lall is the Global Lead for Territorial Development and Global Co-Lead for Transport Economics and Policy. Somik is a recognized expert on development policy related to urban and territorial competitiveness, agglomeration and clusters, and infrastructure with over 22 years’ global experience. He has led the MENA region flagship on the development of lagging areas. Previously, he was a core member of the team that wrote the World Development Report 2009: Reshaping Economic Geography; a senior economic counselor to the Indian prime minister’s National Transport Development Policy Committee; and the lead author of the Bank’s flagship report on urbanization Planning, Connecting, and Financing Cities.
Practice Manager, Urban Development, South Asia
Catalina Marulanda is originally from Colombia, but she is currently based in Washington DC where she is the Practice Manager of the Urban Development Unit in the South Asia Region. As such she oversees a portfolio of roughly US$5 billion in lending operations under development and implementation in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and The Maldives. This role involves working with national and local governments on urban development, promoting initiatives that aim at making cities more economically productive, environmentally sound, livable and less vulnerable, particularly for the poor. This is done through operations that focus on: (i) financing investments, (ii) providing technical assistance, and (iii) undertaking non-lending analytical and policy advisory work, on areas including municipal management, housing, urban infrastructure, neighborhood upgrading, solid waste management and others. Over the past 14 years at the Bank Catalina has focused on topics related to solid waste management, chemicals management, and brownfield remediation in Latin America, East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. Catalina has a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Niels B. Holm-Nielsen
Global Lead, Resilience and Disaster Risk Management, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience
Niels Holm-Nielsen is the World Bank Group’s Global Technical Lead for Resilience and Disaster Risk Management (DRM). In this role, he supports task teams and managers across the World Bank to achieve highest possible technical quality of the services the World Bank offers its clients related to DRM. He has led and co-led the creation and implementation of a series of global technical assistance and knowledge service partnerships, including on risk reduction for education facilities as well as the World Bank Cities Resilience Program. He also serves as Lead DRM Specialist for the Africa Region where he leads at team of DRM specialists that primarily focus on urban resilience, coastal resilience, hydromet, disaster risk financing and insurance, and emergency response and recovery. Before joining the Africa region DRM team he led the Bank’s DRM team servicing clients on DRM in Latin America and the Caribbean (LCR). This team has built a growing and innovative line of business in support of DRM in LCR with national and subnational clients that spans the use of virtually all the World Bank’s financial instruments as well as client financed, donor financed, and Bank-financed technical assistance and convening services. He joined LCR from the Middle East and North Africa Region in 2008 where he had worked on integrated water management, climate adaptation, and disaster risk management operations in Egypt, Iran, Jordan, and Yemen. Before joining the World Bank he worked for the Inter-American Development Bank for five years where he helped create the corporate policy on disaster risk management and establish DRM as a development practice. He holds a M.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.
Practice Manager, Urban and Disaster Risk Management, Africa Region, World Bank
Mesky Brhane is a Practice Manager for the World Bank’s Urban and Disaster Risk Management Practice covering East and Southern Africa. Her previous positions in the World Bank include Program Leader for Sustainable Development in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, Senior Urban Specialist in East Asia (China, Mongolia and Vietnam) and Senior Urban Specialist in the Middle East and North Africa. Her areas of focus include urban institutions, slum upgrading, urban service delivery, infrastructure improvement, and community-driven development. She has also led analytical work on affordable housing, municipal finance and the role of community participation in building urban resilience. She holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago.