Senior Geospatial Strategist, European Space Agency Representative to the World Bank
Chris Aubrecht represents the European Space Agency (ESA) at the World Bank, providing strategic advice and coordinating collaborative activities. ESA’s Earth Observation for Sustainable Development #EO4SD initiative provides support to International Financial Institutions in increasing uptake of Earth Observation with the aim of long-term mainstreaming and transfer into development operations. Prior to joining ESA, Chris was leading the spatial analytics efforts under the WB CDRP disaster resilience initiative. For 10 years he worked at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, in the end serving as senior advisor on geospatial strategy development.
EO4SD-Urban consortium lead, GAF AG, Germany
Dr. Thomas Haeusler is permanent staff member of GAF since 1987. In his present position he is Head of Department for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources. He has 33 years professional experience in R&D as well as in operational Earth Observation and GIS applications in land use/cover, urban development and forestry. He is experienced in managing large projects with a geographic spread over five continents for various clients.
Sameh Naguib Wahba
Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land, World Bank
Sameh Wahba, an Egyptian national, is the Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, based in Washington, D.C. The Global Practice, which also covers territorial development, geospatial and results-based-financing issues, has a portfolio of close to $30 billion in commitments in investment projects, program-for-results and development policy lending, and about 450 staff. Prior to this, Mr. Wahba served as the Director for Urban and Territorial Development, Disaster Risk Management and Resilience at the World Bank Group’s Social, Urban Rural, and Resilience Global Practice, where he oversaw the formulation of the World Bank’s strategy, design, and delivery of all lending, technical assistance, policy advisory activities, and partnerships at the global level. He also served as Practice Manager for the Urban and Disaster Risk Management unit in Africa and the Global Urban and Resilience Unit, and as Acting Director of Operations and Strategy for the Global Practice. He worked as Sustainable Development Sector Leader for Brazil, based in Brasilia, and as an urban specialist focused on housing, land, local economic development, and municipal management and service delivery in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the Middle East and North Africa Regions. Prior to joining the Bank in 2004, he worked at the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam and at the Harvard Center for Urban Development Studies. Mr. Wahba holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in urban planning from Harvard University, and a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering from Cairo University.