Chair, Urban Resilience
Dr. Umamaheshwaran Rajasekar, Chair, Urban Resilience at NIUA is a risk and resilience professional in India with over 15 years of experience in developing risk reduction strategies, climate change analysis, hazard modeling, institutional analysis, adaptation & mitigation plans for governments, INGOs, bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies. His interest and recent work with banks and multilaterals are targeted towards bridging the gap between technology and society to enable informed decision making in a changing environment. He has been the team leader and project manager for pioneering urban risk resilience efforts in India including implementation of disaster early warning systems, establishment of urban health and climate resilience center, development of urban disease surveillance system, mainstreaming of urban service monitoring systems and preparation of city resilience strategies.
Raina Singh is a Senior Fellow at the Urban Resilience Unit, NIUA, wherein she is anchoring the communication and engagement efforts for mainstreaming resilience in the urban policy, planning and governance processes at the national and local levels. An urban environment planner by training and a career spanning more than 9 years, Raina has contributed to implementation of various national and international programs focusing on environmentally sustainable, smart and resilient urban development in more than 25 cities across South and Southeast Asia. To this end, she has been involved in consulting, policy research and advisory, and capacity building activities and has published in various peer-reviewed journals and print media. Prior to joining NIUA, Raina has worked with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and has been a visiting member of faculty at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and TERI School of Advanced Studies. She is also an Associate Member of the Institute of Town Planners, India.
Vaishnavi is a fellow at the Urban Resilience Unit anchoring the initiative on 'Knowledge Networks'. Her work focuses on embedding resilience into curricula for which she is closely working with faculty from several urban planning and management universities. In the past, Vaishnavi has worked with the Mahila Hosing SEWA Trust, India Habitat Forum and the Centre for Conservation Studies, CEPT University gaining experience in community resilience, upgradation of informal housing and revitalization of heritage settlements. Some of the key initiatives anchored by her include 'Socio-Economic Revitalization of Dhal-ni-Pol and Khijada Sheri' in Ahmedabad and a pilot on participatory led design and construction of Indira Awaas Yojana housing in Waynad, Kerala. She also has over 5 years of experience in architectural practice.
Vaishnavi is a Chevening Scholar and holds a Master’s degree in 'Urbanization and Development' from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor degree in Architecture from the B.M.S College of Engineering, Bangalore.
Ashali Bhandari is a Fellow at the Urban Resilience Unit at the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). At the Urban Resilience Unit, she is leading the data observatory initiative and working on developing data frameworks to guide city managers and urban stakeholders to make informed decisions to improve the urban resilience of their city. Prior to joining NIUA, she worked for Studio-X Mumbai, Megapolis India and published monthly articles on urb.im. Ashali holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Middlebury College