Washington, DC (October 15, 2014)— The World Resources Institute is pleased to welcome Aniruddha (“Ani”) Dasgupta as the first Global Director of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. Dasgupta will lead the Center in developing environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable solutions to improve people’s quality of life in developing cities.

“Ani brings an extraordinary range of skills and experiences to this crucial task,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO, WRI. “With urban populations rising from 3.5 billion to 5 billion in the next 20 years, the stakes are high. Creating well-designed cities that drive economic opportunity and sustain natural resources must be at the top of the development agenda. Ani’s global experience in innovative, sustainable urban development will sharpen our approach and help us deliver results on the ground.”

The WRI Ross Center was established earlier this year following a $30.5 million donation from Stephen M. Ross, Chairman and Founder of Related Companies and a WRI Board member.

The Center helps create accessible, equitable, healthy, and resilient urban areas for people, businesses and the environment. The Center builds upon the transport and urban development expertise of the EMBARQ network to catalyze innovative solutions in low-carbon energy, building efficiency, governance, and water risk. It combines the research excellence and the on-the-ground impact of experts in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and Turkey.

“Ani is a sharp and clear-eyed leader, who is an excellent choice to manage this endeavor,” said Ross. “With the rapid pace of urban growth around the world, we need cities that are well-designed and good for people. Under Ani’s watch, the WRI Ross Center can play an important role in turning this vision into reality.”

Dasgupta will lead with the Center’s team of global experts in sustainable transport and urban development, and its engagement across low-carbon energy, building efficiency, governance, water risk, and associated areas. Dasgupta will also serve as a member of WRI’s global management team, helping to shape the institute’s overall strategy and growth.

“I am honored and excited to assume this position where I can work with a global team to advance WRI’s extensive work in urban areas,” said Dasgupta. “This is a critical time to develop strategies that will create more accessible, equitable, healthy, and resilient cities. I am excited to build upon WRI’s experience and ensure that the WRI Ross Center will support the creation of more prosperous and sustainable cities for millions of people.”

Dasgupta brings a broad and deep background in international development and urbanization. He has been a development practitioner for more than two decades, including senior management positions at the World Bank, most recently serving as the Director of Knowledge and Learning. In this capacity, he established the Bank’s first department to boost innovations in knowledge and advisory services. Dasgupta holds degrees in architecture and urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is the author of numerous articles and publications on urban development and planning.

The WRI Ross Center has been led by Holger Dalkmann, who has served as the Acting Director and the Director of the EMBARQ network.

“I am deeply grateful to Holger and the entire team who have successfully overseen the establishment of the WRI Ross Center and made considerable progress in expanding the impact of the EMBARQ network,” said Steer. “We are very well positioned to build on this body of work and deliver even greater results for sustainable cities in the years ahead.”

Ani will be based in WRI’s Washington, D.C. office.

Photo Credit: Charlton Clemens, Flickr