Prize for Cities Jury
The Jury is a distinguished group of urban leaders and visionaries. Jury members draw on their unique and diverse experiences and expertise to select the winning submission from five finalists through a deliberative process.
Stephen M. Ross is the Chairman and Founder of Related Companies and a devoted philanthropist. Mr. Ross formed Related in 1972 and today the company includes approximately 4,000 professionals. Related has over $60 billion in real estate assets owned or under development, including mixed-use, residential, retail and office properties in premier high-barrier-to-entry markets. The company is also one of the largest owners and preservationists of affordable housing in the country. Mr. Ross is an investor in Equinox® Fitness Clubs, Equinox Hotels and SoulCycle. Mr. Ross is the owner of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and is also Chairman and co-founder of RSE Ventures, a multi-national technology, sports and entertainment venture firm.
Mr. Ross’ philanthropic efforts have broadly focused on the areas of education, the arts, racial equality, healthcare and the creation of more sustainable cities throughout the world. Mr. Ross proudly serves on the Executive Committee as a trustee of Lincoln Center, as a trustee of New York - Presbyterian Hospital, a director on the board of Cornell Tech, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the New York Stem Cell Foundation, and the World Resources Institute (WRI) where he established the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. Furthermore, he has used his platform to harness the unifying power of sport to advance race relations through the establishment of the nonprofit Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). He is the largest single donor to the University of Michigan supporting the Ross School of Business, critical athletic facilities, scholarships, and other key initiatives. In 2013, Mr. Ross pledged to give more than half of his estate to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations through the Giving Pledge.
Mr. Ross graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, from Wayne State University Law School with a Juris Doctor degree and from New York University School of Law with a Master of Laws in Taxation. In 2004, the University of Michigan renamed its business school the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and in 2011 the University of Michigan awarded Mr. Ross an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.
Dr. Frannie Léautier, Senior Partner at SouthBridge Group and CEO of SouthBridge Investments, is a highly experienced and well-known finance and development expert, with long-standing global experience leading and transforming organisations in the private, public and non-for-profit spheres. She has held leadership roles at The Trade and Development Bank (TDB) Group, including Vice Chair of the Board, Special Advisor to the President before becoming TDB’s first Chief Operating Officer. She also led the Asset Management business of TDB, including the recent launch of a unique product for trade finance in Africa.
Dr. Léautier had an illustrious career at the World Bank Group (WBG), where during her 15-year tenure, she held senior financial positions across the Group. Frannie was Chief of Staff to the President, and served as Vice-President for seven years of her tenure at the WBG. She was Infrastructure Director and played a critical role in the strategic work around the joint World Bank/IFC infrastructure products and played a crucial role in developing the WBG’s infrastructure strategy. At the WBG, she won several awards for her outstanding support and contributions. She was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the African Development Bank (AfDB) and chaired the AfDB Board for much of the time she was there.
Dr. Léautier is known for her skills in operational management, transformational leadership, resource mobilisation, working with complex multi-constituency governance structures, and engaging with the highest levels of government. Her work has contributed to attracting innovative financing to Africa.
She has founded two companies, one in Risk Management Advisory and another to invest equity into SMEs. In addition to her extensive career, Dr. Léautier holds advisory and governance roles on several boards, including the UN Foundation, where she is a member of the Board and serves on the Program Committee and Nominating Committee; Orca Energy Group, a Toronto Exchange publicly listed company, where she is member of the Risk and Audit Committee and chairs the ESG Committee; chair of the board of Norsad Finance Ltd; member of the Executive Board at AZA Finance, a cross-border payments platform; trustee at ODI; and is a member of the board of Les Eaux Minérales d’Oulmes, where she sits on the Audit and Risk Committee. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Regional Advisory Group for Africa and has previously served as co-Chair for the Global Agenda Councils of the WEF on youth unemployment and also for Africa. Other advisory and board roles she has held include with MIT, OCP Group, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) where she was Treasurer and also chaired the Audit and Risk Committee, Institute for Security Studies (ISS), King Badouin Foundation US (KBFUS), and Nelson Mandela Institute for Science and Technology (NM-AIST). She has authored several books including Leadership in a Globalized World: Complexity, Dynamics and Risk” and articles in prestigious journals. She was distinguished professor at Sciences Po Paris, and has lectured at MIT where she developed a course on infrastructure systems. She has also been invited to lecture at Harvard and the University of Tokyo. She holds a Masters of Science in Transportation, and a PhD in Engineering (thesis on Infrastructure Systems) from MIT. She also holds a doctorate in Humane Letters from North Central College and a doctorate in Law from Lancaster University, honoris causa.
Lord Norman Foster is the founder and executive chairman of Foster + Partners, a global studio for architecture, urbanism and design, rooted in sustainability. His projects include the Reichstag in Berlin, the Great Court of the British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, airports in Hong Kong and Beijing and headquarters buildings for Hearst (New York), Apple (Cupertino), Bloomberg (London), Comcast (Philadelphia), and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (Hong Kong).
Current research projects, in association with The European Space Agency and NASA, are exploring solutions for the creation of habitations on the Moon and Mars. He is president of the Norman Foster Foundation, based in Madrid with a global reach, promoting interdisciplinary thinking and research to help new generations of architects, designers and urbanists anticipate the future.
He became the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate in 1999. In 1997, he was appointed to the Order of Merit and in 1999 was granted a Life Peerage in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, taking the title of Lord Foster of Thames Bank. His passions include cross-country skiing, cycling and aviation.
“I am delighted to once again be part of the jury for the WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities, a crucial initiative that encourages radical and innovative solutions to global city problems. By 2050, 70% of the world will be living in urban areas, and this represents a challenge that can only be met by transformative change at an unprecedented scale. By championing innovation and encouraging creative sustainable solutions, the Prize fittingly celebrates ideas that will transform the cities of tomorrow.”
Rahul Mehrotra is a practicing architect, urban designer and educator.
His firm, RMA Architects, was founded in 1990 in Mumbai and has designed and executed projects for clients that include government and nongovernmental agencies, corporate, as well as private individuals and institutions. The firm has also initiated several unsolicited projects driven by the firm’s commitment to advocacy in the city of Mumbai.
Mehrotra is a professor of urban design and planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and has written and lectured extensively on architecture, conservation, and urban planning in Mumbai and India. His writings include coauthoring "Bombay – The Cities Within," "Banganga – Sacred Tank," "Public Places Bombay," and "Bombay to Mumbai – Changing Perspectives." He has also co-authored "Conserving an Image Center—The Fort Precinct in Bombay." Based on this study and its recommendations, the historic fort area in Mumbai was declared a conservation precinct in 1995, the first such designation in India. His recent books are "Architecture in India Since 1990" and "The Kumbh Mela – Mapping the Ephemeral Mega City." In 2016 he co-curated an exhibition, "The State of Architecture – Practices and Processes in India," which showed at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai.
“WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities in its first cycle surfaced the most inspiring human innovations and initiatives in making cities more equitable and just with ideas that changed the everyday lives of people – especially women and children. I look forward to rejoining the jury in the second cycle of this award and being inspired by and learning from people who transform their cities.”
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif (Malaysia) is the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), appointed at the level of Under-Secretary-General by the Secretary-General, following an election by the General Assembly on 22 December 2017. She succeeds Dr. Joan Clos of Spain.
As the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Sharif has focused on reforming and rejuvenating the agency, mobilizing for internal and external support for the organization's restructuring and new Strategic Plan 2020–2023. Key initiatives undertaken by Ms. Sharif as the Executive Director of UN-Habitat include the adoption of the General Assembly Resolution 73/539 after 14 years of negotiation, which established a new governance structure with universal membership, governed by the UN-Habitat Assembly.
Prior to this appointment, Ms. Sharif was the Mayor of the City Council of Penang Island, Malaysia. In 2011, she was the first woman to be appointed President of the Municipal Council of Seberang Perai. As mayor of a local authority, she led the Municipal Council of Seberang Perai to achieve its vision of a “cleaner, greener, safer and healthier place to work, live, invest and play.” Ms. Sharif began her career as a Town Planner at the Municipal Council of Penang Island in 1985. In 2003, she was promoted to Director of Planning and Development, a position she held until November 2009.
Born in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, on 26 August 1961, Ms. Sharif holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Town Planning Studies from the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, UK and a Master of Science in Planning Studies from the Malaysia Science University.
Sheela Patel is the founder and director of the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC), an NGO that has been working since 1984 to support community organizations of the urban poor in their efforts to access secure housing and basic amenities and seek their right to the city.
Patel is widely recognized – nationally and internationally – for seeking urgent attention to the issues of urban poverty, housing, and infrastructure on the radar of governments, bilateral and international agencies, foundations, and other organizations. She is a founder, amongst many, of Slum Dwellers International, a transnational social movement of the urban poor, whose board she chairs presently.
Martha Delgado graduated from Intercontinental University specializing in pedagogy and completed LEAD programme of in-depth studies of sustainable development and environment at the Mexican college. She holds a master's degree in Liberal Arts in the field of Sustainability from Harvard University.
She acted as advisor to the Presidency of the National Institute of Ecology from 1993 to 1998. From 1998 to 2003, she was President of the NGO Mexican Citizens Presence (Presencia Ciudadana Mexicana) and Union of Environmental Groups (Unión de Grupos Ambientalistas).
From 2003 to 2006, she was elected Independent Deputy in the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City, where she created and chaired the Water Management Commission.
In 2006–2012, Martha Delgado was Minister of the Environment of Mexico City, where she led different environmental programmes, such as ECOBICI, the first bike sharing system in America.
At the international level, Martha was Deputy Head of the World Water Council; President of Network of Environmental Management Authorities in Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean (2009–2010); and Vice-President of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (2009–2014). She is a member of the UNESCO Advisory Committee of Experts on Water and Human Settlements. In May 2018, she was elected as President of the first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly.
Since 1 December 2018, she has been Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Steve is a senior advisor at Goldman Sachs, where he advises the firm on a number of important client-facing initiatives.
Previously, Steve was head of Global Investment Research for more than 12 years. He was a member of the Management Committee and Firmwide Client and Business Standards Committee. Steve was also co-chair of the Firmwide Technology Risk Committee. Additionally, he also served as global head of strategy research and co-chief operating officer of Global Investment Research, as well as global head of commodities research. Steve joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 and was named managing director in 1998 and partner in 2002.
Prior to joining the firm, Steve spent 12 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, most recently as the director of Monetary Policy Research. Before that, he was an economist at the Center for the Study of Economy and State at the University of Chicago and a researcher at PanHeuristics, a think tank focused on military strategy and energy policy.
Steve is a distinguished visiting professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and a member of the Board of Directors of Ocean Conservancy. In addition, he is a member of the Advisory Council to the College at the University of Chicago, a member of the Jury of the World Resources Institute Ross Center Prize for Cities, and a member of the Becker Friedman Institute Advisory Council. Previously, he was a member of the Advisory Board of the RAND Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance.
Steve earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and a graduate degree in management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
“Climate change and sustainable urbanization are two of the great challenges of our time. We need innovations that can bring more people into thriving urban economies while helping people adapt to climate change at the same time. The Prize helps us learn what is working and support projects that are already having a tangible impact.”
Mark has served as Executive Director of C40 Cities since December 2013, during which time the organization has grown from 63 to 97 of world's greatest cities, and from 40 to over 300 staff across the globe. From inception, C40’s mission has been to be a high ambition leadership group, driving the world to avoid a climate crisis through the actions and leadership of the mayors of the world’s leading cities. In 2016, C40 became the first major organization to insist that a 1.5-degree target was essential rather than aspirational (through our Deadline 2020 program). Prior to joining C40 Cities, Mark was director at pioneering engineering and design firm, Arup, and before that was a senior adviser to the mayor of London, in which role the London Evening Standard described him as “the intellectual force behind Ken Livingstone’s drive to make London a leading light of the battle against global warming.” He reports to C40 Chairperson and Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, and C40 Board President, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He believes that work should be fun, but that there is always time for music, narrowboats, and places you can get to by bicycle.
“This coming decade will truly define the future of humanity - immediate climate action is needed right now. It has never been more important to celebrate the most inspiring and impactful initiatives that are transforming the landscapes and experiences of cities for the better. Cities around the world are already responding to the climate emergency with urgency and innovation. As the climate crisis disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in cities and worldwide, it is crucial that inclusive climate action is placed at the heart of all urban decision making. This is exactly why I am delighted to be on the Jury of the WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities.”
2018 - 2019 JURY PRIZE
The distinguished Jury, chaired by Stephen M. Ross, will draw on their diverse experiences and expertise to select the first recipient of the WRI Ross Prize for Cities.