Forum Participants

Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative Forum 2013

PCSI's first international forum, held this year in Hong Kong from February 18-20, will bring together a wide variety of experts from the academic, business, NGO, and governmental realms to discuss the future of urban sustainability in Asia. Information on just a few of this year's participants can be found below and will be continuously updated as additional details are confirmed.

Daniel B. Abramson is an Associate Professor of Urban Design and Planning; Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture and Landscape Architecture; and a member of the China Studies Faculty at the University of Washington. From 2005 to 2009, he was a founding board member of the International Association for China Planning. His projects in Fujian, China, include community- based neighborhood preservation and research on property rights, housing and land policies. Since 2008 he has collaborated with Sichuan University on post-earthquake reconstruction projects.


Uwe S. Brandes is Senior Vice President, Initiatives at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C. where he leads ULI’s initiatives on Climate Change, Land Use, and Energy initiative and The City in 2050. Previously, Mr. Brandes was Vice President of Capital Projects at the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and Associate Director of the D.C. Office of Planning, where he managed the award-winning Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, an unprecedented inter-governmental partnership to redevelop the shores of the Anacostia River in the nation’s capital.


Nicholas Brooke is Chairman of the Hong Kong Harbourfront Commission, where he coordinates initiatives for the harbour and its waterfront. He has played a major role in earning recognition for one of Hong Kong’s most important natural assets and initiated numerous partnerships designed to bring vibrancy to the waterfront. Mr. Brooke is also the Chairman of Professional Property Services Limited and of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. He was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star in 2012 in recognition of his service.


Ronnie C. Chan is Chairman of Hang Lung Group Limited and its subsidiary, Hang Lung Properties Limited. Both are publicly listed companies in Hong Kong, dealing in real estate investment, development, and management. Mr. Chan also co-founded the privately held Morningside Group which, in the past two decades, has owned and managed businesses in numerous sectors. In addition, he is actively involved with many non-profits, philanthropic endeavors, and educational organizations, including serving as the Co-Chair of the Asia Society.


Sean C.S. Chiao is Executive Vice President of Asia Pacific for AECOM. As a member of Asia Pacific’s Executive Board, he also oversees the region’s operational performance and strategic growth. Mr. Chiao has spearheaded the construction of a number of high-profile developments, urban regeneration, and major public open spaces all across Asia. He is currently leading the “Harvard Graduate School of Design—AECOM China’s Studio,” a 3-year academic program that examines the urbanism issues emerging in China today.


Raymond Chow is Executive Director of Hongkong Land Limited, a position he has held since 2000. Mr. Chow is responsible for the company’s commercial activities throughout Asia, including all of its premier office and retail portfolio and new investments, and has over 20 years of real estate experience in Asia. He is also Global Board of Directors, Trustee, and North Asia Chairman of the Urban Land Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.


Patrick Condon is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia. With over 30 years’ experience in sustainable urban design, first as a professional city planner and then as a professor, he has worked to advance sustainable urban design both in Canada and abroad. He recently collaborated with North Vancouver to produce a plan to make the city a zero carbon community. Dr. Condon has received awards from the Planning Institute of Canada and the American Society of Landscape Architects.


Richard Drobnick is the Founding Director of the Center for International Business Education and Research at the USC Marshall School of Business (1990). From 1997 to 2002 he also served as the inaugural Secretary General of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). Presently, he serves as APRU’s Senior Strategic Advisor on its “Sustainability and Climate Change” and “Global Public Health” activities. Dr. Drobnick specializes in Pacific Rim trade policies and is the author of numerous publications on international economics and business.


Jim Falk is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne in the Melbourne School of Land and Environment. His previous positions include Director of the Australian Centre for Science, Innovation, and Society; Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Victoria University; Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Western Sydney, Nepean; and Chair of the Academic Senate and Head of the Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Wollongong. He is the author or co-author of over 100 scholarly papers and 6 books.


Tian Feng is the District Architect of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART). At BART, Mr. Feng has broad responsibilities for transit infrastructure, including formulating policy and implementation strategies for sustainability. He is also the Founder and Chief Editor of the Compendium of Sustainable Transit Practices. Mr. Feng has received recognition for his work from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and both branches of the U.S. Congress.


Barbara A. Finamore is a Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Ms. Finamore founded NRDC’s China Program, which promotes energy policy development and market transformation in China. She is currently NRDC’s Asia Director and has two decades of experience in Chinese environmental law and policy. She has also worked for the U.S. Departments of Justice and Interior, the UNDP, and the Center for International Environmental Law. Ms. Finamore is also the co-Founder and President of the China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance.


John P. Fitzgerald is Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Asia Pacific office. Since opening ULI Asia Pacific in 2007, Mr. Fitzgerald has been responsible for ULI’s activities in the region. He and his team have focused on engaging public and private sector leaders on issues of land use and its impact on sustainability, mobility, infrastructure, and affordability. Previously, he directed ULI’s Study Tour program, organizing international delegations of senior executives and public officials to exchange best practices on land use issues.


Karl Fjellstrom is Regional Director, East & Southeast Asia at the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP). Mr. Fjellstrom has worked with ITDP since 2003 and has been managing the ITDP-China office in Guangzhou since 2005. He has worked on urban transport projects around Asia, focusing on public transport and bus rapid transit, pedestrian and bicycle facility planning, and other areas of urban transport and urban development policy. He has worked in-depth in a number of cities around Asia.


Sujata S. Govada is Founding and Managing Director at Urban Design and Planning Consultants Ltd. An award-winning urban designer and planner, Dr. Govada has over 28 years of experience managing projects around the globe. She is currently working on strategic master planning, and sustainable development in Hong Kong and the region. Additionally, Dr. Govada teaches Urban Design at the University of Hong Kong and collaborates on international non-profit initiatives such as ULI’s 10 Principles for a Sustainable Approach to New Development.


Peter Graham is Executive Director of the Global Buildings Performance Network, the new ClimateWorks Best Practices Network addressing mitigation of building-sector greenhouse gas emissions. Previously, Dr. Graham was the Technical Advisor and Coordinator of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative and Head of Discipline for Architecture and Design at the University of New South Wales. In these roles Dr. Graham worked with the public, civil, and private sectors to assist the transition to a sustainable building industry.


Limin Hee is Associate Director at the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC), a Singapore-based knowledge centre with a mission to distill, create, and share knowledge on liveable and sustainable cities. Prior to joining the CLC, she taught at the Department of Architecture at the National University of Singapore. Her research is focused on sustainability and its agenda for architecture and future cities. Ms. Hee has published widely on architecture and urbanism, including her new book, Future Asian Space.


Jane Henley is Chief Executive Officer of the World Green Building Council, the world’s largest business organization influencing the green building marketplace. As leader of the 25,000-member organization, her role is to drive collaboration between 90 national green building councils and advocate for green buildings as a mechanism to deliver environmental, economic, and social benefits. Ms. Henley’s background in business development sets a positive entrepreneurial agenda for transforming the building sector towards sustainability.


Caspar Herzberg is Managing Director of the Emerging Solutions Advisory (ESA) Practice at Cisco Systems. He leads ESA’s efforts to design and implement ICT Master Plans for real estate developers, city governments, developers, and service providers. Mr. Herzberg and his team have designed many of the world’s largest new city projects including Songdo, Korea; Chongqing and Chengdu, China; and the new economic cities in Saudi Arabia. Previously, he worked for Accenture and served as an Officer in the German Army’s Special Operations Division.


Laurie Kerr is Director of the City Energy Project (CEP) at the Natural Resources Defense Council. A joint venture with the Institute for Market Transformation, CEP assists large U.S. cities in designing and implementing large-scale energy efficiency policies. Until this fall, she was the Deputy Director for Energy Efficiency in the New York City Mayor’s Office, where she was instrumental in crafting PlaNYC, New York’s plan for sustainable growth through 2030, and in developing the city’s green building and energy efficiency policies.


James Law is Founder of design firm James Law Cybertecture. He has designed award-winning iconic architectural projects in cities throughout Asia, including the Pad building in Dubai and the Cybertecture Egg in Mumbai. Mr. Law is also a visiting Adjunct Professor at KAIST, Korea and is an occasional TED Talk speaker. He is a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader, a Council Member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Design & Innovation, and a Board Member of the Hong Kong Design Center.


Jake Layes is head of Sustainability and Clean Tech for AsiaPacific at Autodesk, a leading provider of design innovation software for architects, engineers, and designers. He is responsible for sustainability initiatives and managing Autodesk’s Clean Tech Partner Program in Asia, which supports the efforts, innovations, and environmental advancements of clean technology partners across the region. Previously, he held roles in marketing, business development, consulting, and product development.


In-Keun Lee is Visiting Professor at the University of Seoul’s Department of Civil Engineering. Prior to teaching, Dr. Lee spent 32 years serving the Seoul Metropolitan Government in various departments on infrastructure-related projects. His major positions include Director for Subway Planning and Design, Director for Urban Planning, and Director-General for Cheong Gye Cheon Restoration Project. Promoted to Assistant Mayor level in January 2009, Dr. Lee was in charge of infrastructure of the metropolitan area until the end of 2011.


Liu Thai-Ker is the Director of RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte.) Ltd. Dr. Liu is the Founding Chairman of Centre for Liveable Cities serves as an Adjunct Professor at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. He is a member of several governmental bodies in Singapore and is a planning advisor to over 20 cities in China. Previously, Dr. Liu managed the completion of over half a million dwelling units and spearheaded the major revision of the Singapore Concept Plan.


Christine Loh is Under Secretary for the Environment for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, a position she has held since September 2012. Previously, Dr. Loh was Chief Executive Officer of Civic Exchange, which she founded in 2000. Prior to that she spent nearly a decade in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (1992-1997; 1998-2000) and held senior regional positions in commodities trading and project negotiation. She has founded or served on boards of a wide range of NGOs related to environmental protection, urban planning, and design.


Jon Lovell is a Director of Deloitte Real Estate and is responsible for the international delivery of its sustainability services. He also serves on the global leadership team of Deloitte Sustainability, leading its Community of Practice on sustainability and the built environment. Mr. Lovell recently joined United Business Media’s global panel of thought-leaders on Future Cities. He has led a number of ground-breaking initiatives including low carbon transition strategies, commercial and community development projects, and real estate investment. Mr. Lovell also attends the Forum as a delegate from PCSI sponsor Deloitte. You can learn more about his and Deloitte’s activity in urban sustainability here and here.


James A. Maguire is Regional Managing Director, Asia, Construction, Power & Infrastructure Specialty for Aon Risk Solutions. He leads Aon’s risk advisory and insurance syndication services to infrastructure clients, with a geographic remit from Japan to India and Pakistan. Mr. Maguire speaks regularly on climate change, the insurance industry, and renewable energy projects. Previously, he held professional designations to advise on insurance in both New York and Hong Kong.


Kurosh Massoud-Ansari is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department. Currently on his second tour, he serves as the Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Officer within the Economic/Political division. In his first tour he acted as Embassy Ankara’s Immigrant Visa Chief and Fraud Prevention Manager, primarily focusing on Iranian Affairs. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Ansari worked as a network administrator for Craftmark Homes in McLean, Virginia.


S. Alice Mong is Executive Director of Asia Society’s Hong Kong Center (ASHK). Prior to taking this position in 2012, she worked in New York in the role of Consultant to ASHK. Ms. Mong also served as the Director of the Museum of Chinese in America and guided the organization to become the leading national museum dedicated to preserving the culture of Chinese people and Chinese Americans. She also served as the Executive Director for the Committee of 100 in the U.S.


Chandran Nair is Founder and CEO of the Global Institute For Tomorrow, a social venture think tank dedicated to advancing an understanding of the impacts of globalization. He is also the Chairman of Avantage Ventures and, until 2004, was Chairman of Environmental Resources Management in Asia Pacific. For over a decade he has advocated a more sustainable approach to development in Asia, advising both governments and corporations. He is the author of Consumptionomics: Asia’s Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet.


Simon K. W. Ng is Head of Transport and Sustainability Research at Civic Exchange, an independent public policy think tank based in Hong Kong. Previously, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for the Environment, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and a Lecturer at the Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management of the University of Hong Kong. His major research interests include sustainable transportation, livable cities, air quality management, and local community planning.


N. Bruce Pickering is Vice President of Global Programs at Asia Society and Executive Director of Asia Society’s Northern California Center. Previously, he was Director of Pubic Affairs and Development at the Graduate School of Journalism and Special Assistant to the Director of the Institute of East Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. Dr. Pickering also served as Program Director of the World Affairs Council, was Executive Director of the U.S.-Japan 21st Century Project, and served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for more than decade.


Roger Platt is Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Law at the U.S. Green Building Council. Mr. Platt is responsible for overseeing the policy aspects of the increasingly global adoption of green building and urban development practices. His role includes managing an international portfolio of non-partisan policy development relationships, including the World Green Building Council, the United Nations Environment Program, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. He helped found and chaired the ULI Sustainable Development Council from 2001 to 2004.


Ashok Raiji is a Principal in Arup’s New York office. He also serves as Arup’s Property Market Leader in the Americas and leads its global residential business. Mr. Raiji has led many high performance building and city-scale planning projects in the U.S. and Asia including Master Plans for New Songdo City in Korea. Mr. Raiji lectures frequently on sustainable design and urban planning and has served as Sustainability Technical Advisor to the National Building Museum and the Museum of the City of New York.


Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and Dean at the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Mr. Schell has worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, covered the war in Indochina as a journalist, and has traveled widely in China since the 1970s. He has written fourteen books, nine of them about China, and is a contributor to numerous edited volumes.


Brandon Sedloff is Managing Director of the Asia Pacific at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and is responsible for ULI’s various initiatives across the Asia Pacific Region. Prior to joining ULI, Mr. Sedloff was Vice President/Asia Practice Area Head at Gerson Lehrman Group, where he was the founder and head of its Asia Real Estate. He is the founder of the ULI Young Leaders Group in Asia and was a member of the ULI North Asia Executive Committee from 2007 to 2012.


Xuejun “Lenny” Shen is General Manager of Cities Center of Competence; Asia General Manager of Strategy; and Infrastructure and Cities Sector Northeast Asia and ASEAN-Pacific Clusters at Siemens Ltd. Previously he served in numerous roles at Siemens, including as Vice President of the company’s Chinese arm, General Manager of several regional divisions, and Director of Business Development.


Robert Spich is a Senior Lecturer at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he is a faculty member in the Global Economics and Managementw area. His teaching specialties cover international management, emerging markets, negotiations and cross cultural issues in global business. Additionally, Dr. Spich has been named as Faculty Program Director of the Center for International Business Education and Research at UCLA Anderson, and is a member of the GAP Entrepreneurship faculty, working to develop business plans for new companies in six countries.


Thomas Sek Khuen Tang is Corporate Sustainability Director for AECOM in Asia. He oversees the pan-Asian region, directing sustainability projects in support of regional businesses and providing internal corporate services as the Head of the Office for Corporate Sustainability. Dr. Tang has authored a number of reports on sustainability policy and has spoken at international forums including the Conference Board and C40 roundtable. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Sustainability and Environment Committee at the HK General Chamber of Commerce.


Oren Tatcher is Principal of OTC Limited, a Hong Kong-based planning and design firm specializing in transportation facilities and transport-oriented urban master plans. He previously worked with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and in 2007 started his own practice in Hong Kong. His firm’s work has included planning of airports, railway stations, marine transport terminals, and intermodal stations throughout Asia. He has worked with numerous organizations to promote best practices in sustainable transport development, primarily in developing countries.


Heather Thompson is a Principal at HT Strategy. Previously, she served as co-Founder of ClimateWorks, a network of 13 regional foundations and expert teams working to promote polices to reduce the threat of climate change. Now working independently, Ms. Thompson is focused on accelerating the strategies of ClimateWorks’ Best Practice Networks. As founder, she also serves as Board Chair of the Global Buildings Performance Network and previously led the California Environmental Associates’ work in philanthropic strategy covering land conservation, energy, and climate change.


Jonathan Thorpe is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at Gale International. He is responsible for international and domestic project financing, investments, business planning, strategy, and operating matters. Having worked on the Songdo International Business District (IBD) project since 2002, Mr. Thorpe has been involved in structuring and closing all major equity and debt financing transactions for Songdo IBD. He has been affiliated with Gale International since 1985, previously managing the company’s portfolios in New York and California.


James von Klemperer  is Design Partner at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), where he has worked since 1983. He has been responsible for a wide range of projects, from a row house, to a 123-story tower, to a city. KPF is one of the world’s pre-eminent architecture firms, providing architecture, interior, programming and master planning services for both the public and private sectors. Mr. von Klemperer has taught at Yale, and lectured various universities through the world.


Guanghua Wan is Principal Economist at the Asian Development Bank. Previously, he was Senior Economist with the United Nations and has taught in a number of universities in Australia and China. Trained in development economics and econometrics, Dr. Wan is a leading scholar on the Chinese economy and an expert on Asia, with a publication record of more than 100 professional articles and a dozen books.


Kerina B. Wang is a Management Associate for the Sustainable and Livable Cities (SLC) Initiative at the World Resources Institute (WRI). Ms. Wang oversees strategy development, management, and international cooperation for the SLC Initiative, which aims to catalyze sustainable solutions in the energy, transport, water sectors, and improve quality of life in China, India, and Brazil’s urban centers. She leads WRI’s global operations in more than 40 countries. Previously, Ms. Wang served as a Corporate Social Responsibility Fellow at Hill & Knowlton.


Ronald P. Weidner is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PLB Capital Partners. He is also the Founder of ULI Greenprint Center and formerly served as the Chief Investment Officer and a Member of the Board of Allianz Real Estate. Mr. Weidner has over 30 years of experience in real estate lending, investment management and operations, as well as corporate banking in Europe and the U.S. Weidner has focused his career on building new businesses for German and U.S.-based firms expanding into foreign markets.


David Wood is Director of the Initiative for Responsible Investment (IRI) at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. He directs research and field-building work on responsible investment across asset classes. His current research focuses on the question of investment in equitable and sustainable cities. Prior to joining IRI, Dr. Wood taught courses on ethics, economic thought, and human rights at Boston University. He also serves on the Board of Directors of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.


Yan-yan Yip is Chief Executive Officer of Civic Exchange. Ms. Yip joined the organization in 2001, serving as a junior legislative aide to Christine Loh and administrator for the Citizens Party. She has worked on political and social development projects, written and published a significant amount of Civic Exchange’s work and, as Chief Operating Officer, managed much of the day-to-day operations of the organization. As part of her work, Ms. Yip leads social risk management projects in China and India.