The World Cities Summit Young Leaders (WCS YL) is an initiative by the World Cities Summit (WCS). It aims to bring together young leaders from diverse urban sectors who are committed to actively catalyse change in cities and help shape urban development agendas.

Urbanization is reshaping our planet and radically transforming economies and societies. By 2060, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities. For city leaders, urbanization is an opportunity to create liveable, competitive and sustainable environments, to avoid social unrest, environmental deterioration and economic stagnation. Decisions that leaders make today will determine the wellbeing of more than half of the world’s population. The WCS Young Leaders initiative provides a platform to carry out intellectual discourse on urban issues and launch initiatives to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

WCS Young Leaders are selected once every two years; each has a three-year tenure. Our 2014 World Cities Summit Young Leaders are:

Name Designation City/State/Company/
Dr Khaled Abdelhalim Visiting Assistant Prof of Urban Policy, Public Policy and Admin American University of Cairo
Executive Director Local Development Observatory, Cairo
Dr Hitoshi Abe Principal Hitoshi Abe Atelier California
Professor Department of Architecture & Urban Design, UCLA
HE Hani Aburas Mayor Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mr David Adam CEO Global Cities, London
Ms Clare Akamanzi COO Rwanda Development Board
Fahd Al Rasheed MD & CEO Emaar Economic City KAEC
Mr Paulo Alcazaren Principal PGAA Creative Design, Philippines
Mr Jon Andoni Aldekoa de la Torre Mayor’s Office Delegate Director Bilbao City Council
Ms Heather Allen Program Director, Sustainable Transport Transport Research Laboratory, UK
Ms Pia Allerslev Culture and Leisure Mayor Copenhagen
Mr Allen Ang Deputy General Manager (Projects) & Head (Green Buildings) City Developments Limited Singapore Singapore
Mr Alejandro Aravena Executive Director ELEMENTAL S.A., Chile
Ms Ana Marie Argilagos Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Programs, and Partnerships U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development Washington
Mr. Zaenal Arifin Deputy Director (Urban Affairs), Head for Secretariat (Urban Development) Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), Jakarta
HE Kenji Asano Mayor Kakamigahara City
Mr David Auerbach Co-Founder Sanergy, Kenya
Dr Karen J Bakker Director, Program on Water Governance and Canada Research Chair; Associate Professor University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Honourable Herbert M. Bautista Mayor Quezon City
Professor Jem Bendell Director, Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) University of Cumbria Business School, UK
Michael Berkowitz Managing Director Rockefeller Foundation, New York City
Ms Lael Bethlehem Investment Executive Hoskens Consolidated Investments, Johannesburg
Mr Gautam Bhan Senior Consultant Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)
Mr Claus Billehøj Director Centre for Regional Development, Denmark Copenhagen
Ms Salma Ali Saif bin Hareb CEO Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) and Economic Zones World, Dubai
Mr Charles K Boakye CEO Infrastructure Systems, Ghana
Mr Thomas Bradtke Partner & Managing Director Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Middle-East Lead for Industrial Goods, Operations & Global Advantage, Dubai
Mr Gregorio Aranda Bricio Local Public Policies Officer/Child Friendly Cities Coordinator UNICEF Spain Madrid (Spain)
Mr Richard Brown Executive Director Development and Regeneration Services, Glasgow City Council Glasgow
Mr Michael Budig Senior Researcher Future Cities Laboratory Project, Singapore
Mr Scott Burnham Urban Strategist Director Scott Burnham Studio
Mr Enrique Lopez Calva Technical Director of Neysadurai Technical Centre CDM Smith, Singapore
Mr Kent Campbell Deputy Minister Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources
Mr Jay Carson Member of the Board of Directors Bloomberg Philanthropies Los Angeles
Dr Pedro Paulo Carvalho Chief Secretary Municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Honourable Julian Castro Mayor San Antonio, United States of America
Ms Ho Chan Chan Manager/KLL Keppel Corporation, Singapore
Prof Rui Chen Professor, Institute of Policy & Management Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Mr Adrian Cheng CEO and Executive Director New World Development, China
Mr Cheng Hsing Yao Managing Director (Group Project Office) GuocoLand Limited, Singapore
Vannarith Chheang Senior Fellow and Member of the Board of Directors Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace
Mr Jeffrey Chua Partner & Managing Director BCG Singapore Practice Leader, Industrial Goods, Singapore
Ms Delia Meth Cohn Editorial Director Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), Economic Intelligence Unit
Ms Isabel Dedring Deputy Mayor for Transport Greater London Authority, London
Ms Karima Delli Member European Parliament France
Mr Disnadda Diskul Chief Mae Fa Luang Foundation,Thailand
Mr Kinlay Dorjee Mayor Thimpu, Kingdom of Bhutan
Scott Dunn Vice-President AECOM
Director of Development AECOM
Council Chair ULI Singapore
Mr Alejandro Echeverri Director, Urban & Environmental Studies Universidad EAFIT, Bogota, Columbia
Ms Marcela Escobari Executive Director Centre for International Development, Harvard University
Professor Jennifer Evans-Cowley Professor, City and Regional Planning Knowlton School, Ohio State University
Nicholas Fang Nominated Member of Parliament Singapore Government
Director Singapore Institute of International Affairs
Benyamin Parham Fard President Jourdan Institute
Managing Director Biovita Environmental Consulting Pte Ltd, Brazil
Mr Sou Fujimoto Head Sou Fujimoto Architects, Tokyo
Mr Hazem Galal Cities and Local Government Sector Global Leader PricewaterhouseCoopers, Doha, Qatar
Mr Geraldine Gardner Director, Urban and Regional Policy Program German Marshall Fund of the United States
Honorable Mayor Rex T. Gatchalian Mayor Valenzuela, Philippines
Ms Nataly Gattegno Co-founder Future Cities Lab, San Francisco
Ms Anna Geppert Planning Professor l'Université de Paris IV- Sorbonne, Paris
Mr Simon Giles Senior Principal, Intelligent Cities Strategy Lead Accenture, London
Mr Darren Gill Program Coordinator and Design Fellow Architecture for Humanity, EU
Ms Gabriella Gomez-Mont Director Laboratorio para la Ciudad, Mexico City
Mr Charles Gourio Co-Founder Smart Impulse, Paris
Dr Adam M. Grant Professor of Management University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Philadelphia
Mr Adolfo Guerrero Head, China Regional Office Cities Development Initiative for Asia (ADB), Shanghai
Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi Director Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU)
Member of the Board of Directors 1 Malaysia Development Bhd, Kuala Lumpur
Mr Usman Haque Architect and Founder Umbrellium
Mr Scott Harrison Founder and CEO Charity:Water, New York
Mr Selwin C. Hart Climate Change Finance Advisor Caribbean Bank, St Michael, Barbados
Ms Lucinda Hartley CEO CoDesign Studio, Australia
Mr Richard Hassell Co-Founding Director WOHA Singapore Singapore
Mr Mateu Hernandez CEO Barcelona Global (Spain)
Priya Hiranandani-Vandrevala Founder and Chair of Hirco Group Hirco Group, Chair of Steering Board of WEF Real Estate Community, India
Mr Ulrich Hörning Director, CHANGE² Strategy Mayor's Cabinet, Mannheim, Germany
Mr Khaled Al Huraimel CEO Bee’ah, UAE
Mr Bjarke Ingels Founder Bjarke Ingels Group, Copenhagen
Ms Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh Mayor Malmo Municipality
His Excellency Ranawaka Arachchige Don Janaka Mayor Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Municipal Council, Sri Lanka
Mr Christopher Jannou Founder & CEO Smart Homes, Zambia
Mr Michael Jansen Chairman and CEO Cityzenith
Søren Smidt-Jensen Head CITIES Programme, Danish Architecture Centre, Copenhagen
Ms Alexandra Jones Chief Executive Centre for Cities
Mayor Geraldo Julio Mayor City of Recife, Brazil
Ms Noora Al Kaabi CEO TwoFourFiftyFour
Member of the Federal National Council Abu Dhabi, UAE
Ms Yelena Kadeykina Managing Partner StartUp Access (MIT spinout)
Mayor Ridwan Kamil Mayor Bandung, Indonesia
Ms Jennifer Keessmaat Chief Planner City of Toronto
Mr Gaurang Khemka Founder & MD URBNarc, Singapore
Dr Marat Khusnullin Deputy Mayor for Urban Development and Construction Moscow, Russia
Mr Phil Kim Co-CEO and Managing Director The Jerde Partnership, Hong Kong
Ms Vanda Knowles Policy Director EuroCities, Brussels
Professor Matthias Kohler Professor for Architecture and Digital Fabrication ETH Zurich
Mr Kuek Chin Kuan Senior Manager (Sustainable Development) Keppel Corporation, Singapore
Talleen Kumar CEO & Managing Director of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Limited, and Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion Government of India
Mr Danish Kurani, Principal Principal DKS, USA
Mr Sergey Kuznetsov Chief Architect Moscow, Russia
1st Deputy Chairman Committee for Architecture & Urban Planning of Moscow
Ms Melissa Kwee Director Pontiac Land Group, Singapore
Mr Clayton Lane Global City Lead World Resources Institute, Washington
Mr Kenneth Lee Founder Green Koncepts, Singapore
Mr Mathieu Lefevre Executive Director New Cities Foundation, EU
Mr Li Hu Founding Principal Open Architecture, USA
Mr Laurence Lien CEO National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre
Lim Ming Yan President & Group CEO CapitaLand Limited
Mr Lim Eng Hwee Chief Planner & Deputy Chief Executive Officer Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Singapore
Ms Diaan Yi Lin Partner McKinsey & Company, Singapore
Ms Diana Lind Executive Director and Editor in Chief Next City, USA
Mr Greg Lindsay Fellow World Policy Institute, New York
Ms Peggy Liu Chairperson JUCCCE, Shanghai
Mr Abhisheck Lodha Managing Director Lodha Group, Mumbai
Mr Enrique Lomnitz Founder Isla Urbana, Mexico City
Hon MariaLaarni Lopez-Cayetano Mayor Taguig City, Manila
Ms Low Yen Ling Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of Social and Family Development Singapore
Dr Lu Bo Co-Founder & Managing Director World Future Foundation, Singapore
Deputy Executive Director Vantone Foundation, Beijing, China
Mr Ma Yansong Founder and Architect MAD Architects, Beijing
Ms Romilly Madew Chief Executive Green Building Council Australia, Sydney Australia
Mr Hamdan Abdul Majeed Director Khazanah Nasional Berhad
Executive Director ThinkCity, Penang
Mr Aaron Maniam Master of Public Policy Candidate Blavatnik School of Government
Mr Sithole Mbanga CEO South African Cities Network, South Africa
Ms Nthato Minyuku-Gobodo Deputy President South African Planning Institute, Johannesburg
Ms Liliana Miranda National Coordinator Foro Ciudades para La Vida, Peru
Ms Ana B. Moreno Spokesperson & Chief, Advocacy, Outreach and Communications UN-Habitat, Office of the Director General, Nairobi
Mr Abdul Mutalib Pehin Dato Yusof Permanent Secretary Ministry of Communications, Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan
His Worship Fidele Ndayisaba Mayor Kigali, Rwanda
Mayor Naheed Nenshi Mayor City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Ms Bulelwa Makalima Ngewana CEO Cape Town Partnership
Ms Yumiko Noda Partner, Head of PPP and Infrastructure (Asia Pacific) PricewaterhouseCoopers Tokyo, Japan
Mr Lindsay O'Sullivan Chief Officer, Business Solutions Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Western Australia
His Excellency Taisuke Ono Vice-Governor Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan
Ms Christine Outram Founder City Innovation Group, Australia
Mayor Eduardo Paes Mayor City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pang Yee Ean CEO Surbana
Mayor Eduardo Rivera Perez Mayor Ayuntamiento de Puebla, United Mexican States
Professor Edgar Pieterse Director African Centre for Cities Cape town
Marissa Ellis Plouin Policy Analyst, Urban Development OECD, Paris
Dr Poh Hee Joo Science and Capability Group Manager IHPC, A*STAR, Singapore
His Excellency Hendrar Prihadi Mayor Semarang City, Republic of Indonesia
Bapak Basuki Tjahaja Purnama Vice Governor Jakarta, Indonesia
Ms Roopa Purushothaman Managing Director and Head of Research Everstone Capital
Dr Qiu Aijun Deputy Director General China Centre for Urban Development, National Development and Reform Commission, China
Mayor Councillor Kgosientso David Ramokgopa Executive Mayor City of Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa
Mr Fahd Al Rasheed Managing Director and CEO Emaar Economic City
Dr Carlo Ratti Director MIT Senseable City Lab, Boston
Ms Kelly Rattigan Founder Formworks Architecture, Perth, Australia
Ms Mariana Moguel Robles Deputy General Manager Regional Ministry of Governance, Federal Government , Mexico City
Mr Daan Roosegaarde Founder Roosegaarde Studios, Amsterdam
Dr Orna. S Rosenfeld Senior Housing Expert United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Switzerland
Mr Roman Rutkowski Founder Roman Rutkowski Architects, Wroclaw
Dr Kamarul Rashdan Salleh Managing Director Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB), Kuala Lumpur
Mr Sanjeev Sanyal Economist, Environmentalist, Global Strategist Deutsche Bank, Singapore
Mr Fernando Aboitiz Saro Director Mexico City Urban Development Agency, Mexico City
Mr Raphael Schoentgen President GDF Suez China, Beijing
Mr Stefan Schurig Climate Energy Director World Future Council, EU
Mr Eugene Seah Hsiu-Min Co-Founder and Managing Director Langdon & Seah, Singapore
Mr Brandon Sedloff Urban Land Institute, San Francisco Global Head of Corporate Development /Sr. Vice President
Mayor Iñigo de la Serna Mayor Santander, Spain
Professor Karen Seto Professor of Geography & Urbanization Yale University USA
Dr Kunihiko Shimada Special Adviser to the Minister of Environment Ministry of the Environment, Japan
Ms Elisa Silva Senior Specialist CAF- Development Bank, Caracas, Venezuela
Mr Sharad Somani ASEAN Lead Global Centre of Excellence for Cities, KPMG, Singapore
Mayor Cesar Souza Junior Mayor Florianopolis, Brazil
Professor Smita Srinivas Director, Technological Change University Columbia University
Mr Alex Steffen Co-founder Worldchanging, USA
Mr Dorjee Sun CEO Carbon Conservation, Singapore
His Excellency Soichiro Takashima Mayor Fukoka City, Japan
Mr Tan Chin Hwee Founding partner Apollo Global Management (Asia), Singapore
Mr Tan Sein-Way Chair and CEO Green World City
Director Focus Capital
Steering Committee Member UN-Habitat's World Urban Campaign, Sydney
Mr Alvin Tan Tze Ee Group Director (Policy) National Heritage Board, Singapore
Mr Tan Yinglan Venture Capitalist Sequoia Capital Singapore
Author and Adjunct Assistant Professor Nanyang Technological University
Mr Tang Kok Thye Deputy Chairman, Director ADDP Architects LLP, Singapore
Ms Raquel Tardin Senior Lecturer, Graduate Programme in Urbanism Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mr Dylan Taylor CEO Colliers International, Seattle
Ms Thong Wai Lin Director, Land Sales & Acquisition Singapore Land Authority
Ms Tint Win Win Founder and Managing Director City Mart Holdings, Myanmar
Tran The Phuong Director Urban Infrastructure Development Planning, Hanoi Authority for Planning and Investment, Vietnam
Ms Nidhi Mani Tripathi Project Director Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Uttarakhand
Axel van Trotsenburg Vice President East Asia and the Pacific Region, World Bank
Mr Dionisio Vélez Trujillo Mayor Cartagena, Republic of Colombia Cartagena, Colombia
Mr Gian Tu Trung Founder and Chairman PACE Institute of Management, Vietnam
Mr Jerry Valesquez Chief, Advocacy & Communications Section UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Geneva
Mr Joris van Etten Deputy Program Coordinator CDIA Philippines, Manila
Mr Sebastien Veit Senior Climate Economist African Development Bank, Tunisia
Mr Pablo Viejo Sustainable Cities Chief Officer for Singapore EDF R & D, France
Ms Lindy Wafula Founder and Executive Director Project Africa, Kenya
Dr Bing Wang Associate Professor Harvard Graduate School of Design, Boston
Dr Kua Harn Wei Assistant Professor National University of Singapore
District Councillor South West Community Development Council, Singapore
Baron Nat Wei Lord of Shoreditch London, UK
Ms Karen Weigert Chief Sustainability Officer City of Chicago
Mr Andre Winarto Director Ernst and Young, Western Australia
His Excellency Arief Wismansyah Mayor Tangerang, Indonesia
Dr Jonathan Woetzel Senior Partner & Director for Sustainability & Resource Productivity Study McKinsey & Co, Shanghai
Ms Ada Wong Chief Executive Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture
Mr Kelvin Wong Assistant Managing Director Singapore Economic Development Board
Ms Changhua Wu Greater China Director Climate Group, China
Veronica Xiong General Manager Business China
Xu Datong Director Commerce Commision, Tianjin Binhai New Area
Dr Wei Yang BA, MSc, PhD, AoU, MCIHT, MRTPI, RIBA Client Adviser Wei Yang and Partners, UK
Mr Terence Yap CEO Smart China, China
Mr Yap Kwong Weng Chief Operating Officer Parami Energy Group of Companies
Chair Global Dignity, Cambodia
Rt Hon Stephen Yarwood The Lord Mayor of Adelaide Commonwealth of Australia
Ms Ruth Yeoh Director YTL-SV Carbon, Singapore
Mr Mann Young Head, Sustainability (Asia) Lend Lease APAC Regional Network
Manager World Green Building Council, Singapore
Dr Jinhua Zhao Assistant Professor Department of Urban Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston
Ms Susan Zielinski Managing Director SMART, Transportation Research Institute, University of Michigan


View the 2014 WCS Young Leaders profiles here.

Applicants were reviewed by a distinguished multi-disciplinary and international Selection Committee comprising:

  • Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State of the Ministry of National Development Singapore (Chair)
  • Ms Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Ambassador BurhanGafoor, Chief Negotiator for Climate Change, Singapore
  • Her Excellency MsFumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama and former President of CityNet
  • Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Deputy-Executive Director, UN-Habitat
  • Mr Peter Lacy, Managing Director Asia-Pacific Sustainability Services,  Accenture
  • Mr Andrei Sharonov, Dean of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO
  • Dr Shi Nan ,Vice President and Secretary-General of the Urban Planning Society of China
  • Mr Andrew Tan, CE of Maritime Port Authority Singapore