100RC and NIUA Appoint First-Ever Resilience Chair to lead Urban Resilience Efforts across India

The Resilience Chair at NIUA will oversee state and national level urban resilience-building programmes

NEW DELHI, INDIA – Today, 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) – pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) announced that Dr. Umamaheshwaran Rajasekar has been appointed the Resilience Chair at NIUA. Earlier this year, supported by Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh at the World Urban Forum, the two organisations announced a partnership forming an “Urban Resilience Unit” at NIUA with the intent of building urban resilience in India through national and state level programmes.

Based in New Delhi, Dr. Umamaheshwaran will play a key role in developing tools and measurement systems; building capacity in 100RC network cities, establishing ‘data observatories’ to support informed decision making; and convening stakeholders ranging from urban planning institutes, MoHUA, philanthropies, the private sector, multilaterals and other urban experts in order to establish strong partnerships.

Jagan Shah, Director, NIUA said, “Dr. Umamaheshwaran’s vast experience, leadership roles and international experience are second to none, and we are confident that he will be able to lead and strengthen the impact of our work in the larger urban sector in India and maximize our partnership with 100RC. As a pioneer for this work in India, we are confident that that he is the right person to lead NIUA’s efforts to embed resilience thinking in our cities in a uniquely Indian way in order to realise a brighter future for our urban centres and our country overall.”

Dr. Umamaheshwaran, Resilience Chair, NIUA, said, “India is experiencing an unprecedented rapid rate of urbanization coupled with issues like globalization and climate change, taxing the country’s ability to adapt and thrive. Over the last few years, NIUA has kick-started initiatives to mainstream climate resilience thinking, but as a nation there is still a lack of concerted effort to drive urban resilience. I am eager to serve as the first-ever Resilience Chair and work with 100RC to expand collaborative resilience-building efforts and create real impact for the people of India.”

Previously, Dr. Umamaheshwaran served as a close advisor to the Chief Resilience Officer in Surat to assist in developing India’s first ever urban resilience strategy.

Amit Prothi, Head of India National Strategy, 100RC said, “Having collaborated with over 50 multilaterals, nonprofits and government institutions, Dr. Umamaheshwaran is in the perfect position to work with the various Chief Resilience Officers and municipal governments in Surat, Pune, Chennai, Jaipur and beyond to deepen the understanding of urban resilience in India. Together with NIUA, we hope to revolutionize the India@75 agenda to support the growth of healthy, resilient cities.”


For further information, please contact:

Ashley Knapp
aknapp@100RC.org / +65 8168 9481

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each member city who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges.  For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.

About National Institute for Urban Affairs

National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is a premier institute for research, capacity building and dissemination of knowledge for the urban sector in India. It promotes evidence-based policy-making and conducts research on urbanization, urban policy and planning, municipal finance and governance, land economics, transit oriented development, urban livelihoods, environment & climate change and smart cities.  The institute was set up to bridge the gap between research and practice, and to provide critical and objective analyses of trends and prospects for urban development. For more information, visit: www.niua.org