Mauricio Rodas Espinel

Visiting Scholar, University of Pennsylvania

Mauricio Rodas is a JD from Universidad Católica de Quito. He also holds two master’s degrees in Government Administration and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). He started his professional career with the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago de Chile and Mexico City. Later he worked as a policy consultant for the Mexican government. In 2007, he founded and served as the Executive Director of Ethos Public Policy Lab, a think tank based in Mexico ranked among the most influential in Latin America by the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.

In 2011, Rodas returned to Ecuador and founded SUMA, a national political party. In 2013, he ran for president of Ecuador; the following year was elected as Mayor of Quito (2014-2019). During his period, Rodas was the hosting Mayor of the UN’s Conference on Urban Sustainable Development – Habitat III. He also had an active leadership role in the main city networks: two terms as world Co-President of UCLG, member of the global boards of C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, ICLEI, and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. He is a former Young Global Leader and member of the Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2019, he was named one of the 100 Worlds’ Most Influential People on Climate Action by Apolitical; he also received UPenn’s World Urban Leadership Award. Currently, Rodas is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House, Penn Institute for Urban Research and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, working on the “Cities Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Financing Initiative – C2IFI.”

Rodas is also a Distinguished Fellow on Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and Co-chair of the Global Commission on BiodiverCities by 2030, an initiative promoted by the President of Colombia and the World Economic Forum. As a Senior Fellow of the Arsht- Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at the Atlantic Council, he coordinates the Working Groups of the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance and leads the City Champions for Heat Action Initiative.

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