Three Centers at Penn: Joining Forces to Tackle Urban Issues at World Urban Forum
Three research centers at Penn are working together to bring Penn’s expertise on urban issues to this year’s World Urban Forum (WUF), the world’s premier conference on urban issues, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from February 7-13.
The three centers—the Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR), the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, and Perry World House—are publishing a white paper series in advance of the February event, staging a large exhibition of Penn research at the week-long event and sending a delegation of nearly a dozen researchers, students and staff members to Kuala Lumpur to participate.
Through these efforts, the three centers aim to showcase their research as well as the research of established and emerging Penn scholars affiliated with the centers. By joining forces to present at this year’s WUF, the centers aim to bring Penn-based scholarship that addresses pressing sustainable urbanization issues to leading policymakers and practitioners across the globe.
Penn IUR, Perry World House and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy announced the following timeline of events related to WUF:
December 2017: Penn IUR, Perry World House and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy commissioned PENN: Current Research on Sustainable Urban Development. The 10 papers, which will be presented on January 17, explore topics central to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. They have a special focus on governance, energy, urban migration and integration, and planning and land use.
January 17, 2018: In advance of the WUF, the three centers will host a one-day workshop at the Perry World House on The New Urban Agenda: How Stakeholders are Defining and Driving Implementation. The workshop will feature policymakers, practitioners and scholars in a set of panels and moderated conversations on interpretations of authority, The New Urban Agenda. This serves as a moment to release the set of white papers edited by the three centers. Topics of discussion will include the power of alliances, cities in the global south and the future of urban governance. To register: https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu
February 3, 2018: The Penn delegation will travel to the WUF in Kuala Lumpur.
The delegation includes:
• Eugenie Birch, co-director, Penn IUR, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education, department of city & regional planning, PennDesign;
• Amy Montgomery, managing director, Penn IUR;
• Cara Griffin, editor and publications director, Penn IUR;
• Mary Rocco, postdoctoral researcher, Penn IUR;
• Laura Barron, program and communications manager, Penn IUR;
• Bill Burke-White, Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director, Perry World House, and professor of law, Penn Law;
• Kyung-Hwan Kim, visiting fellow, Perry World House;
• Kate Leader, program manager, Perry World House;
• Mark Alan Hughes, faculty director, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, and professor of practice, department of city and regional planning, PennDesign;
• Cornelia Colijn, deputy director, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy;
• Mollie Simon, administrative assistant, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.
February 7-13, 2018: The delegates will welcome visitors to the Penn exhibition booth, which will be on display at WUF in Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition includes information about Penn IUR, Perry World House and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and highlights each center’s initiatives. The exhibit will also feature information on the paper series that the centers have partnered to produce, and a speaker series of brief, “intimate” presentations by experts from the three centers’ extended networks.
Anne Norton: Stacey and Henry Jackson President’s Distinguished Professor
Anne Norton, professor and department chair of political science, has been named the inaugural Stacey and Henry Jackson President’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science. A scholar of political theory, Dr. Norton is the author of seven books, including On the Muslim Question and 95 Theses on Politics, Culture and Method. She is Co-Founding Editor of the journal Theory and Event and on the executive board of the journal Political Theory. She also serves on the board of the Bridge Initiative of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. Her present work concerns problems of property and democracy. Dr. Norton taught at Notre Dame, Princeton and the University of Texas before coming to Penn in 1993.
Henry Daniel Jackson, C’86, W’86, and Stacey Jackson established this President’s Distinguished Professorship in 2016. Mr. Jackson is the co-founder, managing partner, and CEO of OpCapita LLP, a European private equity firm specializing in the retail, consumer and leisure industries. He is a member of the Penn Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers, as well as Penn’s United Kingdom Executive Leadership Committee and the Parent Leadership Committee. His wife is a singer/songwriter and the executive producer of 3B1G Records. They currently live in London and have two children who are attending Penn, Tyler, W’20 and Reid, C’18.
Dagmawi Woubshet: Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor
Dagmawi Woubshet has joined Penn as the inaugural Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English. A scholar of African American literature and visual culture, Dr. Woubshet comes to Penn from Cornell University, where he received Cornell’s highest honor for undergraduate mentoring and teaching, the Paul Advising Award, in 2012, as well as being named one of “The 10 Best Professors at Cornell” in 2013 by Business Insider. He is the author of the book The Calendar of Loss: Race, Sexuality, and Mourning in the Early Era of AIDS, the co-edited volume Ethiopia: Literature, Art, and Culture, a special issue of Callaloo, and many essays, interviews and book chapters. Dr. Woubshet is currently serving as associate editor of Callaloo and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS) at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
The Ahuja Family Presidential Professorship was generously established in 2016 by Tania Maria Vital-Ahuja and Anilesh Ahuja, C’89, parents. Mr. Ahuja is a member of the Penn Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers and CEO, Chief Investment Officer, and Portfolio Manager of Premium Point Investments LP in New York. Ms. Vital-Ahuja is Managing Director (U.S. Operations) of Arkera and a member of the Center for Advanced Study of India’s International Advisory Board. In addition to establishing the professorship, the Ahujas generously support CASI, as well as graduate and visiting fellowships.
Matt Sessa: Executive Director of Student Registration and Financial Services
The University of Pennsylvania has named Matt Sessa the executive director of student registration and financial services. His appointment will be effective January 16.
Mr. Sessa has more than 20 years of experience with federal and state financial aid programs. He comes to Penn from the Office of Federal Student Aid in the U.S. Department of Education, where he most recently served as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer and, during a transition period, the Acting Chief Operating Officer. Prior to working there, he served in senior leadership roles at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
“I am delighted to welcome Matt to Penn and look forward to working together with him to continue enhancing the wide range of services we offer our students,” said Vice President for Finance and Treasurer MaryFrances McCourt. “His vast expertise in federal aid programs and managing a complex organizational structure will make him an invaluable member of our leadership team.”
Mr. Sessa holds an executive master of business administration and a master of science in information systems from Pennsylvania State University.
As executive director of SRFS, Mr. Sessa will provide strategic and operational leadership on financial aid, billing, registration and operations. He will have a specific focus on developing a one-stop model of student service and designing comprehensive financial literacy programming for students.
Additional information about Student Registration and Financial Services is available at www.srfs.upenn.edu