Join urban governance experts from around the world for a conversation on the role of cities in a shifting international legal order, including the challenges and opportunities of these new forms of diplomacy, city networks, and geographies of power. This event features Mauricio Rodas, the immediate past mayor of Quito, Ecuador; Henri-Paul Normandin, director of international relations for Montreal, Canada; and Penny Abeywardena, commissioner for international affairs for New York City. The conversation will be moderated by Ian Klaus, a senior fellow on global cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. This discussion will be followed by an evening reception.
This event is part of the Great Powers and Urbanization Project. Supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York, this project is a partnership among Perry World House, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the University of Melbourne's Connected Cities Lab, and the Argentine Council for International Relations.
Mauricio Rodas served as the Mayor of Quito, Ecuador from 2014 to 2019. He is World Co-President of United Cities and Local Governments Organization (UCLG), and member of the boards of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the International Council for Local Environmental (ICLEI). He is a Young Global Leader and member of the Future Global Council of Cities and Urbanization of the World Economic Forum. As Mayor of Quito, Rodas participated in the 2019 Global Shifts Colloquium, discussing policies for climate mitigation and sustainable development at the city level. He holds a J.D. from Universidad Católica de Quito and Master’s degrees in government administration and political science from Penn.
Henri-Paul Normandin is the City of Montreal’s Director for International Relations. Prior to this position, he was the Ambassador of Canada to Haiti (2010-2013) and Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2006-2010). Normandin has worked in international development and diplomacy in Asia, Africa, and the Americas for over thirty years. He was Director General for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada. Previously, he held various positions within the same department and at the Canadian International Development Agency, including Canadian embassies in Beijing and Kinshasa. Normandin holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from McGill University, and has worked as a legal aid lawyer in Quebec. He also holds a Master’s degree in Political Science (International Relations) from the University of Ottawa.
Penny Abeywardena is New York City’s Commissioner for International Affairs. As head of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, she leads the City’s global platform for promoting its goals for a more just and accessible society, showcasing the diversity of New Yorkers and sharing policies and best practices with cities and states around the world. Prior to this, Abeywardena was the Director of Girls and Women Integration at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a non-partisan organization that convened global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing problems. Before joining CGI, she worked in both development and programmatic areas for Human Rights Watch, the Funding Exchange, and the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy. She serves on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Development Corporation, the International Advisory Council of the International Peace Institute (IPI), the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization, and is a Core Member of the United Nation’s SDG Strategy and Action Hub.
Ian Klaus served as Senior Adviser for Global Cities at the U.S. Department of State. In that role, he led the Department’s work at the nexus of urbanization and foreign policy and worked with cities around the world, from the Middle East to South America. He also served as the United States Deputy Negotiator for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). Previously, he served on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. Prior to that, he was the Ernest May Fellow for history and security studies at the Kennedy School of Government. He is a frequent commentator on urbanization and foreign policy issues. He is the author of Forging Capitalism (Yale) and Elvis is Titanic (Knopf). He holds a Ph.D. in international history from Harvard University, and in 2016-17, was a Visiting Fellow at Perry World House.