Anjali Mahendra

Lead for Global Research


Anjali Mahendra is the Lead for Global Research with WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, leading research on transportation policy, urban planning and economics, urban health impacts, and climate change mitigation. Anjali also advises the WRI India office, continuing her prior involvement as Strategy Head for Research and Practice for the Cities program. She is currently co-leading development of the World Resources Report on Cities, a flagship WRI publication. She was one of the lead authors on the WRR framing paper titled “Towards a More Equal City.”

Anjali is passionate about working at the nexus of urban planning research and practice, seeking to identify challenging and underexplored areas of research that contribute to practitioner knowledge and impact on the ground. She has published extensively and works with WRI teams across countries, advising them on research design and ensuring high standards of research quality. She is currently leading new research on approaches to manage urban expansion in the global south to ensure equitable access to core urban services. This work focuses on issues of urban land market failures, gaps in cross-sectoral, cross-jurisdictional planning, and the role of enabling national policies.

Prior to WRI, Anjali worked as a senior consultant at ICF International and the World Bank, authoring multiple guidance documents for practitioners and decision makers on evaluating impacts of transportation projects, regional greenhouse gas emissions analysis, congestion pricing, benefit-cost analysis, and transportation financing. She has published a book on road pricing strategies and is a recognized expert in this area.

Anjali has worked in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and India. She holds a Master’s degree in City Planning, a Master of Science degree in Transportation, and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, India. Anjali is based in Cary, North Carolina and enjoys a good hike in the woods, cooking, travel and documentaries.


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