Sebastián Varela

Associate, Cities and Transport


Sebastián Varela is a Cities and Transport Associate for WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. He manages integrated projects on urban development, transport, and other related fields such as water, vulnerability, energy efficiency and governance. He also supports research on best practices for sustainable and equitable cities. Sebastián is responsible for stewarding the relationship with strategic partners of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities by quantifying and reporting progress towards more sustainable urban practices.

Prior to joining World Resources Institute, Sebastián served as project coordinator in WRI's sustainable urban mobility initiative EMBARQ in Mexico, where he managed a technical assessment team assisting PROTRAM, a national program supporting the implementation of massive transport systems in Mexican cities. Sebastián has also conducted research on urban ecology and ecosystem services associated with urban forests.

As a devoted mountain climber, guide and coach, Sebastián has participated in expeditions in Patagonia, Antarctica and the Himalayas. From these experiences he has learned about the importance of combining both technical and leadership skills to approach big challenges. To that end, Sebastián is an enthusiastic facilitator of the Leaders in Urban Transport Planning Program (LUTP), co-organized by EMBARQ in Mexico and the World Bank.

Sebastián graduated from Universidad de Chile and the State University of New York - ESF with a research degree in urban and landscape ecology.

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