Jessica Seddon is the Director of Integrated Urban Strategy at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. She leads a network of researchers and practitioners across WRI’s offices that works with city stakeholders to change both places and planning to create livable and resilient cities. Her own work focuses on the way that new sources of information and environmental awareness can be leveraged to motivate and guide investments and action that improves air quality, resource efficiency, and access to shared, green spaces. Outside of WRI, Jessica serves on the advisory board of the Wilderhill Global Clean Energy Index (NEX) and the Academic Council of Krea University, a new liberal arts initiative in South India. She is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Prior to joining WRI, Jessica co-founded and led Okapi, an India-based strategy group incubated at IIT Madras that focuses on institutional design for social innovation. Her earlier career spans academic and strategic advisory roles focused on institutional design for integrating science into policy and social initiatives. Jessica has worked with a number of institutions in India, including as Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute (Mumbai); Senior Fellow at the Center for Technology and Policy, IIT Madras; Head of Research at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (Bangalore); and Director of the Centre for Development Finance at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (Chennai). In her U.S.-based work, she has served as Strategic Advisor for the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (CALIT2) and Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego. She was also a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, working on institutional design for global air quality management.
Jessica has published book chapters and articles on infrastructure, Indian political economy, IT and governance, environmental regulation and other institutional design topics in international academic and policy venues including Cambridge University Press, Journal of Development Economics, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Foreign Affairs, Bloomberg Business Week and Harvard Business Review.
Dr. Seddon earned her Ph.D. in Political Economy from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and her B.A. in Government and Latin American Studies from Harvard University.