Kayla Rakes

Engagement Coordinator, Buildings Initiative


Kayla is the Engagement Coordinator for the Buildings Initiative at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. She provides program support, engagement and communications leadership, and research expertise for the Zero Carbon Buildings Accelerator project.

Prior to joining WRI, Kayla worked with a foundation in Argentina to expand a sustainable housing program that promotes home energy efficiency. She also has extensive city diplomacy experience, having organized the first Urban 20 Mayors Summit with the City of Buenos Aires in 2018.

Kayla holds a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas as well as a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College. She is currently participating in the Women in Geospatial+ Mentorship program.

Kayla lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina but will be relocating to Austin, TX. In her free time, she enjoys making music with her husband, growing her own food, taking her dog on long walks, and swimming in spring fed pools.


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