VANESSA LEON is the Chief Executive Officer of Pinchina, an international urban planning firm she established in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. As a Haitian-American urban planner, her primary interests are in strengthening the physical, social, and economic wellbeing of vulnerable communities in Haiti, New York City and wherever else they may be.

In 2015, Ms. Leon was inducted into the Haitian Roundtable’s 1804 List as one of the “Top 5 to Watch” among Haitian-Americans. Also in 2015, Ms. Leon was selected by the Haitian Embassy in Washington D.C. to advise Haiti’s Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation as a Haiti Future Leaders Fellow. Ms. Leon has previously served as an adjunct lecturer in urban planning and policy at Hunter College as well as in urban studies at Queens College.
Ms. Leon is currently a doctoral candidate in  public and urban policy at the New School’s Milano School for International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy in New York City where her research endeavors to strengthen the institutional capacity for promoting integrated urban development in Haiti. She earned a Master of Urban Planning, with a concentration in Economic Development and Housing Policy, from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

She has been featured in The Root, on BBC World News Radio, and in the American Planning Association's Planning magazine.

Sub-specialities: Local Governance, Decentralization, Urban Planning, Institutional Development, Capacity Building, Sustainable Development



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