Amaia Celaya Alvarez has a background in urban design and planning, architecture, international cooperation, and humanitarian action. She is an expert in sustainability, resilience, risk management models, and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
She worked in the private sector for 15 years at her architecture and urban design firm. She has also worked in the Emergency Response Unit of Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) - European Commission -, supporting, in particular, the work of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) in Ebola Crisis. She is currently leading, as a specialist, the technical work of the United Nations Habitat City Resilience Global Programme.
Her master thesis in urban resilience indicators got a grant from The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff) in 2014. She collaborates as an inviting lecturer with UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Development and Environmental Education (UPV), Deusto University, and Pompeu i Fabra University. She is the director of the master “Design or Resilience” in ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering. She is also a member of the Technical Evaluation Committee Member in Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, and European Commission expert/evaluator in Horizon 2020 / CORDIS Programmes and Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).