Smita Rawoot

Urban Resilience practice lead , WRI

Smita Rawoot

Speaker Bio


Smita Rawoot is the Urban Resilience practice lead at WRI. She leads a team of researchers and urban development professionals focused on helping cities manage and adapt to climate risks while advancing human & environmental health, economic opportunity, and social wellness.



She led the launch of the African Cities Water Adaptation Fund (ACWA Fund) at COP27. This blended finance instrument aims to catalyze $5 Billion in investments to implement high impact water resilience solutions in 100 cities by 2032. The fund is supported by a centralized coalition of 24 organizations, offering coordinated capacity building and technical assistance to cities to identify and prepare projects for investment, through the African Cities Water Adaptation Platform (ACWA Platform). The ACWA Fund and the ACWA Platform are key components of the Urban Water Resilience Initiative a strategic initiative for WRI, that Smita leads. Smita also helped set up the Accelerate Access Coalition in India to support the development of resilient WASH and healthy spaces in urban poor communities.



Prior to joining WRI, she was the Associate Director for Global Solution Delivery at 100 Resilient Cities (now Global Resilient Cities Network), where she led the work of advancing implementation of priority resilience initiatives across 28 North American cities, through a network of 100 plus partner organizations. 



Smita is an urban planner, architect, and urban designer and has successfully implemented many complex design projects in the US and India. Smita holds a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Masters in Architecture from Pratt Institute.