Maria Soledad Guilera of Buenos Aires graduated in the MIA Class of 2012 with a concentration in Urban and Social Policy and a specialization in Management. She is currently 2030 strategy advisor to the Argentine presidency.

Describe your background prior to SIPA.

Before coming to SIPA I worked as a political consultant advising private and public sector leaders on political strategy. I had also volunteered for Un Techo para Mi País, a Latin American NGO that constructs transitional houses to help families in poverty develop as a sustainable community, and served as an advisor to the Argentina Director of Communications and regional Director of Development.

What are you doing now?

I work as the Argentina 2030 strategy advisor for the Argentine presidency. We are assessing the effects of urbanization and the economic, demographic, technological and environmental changes on urban development, employment, housing, mobility and resiliency of cities in Argentina. Our goal is to understand, discuss and communicate to the President and to society at large the challenges and opportunities ahead and design strategies to overcome the former and seize the latter. I am also teaching a course I designed on Smart Cities at San Andres University in their Master in Public Administration Program.

What motivated you to choose SIPA?

I applied to SIPA because it has the best program to understand urban challenges while acquiring management skills crucial to this field. I value an open setting with academic excellence, emphasis on teamwork, and diversity. SIPA brings together all these characteristics through its notable faculty, exceptional curriculum, and the Capstone Workshops.

The SIPA experience perfectly fit my goal of contributing to positive transformations in urban and social development. My objective is to broaden my work to a regional Latin American scope. I want to be an agent of change who articulates public and private efforts, bridges the gap between scholars, practitioners and activists, and “speaks the language” of international forums.

Describe your experience at SIPA.

SIPA offers the opportunity to get involved in enriching extra-curricular activities where you can meet with colleagues in different environments and enhance your professional background. Winning the SIPA Policy Case competition was a valuable learning experience that led to a summer job and then a full-time position after graduation with Deloitte Consulting.

Photo credit: Lucas Heavy