International Secretariat

The UN Global Compact – Cities Programme is administered by an International Secretariat, which has been hosted by RMIT University in Melbourne Australia since 2007. Staff of the International Secretariat have a range of roles across project development, city engagement, communications, research and technical expertise facilitation.

Professor Ralph Horne
Head of Partnerships

Ralph is the Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for the Design and Social Context College at RMIT University where he supports research performance through the development of new and existing research groups and centres, mentoring future research leaders and providing strategic leadership in support of research activity across the college.

Ralph has particular expertise in urban research, social and policy change for sustainable design and development. He has extensive experience of environmental techniques and sustainability appraisal and has a specific research interest in urban transitions, including socio-technical relations in the context of climate change and resource scarcity.

Ralph has led over 100 urban research projects, collaborating with researchers, cities, governments and commercial organisations across all continents and including studies of housing and development in Europe, Australasia, South East Asia and Latin America. He combines research leadership and participation in research projects concerning the environmental, social and policy context of production and consumption in the urban environment.

He held the positions of Director, Green Building Council of Australia from 2010-13 and Council Member, Built Environment Industry Innovation Council, Commonwealth Government, Australia from 2008-12.

Javier Cortés Fernández
Head of Local Engagement

Javier is the UN Global Compact Cities Programme Head of Local Engagement based in Madrid.

He holds a graduate in Economic Sciences and Businesses from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, a Master in Cooperation for Development by International. Institute Ortega y Gasset, a Master in Management of Non for Profit Organizations and participated in Doctorate Studies in Sustainable Development at the Phd Program at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Javier gained extensive experience in the private sector in the areas of strategic financial planning and consolidation with Spanish multinational companies such as Grupo PRISA, Sogecable, and Telefonica Media Holding Group, before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for Development of Spain. Coordinator of Strategic Planning at the Directorate of Planning and Evaluation of the Secretary of State of Cooperation, Javier was responsible for different areas of the Spanish development policy, including Public-Private policies for development, inclusive growth, policy coherence for development and was instrumental in launching the first Spanish financial institution for development,FONPRODE.

Working with Multilateral organizations, Javier has previously been the official representative of Spanish Government to OECD for the Peer Review Evaluation process of the British Development policy in 2009, the Poverty Reduction Network (POVNET), and as part of the team who defined the Terms of Reference of the economic governance window of the UNDP Millenium Development Goals Fund in 2008.

Before joining the Cities Programme in December 2018, Javier worked as the Head of Local Networks for the Americas region with the UN Global Compact in New York. In this role he mobilised the business community in the region to embrace a principles based approach to engage in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, facilitated connections between Local Networks and partnerships with public institutions, UN Country Teams, civil society and academia. 

Martina Otten
Senior Manager, Operations

Martina is Senior Manager Operations at the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme. She is responsible for managing the operations of the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme as an International Secretariat for the urban focus of the UN Global Compact.

Martina has over 15 years international experience, having worked in leadership roles across various operational functions in large and complex global organisations

Prior to joining the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme, Martina worked as Manager Global Relations at RMIT University, at the International Automotive Research Centre at Warwick University in the UK and at the car manufacturers Audi AG in Germany and Seat SA in Spain.

She is an expert on inter- and intra-organisational relationships, collaborations and partnerships. Martina speaks English, German, Dutch and Spanish and has a MSc in Organisational Psychology from Birkbeck, University of London.

Joana Correia
Project Development Manager

Joana plays a key role in brokering and managing the sustainable urban development initiative, the City Partnerships Challenge in collaboration with local government, private sector and civil society organisations. She also designs and delivers cross-sectoral engagement initiatives.

Joana is an Architect with over 10 years of international experience spanning architectural practice, urban development and project management. Since completing her Bachelor in Architecture at Universidade de Lisboa in Portugal, Joana has held positions in both large and small architectural and engineering offices in South Africa, Mozambique and Portugal.

Joana has a Master of International Urban and Environmental Management from RMIT University, specialising in climate change adaptation/mitigation planning and sustainable development. The relation between the built environment and climate change and how design and participatory approaches may improve the resilience of communities and tackle environmental issues were the focus of her masters and continue to be a key specialisation in her work at the Cities Programme.

Some of Joana’s Cities Programme projects to date include Winning from Second: What Geelong can learn from International Second Cities, a research project drawing insight from the change and economic transformation across second-tier cities, and the Bay Blueprint 2070, a regional climate adaptation plan for the 10 councils around Port Phillip Bay in Victoria, Australia. As part of her humanitarian sector specialisation, she is also an Emergency Shelter Coordinator with the Australian Red Cross.

Associate Professor Andrew Butt
Chief Investigator

Andrew is Associate Professor, Sustainability and Urban Planning, engaged in teaching and research through RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research and is the Cities Programme Chief Investigator.

He has been involved in urban and regional planning practice, teaching and research for over 25 years in Australia, Europe and Asia.  His particular research interests include urban and peri-urban land management, cross-cultural planning education and infrastructure for climate change in urban environments.

Sandra Moye
City Scan Coordinator

Sandra Moye, is an engineer and sustainability professional and holds a Master of Environment from Melbourne University, focused on Climate Change and Sustainable Community Development, and a Carbon Accounting accreditation from Swinburne University. Sandra developed this diagnostic tool in 2014 and is leading its pilot phase and further development. Sandra is also a Researcher with the Global Compact Cities Programme, which she joined in January 2013  through a research internship. She holds a 

In 2015, Sandra commenced a PhD focused on focused on urban climate resilience through sustainable housing in cities of the Global South. Throughout 2013 and 2014, she undertook research with Professor Ralph Horne in energy efficiency measures for low income housing with the Chilean NGO TECHO. Sandra secured COALAR funding to collaborate with TECHO and present findings internationally – see her workshops at the World Urban Forum and Sustainable Urban Housing in Chile. Sandra translated the ‘Guide to the Global Compact for Local Governments’ from Spanish to English. She is also leading the 2014-15 study of Cities Programme participant cities, the ‘Global Compact City Scan’.

Sandra is from Mexico and is a native Spanish speaker. She has worked with Indigenous communities in the Michoacan mountain range in Mexico, has heavy-industry consulting experience and has volunteered here in Melbourne with Beyond Zero Emissions on their Buildings Plan as a Researcher and Volunteer Coordinator.

With a strong interest in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, Sandra plans to extend her experience and the impact of her work with community development projects in Australasia and Latin America.

Carolyn Lambert
Administration Coordinator

Carolyn Lambert is the Administration Coordinator with the Cities Programme. Before joining the Cities Programme, she had worked in a variety of positions across program management, communications, community engagement and administration, including Office Manager at the Alliance for Water Stewardship Asia-Pacific, Project Manager of the urban renewal empty spaces program, Docklands Spaces and Partnerships Project Coordinator at Regional Arts Victoria.

Carolyn is passionate about community development, the environment and the arts, and has an interest in natural building. She is a member of the Creative Recovery Network and  is currently completing the final stages of her Masters degree in Disaster, Design and Development at RMIT.

Regional Liasions

Regional Liaison Coordinators represent the Cities Programme at the country level. Their work involves engaging new cities and working as conduits to Cities Programme services for the facilitation of projects and relationship development. The appointment is by invitation only. These roles are currently in Brazil and Malta.

Global Advisors

Global Advisors work in close liaison with the International Secretariat and are ambassadors for the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme, promoting the Principles, increasing awareness of the Cities Programme and engagement of cities and other stakeholders with the United Nations Global Compact. The appointment to Global Advisor is by invitation only.

Urban Scholars

Urban Scholars are high level, outcomes focused urban academics and practitioners who support the Cities Programme International Secretariat by making their expertise available to city participants of the United Nations Global Compact, partners of the Cities Programme and to Cities Programme Interns (upon negotiation). They provide services such as projects proposal review, technical advice and research, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.