Visiting Fellow Sheela Patel
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Sheela Patel is the director of the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers, a non-governmental organization she founded in 1984. It works in alliance with the National Slum Dwellers Federation and Mahila Milan, and is active in several cities across India. She is widely recognized for seeking urgent attention to the issues of urban poverty, housing, and infrastructure by governments, international agencies, and other organizations. Patel is a founder of Slum Dwellers International, a transnational social movement of the urban poor in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. She served as a commissioner of the Commission for Adaptation to Climate Change from 2018 to 2020. Patel is a trustee of the International Institute for Environment and Development, a global ambassador for Race to Zero and Race to Resilience, and a member of the Club of Rome, among other institutions. In 2023, she received the Lawrence C. Nussdorf Urban Leadership Prize from the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research.