Ms. Katja Schäfer
Interim UNITAC Lab Manager, UN-Habitat
Government of Germany
As an Architect and Urban Development Practitioner, Katja Schäfer has more than twenty years of professional experience in teaching, research, analytical and advisory services, and programme administration in the fields of housing, urban development and management, institutional development and capacity building. She has worked at global, regional, national and local levels, ranging from development to fragile and (post) conflict environments, emergency support, disaster mitigation and urban recovery. Her wide expertise is in innovative, participatory and responsive solutions to urbanization challenges through socially and culturally acceptable, economically viable and environmentally sustainable interventions that take into consideration physical, legislative and financial aspects.
Ms. Schäfer has been working with UN-Habitat for more than 15 years in field, regional and headquarters functions. For the past two and a half years, she has been technically supporting Member States and local governments in the Eastern European and Central Asian Regions to mainstream urbanization into their development agendas as an Inter-regional Advisor. Moreover, she has been leading Subprogramme 1 of the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2023, focusing on reduced poverty and spatial inequality in urban and rural communities as well as two of the UN-Habitat global flagship programmes, focusing on inclusive and vibrant neighbourhoods and communities as well as people-centred smart cities. In this context, since January 2021, Ms. Schäfer has been leading the United Nations Innovation Technology Accelerator for Cities (UNITAC Hamburg) ad interim.