Project Advisory Committee


UNITAC’s Project Advisory Committee provides strategic direction to the project and guide the implementation of activities and priorities.





Raf Tuts

Director, Global Solutions Division, UN-Habitat



Current Members



Salem Avan

Director, Policy Strategy and Governance Division, UN-OICT


Stephanie Egerland

Chancellor, HafenCity University


Almut Möller

Minister of State, City of Hamburg


Edgar Pieterse

Director, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town


Lacina Koné

Director General, Smart Africa


Julie Kae

Executive Director, VP Sustainability & Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Qlik




Mr. Rafael Tuts

PAC Chair

Mr. Rafael Tuts is Director of Global Solutions Division at UN-Habitat. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, he oversees UN-Habitat’s overall thematic work and field operations. He joined the United Nations in 1995. Earlier assignments for UN-Habitat include the creation of the Localising Agenda 21 Programme, the implementation of the Global Campaign on Urban Governance as well as leadership of the Training and Capacity Branch and the Cities and Climate Change Initiative. He co-edited Urban Trialogues (2004), reflecting on visioning, action planning and co-production of urban space as a resource for sustainable development. He coordinated the publication International Migrants and the City (2005), co-directed Guidelines for developing eco-efficient and socially inclusive infrastructure (2011) and supervised a guidebook on Urban Patterns for a Green Economy (2012). Before joining UN-Habitat in 1995, he worked for the Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning of the University of Leuven and the Housing Research and Development Unit of the University of Nairobi. In 1985, he obtained a Masters of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Leuven.

UN-Habitat is the lead custodian agency of the United Nations, supporting Member States on sustainable cities and human settlements and on methodologies, tools and solutions to implement and monitor urban-related Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda targets.

Mr. Raf Tuts       |   UN-Habitat         


Ms. Stephanie Egerland

PAC Member
HafenCity University Hamburg

Ms. Stephanie Egerland has been the chancellor of HafenCity University Hamburg since 2012. She previously was a manager at Groupe Gregoire Besson (2006-2012) and a Managing Director at Werner Egerland Automobillogistik (1987-2001). She has experience in management, business strategy and strategic planning. She studied Economics and speaks English, French and German.

HafenCity University was founded as a fusion of three universities and colleges in Hamburg and, as such, combines interdisciplinary aspects of construction, planning and design with engineering, natural sciences and social sciences.

Ms. Stephanie Egerland     |   HafenCity University        


Mr. Salem Avan

PAC Member
United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology

Mr. Salem Avan is currently the Director of the Policy, Strategy and Governance Division for ICT at United Nations Headquarters. Mr. Avan oversees technology strategies and leads cybersecurity, business intelligence, data analytics, and technology innovation. Innovation plays a critical role in moving the United Nations forward; engaging with partners is paramount to the success of technology supporting the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Mr. Avan works to bring together the Organization with entrepreneurs, social and data scientists, Member States and the private sector to articulate, design and develop solutions to the world’s most complex challenges. Prior to this position, he was responsible for ICT for peace operations, the largest department of the United Nations. He joined peacekeeping in 1994 during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and served in missions in various countries including Iraq, Western Sahara, Sierra Leone, Eritrea and Ethiopia. He also worked in Croatia with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and in the Special Court for Sierra Leone. 

UN-OICT enables the UN Secretariat to deliver effectively on its mandates through the secure, responsible and innovative use of data, information and technology.  

Mr. Salem Avan       |   UN-OICT      


Mr. Lacina Koné

PAC Member
Smart Africa

Mr. Lacina Koné is the Director General of Smart Africa since 2019. He has more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications, satellite and intelligent transportation systems sectors, and held several managerial positions in companies such as satellite telecom provider Intelsat, information technololgy giant Booz Allen Hamilton, and Qualicom. From 2011 to 2017, he was the ICT advisor to the Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara. Trilingual in French, English and Arabic, he holds a Bachelor of Science in electronic engineering, a Master’s in Data Communication, and a Master of Business Administration.

Smart Africa is a bold and innovative commitment from African Heads of State and government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and the usage of information and communications technology.

Mr. Lacina Koné          |    Smart Africa        


Ms. Julie Kae

PAC Member

Ms. Julie Kae is the Vice President of Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as the Executive Director of Qlik since 2008. Her areas of expertise include environmental, social and governance programmes, managing strategic partnerships with international organizations, and spearheading the development of environmental solutions. Ms. Kae manages Qlik’s partnership with the United Nations, UN-OICT and agencies UNFCCC, OIE, WHO, UN Youth Envoy and others. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Iowa.  

With the vision of a data-literate world, Qlik provides an end-to-end, real-time data integration and analytics cloud platform that allows for open-ended, curiosity-driven exploration.

Ms. Julie Kae         |   Qlik         


Dr. Edgar Pieterse

PAC Member
African Centre for Cities (University of Cape Town)

Dr. Edgar Pieterse is the founding Director for the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town since 2007. He has facilitated explorations of urban research with a focus on sustainable human settlements and pertinent urban challenges, and he is a thought leader on African and southern urbanism. He previously was a Special Advisor to the Premier in Cape Town from 2004 to 2007. There he supported the Premier by advising on development policies and strategies. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Planning and Geography via Social Policy, and a Master’s in Development Studies.

African Centre for Cities is an interdisciplinary hub at the University of Cape Town that is involved in collaborative research on the understanding of pertinent urban crises, and is committed to the promotion of vibrant, just and sustainable cities.

Dr. Edgar Pieterse       |   African Centre for Cities        


Ms. Almut Möller

PAC Member
City of Hamburg

Ms. Almut Moller is a Plenipotentiary of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg to the Federation, to the European Union and for Foreign Affairs. Previously, she was the Head of Office of the European Council on Foreign Relations from 2015 to 2019. Prior to this, she led the Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP e.V.) from 2010 to 2015. She brings extensive experience as a publicist and political analyst, with research stays at the Renmin University of China, the Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at John Hopkins University, and the Centre for Applied Policy Research at LMU University of Munich. She has authored and edited publications on European integration and reform, European foreign and security policy, and Germany in Europe. She holds a Master's in Political Science, Constitutional Law, and Modern and Contemporary History and speaks English, French and German.

The city of Hamburg is one of 16 German states and is also a major European science, research and education hub with several universities and institutions as well as specialists in world economics and international law.

Ms. Almut Möller     |   City of Hamburg