MEET ORNA

Award-Winning Urban Strategist 

Global Advisor on Housing

Research Scientist 

Author and Speaker
 

Dr. Orna Rosenfeld is passionate about housing and inclusive urban development. Her work covers 56 countries, where she advises governments, selected cities and leaders of international organizations such as the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank and the United Nations. As a Doctor of science, she combines expertise from a number of disciplines: city planning, architectural engineering and socio-political research, to advance housing knowledge, investment and policy in pursuit of inclusive urban futures.

BIOGRAPHY

Dr Orna Rosenfeld B.Arch. (Hons) M.A. PhD is a global advisor on housing, research scientist, author and presenter. Known internationally as a dynamic and effective advocate for the advancement of housing sector knowledge and policy, Orna’s public sector work is extensive.

Her work covers 56 countries, where she advises governments, selected cities, and leaders of international organisations such as the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, the Council of Europe Development Bank and the United Nations.  

 

Her expertise lies in international comparative housing policy, knowledge and investment, urban governance and strategy as prerequisites for inclusive urban growth, social and territorial cohesion.

 

In her recent role as the advisor for the European Investment Bank, Dr Rosenfeld studied the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the housing sector in the European Union and advised on the aspects of taxonomy related to the future social impact investments in social and affordable housing. As a senior advisor for the European Commission, she assisted the DG REGIO in matters related to housing policy, funding, and regulation, the implementation of the E.U. Urban Agenda Partnership for Housing, and the contribution of the Urban Agenda for Europe to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda. At the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Switzerland, Dr Rosenfeld supported the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management by researching the housing trends and challenges in the Global North. In that capacity, she contributed Habitat III New Urban Agenda addressed ministers of 56 countries.

 

Active internationally, Orna has presented at over 100 conferences and summits in 30 countries, including at the Cambridge and Sorbonne Universities, the European Parliament, the United Nations and the Capitol Holl. She served on various expert groups throughout her career, including at the ESPON, UN-Habitat, OECD, ELTI and CNBC Energy Futures.

 

She is the author of numerous books, scientific and strategic articles and reports published internationally and translated to 27 EU languages, Russian and Korean.  Among them the flagship study Social Housing in the UNECE Region: Models, Trends and Challenges published by the United Nations.

Dr Rosenfeld’s dedication to housing policy began with her work in the real estate sector. An architect by training, Orna designed and helped deliver over 6,000 homes before committing herself to international housing policy research and counsel.

She holds a Doctorate in housing, urban regeneration and development from the University of Westminster in London. A Chevening Scholar, she holds an M.A. in Planning Research and Theory from the University of Sheffield and a magna cum laude degree in Architecture from the Technion - IIT.

Besides English, she is fluent in Serbian, Croatian and French, speaks Hebrew and Hungarian and has also studied Russian and Spanish. She lived in Serbia, Israel and the United Kingdom before settling in Paris, France.

AWARDS

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THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Dr. Rosenfeld's scientific work on housing and urban development has won awards from the Association of European Schools of Planning, University of Westminster, British Council Chevening and Town Planning Review, among others. In 2014, she was awarded the title of World Cities Summit Young Leader for her contribution to sustainable urban development internationally. In 2021, she was awarded Winner of the UK Alumni Social Impact Award for Europe among over 1400 global candidates.  

 

She is an Associate of the Higher Education Academy in the United Kingdom and adjunct professor at Sciences Po - Institute for Political Studies in Paris, where she teaches new generations of metropolitan policy makers. Prior to moving to Paris, she taught at Westminster University in London. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities in Europe and overseas. 

 

Orna also chairs international advisory boards for housing that are reformulating their strategies, policy and investment.

PHILANTHROPY AND HUMANITARIAN WORK

Orna regularly supports and contributes to selected global philanthropic campaigns. Among important missions, she helped a network of global charities raise over 100 million US dollars for emergency rescue actions, housing and education of migrants as a speaker in Israel, the UK and USA in the 2000s. In this capacity, she spoke along with the world’s most known and celebrated personalities, among them Coretta Scott King, the wife of Martin Luther King and James Rubin U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.

Orna continues to support various humanitarian causes today including gender equality and refugee rescue and inclusion.