Introducing our New Project Officer, Lara Arjan

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We are happy to announce that Lara Arjan has recently joined the CDIA Trust Fund Management as our new Project Officer.

Lara is now responsible for the CDIA Technical Assistance Program, including coordination with financing partners, the CDIA Team and the Trust Fund Management. She is also concurrently serving as Urban Development Specialist at Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department (SDCC) in Asian Development Bank (ADB).

She has taken over the assignment from Manoj Sharma, Chief of the Urban Sector Group at SDCC, who will continue to support her, and provide continuous oversight as required. Robert Guild, Chief Sector Officer of SDCC and CDIA’s Facility Manager will also continue to provide the overall guidance.

Lara has over 20 years of experience in program management, and monitoring and evaluation, which will be valuable in the implementation of the CDIA program. At the same time, her wide-ranging experience in urban development topics such as water resource management, environment, governance, and youth and civic engagement; complemented by her familiarity in both international and municipal contexts will help boost CDIA’s work with cities.

“I’m very happy because I feel that the program can expose me to the breadth and depth of different projects; and introduce me to diverse cities around Asia – the challenges they face and the opportunities they have,” said Ms. Arjan. “I hope to work really hard to demonstrate how instrumental CDIA is in getting bankable projects, so we can attract more funding from more diverse donors, and have more opportunities to give to municipalities around Asia. I am eager to contribute,” she added.

With partners in mind, Lara looks forward to working with them to help bridge the infrastructure gap. “Cities globally are facing tremendous challenges and the biggest challenge everywhere is bridging the infrastructure gap. CDIA is a tool to do so, and it is extremely unique because it works with cities directly and makes sure they’re able to provide the infrastructure and services that their citizens need and rely on very much. CDIA is an effective tool that I hope cities will pay attention to.”

Now for some additional facts about Lara:

  • She is a multilingual urban planner and holds two master’s degrees – Environmental Sciences, and Urban and Regional Planning and Development.
  • She has worked extensively in Asia and the Middle East, and North Africa.
  • Prior to joining ADB in 2018, she served as Senior Urban Planner for Edmonton, Canada.
  • She is a mother of two teenagers and considers coming to Manila with her family as a new adventure for all of them.
  • While she absolutely loves cities and city life, she likes the environment ecology as well. After working in a nature reserve, she discovered how closely related things are, and so she loves both worlds!
  • She likes hiking, reading, and anything that the urban environment can offer such as theaters, cinemas, cafes and restaurants.
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