Maya Velis is a researcher at the Water-Energy-Food nexus, committed to collaborating with stakeholders to help people thrive and nature flourish. Ms. Velis specializes in designing pathways for climate risk mitigation in critical infrastructure; capturing the potential of nature-based solutions to boost sustainability and community resilience; and analyzing the social cost of environmental degradation (including public health impacts). She deploys interdisciplinary approaches to address complex issues at the science-policy interface, drawing from environmental science, systems thinking, and nudge theory.
Ms. Velis brings years of professional experience in public policy and global affairs, with a focus on low-carbon and resilient development. Prior to joining HARC, she worked for the World Bank’s Regional Director for Sustainable Development in the Middle East and North Africa to shape the next generation Climate Action Plan. Ms. Velis served the Government of the Netherlands during the three years prior, which included visiting positions at the Consulate General in Chicago (smart cities & smart mobility) and the European Union Climate Policy unit (climate-smart fiscal policy). She also held affiliations with the UNESCO-IHE International Groundwater Resources Assessment Center, the Clingendael Institute for International Relations, and the Stockholm International Water Institute.
Ms. Velis holds a Master’s in Environmental Science (Water Science and Management) from the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development at Utrecht University and a LL.M. (Constitutional Law and Public Administration) from Leiden Law School.