Fedra Vanhuyse is Head of Division – Societies, Climate and Policy Support at SEI HQ, leading teams of sustainability researchers on the team cities, communities, and consumption; the team water, coasts and ocean; and the team environmental policy and strategy.
She is passionate about cities, food, and people, and tries to combine these topics in her research portfolio. Currently, she is investigating how cities can become climate neutral and what funding that would require in the Viable Cities’ Finance project, funded by Viable Cities. She also leads a project on circular cities, funded by the Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova, where the aim is to develop a tool that will allow cities to measure their circularity level and assess the societal consequences of a transition to a more circular economy, including what it would mean for employment, community cohesion, political systems and access to goods, energy and services. She is Principal Investigator of CANDIES, a research project that looks at how digitalisation can be utilised to support more sustainable food systems and sustainable food consumption and production.
Prior to working in research, she worked for a municipal government in the UK and supported social economy enterprises and programmes in Belgium. Also in the UK, she led parliamentary inquiries for the UK House of Commons, and evaluated government programmes and projects on value for money. She lived in the Philippines for five years, leading a Decent work programme for a labour rights NGO, and worked in P.R. China as a teacher for a year. She worked with governments, trade unions and social movements on capacity building and monitoring and evaluation systems in Cambodia, India and Rwanda.
She holds a PhD in Agricultural and Food Economics from the University of Reading, UK; an M.A. in Conflict and Development from the University of Ghent, Belgium; and an M.Sc. in Applied Economics from the University of Leuven, Belgium. She is certified in project management (Prince2) and in contract and commercial management (IACCM).