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Portrait of Florita Gunasekara

Florita Gunasekara

Assistant Director, Global Cities, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Visiting Toronto Metropolitan Univeristy

Fall 2023

Florita Gunasekara is a practitioner in the fields of climate migration, disaster resilience, and urban democracy. She is currently the Assistant Director of Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where she leads public programs and research projects that bring together policy experts from cities around the world. Florita’s research has ranged from the critical analysis of international agreements on migration to interviews with communities who have been displaced by climate disasters. She has also conducted workshops for municipal and national government officials to enable a more effective response to global challenges. Previously, she worked for the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Volunteers, and the International Organization for Migration in Sri Lanka.

Research focus while a Fellow with CERC

Florita will engage with CERC scholars to explore how the discourses of international frameworks enable or exclude local governance solutions in response to the multifaceted nature of migration. She will develop a publication proposal to analyze the Global Compact for Migration, the Global Compact on Refugees, and the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with a particular focus on how they address or overlook the urban dimensions of climate migration.

Publications and Reports

With Kling, S. & Bosacker, S. (2023). Democracy and the Life of Cities (external link) . Edited anthology published by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the German Marshall Fund.

With Venkata, M.K. & Singh, C. (2022). Cities at the Intersection: Climate, Culture, & Migration (external link) . Report prepared for the Global Parliament of Mayors and the British Council.