Jo da Silva
I am the Global Director of Sustainable Development at Arup, leading our activities to address the climate, biodiversity and equity crises through creating safe, inclusive and resilient communities whilst safeguarding the planet. I am also an Arup Fellow promoting excellence and innovation that delivers social outcomes.
I earned my global recognition as an engineer who has applied knowledge and design expertise to improve safety, promote inclusivity, and enhance resilience of communities, cities and infrastructure globally. I led the planning, design and implementation of a wide range of buildings, infrastructure, and urban regeneration projects for Arup, and have also worked extensively in crisis and disaster contexts for non-governmental, UN agencies and multi-laterals.
I have authored numerous papers and publications and received an honorary doctorate in humanitarian engineering from Coventry University. I was previously a Fellow at Sydney Sussex, Cambridge University lecturing in Engineering for Sustainable Development and contributed to the guest Faculty for the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.
In 2007 I founded Arup International Development to enable Arup to direct our technical excellence and creativity to improving human development outcomes in the global south working with national and local government and community-based organisations as well as international agencies such as the World Bank, International Federation of the Red Cross and the Rockefeller Foundation.
More recently, in 2016 I co-founded the Resilience Shift to raise awareness and drive action to improve the resilience of critical infrastructure globally and am currently a Board Director.
I was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire this year in recognition of my contribution to international development. I previously received an Order of the British Empire for my services to humanitarian relief and was awarded the Gold Medal by the Institution of Structural Engineers in 2017.