Erin Hafkenschiel

Erin Hafkenschiel


Erin graduated in May with a Master's degree in Public Policy and Urban Planning at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her work focused on urbanization issues, management, governance and climate change. She is specifically interested in encouraging sustainable urban development paths in rapidly urbanizing countries, particularly China. As a Fulbright scholar in China, she studied sustainable urbanization issues in numerous major cities, including Beijing, Kunming and Jinan. She conducted a transportation and urban lifestyle survey in Jinan. Last summer she interned at Calthorpe Associates working on the connection between land-use planning and carbon emissions.

Before her year in China, Erin worked at the Hewlett Foundation in the Environment Program. During her time there, she played an integral role in a project to protect and properly manage the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada. She also helped establish the Sustainable Cities program at the Energy Foundation in Beijing. Erin is extremely eager to use her past experiences and her new opportunity as a Switzer Fellow to tackle the challenge of sustainable urbanization in China over the next few decades. She has a B.A. in Political Economy (PEIS) from the University of California, Berkeley.

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Harvard Kennedy School, MPP/UP
Current Position:
Director of Transportation and Sustainability at Office of Megan Barry
Mayor's Office, Metro Nashville/Davidson County Government
Architecture & Urban Planning
Energy & Climate Change
Land, Open Space, Smart Growth
Currently Working On:
Urban Infill Development

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