Benjamin de la Peña - Participant

Benjamin de la Peña joined Knight Foundation in October 2013 as director of community and national strategy.

Most recently, de la Peña served as associate director for urban development at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he supervised programming related to: urbanization; the emerging science of cities; the role of informality in cities; cities and technology; bus rapid transit; and transportation and urban policy.

During his tenure at the Rockefeller Foundation, de la Peña initiated and managed more than $35 million in grants over five years, including grants in Africa, Asia, South America and the United States. He conceived and led the Informal City Dialogues. He also helped to initiate groundbreaking meetings on the nexus of new media and urban policy, such as the Open Cities Conference, and technology and urban management, such as CityCamp and TransportationCamp.

Prior to his work at Rockefeller, de la Peña was associate director for implementation at the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, where he developed the Smart Growth Toolkit, a suite of tools to help communities achieve sustainable development. He has also worked as a consultant on geographic information systems; as youth development and leadership programs manager for Ayala Corporation; as community relations manager for the Manila Water Company; and as a high school English teacher. He has written and spoken extensively on issues related to the development of cities and has published op-eds and commentaries on urban issues for Atlantic Cities, Next City and TED City 2.0.

De la Peña earned a master’s degree in urban planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a bachelor’s degree in communication, with a major in journalism, from the University of the Philippines.



The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation


Community and National Strategy

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