Maruxa serves as Executive Coordinator of Communitas. Previously, she ran nrg4SD (Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development) for two and a half years. With Maruxa at the helm, nrg4SD co-facilitated the engagement of subnational and local authorities at the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.
From 2004 to late 2010, Maruxa served as Deputy Director for the representation of the South West of England to the European Union (EU). She led partnership efforts on EU sustainable development policy, including between regional authorities, academia and the private sector. Earlier, Maruxa was Sustainable Development and Institutional Affairs Officer in the EU representation of the Spanish region of Galicia and started her career in the EU Committee of the Regions. Maruxa has also worked as Expert on Governance and Public Administration Reform for the Government of Romania and the British Council. She has lectured in capacity building programs run by the Assembly of European Regions, the College of Europe of Bruges, the Institute of Political Studies of Paris Sciences Po and the French EU Presidency.
Maruxa holds an LL.B from the University of La Coruña in Spain, an LL.M. in European Law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and an MA in Management of Cooperation Projects from the Organisation of Ibero American States. Maruxa is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish; she has professional working proficiency in German and Italian and follows elementary studies of Arabic and Chinese.
James Goldstein is the Research Director at Communitas. He oversees work groups and expert-led research on sustainable cities. James is Senior Fellow at Tellus Institute, where he directs the Sustainable Communities Program. His research centers on the development of analytic methods and stakeholder processes in support of community-based initiatives to integrate environmental protection, economic development, and social well-being.
James has over thirty years of experience in the assessment of environmental problems and policies, with a particular emphasis on pollution prevention, solid waste management, and integrated resource planning for water. The current focus of his work is the incorporation of a global perspective in designing local and regional sustainability efforts.
James' projects at Tellus have included: preparation of a white paper on Sustainable Communities and the Great Transition; development of long-range sustainability scenarios for the Boston metropolitan area; assessment of the potential employment and environmental impacts of enhanced recycling in the US; analysis of the costs and benefits of greening affordable housing; expert consultation on long-range integrated resource planning for water, wastewater and stormwater; and development of a regional climate adaptation strategy. He presents widely on a range of environmental and sustainability issues and holds a B.A. in Geography from Clark University.
Felix Dodds is a Fellow at the Global Research Institute at University of North Carolina and an Associate Fellow at Tellus Institute. He served notably as Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future (1992-2012). He played a significant role in the UN Rio+20 Conference and has been active at the UN since 1990, contributing to key meetings on sustainable development.
In 2011, Felix chaired the UN DPI NGO 64th Conference on Sustainable Societies - Responsive Citizens. He also co-chaired the UN Commission on Sustainable Development NGO Steering Committee (1997-2001).
Felix has written/edited nine books, his latest being Only One Earth: The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development. Felix writes occasionally for the BBC Green Room, Outreach, and Network 2012. He has been an adviser on the UK, Danish and European Union delegations for meetings on environment.
Felix once chaired the UK's National League of Young Liberals and was a member of the Liberal Party Council and Policy Panel on Defence. He holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Surrey.
Christopher Dekki has dedicated himself from very early youth years to the representation in intergovernmental policy processes of youth-led organizations affiliated with the UN Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY), the United Nations' official platform for children and youth engagement. Over the years Chris has taken an active role in advocacy around a number of topics, including sustainable cities and human settlements, as well as Habitat III.
Chris is highly involved in the work of UN-HABITAT on a number of fronts. Besides leading youth-led organizations directly in Habitat III advocacy, both in New York and in Nairobi, Chris has also facilitated a strong relationship between a number of youth movements and UN-HABITAT's Youth Unit, as part of the Youth 21 initiative. Thanks to the synergies that exist between them, Chris was able to establish a coordination body made up of youth-led organizations and members of the HABITAT Youth Unit. This body’s primary purpose is to lead on advocacy around the roles of youth in decision-making on all levels, as well as in urban sustainability.
Thanks to his direct engagement in facilitating multi-stakeholder advocacy in complex policy areas and in a range of intergovernmental processes - from Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 development agenda to the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and the Third International Conference on Financing for Development - Chris brings a truly diverse and fresh background to the Communitas Secretariat.