Gabriella's research focuses on the dynamic relationship between social and fiscal responsibilities in the public sector, exploring the impact of fiscal and administrative reforms on planning for water and sanitation services and public health in vulnerable urban and peri-urban communities in the global South. Her work is largely based in Mozambique, where she is presently studying how international policy mobility and the decentralization of South-South cooperation impact urban development, and in particular sanitation services. Gabriella has also actively engaged in research and projects in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and Kenya. She was the lead co-chair of the Global Planning Educators’ Interest Group within the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in 2014-2015, and a co-chair from 2012-2014. Within MIT, Gabriella works as a collaborating member of the Displacement Research and Action Network, the Faculty Council of the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), the MIT-AFRICA Advisory Committee, and advises the UrbanAfrica student initiative.
Before coming to MIT, Gabriella was an Assistant Professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers. She has worked in various capacities with the UN Millennium Project, UNFPA, UN-HABITAT, Rockefeller Foundation, Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia’s Earth Institute, Oxford Analytica and a private management consultancy focusing on fixed income finance. A native of Queens, NYC, Gabriella spent most of her formative years as a student of/in New York, but also has studied and been an affiliated researcher in universities in Brazil, France, Mozambique, and the UK. She holds a BA in political science from Columbia, a Master of Philosophy in development studies with a concentration on economics from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in urban planning from Columbia, where she was a NSF-IGERT fellow in international development and globalization.