Theresa Williamson | Land Portal


Theresa Williamson, Ph.D. is a city planner and founding executive director of Catalytic Communities, an NGO working to support Rio de Janeiro’s favelas through asset-based community development. CatComm produces RioOnWatch, an award-winning local-to-global favela news platform, and recently launched Rio’s Sustainable Favela Network and a Favela Community Land Trust program. Theresa is an advocate for the recognition of the favelas’ heritage status and their residents’ right to be treated as equal citizens. She received the 2018 American Society of Rio prize for her contributions to the city and the 2012 NAHRO Award for her contributions to the international housing debate. Theresa has many publications including multiple book chapters and four op-eds in The New York Times. She has been cited in hundreds of publications and television. Previously she received the 2005 Gill-Chin Lim Award for Best Dissertation on International Planning and CatComm received the 2006 Tech Museum Award for technology benefiting humanity. Dr. Williamson earned her B.A. in Biological Anthropology from Swarthmore College and PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Director of Catalytic Communities

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